Need a family-friendly side dish that both kids and grown-ups will love? This easy and customizable scalloped corn casserole can be made from fresh sweet corn, canned corn, or frozen corn, and takes just a few minutes to assemble. It’s sweet and savory with a golden buttery topping. I like to serve this at holiday dinners, but it’s also perfect for a Sunday roast, or as a side dish with barbecue.
If you are wondering what exactly scalloped corn is, it’s a creamy, cheesy casserole similar to scalloped potatoes, but it’s baked with cracker crumbs both in the filling and as a topping to give it some texture (there are other versions that use a cornbread mix instead of crackers, but I really love the buttery crackers in this particular recipe.) Sometimes this dish is also referred to as corn pudding or just as corn casserole.
And this is a side dish that is right for any time of the year. If it’s summer, you can’t go wrong with using fresh-picked sweet corn cut right from the cob. But if you want to serve this as a side for the holidays, canned or frozen corn will do the trick just fine. (This makes a great side dish for Thanksgiving or for a potluck – just go ahead and double the recipe to feed a crowd.)
Cook’s Tips for Making Scalloped Corn
- There are different methods for safely cutting the corn off the cob. One way is to buy a special tool that strips the kernels from the cob. If you’re like me and don’t like to have a ton of kitchen gadgets, you can do this without a tool. You can just lay your cob flat on a cutting board, and carefully use a sharp knife to cut off the kernels. Or, the method I most often use is to cut a slice off the end of the cob to create a flat base for standing the cob on end, then stand it up inside of a pie plate (to catch the kernels), and carefully use a sharp knife to remove the corn kernels.
- If using fresh corn, be sure to “milk” your cob. After cutting off the kernels, use the back of your knife to scrape the cob to get all of the sweet, starchy liquid from the cob. This milky liquid will help to thicken and add extra corn flavor to your casserole.
- I like the buttery round Ritz-type crackers for this recipe, but you can use any kind of cracker that can be crushed and made into crumbs (like Saltine crackers or Club crackers).
- Make this casserole even more flavorful by adding a little diced red bell pepper, a handful of chopped fresh basil, and/or some cooked crumbled bacon.
- Top with sliced scallions for extra flavor and color.
- Switch out the cheddar cheese for another cheese of your choice. If you like a little spiciness, try using shredded pepper jack cheese.
- If using canned corn with added salt, reduce the salt in the recipe to ½ teaspoon to avoid the dish becoming over-salty.
- If using frozen corn, be sure to thaw it first.
- Prep a day ahead by cutting the corn from the cob (if using fresh corn), shredding the cheese and crushing the cracker crumbs. When you’re ready, just assemble and bake.
If you try this recipe, please let me know in the comments how it turned out for you. I hope you enjoy!
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