I love casseroles, but not a traditional corn casserole. This easy recipe is delicious and a fun twist. Some links are affiliate links that earn me a commission if you purchase through them.
Make this from scratch corn casserole that doesn’t use Jiffy Mix or any cornbread for your next holiday. It’s a perfect side dish for Easter, Thanksgiving, and so much more.
Whenever we have family gatherings, I get assigned dishes. I’m fine with that since I enjoy cooking, and my family definitely has some favorites that I make that they enjoy me bringing over and over again like my orzo salad or apple cake or homemade bread.
This year at my uncle’s house, they asked if I could bring corn casserole. Corn casserole? Why not?
Well, maybe because I don’t really like corn casserole. That primarily stems from my dislike of cornbread – nope, I’d never make a good southerner. I can’t do grits or sausage gravy either.
I decided that if I was going to make corn casserole, I was going to find a way to make one that I’d like. After searching and searching for a recipe that didn’t include cornbread, I found a few, but nothing was really what I wanted.
Need more ideas for your holiday meals? Check out some of my favorites at the end of this article.
Corn and bacon go so beautifully together. And I didn’t want to use any sort of condensed soup; my corn casserole was going to be a from scratch type recipe because that’s the way I cook and the way I eat. Obviously, I was just going to have to come up with one on my own.
Anything but that, right?
I’m so glad I did. I made a cheesy corn casserole with just a little bit of a kick, and it was a hit. There was just a little bit left over, but that quickly disappeared after we brought it home.
One of my picky relatives declared it the best corn casserole she’d ever eaten. And me? Well, considering that I don’t like corn casserole yet devoured two servings of this one, I suppose I’d have to agree.
Though it is completely from scratch, it isn’t that hard to make. It takes a little bit of time, but much of it is inactive cook time, so you aren’t slaving over the stove for hours.
The time you do spend working on it? Totally worth it.
Can I make this casserole in advance?
You absolutely can. Do all the prep work up to adding the topping. Wait to add the crackers and shredded cheese to the top until you are ready to bake it.
Cover the casserole with either the lid or tin foil, and place it in the fridge. You can make this one to two days before you bake it.
When you bake it, remove it from the fride a half hour before you bake it. You will also need to add five to ten minutes to the first bake time to account for the chill from the fridge.
Is this corn casserole gluten free?
As it is written, it is not gluten free, but you can make it gluten free. The only gluten in this recipe is the flour to thicken the cheese sauce and the crackers in the topping.
You can replace the flour with a cornstarch slurry – equal parts cold water and cornstarch. Use two tablespoons of cornstarch and two of water, and mix this in after you add the milk rather than before.
For the topping, you can choose to either leave it off altogether or use a gluten free butter cracker.
What kind of corn should I use?
For this recipe, I use frozen sweet corn, as I typically make it when corn isn’t in season. I like the crisp, fresh taste of frozen corn, but you have alternatives.
If corn is in season, you can use fresh corn. Just cut kernels off the cob.
You do not need to cook them before adding them to the casserole. They cook while the casserole bakes.
I do not recommend canned corn, however. Canned corn does not have the same flavor or texture, so if at all possible, use frozen corn or fresh corn.
How to Make This Corn Casserole
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Chop thick, center cut bacon into matchsticks, and add them to a large braising pan, as you will use this to mix up the filling later. Turn the heat to medium, and cook until crisp.
Drain most of the grease, leaving maybe 2-3 tablespoons and then added a diced red onion. Let that caramelize in the bacon grease over medium low heat.
It’s one of my favorite combinations ever, and a great complement to the casserole. Once the onions caramelize, add the flour and let it cook for 2-3 minutes to get the raw flour taste out.
Add the milk while stirring constantly to avoid any lumps, then add the cream cheese and stir until smooth. At that point, add the shredded cheddar cheese in small batches, stirring between each addition.
If you’re like me, add hot sauce for a little kick – add as much or as little as you choose to fit your taste buds. Stir to combine.
Add the corn kernels, most of the green onion, and most of the bacon. Stir to combine.
Place the whole mixture into a two quart casserole dish and push the mixture down to ensure there are no air holes.
Crush the Ritz crackers, and mix them with some more shredded cheese. Sprinkle this atop the casserole, then place the lid onto the corn casserole and put it in the oven.
My casserole dish has an oven safe lid. If yours doesn’t you could easily cover it in tin foil instead.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, then remove the lid and add the remaining green onions and bacon to the top. Return it to the oven to bake for another ten minutes.
The cheese on top doesn’t melt into a sauce, but becomes a crispy crunchy coating with the crackers, perfect for this corn casserole.
Let it cool and set for about ten minutes, then serve the corn casserole while still hot.
This keeps covered in the fridge for two to three days. Reheat it gently in the microwave or on the stove.
Save this corn casserole for your next gathering!
Other ideas for holiday meals:
- Shaved Brussels sprouts salad
- Bacon roasted Brussels sprouts
- Harvest quinoa salad
- Roast turkey with cranberry bourbon glaze
- Green beans gemolata
- Easy buttery dinner rolls
- Passover brisket
- Greek bread with kalamata olives
- Potato casserole
- 4 slices thick, center cut bacon
- 1 c red onion, diced
- 3 T flour
- 3/4 c milk
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 4 c shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 1-2 t hot sauce
- 4 green onion, divided
- 8 c frozen corn
- 1 1/2 c crackers, crushed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut bacon into matchsticks and place into a cold pan. Heat and cook bacon until just barely cooked through. Remove from pan and drain all but 3 T of bacon grease.
- Add diced red onion and cook on medium low heat to caramelize. Stir only periodically and cook for 10-15 minutes until soft and sweet.
- Turn heat to medium and add flour Stir, cooking for 2-3 minutes.
- While stirring, add milk . Once incorporated, add cream cheese and stir until melted. Add 3 cups cheddar cheese in batches. Stir in each batch until it melts before adding the next handful. Reserve the last cup for topping.
- Slice green onions thinly on the bias. Reserve a handful for topping, and add hot sauce and most of your green onion to the sauce, then stir.
- Do the same with the bacon, then add frozen corn and stir again.
- If your pot is not large enough to hold the corn and the cheese sauce, place the corn into a bowl and pour cheese sauce over it before stirring.
- Add the mixture to a two quart casserole dish and push it down to remove any air holes.
- Crush crackers, then mix with remaining shredded cheese. Sprinkle atop the casserole before placing the lid onto the corn casserole and putting it in the 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, remove the lid and add the last of the toppings, reserved green onion and bacon pieces. Return corn casserole to the oven to bake for another ten minutes.
- Once finished baking, let it cool and set for about ten minutes, then serve immediately.
- You can leave off the cracker and cheese topping if you choose, but it adds a great texture to the casserole and makes it a little prettier when presenting.
- If you choose you can broil the casserole for a couple minutes at the end of baking to add just a little more crunch.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 369Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 423mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 16g
This site uses an outside source to calculate nutrition. If you need exact details, please calculate yourself.
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