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:

 

Close up of cheesy baked corn with bacon and jalapeno in a black baking dish with silver spoon.

Cheesy Baked Corn with Bacon and Jalapeño

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

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.

Ingredients

  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped into one inch pieces
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion (1 small onion)
  • ½ cup jalapeño peppers, finely chopped (2 peppers)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
  • 5 cups (2 lbs.) fresh or frozen corn kernels (thawed)
  • Sliced green onions, for garnish, if desired

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Prepare large (2 qt.) baking dish by spraying lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In large skillet, over medium heat, cook bacon until lightly browned, about 5-6 minutes. Remove bacon from pan with tongs, place on paper towel lined plate. 
  3. Add onion and jalapeños to same skillet, season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and tender, 5-6 minutes. Stir in garlic and paprika, cook one minute longer.
  4. Sprinkle flour over onion mixture and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture is thickened, 1-2 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, add cream cheese slowly, stirring until melted. Stir in cheddar cheese to combine. Stir in corn and bacon.
  6. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and bake until bubbling around edges, 20-25 minutes. 
  7. Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with green onions, if desired.

Notes

  • Freshly cut corn kernels are best but frozen or canned corn works, too. Use the best tasting corn you can find.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 of 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 138Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 312mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 6g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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