Creamed Corn Casserole — The EASIEST holiday side dish you’ll ever make! This CREAMY, cheesy corn casserole is a simple stir-and-bake affair that can be made in advance! The texture is a cross between a souffle and cornbread. Slightly gooey, slightly firm, and pairs perfectly with your favorite Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter dishes!
Super Creamy Corn Casserole (From Scratch!)
Around the holidays, I like to go all out with my cooking. After all, if I’m going to go through the trouble of making sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, and turkey or ham, I might as well make the full spread my family loves.
Thankfully, many of my favorite holiday sides are super easy to prepare and can even be assembled or even baked in advance. Or maybe I developed a taste for the easy-to-make side dishes because I could never be bothered to make the more complicated ones? Isn’t my subconscious clever that way!
This creamed corn casserole is the perfect example of a quick and simple holiday side dish my family goes nuts for. I also like that most all of the ingredients I can either stash away in my pantry long before the actual holiday and the rest I will have on hand anyway for other holiday recipes.
The nice thing about that too is that as holiday cooking goes, this is a pretty thrifty recipe, since it relies on pantry staples and canned goods in large part.
It’s a scratch recipe that doesn’t use Jiffy corn muffin mix — which I know a lot of recipes use, and hey that’s fine!
But the prep time for this from-scratch creamy corn casserole is less than 10 minutes and literally all you have to do is dump all the ingredients in a bowl, mix them together, then bake in a casserole dish.
Why do I make my corn casserole without Jiffy mix? To make sure there is:
- no lard
- no unnecessary sugar or salt
- no preservatives
… in this old-fashioned cream corn casserole!
This homemade version is just as fast to make as the Jiffy corn casserole recipe, but I can control the flavor of the baked casserole better and don’t have to make an extra run to the grocery store to pick up an ingredient I don’t normally keep on hand.
Bonus: This easy corn casserole recipe is paired with my Slow Cooker Turkey Breast recipe shown in these photos. It’s a perfect selection when you may not need a huge whole turkey and/or you’re trying to free up oven space and want to make turkey in your slow cooker instead.
Ingredients for Creamed Corn Casserole
The great thing about this baked sweet corn casserole recipe is that you can stock up on most of the ingredients well before the holidays so that they’re on hand whenever you assemble the casserole.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this classic holiday side dish:
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
Ingredients Tip – Use Cornmeal
Please note that you are looking for yellow cornmeal for this easy holiday side dish recipe. I suppose white cornmeal would also work, although it’s not as common or easy to find as yellow. ‘Cornmeal’ and ‘corn meal’ are the same thing.
Do NOT use corn flour. That is another product and is not what you want. Corn flour is softer and smoother, more like actual flour, whereas corn meal has a bit of grit, which is what you want for this recipe.
Do NOT use cornstarch. That’s definitely way off track and you’d end up with a corn glue casserole as it’s a binder and would literally gum-up the whole thing. Avoid!
What Can I Substitute for Creamed Corn in Corn Casserole?
If you don’t have a can of creamed corn on hand or can’t buy it where you live, you can always make your own homemade creamed corn. But, that takes extra time and effort that I quite frankly don’t have during the holiday season!
Instead, what you can try using as a substitute for a can of creamed corn is:
- One 15-oz. can sweet corn kernels
- ½ cup milk (any kind)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch OR 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
Add the ingredients to a blender, pulse a few times until combined but still slightly chunky, then transfer to a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until thickened.
It’s not a perfect 1:1 substitute for canned cream-style corn, but it will work in a pinch.
How to Make Corn Casserole From Scratch
Baked Thanksgiving corn casserole dirties just one bowl and one casserole dish, and the recipe comes together in five easy steps!
Here’s an overview of the recipe:
Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and spices to comprise the dry ingredients.
Step 2: In a separate bowl, add both types of corn, pour the heavy cream, eggs, melted butter, and half of the shredded cheddar to comprise the wet ingredients. Then add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir to combine.
Step 3: Turn the mixture into a greased 2 1/2-quart casserole dish or baking dish.
Step 4: Bake for roughly 40 minutes, or until just barely set in the center but still slightly jiggly.
Step 5: Top with the remaining cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes to melt it before letting it cool and bit and serving it with a few tablespoons of chives on top if desired.
How Can You Tell When Corn Casserole Is Done?
You’ll know the creamed corn casserole is done baking when the edges are golden, the center is just barely set, and there’s still a slight jiggle to the casserole with you (gently) shake it.
Do NOT cook the casserole until it’s fully set and firm to the touch, like cornbread. It’s supposed to remain slightly soft and gooey — but not thin and runny — in the middle.
Like anything baked, it will firm up as it cools so don’t worry if it seems a bit jiggly when you pull it out. Think of it like a muffin where the top is set as you pull it out but still fragile, but upon cooling it firms up.
To free up time in the kitchen when guests are over for the holidays, you can assemble the old-fashioned corn casserole in advance and baking it the day you plan on serving it. Here’s what I suggest for make-ahead directions:
- Make the corn casserole batter as instructed.
- Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator up to two days in advance.
- When ready to bake, let it come to room temperature by placing the casserole dish on your counter for about 30 to 45 minutes. This is important because you don’t want to bake with a very cold casserole dish (not because it will shatter, although depending on the age of your dish, that’s also a possibility) but because that very cold baking dish will cause the bake time to increase to the point that the top of your homemade corn casserole could start to burn before the center fully cooks and sets.
- Remove the plastic wrap (also important because that will melt!) and bake as instructed.
The Best Cheesy Corn Casserole Recipe FAQs
Yes and no. Yes you can probably do it, but not exactly as written and you’d have to test things out in advance, on your own.
My guess is that you’d want to replace the flour, sugar, baking powder, and likely the salt with one box of Jiffy cornbread mix. However, I personally have not tried this substitute, so I can’t speak to the final results! But that’s what I would do as a jumping off point if I wanted to make this recipe using Jiffy mix. However, the scratch version (no Jiffy mix) is so easy that it’s almost just like…why bother!
Baked corn casserole should be soft and slightly gooey, kind of like a cross between cornbread and a souffle. The casserole will be firmer around the edges of the pan, but the center should retain a slight jiggle to it.
If the casserole seems thin and runny in the center, you underbaked it.
If it’s fully set and springs back to the touch like a cake or like cornbread, you overbaked it.
If your sweet corn casserole is runny in the center, you either underbaked it OR you added too much moisture to the casserole.
The second issue shouldn’t be a problem if you follow the recipe as written and use canned corn that you drained.
I’ve only wound up with runny corn casserole when I tried substituting frozen corn for canned.
Possibly, but it never turns out right for me when I use frozen corn. Frozen corn releases more moisture than canned corn during baking, even if you thawed and drained it, so it has been tricky for me.
But you do need some moisture in addition to the frozen corn (since canned corn is packed in water!), which then calls for more fiddling with the recipe, etc.
In a nutshell, you might be able to use frozen corn but I don’t know exactly what else you’d have to alter in the recipe to achieve the same perfectly creamy results. Canned corn is cheap, abundant, and easy to find – just use that to be safe!
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to five days, covered tightly with plastic wrap. While I supposed you could freeze it for up to 3 months, it’s not my preference because the texture changes upon freezing/thawing.
Yes! You can assemble the entire casserole, then cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to two days before baking. Set the casserole dish on the counter for 30 minutes before baking to bring it to room temperature so that it cooks evenly in the oven.
Yes! You can double the recipe and either bake it in two separate 2-quart or 2.5-quart baking dishes or bake the entire batch in a 9×13-inch baking dish.
As luck would have it, a 9×9-inch square baking pan will work if you don’t have a 2 1/2-quart ceramic baking dish. I prefer to bake casseroles like this one in ceramic though because they cook a bit more evenly and less rapidly like a metal baking pan will. Therefore, if you do use a metal 9×9-inch baking pan, keep an eye on it about 5 to 10 minutes earlier since my hunch is that it will cook more rapidly.
If you have a 2-quart casserole dish, it will be more full, and the baking time will be extended by a few minutes. If you have a 3-quart baking dish, the corn batter will be in a thinner layer, and the baking time will be shortened by a few minutes.
You probably could actually, however I have not tested it. I would prep the recipe as directed, pour everything into a greased slow cooker basin, and cook it for about 4-5 hours on low OR about 2-3 hours on high. I haven’t tested this though and it’s purely a guess about the cook times! Add the final 1/2 cup cheese once the casserole has set up, add the lid back on, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted, garnish, and serve.
I am definitely partial to white cheddar for this recipe because it adds just the right flavor, and white cheddar cheese melts nicely but isn’t gooey and stretchy like mozzarella is, and the pale color is a nice match for the rest of the dish in comparison to traditional cheddar which is usually bright orange and is a little visually shocking for the recipe.
If you absolutely need to substitute, I would go with a Monterrey Jack, Havarti, or Provolone.
As written, this easy side dish recipe is as mild mannered as they come. Creamy, cheesy, rich, buttery, and flavorful, but not spicy.
If you’d like to take a walk on the spicer side, I would add one 4-ounce can diced green chiles (or part of a can) or any type of fire-roasted chile you enjoy including red chiles. Normally small cans of chiles are not very watery so there is nothing really to “drain” so you likely won’t need to bother, but drain if it seems necessary.
The Best Homemade Corn Casserole Storage Instructions
Store leftover sweet corn casserole in the fridge, tightly covered, for up to five days. We typically reheat individual portions in the microwave for 30-second intervals to warm.
You can also freeze corn casserole for up to three months, but I find that the slightly soft and gooey texture is lost once frozen and reheated. However, if you’re choosing between freezing the leftovers or throwing them out, you might as well freeze them!
What to Serve with Corn Pudding Casserole
This recipe is just like the Christmas or Thanksgiving corn casserole you grew up eating! Pair it with any of your favorite holiday or weeknight main dishes, such as:
If you’re a corn fanatic and want some additional easy corn appetizer or side dish recipes, my faves are:
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 15-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
- 15-ounce can creamed corn, do not drain
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese*, divided
- Chives, optional for garnishing
- Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 2 1/2 quart ceramic baking dish (or similar sized baking dish ranging from 2 to 3 quarts, a 9×9-inch square baking pan may also be used noting the baking time will likely be reduced if using a metal pan) very well with cooking spray; set aside.
- To a large bowl, add the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and whisk to combine; set the dry ingredients aside. Note – Yellow cornmeal is not the same as corn flour nor corn starch. You want yellow cornmeal (or ‘corn meal’ as it can be spelled) for this recipe.
- To a separate large bowl, add the drained whole kernel corn, creamed corn, heavy cream, melted butter, half the shredded white cheddar cheese*, and whisk to combine. Note – I recommend heavy cream but if you want to reduce the fat a bit, half-and-half will work. I do not recommend milk because the dish will be lacking richness.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir to just combine; don’t overmix.
- Turn the batter out into the prepared pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is set. Baking Tips – The edges may be very lightly golden, and while it may be a bit jiggly in the center, it needs to be set like a muffin top needs to be set, even if a little fragile looking. If the corn casserole is watery looking or sloshing around, it needs to bake longer. However, don’t overbake. The texture of a corn casserole is somewhat like pudding or a souffle, not totally hard like corn bread and even softer than Thanksgiving stuffing is how we like to serve it.
- Remove from the oven, evenly sprinkle the remaining half cup of cheese, and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Note – This step is only to melt the cheese on top; the interior of the casserole needs to be already set and done before adding the cheese.
- Allow the corn casserole to cool momentarily before optionally garnishing with chives and serving. Extra corn casserole will keep airtight in the frdge for up to 5 days. While I don’t love freezing/thawing it because the delicate texture will change, you can freeze it airtight for up to 3 monhts. Reheat gently in the microwave.
