Super soft and cheesy, this springy Corn Spoon Bread is a comforting side dish filled with buttery corn and a crunchy cracker topping. Easy to make, though it’s completely homemade, it’s perfect for serving to a crowd. This isn’t your standard spoon bread, is addictingly better.
Why This Recipe Works
Sometimes the side dishes are the main event, and for me, that is Thanksgiving in a nutshell. Yes, the turkey is important, but with truly indulgent and decadent sides like sweet potato casserole and scalloped potatoes, I can never resist seconds. Corn Spoon Bread is also one of those irresistible sides that completely holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Naturally, because it’s a casserole it’s great for a crowd. You’ll have plenty for everyone and also for those who want seconds.
In addition to being great for holidays, it also freezes and reheats well, meaning you could easily make this ahead and reheat it when you’re ready or freeze the leftovers.
While you’re falling in love with this casserole side dish, you may want to consider visiting the Spoon Bread Festival, which sounds like something you’d attend during a Hallmark Movie, but just means this side dish is a southern staple.
- Corn: there are two types of corn in this recipe, frozen sweet corn and then creamed corn, which is canned. I prefer a combination of the two, but you can use all frozen corn or all creamed corn.
- Cream Cheese: this is a richly flavored casserole and so I recommend getting the regular full-fat cream cheese, which will also need to be at room temperature, so it’s easy to mix in.
- Cornmeal: either yellow corn meal or white corn meal will work for this recipe. White corn meal is generally ground down to a finer grain, whereas the yellow will make a more rustic type dish.
There are many versions of corn spoon bread and you can change this recipe to your liking by trying some of these variations below.
- Add some spice. If you like spice I recommend adding some chili powder to the filling and then topping the casserole off with some pickled jalapeños.
- Use a different topping. This recipe has a delicious crunchy and buttery graham cracker topping, but you could swap this out for some cornflakes, breadcrumbs, even crushed potato chips, or no topping at all.
- Change up the cheese. You don’t have to use Pepper Jack and cheddar cheese for this recipe. Try it with Gruyere, Monterey Jack, or even some mozzarella. You could even create your own favorite combination.
- Cream the cream cheese and sugar. In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth.
- Beat in eggs. Gradually add the eggs into the mixture and beat until just incorporated.
- Beat in additional ingredients. Place the milk, butter, salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper into the mixing bowl and beat together until well-blended.
- Stir. Using a spoon, stir in the frozen corn, cream-style corn, yellow cornmeal, and shredded cheese. Scoop the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Prepare topping. In a small bowl combine the crushed Ritz crackers, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and melted butter. Sprinkle on top of the casserole.
- Bake. Heat the oven to 375ºF and grease a 9×13 baking dish and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
What to Serve with Spoon Bread
This classic comfort food is a perfect side for any Thanksgiving turkey, but also works well for richer main dishes like Apple Cider Brined Pork Chops. If you’re looking for some other side dish options to serve it with I’ve listed some of my favorite ones below.
- Butternut Squash Salad
- Baked Beans
- Collard Greens
- Southern Green Beans
- Green Bean Casserole
- Strawberry Jello Fluff Salad
- Storage Information: Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- How to Reheat: Place leftovers in a baking dish and reheat it in the oven at 350ºF. The time to reheat depends on the amount of leftover you have. You can also reheat it in the microwave.
- Freezing Information: This casserole can be frozen unbaked for 3 months. Let the casserole thaw overnight in the fridge before baking it as directed.
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- I don’t recommend using fat free cream cheese for this recipe, it doesn’t have the richness of flavor that full fat cream cheese has and will alter the taste of the casserole.
- This casserole can be made up to 2 days in advance. Assemble it completely with the exception of the cracker crumb topping and place it in the refrigerator. When ready to bake it sprinkle the topping on and bake as directed.
- Turn leftovers into a chicken casserole by mixing in some baked chicken or rotisserie-style chicken. You’ll have a complete meal.
Absolutely, and I recommend you do if you have the time. There’s nothing better than fresh corn and adding it to this recipe will only make the taste that much richer.
You can, however, it’s best to freeze it before baking it. Prepare the casserole as directed and then before baking it cover it and place it in the freezer until you plan on baking it. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge.
Corn Spoon Bread
- 9×3 Baking Dish
- Hand Held Mixer
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- 8 ounces Cream Cheese room temperature
- 2 tablespoons Sugar
- 2 large Eggs beaten
- 1 cup Whole Milk
- 2 tablespoons Butter melted
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 cups Frozen Corn
- 1 14¾ ounces can Cream-Style Corn
- 1 cup Yellow Cornmeal
- 1 cup Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
Cracker Crumb Topping
- 1½ cups Ritz Crackers crushed
- 2 Garlic Cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 4 tablespoons Butter melted
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF and grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray, butter, or oil.
- In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Gradually add the eggs into the mixture and beat until just incorporated.
- Place the milk, butter, salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper into the mixing bowl and beat together until well-blended.
- Using a spoon, stir in the frozen corn, cream-style corn, yellow cornmeal, and shredded cheese. Scoop the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- In a small bowl combine the crushed Ritz crackers, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and melted butter. Sprinkle on top of the casserole.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.