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You know when you come across a side dish that’s so good you keep going back for seconds and thirds and almost forget about the protein? That’s how good this sweet corn pudding casserole is.
What is corn pudding?
Corn pudding is a sweet moist cake with whole corn kernels mixed in. It isn’t like a traditional banana pudding or rice pudding. It’s more like bread pudding with the sweet and savory flavors of cornbread.
The first time I had creamy corn pudding was at a Mexican restaurant in the 90s. I had forgotten about it until I was at an event in Idaho called From the Ashes. There, Pitmaster Anthony DiBernardo of Swig and Swine was cooking up batches of corn pudding in cauldrons over live fire.
That’s when I discovered that corn pudding went great with barbecue. Anthony was kind enough to share his recipe, which I’ve adapted slightly.
You’ll see this simple recipe includes jalapenos and pepper jack cheese. That’s because I like a little heat with my sweet. If you prefer a creamy corn casserole that’s just on the sweet side, you can leave out the peppers and use all cheddar cheese or mix in Monterey jack cheese.
- Corn: For a little crunch and bite, use fresh corn or frozen corn that’s been thawed.
- Sweet Onion: Vidalia or Maui onions are a great option.
- Jalapeno Pepper: This adds a touch of spice to the dish. Remove the seeds if you want less heat or omit the pepper all together to keep the casserole mild.
- Cream Cheese: For the smoothest, creamiest casserole make sure the cream cheese is softened.
- Shredded Cheeses: You can really use any cheese you like. I like a mix of cheddar cheese and pepper jack. If you’re trying to keep this dish more mild, use Monterey jack instead.
- Cream-Style Corn: This comes in a can. It’s fresh corn that has been slightly crushed so the corn’s natural milkiness comes through. The canned corn is mixed with sugar, water, starch and a little salt.
- Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix: Jiffy Mix holds the ingredients together as they bake.
- Heavy Cream: You could substitute whole milk, but the cream helps make this Southern corn pudding casserole rich and creamy.
- White Sugar
- Unsalted Butter: If you only have salted butter in the fridge, that’s fine too. Just reduce the extra salt that you add.
- Salt and Pepper
Substitutions: If you can’t find good fresh or frozen corn, you can also use canned whole-kernel corn. Instead of Jiffy Cornbread Mix, you can use self-rising cornmeal.
See the full recipe card below for servings and a full list of ingredients.
How to cook sweet corn casserole
This easy corn pudding recipe can be cooked on a smoker or baked in an oven. To bake, heat your oven to 325F degrees. To smoke, heat your grill or smoker to 325F degrees with an indirect heat zone.
If you’re using fresh corn, use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off of two ears of corn. This will yield about one cup. If you’re using frozen corn, place the corn in a colander and rinse it with warm water to thaw. Be sure to drain the excess liquid.
- STEP ONE: Start by melting the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the corn, diced onions and diced jalapeno pepper. Remove the pepper seeds if you prefer the casserole to be milder. Sauté until tender. Remove from the stove to cool.
- STEP TWO: In a large mixing bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese and eggs, until they are fully smooth and blended.
- STEP THREE: Stir in the cream, Jiffy Mix and sugar. Then, fold in the sautéed veggies, creamed corn, shredded cheeses, salt and pepper.
- STEP FOUR: Grease a large cast iron skillet or baking dish with oil, shortening or cooking spray. Pour everything from the large bowl into the prepared pan.
- STEP FIVE: Place the large skillet or casserole dish in your preheated oven or on your smoker over indirect heat.
PRO TIP: If you’re smoking the corn pudding casserole, use mild wood or wood pellets like pecan or apple.
- STEP SIX: Bake the corn pudding until it starts to rise and is golden brown and slightly firm to the touch in the center. This will take about an hour.
How to serve corn pudding
Remove the corn pudding from the oven or smoker and let it cool for about 10 minutes before serving. It’s a perfect side dish to serve with barbecue or your Thanksgiving dinner.
If you’re throwing a big party, I recommend making two batches – one with jalapeños and one without. The one without the heat is so sweet it can even be served as a dessert.
Leftover corn pudding can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. It can be enjoyed cold or reheated in the microwave. You can also freeze corn pudding for a few months, but it will start to form ice crystals unless you seal it really well.
GCG Pro Pitmaster Tips
- Use fresh or frozen corn mixed with cream-style corn
- Sauté your veggies before adding them to the batter
- Make sure your cream cheese is softened so it mixes in well
- Try cooking this on the smoker for an added layer of flavor
Frequently Asked Questions
Because the pudding contains corn, refrigeration is recommended to prevent spoilage. Transfer it to an airtight container, and it will last 5-7 days in the fridge.
Absolutely. You have two make-ahead options. You can prepare the batter and store it covered in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. Then, transfer it to your baking dish and bake when you’re ready. Or you can fully cook the corn pudding recipe. Then, let it cool to room temperature, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to seven days.
As the corn pudding bakes, it will start to rise. The center takes the longest to rise. Once it does, you should be able to gently press it with your finger. If it feels soggy or wet, it’s not ready. If it’s firm and spongy, you can remove it from the oven or smoker.
This homemade corn pudding recipe includes one box of Jiffy corn muffin mix, which is flour, corn meal, sugar, lard, baking soda and some preservatives. You mix the box mix with the rest of the ingredients and bake or smoke.
What to serve with corn pudding
More great side dishes
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Sweet Corn Pudding Casserole
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup corn, fresh, frozen or canned
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 1/2 cup sweet onion, minced
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, 8.5 ozs
- 1 can cream style corn, 14.75 ozs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Heat Oven or Grill: To bake, heat your oven to 325F degrees. To smoke, heat your grill or smoker to 325F degrees with an indirect heat zone.
- Sauté: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the corn, pepper and onion. Sauté until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Cream: In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and eggs until smooth.
- Mix: Stir in the heavy cream, Jiffy Mix and sugar. Fold in the sautéed veggies, cream-style corn, shredded cheeses, salt and pepper.
- Cook: Pour into a greased baking dish or skillet. Bake or smoke at 325F degrees for about 1 hour, until golden brown and slightly firm to the touch.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.