Smooth and creamy Cream Corn Casserole is a Southern holiday favorite. This recipe is an adaptation of classic creamed corn turned casserole, and you’ll find no cornbread mix in this recipe. Instead, sweet corn baked in a perfectly smooth and creamy sauce, topped off with melty Cheddar and buttery Ritz crackers, baked to absolute perfection.
Today, in addition to a seriously easy recipe for Cream Corn Casserole with cream cheese, we’ll cover the quick and simple hack to making creamed corn without the use of canned cream-style corn, the important role cream cheese plays in this casserole, gluten-free adjustments you can make (if needed), plus, how to make this casserole ahead of time and reheat it!
ALL ABOUT THE CORN
Cream Corn Casserole is all about the corn, but with so many options out there — freshly shucked corn, canned corn, canned cream-style corn, frozen — how do you know which one to choose? Well, in the case of Creamed Corn Casserole, we’ll choose the best of both worlds in both convenience and flavor.
Come the holidays, time is of the essence, and the tedious task of shucking corn and slicing kernels away from the cob won’t make the cut. This Easy Cream Corn Casserole calls for canned whole-kernel corn, keeping things quick and simple, and prep work at a bare minimum. You could also use frozen corn in its place (two 16-ounce packages), just be sure to thaw it beforehand. This is a great compromise to fresh corn and a serious time-saver.
To thaw frozen corn, place it in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter for 2-3 hours prior to using.
EASY CREAM CORN CASSEROLE RECIPE OVERVIEW
- Break up half of the corn in food processor or blender.
- Soften onion on the stovetop.
- Add cream, cream cheese, egg, seasoning, and all of the corn to combine.
- Transfer to casserole dish and top with cheese and Ritz Crackers.
- Bake 30 minutes covered with foil, then, 15 minutes uncovered.
HOW TO MAKE CREAM CORN CASSEROLE FROM SCRATCH
There are just a few steps and ingredients to take note of, as they are crucial to the base of our easy, cheesy Cream Corn Casserole.
HOW TO BREAK UP THE CORN
The first step that makes this a Cream Corn Casserole rather than just a creamy corn casserole is breaking up half of the corn. Breaking up the corn kernels enables us to replicate the texture of creamed corn. The other half is left whole, which adds both volume and body to the casserole.
You can break up the kernels in either a blender or a food processer, pulsing just until they are broken up, and stopping well before the corn becomes a puree.
CREAM CHEESE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE, AND HERE’S WHY…
The sauce for this Easy Cream Corn Casserole is decadent and over-the-top creamy, and it begins with a big bang of flavor in the form of melted butter and sauteed onion. Cream cheese is likely the most important component of our sauce. Not only does it add flavor, but it helps the casserole to stay together, which means that when it comes to serving time, your Cream Corn Casserole with cream cheese will stay in place, rather than running all over the plate.
In addition to the cream cheese, we’ll also use cream, egg, and a simple seasoning of sugar, salt, and pepper. The combination of these ingredients makes for a smooth and creamy casserole. Both the broken up corn and whole kernels are added to the mix, and it’s all transferred to the casserole dish.
SIZE MATTERS WHEN IT COMES TO BAKING DISHES
This casserole is best baked in a 2-quart rectangular baking dish, but if you do not have one, modifications can easily be made, but note, the cook time will vary.
If you are using a standard 9×13″ casserole dish, your casserole filling will not be as deep as it would in a small 2-quart baking dish and it will likely cook faster. Therefore, you should probably decrease the cook time by about 5 minutes or so if using a standard 9×13″ casserole dish.
WITH RITZ CRACKERS AND CHEESE ON TOP, PLEASE.
The perfect ending to a Southern Cream Corn Casserole is a layer of melty cheese and a crumble of buttery Ritz crackers. For best results, use freshly grated cheese. This casserole would be divine with either Cheddar Cheese or Colby Jack cheese, so feel free to pick your favorite or use a combination of the two.
The Ritz crackers add the perfect amount of crunch to an otherwise creamy casserole, but if you need the casserole to be gluten-free, you can leave them out of the recipe completely.
SHORT ON TIME? MAKE IT AHEAD.
Cream Corn Casserole with cream cheese can be made a day in advance and reheated in the oven covered with aluminum foil at 325° for about 30 minutes, or just until warmed through. However, freezing Cream Corn Casserole is not a good idea. There’s too much dairy between the cheese and the cream, and it would likely separate during the reheating process after being frozen.
When it comes to holiday casseroles, we want a dish that not only feeds the crowd but a dish so tasty, so irresistible, it keeps them coming back for seconds.
I can confidently say, creamed corn possesses the power to entice just about anyone to make a second go-round, this is a Cream Corn Casserole that actually tastes like creamed corn…only better thanks to that topping of melty cheese and Ritz crackers. It’s made from scratch without the use of cornbread mix or cans of cream-style corn, and you will absolutely taste the difference. Please, enjoy.
5 MORE SOUTHERN SIDE DISH RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Stovetop Creamed Corn is a simple and quick recipe for homemade creamed corn, perfect for BBQ’s, potluck parties, and more!
- Southern Yellow Squash Casserole bakes up beautifully, feeds a crowd, and features yellow squash, melty cheese, and Ritz crackers.
- Homemade Green Bean Casserole is absolutely irresistible in this made from scratch rendition with a simple, homemade cream of mushroom sauce, fresh green beans, and freshly grated Cheddar cheese.
- Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole is make-ahead and made for feeding a crowd! Featuring mashed Russet potatoes, cream cheese, crispy thick-cut, bacon, freshly grated Cheddar, and chopped green onions.
- Sweet Potato Casserole gets an upgrade from canned yams with flavorful roasted sweet potatoes, warm fall spices, sticky marshmallows, and candied pecans!
Easy Cream Corn Casserole made from scratch with a smooth, creamy filling, topped with Cheddar and Ritz Crackers.
- 2 (16 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, strained
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, separated
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup crushed Ritz crackers (about 15 crackers)
- 1 1/2 cup freshly grated Cheddar or Colby Jack cheese
Preheat the oven to 325° and have ready a greased, 2-quart casserole dish or baker.
Place half of the strained corn into a blender or food processor. Pulse until the corn kernels are broken up. Set aside until ready to use.
Add 4 tablespoons of the butter to a large saucepan over medium heat. Do not allow the butter to burn. Add the onion and sauté, stirring often, just until softened -- about 5 minutes.
Add the heavy cream and softened cream cheese to the saucepan, and stir until the ingredients have melded and remove from the heat.
Add the egg, sugar, salt, pepper, and all of the corn to the saucepan and stir to combine. Transfer contents of the saucepan to the prepared dish.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the crushed crackers, and stir to combine.
Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the corn mixture and top with the crushed crackers. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, serve, and enjoy.