Easy recipe for corn casserole with cream cheese also includes diced country ham and cheddar cheese for a super rich side dish that is pretty much impossible to mess up.
This post is sponsored by Clifty Farm. The opinions contained within are my own.
Corn casserole with cream cheese is one of those recipes you should have in your arsenal simply because it works year-round. It’s awesome as a side dish for a summer barbecue when fresh sweet corn is at its best. But it also pairs well with a holiday ham or turkey. It can be assembled a couple days before you plan on serving and travels well, making it perfect for family get togethers or potlucks.
What is the best type of corn to use for corn casserole?
This recipe is designed to feed a crown. While fresh might be best, it may not be practical. You’ll need roughly 12 cups of corn. Depending on the size of the ear, one corn cob will net you approximately ¾ cup of corn. Therefore, you’ll need about 16 ears of fresh corn. Check out my post on Southern Skillet Fried Corn for trick to get the corn off the cob quickly and easily.
If you don’t have access to fresh corn or just don’t feel like fooling with it, frozen corn is your next best bet. While frozen corn has been blanched before freezing, it hasn’t been cooked long enough to change the texture. No need to thaw the corn beforehand. Just remove it from the freezer, open the bags and dump it right in.
I don’t recommend using canned corn unless you absolutely have to. Can corn has been cooked and in my experience, it lacks that crunch that fresh or frozen corn provides. It also contains added water and salt.
How to make corn casserole with cream cheese
Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 13 x 2-inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
I chose to include some diced Clifty Farm country ham to my corn casserole recipe. My family and I are huge fans of Clifty Farm and their products because they are based here in the South and have been making country ham for over 70 years. Their products can be found all over the country. My local Kroger always has their products in stock, meaning I don’t have to make an extra stop somewhere to find them. While our favorite way to eat Clifty Farm country ham is drenched in some red eye gravy with a side of buttermilk biscuits for sopping it all up, I liked the slightly smoky flavor the country ham provided and the chewy texture that helped cut the creaminess of the corn and cheese.
I sautéed the diced country ham over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes until the ham was pale pink and had rendered off a little fat. Then I added six tablespoons of unsalted butter and four teaspoons of minced garlic. Continue to cook until the butter is melted and the you can smell the garlic. You may need to reduce the heat or stir everything constantly to prevent the garlic from browning.
After the butter is melted, stir in ½ cup of all-purpose flour. Stir constantly to wet the flour and remove the raw taste. This should take about one minute.
Whisk in three cups of milk. Whole milk will give you a creamier texture, but skim works fine if you’re trying to cut some of the calories. Stir the milk constantly until everything is thoroughly combined. Bring mixture to a boil. Continue to simmer and stir constantly until the sauce thickened, about 2 minutes.
Stir in one eight-ounce brick of softened cream cheese, two ounces of Velveeta cheese, 1 ½ cups of shredded milk cheddar cheese, and one teaspoon of paprika. Heat, stirring frequently, until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth.
Remove the pan from heat. Pour in the corn. Stir until corn is evenly coated with the cheese mixture. It will be kind of gloopy (Is that even a word? You know what I mean, right?), but that’s okay! Season with salt and pepper, but I recommend giving it a little taste first. Country ham is naturally salty on its own and will add some saltiness to the dish on its own. You may not need any additional salt.
Finally, pour everything into your greased baking dish. Sprinkle the top of ½ cup of shredded cheddar. Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is browned and the casserole is bubbling. Remove the pan from the oven and it allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Can this corn casserole recipe be made ahead of time?
Yes! You can assemble everything up to two days in advance, cover the casserole with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge. Remove the cover just before baking and follow the instructions as written.
Leftover cooked corn casserole should be stored in a covered dish in the fridge. It should be eaten within five days.
Can I freeze corn casserole?
Unbaked corn casserole with cream cheese can also be frozen. Follow the recipe instructions until just before baking. If storing for long-term use, I suggest using an aluminum casserole pan so you’re not tying up a good casserole dish in the freezer. Cover the top with aluminum foil and write the cooking instructions on the top for quick reheating.
I recommend allowing the casserole to thaw in the fridge for 24 hours. If cooking from frozen, you will need to double the cooking time and cover the top with foil to prevent the cheese from browning before the rest of the casserole is cooked through.
Corn casserole makes a great side dish when paired with:
- Wild Rice Stuffed Turkey Breast
- Oven Baked Barbecue Chicken
- Oven Roasted Roast Beef Dinner
- Bourbon Glazed Baked Ham
- Coca Cola Brisket
- Beer Can Chicken
More corn recipes:
- Southern Skillet Fried Corn
- Roasted Corn Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
- Ham and Cheddar Corn Chowder
- Grilled Corn with Spiced Bacon Butter
More Clifty Farm Recipe Ideas:
- Country Ham and Red Eye Gravy
- Southern Green Beans with Ham and Potatoes
- Ham and Cheese Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole
- How to Cook Turnip Greens
Ham and Corn Casserole with Cream Cheese
- 1 cup Clifty Farm country ham diced
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- ½ cup flour
- 3 cups milk
- 4 ounces cream cheese cubed
- 2 ounces Velveeta cubed
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoons paprika
- 12 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large saucepan, heat the diced country ham over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the ham is light pink, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add butter and garlic. Cook until the butter is melted, about 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in flour, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
- Whisk in milk, stirring constantly until thoroughly combined. Bring mixture to a boil and continue to cook until thickened, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in cream cheese, Velveeta, cheddar, and paprika. Heat, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth.
- Remove the pan from heat. Pour in corn. Stir until corn is evenly coated with the cheese mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour mixture into a greased 9” x 13” baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is browned and the casserole is bubbling.
- Remove pan from the oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving.