Whether it’s a side dish or a main dish, this Baked Creamy Cheesy Corn Casserole is a huge family favorite!
This dish is one my Mom didn’t make often as I can only recall it a few times her making it but when she did make it I went nuts over it. Now her recipe was pretty basic and it didn’t call for heavy cream – she used condensed milk and onions. Now I’ve grown to appreciate them and even love them in some dishes but not in this. No, not in this. Well due to her not making it that often I honestly forgot about it.
It wasn’t until a month or so ago I saw on Pinterest something similar to what Mom used to make by Chef-In-Training (love her site btw!) Immediately all those childhood memories came back and I had to make it. I looked through my old family recipes and found Mom’s and went to town.
The only real difference between my sweet corn casserole was one used all milk and the other used condensed milk. This type of casserole is pretty universal and standard – 2 eggs, 1 cup liquid, flour to make the slurry and butter. The change-up comes with the add-ins meaning corn, seasoning, cheese, crispy bacon and so forth.
Using milk vs cream vs half and half
This Corn Casserole is one to keep in your recipe files as you can go nuts with it on the variations you can make with it. Since I wanted that creamy texture I opted for half cream and half milk
Using all heavy cream made it too heavy and rich. However if you wanted to, you could most certainly go with all half and half. This keeps is light enough but has enough cream to make it decadent.
I tried it with all milk but it was too runny and didn’t have that creamy consistency I prefer in my souffle-type-casseroles.
Fresh vs frozen vs canned corn
As for the corn Mom only ever used fresh corn off the cob. Now she has used canned before but I can taste the difference. I like canned corn but nothing, nothing beats the taste of corn off the cob! Since I’m a think-ahead-type-of-girl I had about 5 quarts of corn off the cob frozen in the freezer. I grabbed a bag and had at it. This honestly can’t be any easier to make.
If you don’t have fresh corn readily available you can totally go with frozen corn. Canned corn will work but you have to drain it super well and honestly, it’s not the same as fresh frozen or from the cob.
Adding cheese to your Creamy Corn Casserole
Now Mom never added cheese to hers but since I LOVE cheeseI left it almost the same except I garnished it with just a wee bit of Asiago. Why? Why not! I actually like the flavor marriage of sweet corn and Asiago. It just ‘makes sense’ to me. This dish cooks up in under 30 minutes and sets up beautifully.
The Most Important Tip
They key to any casserole is once you remove it from the oven, you need to let it rest for a bit to set and firm up. Kind of like lasagna. Did you ever take lasagna out of the oven and then immediately go to cut it only to have to fall into a big ol’ pile of mush; delicious mush but still mush. It’s not visually appealing at all.
As I pulled this out of the oven Mr. Fantabulous walked by and looked at it, started to walk away, stopped and came back for a second look. He asked what it was so I said “it’s a corn casserole souffle-type thing my Mom used to make”. He then asked if he liked it. LOL Why do people ask this? I can barely remember what I like yet I am to know what you like? I said “Probably but I’ve never made it before. I forgot about this dish until recently when I saw someone post theirs.” He just shrugged, asked when dinner was and walked away.
While this was resting I got the rest of the dinner plated – creamy mashed potatoes, roasted chicken and honey buttered biscuits. I swear I really need one of those big ol’ dinner bells in my kitchen just because I want to see Mr. Fantabulous come running to the table. It’s funny as my Dad had one of those outside and would use it to ring through the neighborhood to let us know it was time to come home. He would ring it slowly 10 times and if he didn’t see us approaching the house by the time the last bell rung we were in big trouble.
For me all it took was a single bite to fall back in love with this dish. It’s eggy and creamy, firm and corn-y. Er, you know where I was going with this. LOL Honestly I can’t say whether or not Mr. Fantabulous liked it because I was in my own little world during dinner thinking about this dish and just times when Mom would make it. It wasn’t until the next day when I made us a plate of leftovers for lunch did I remember just how AMAZING this is the day-after. Again, this is like lasagna and chili. Those 2 dishes are always better the next day. I’m not sure why with this – maybe it’s all the sweetness of the corn or the cheese or the cream but whatever it is, I literally could have sat down with the rest of the casserole dish in front of me and ate the entire thing!
Think Thanksgiving and Christmas side dish!
Definitely keep this recipe handy in your kitchen as it’s one you’re going to make often! This one certainly got bumped to the top of the recipe lists for sides in my kitchen! But wait, there’s more! If you want to make this a full-blown dinner casserole you can add in cooked chicken, turkey, pork or ham! Like I said, the list is endless!
Making this ahead and reheating
So many of you asked if you could make this ahead of time and if so, how to reheat it.
Yes you can make this ahead of time though I would omit the cheese until you reheat it. Sometimes “reheated” cheese gets funky. Once you bake it all the way through allow it to cool completely before wrapping and storing in the fridge. You can make this up to 2 days in advance.
I would not freeze this as this type of texture (custardy and creamy) would most likely separate when you reheat it. Since this only takes 30 minutes or so to bake, just make it and store in the fridge.
To reheat, bring the pan to room temperature while you heat the oven to 350F. Cover the pan in foil and reheat for about 25=30 minutes or until warmed through. Once warmed, uncover, add the cheese (if using) and bake uncovered until melted.
Adding other items to this Creamy Corn Casserole
You can easily transform this dish into a main dish but adding some protein to it. Things that work really well in this dish:
- Shredded or cubed cooked chicken
- Diced Ham
- Crispy Bacon
- Want it spicy? Add minced jalapeño!
- Want more veggies? Add in chopped roasted red peppers
- Want it even more cheesy? Add in cubes of cheddar and when you add the last bit of cheese (asiago or whatever else cheese) add buttered bread crumbs and bake for a crunch, cheesy topping!
- 1/2 cup milk, divided
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbl butter, unsalted
- 1 1/2 Tbl sugar
- 2 Tbl flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 4–5 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen (thawed) – well drained
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4–1/2 cup shredded Asiago (optional)
- Chives for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400F, rack in the middle. Lightly spray a 2 quart baking dish.
- In a medium-to-large saucepan over medium heat add in the cream, 1/4 cup milk, sugar and butter. Bring to a boil. While the cream mixture is heating up make a slurry of the flour and remaining 1/4 cup milk by whisking together until well combined.
- Whisk together the eggs until well beaten. Once the milk comes to a boil, add in the flour slurry and whisk until thickened slightly – ~30 seconds to a minute. Remove from the heat and add in the corn and salt mixing to combine. Slowly add in the eggs while mixing the entire time – you do not want the eggs to curdle. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is puffy and golden brown. *See note if using cheese
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving so it can firm up and set.
If you’re topping it with cheese remove the dish 25 minutes after baking. Sprinkle the cheese on and then return to the oven for another 5 minutes.