Scalloped Corn Casserole

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Timeless comfort food at its finest.

Scalloped Corn Casserole
Photo: Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling: Karen Rankin
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 25 mins
Servings:
8

If you're thinking, "do I need another cheesy, cracker-topped casserole in my life?" we're here to tell you the answer is YOU BET YOUR BISCUITS! Thickened with sweet corn, layered with a savory blend of cheeses, and topped with an irresistible buttery cracker topping, this casserole is the card you play when your sweet daughter-in-law shows up to holiday dinner with a lovely kale salad because she "wanted something fresh to mix things up." While there's room at the table for everyone and every side, this cheesy corn casserole is the comforting side dish that folks will be eyeing for seconds.

So Why is it called Scalloped Corn Casserole?

Without calling out a culinary forensics team, it's hard to justify this casserole's confusing name. Is it due to its resemblance in taste and texture to scalloped potatoes? I mean, maybe? We'll probably never really know. I'm fine with lumping it together with other things that just don't make sense, like how colonel is pronounced "kernel" and how everyone capitalizes Cheddar (there was no Duke or Earl of Cheddar, y'all). One thing is for sure, though—this casserole DOES NOT contain nor did it ever contain scallops. Although honestly that could be quite delicious…

What's In Scalloped Corn Casserole?

Not scallops (this is going to be a running joke, so bear with me). This recipe is one of those classic Southern casseroles that are blissfully easy to make. No rushing to 4 stores to find exotic ingredients; no waking up at the crack of dawn to hit the farmers market for heirloom vegetables. Everything you need is readily available at your local grocery store, or maybe in your fridge and pantry right now!

Canned Corn

Yep, that's right—canned corn. No shucking fresh ears of corn. No pesky corn silk clinging to everything in sight. No precarious balancing of corn cobs on their ends while you try to slice the kernels free without losing a finger. No confetti of kernels falling to your kitchen floor where they're inevitably stepped on. Nope, none of that! Just crack open a can, drain it well, and you're good to go. Not to knock fresh corn—it's delicious. But when you literally just can't, this recipe can.

Cheese, Please

Another reason this recipe rocks is that you don't have to make a white sauce to thicken it. Cream cheese comes to the rescue, adding thickness, richness, and body without any hassle. The only thing you need to do is let it soften so that it blends evenly and easily. Pre-shredded Monterey Jack is also a nice shortcut; its mild, savory flavor is less intense than other cheeses, which allows the sweet corn flavor to come through.

Eggs & Dairy

This casserole also owes its creamy texture to the perfect blend of eggs and half-and-half. This recipe has just enough egg to help it come together without it being too thick and eggy, like a quiche. While regular eggs and dairy are fine for this casserole, if you feel like splurging, opt for organic half-and-half and free-range eggs.

That Crunchy Topping

Buttery crackers are the weakness of every Southerner. Scratch that—buttery crackers are the STRENGTH of every Southerner! Texture, crunch, salt—they bring it all. Regular saltine crackers are fine in a pinch, but the buttery round guys (we all know they're Ritz, right?) are the best. We also added some panko breadcrumbs and fresh time for fun.

No Scallops

There are no scallops in this recipe. We just wanted to reiterate that fact in case you were concerned. Repeat: no scallops needed.

How Do You Make Scalloped Corn Casserole?

This recipe is so easy you could make it with your eyes closed. But let's not do that because of A) mess and B) safety concerns. Start by whisking the softened cream cheese (leave it on the counter for about an hour), eggs, and seasonings until smooth. Then you'll stir in most of the corn and the cheese, and set that mixture aside. Next, you'll blend up just 1 cup of corn with the half-and-half until super smooth, then whisk that mixture into the cream cheese mixture until very well combined. Pour everything into a greased 11x7-inch baking dish and bake at 325°F until set but jiggly, about 40 minutes. Remove the partially cooked casserole from the oven, top it with the crunchy topping mixture (butter, cheese, crackers, panko, and thyme if you're fancy!) then bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes more. Let it cool just a little, then serve it to very happy guests.

Can You Make Scalloped Corn Casserole Ahead?

Sure thing. Prepare it through Step 2, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes, then bake (and top and bake some more) as directed.

Are You Sure There Are No Scallops In This Recipe?

Wait…let me look one more time. OK, yes, we are absolutely 100% positive there are no scallops in this recipe. Just, cheese, corn, crackers, and a lot of Southern goodness.

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 5 cups frozen corn (from 2 [16-ounce] packages), thawed, divided

  • 1 (8-ounce) package shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided

  • 1 ½ cups half-and-half

  • 1 cup crushed round buttery crackers (such as Ritz) (from 20 crackers)

  • 1 cup panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly coat an 11-by-7-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. Whisk together cream cheese, eggs, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl until smooth. Fold in 4 cups of the corn, 1 ½ cups of the Monterey Jack, and 1 tablespoon of the thyme. Set aside.

  2. Place half-and-half and remaining 1 cup corn in a blender; process until smooth, about 15 seconds. Add pureed corn mixture to cream cheese mixture in bowl; stir until well combined. Pour into prepared baking dish.

  3. Bake in preheated oven until sides are set but center is still undercooked and jiggly, 35 to 40 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, stir together crushed crackers, panko, butter, and remaining ½ cup Monterey Jack and 1 tablespoon thyme in a bowl; set aside.

  5. Remove baking dish from oven; sprinkle evenly with cracker mixture. Return to oven, and bake at 325°F until set in the center and topping is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve.

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