*I am definitely partial to white cheddar for this recipe because it adds just the right flavor, and white cheddar cheese melts nicely but isn’t gooey and stretchy like mozzarella is, and the pale color is a nice match for the rest of the dish in comparison to traditional cheddar which is usually bright orange and is a little visually shocking for the recipe. If you absolutely need to substitute, I would go with a Monterrey Jack, Havarti, or Provolone.
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 434Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 493mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 10g
More Easy Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes:
The Best Stuffing Recipe – Nothing frilly or trendy. Classic, amazing, easy, homemade stuffing that everyone loves!! Simple ingredients with stellar results! It’ll be your new go-to recipe!!
The Best Ever Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffing – This sausage stuffing is super easy to make since the slow cooker does all the hard work for you! There’s no sauteing or browning required at all and you can FREE UP YOUR OVEN!!
Stovetop Stuffing – With this easy homemade stuffing recipe, you’ll never need a box of the store bought stuff again! FAST, EASY, and guaranteed to become a Thanksgiving and Christmas family favorite!
Cornbread Stuffing — Fast and easy homemade cornbread is transformed into a family favorite cornbread stuffing side dish with the addition of celery, onions, garlic, broth, and a bouquet of fresh herbs! Soft, tender, EASY, and sure to become a hit at your Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday celebrations!
Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping — This is the BEST sweet potato casserole ever!! The sweet potatoes are tender and creamy, while the streusel topping adds a delightful buttery crunch thanks to the pecans!
Classic Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows — Tender and creamy sweet potatoes, the subtle crunch of a buttery pecan crumble, and gooey marshmallows make this comfort food side dish an automatic family FAVORITE! It’ll be on repeat for your Thanksgiving, Christmas, and holiday celebrations every year!
Savory Sweet Potato Casserole — If you thought sweet potato casserole couldn’t get any better, wait until you taste it topped with candied bacon and pecans! The sweet potatoes are smooth and creamy and the candied bacon topping is the perfect texture and flavor contrast! A WONDERFUL family-favorite side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, holiday parties and events that’s easy to prepare with make-ahead directions!
The Best Green Bean Casserole — A fresher take on classic green bean casserole! No processed soups nor canned ingredients and instead made with fresh green beans, mushrooms, red onions, and a cheesy crispy breadcrumb topping that will have the whole family going back for seconds! Put this on your Thanksgiving, Christmas, and holiday entertaining menus!
Cheesy Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole — Fresh green beans are cooked with bacon and a THREE CHEESE sauce in the slow cooker to free up valuable oven space! NO CANNED SOUP nor processed sauces here. An EASY comfort food side dish that’s perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, parties, and events!
Green Beans with Bacon and Brown Sugar — These green beans are made extra delish with brown sugar, onions, garlic, and plenty of bacon! Eating your veggies has never been this EASY or tasty, and even the pickiest eaters will gobble them up! Perfect for busy weeknights or as a great holiday side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas!
Roasted Rainbow Carrots — Lightly caramelized around the edges, crisp-tender in the center, and seasoned with rosemary, thyme, and parsley!! A trusty side that you’ll make again and again for holidays or easy weeknight dinners!!
Quick & Easy Mashed Potatoes — Buttery, creamy, PERFECT mashed potatoes that rival your favorite restaurant’s version but EASY and made with just 5 ingredients!! The quintessential holiday side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or a great family-friendly weeknight comfort food side dish!!
Browned Butter Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes — Creamy and decadent from the herbed browned butter, these EASY mashed potatoes are a family favorite side dish! Made in the slow cooker to free up stove and oven space. No one will be able to resist these comforting buttery mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or your next family gathering!
Red Wine Cranberry Sauce — Move over, boring cranberry sauce! Cranberries are so much better with blueberries and wine! Make your own fresh cranberry and blueberry sauce in 30 minutes. It’s so EASY, and everyone LOVES it!!
Spiced Cranberry Sauce with Apples — Spice up your holiday celebrations with this scrumptious FAST and EASY homemade cranberry sauce that’s made with cranberries, apples, apple cider, cinnamon sticks, and allspice for the PERFECT must-make side dish! A lovely balance of sweet-yet-tart with warmly spiced flavors so you’ll never want to think about using store bought sauce again!