Rachel Cooks®

Cheesy Baked Corn with Bacon and Jalapeño

Southwestern cheesy baked corn with bacon and jalapeño is so creamy you could enjoy it as a dip but it’s a wonderful side dish, too.

Overhead view of corn casserole in a black baking dish, sprinkled with green onions.

Just in time for Thanksgiving, add cheesy baked corn to your menu. A departure from the usual corn casserole with cornbread, your family will be bowled over by this southwestern version with bacon and jalapeño peppers. Thanksgiving dinner may never be the same!

Loaded with cheddar cheese, creamy baked corn (without Jiffy!) is so, so good! If you’re concerned that it may be too spicy because of the jalapeños, it’s not at all. My dad loves this casserole with bacon and he’s definitely not into hot peppers (or even bell peppers, for that matter).

And don’t reserve this recipe for Thanksgiving dinner. You won’t believe how great cheesy corn casserole tastes with barbecued ribs or chicken drumsticks. It’s a perfect side with pork carnitas, or meatloaf

You might even want to serve this creamy corn as an appetizer with crispy tortilla chips and orange mojitos

Corn and cheese casserole being scooped out of a black baking dish.

About this cheesy baked corn:

For the tastiest corn casserole, you’re going to want to use the best sweet corn you can find because this cheesy baked corn is mostly corn — two whole pounds (or about five cups) of it. Freshly cut corn kernels are definitely at the top of the list but if corn isn’t in season, frozen or canned corn will work.

You’ll use a big skillet to get everything cooked, put it all into a nice casserole dish, and bake it for 20-25 minutes until it’s hot and bubbly, ready to serve.

Cheesy corn casserole in a black casserole dish with a silver spoon.

What’s in this baked corn dish?

  • Corn! Lots and lots of it!
  • Bacon
  • Onions and garlic
  • Jalapeño peppers
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Cream cheese — for even more delicious creaminess
  • Whole milk
  • Paprika

Full overhead view of a black casserole dish filled with cheese, corn, jalapeno, and bacon.

How to make this baked corn your own:

Man, it’s hard to think of changing a thing about this recipe! You could omit the bacon for a vegetarian side dish. Simply sauté the onions and peppers in a tablespoon of butter. If you want, substitute red or green bell peppers or poblanos for the jalapeño. 

If you really have your heart set on the Jiffy cornbread casserole with creamed corn, try this recipe by our friends at Kitchn.

Close up of a casserole made with corn, bacon, and peppers, being scooped out with a spoon.

Storage and Reheating Tips

Leftover corn casserole is just as tasty the next day. Store leftovers in a covered container for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Reheat gently in the microwave.

Make ahead tip:

Prepare corn casserole but don’t bake it. Cover and refrigerate in the casserole dish for up to 2 days. Remove from the fridge while oven is preheating, uncover, and bake as directed. You’ll probably need to add 5-10 minutes to the baking time. 

Overhead view of casserole made mainly of corn, sprinkled with sliced green onions.

More fun side dishes

Looking for a more exciting new recipes to change up your normal menu? Try: