Inside: This creamy, colorful jalapeno corn casserole recipe is made with cheddar and cream cheese for an easy, flavorful side dish with a little spicy kick. The perfect side dish for a backyard BBQ, potluck, Taco Tuesday, or Cinco de Mayo meal! ➡
We always need a good vegetable side dish in our recipe back pocket.
One we’ll be proud to take to the potluck or barbecue.
Oh, and one that’s easy.
Most people generally like corn, but unless it comes on the cob dripping in butter, it’s kind of blah.
This cheese corn casserole is anything but boring. How can you go wrong with the zing of sharp cheddar? A little zang of spice? And the luscious richness of cream cheese?
And this cheesy corn casserole is not only a great side dish for Mexican and summer meals, it’ll bring raves anytime. Because with frozen corn you can make it all year long.
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Simple ingredients for this creamy jalapeno corn recipe.
How to make Jalapeno Corn Casserole.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Make the cream cheese sauce.
- Add the cubed cream cheese, butter, milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to a saucepan and melt over medium heat, stirring often. Don’t try to get all the cream cheese lumps out – just melt until it makes a sauce that’s easily stirred into the corn mixture.
Assemble the casserole.
- Add frozen corn, chopped jalapenos, chopped red bell pepper, and half of the shredded cheddar cheese (1 cup) to a large bowl.
The red bell pepper is optional – I wanted to make this dish even more colorful for Cinco de Mayo. It does change the flavor a little but we like the flavor of bell peppers so it’s okay in our kitchen.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture into the bowl and stir to combine.
- Transfer to a 9×13 casserole dish and sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese over the top.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
How do you know when it’s done?
You’ll know it’s done when the middle is warm. Simply check the center to make sure it’s warmed all the way through. The frozen corn speeds up the prep time, but it does take a little longer to cook.
- If your corn is thawed, cut back the baking time to 20 minutes.
- If you use a smaller baking dish like I did here, it will take a few minutes longer to get warm in the middle.
Options and variations.
Canned corn. Feel free to substitute can corn for another easy shortcut. For this type of corn, drain approximately 6 cups of corn and reduce the baking time to 20 minutes.
Fresh corn. For extra special flavor, cut 6 cups of corn off the cob. If already cooked, lower the baking time to 20 minutes. If still raw, cover the dish with foil and up the baking time to 45-60 minutes.
Make it milder. Omit the jalapeno peppers and substitute a can of chopped green chiles. Or make it with no spice by using 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper.
Make it spicier. Increase the amount of chopped jalapenos or include some of the pith or seeds. Or add a dash of ground red pepper to the bowl when mixing.
Make it richer. Any kind of milk will work in this recipe, but using heavy cream will make the cream cheese sauce even more decadent.
Make it in a slow cooker. To put it together extra quick, add all of the ingredients (except for the extra cheese topping) to a crockpot, stir to combine, and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Stir the mixture often to prevent burning. You can sprinkle the extra cheese on top when it’s done.
Cream cheese corn casserole FAQ’s.
Is it gluten free?
The ingredients in this recipe should be gluten-free. But if you need to be sensitive to this issue, double check your specific ingredients and brands for trace amounts of gluten.
Can I use low fat cheese?
With rich yumminess comes calories. But don’t use low-fat or no-fat cream cheese or cheddar cheese in this recipe or it will change the creamy texture.
Can I make it ahead of time?
This dish can be assembled ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days until you’re ready to bake. Not to be confused with Jiffy mix traditional corn casserole which freezes beautifully, freezing is not recommended for this dish because it will change the consistency of the cream cheese sauce.
Storage and leftovers.
Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Pop the leftovers by the serving into the microwave for 30-40 seconds to warm and bring back the melty goodness.
I love that this cheesy jalapeno corn casserole qualifies as a vegetable side dish for when I need to bring a veggie side that non-vegetable lovers won’t turn their noses up at. It makes this new dish the perfect addition to my recipe box.
If you try out this easy recipe and let me know how it turns out in the comments and any tweaks that you made!
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Creamy Jalapeno Corn Casserole Recipe
This creamy, colorful jalapeno corn casserole recipe is made with cheddar and cream cheese for an easy, flavorful side dish with a little spicy kick. The perfect addition to a backyard BBQ, potluck, Taco Tuesday, or Cinco de Mayo meal!
- 2 16 oz. packages frozen corn 32 oz. or about 6 cups
- 1 8 oz. block cream cheese, softened and cubed
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter cut up (half a stick)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh jalapenos
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese divided
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper, optional
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Make the sauce.
Add the cubed cream cheese, butter, milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to a saucepan and melt over medium heat, stirring often. Don’t try to get all the cream cheese lumps out – just melt until it makes a sauce that’s easily stirred into the corn mixture.
Assemble the casserole.
Add frozen corn, chopped jalapenos, chopped red bell pepper*, and half of the shredded cheddar cheese (1 cup) to a large bowl.
Pour the cream cheese mixture into the bowl and stir to combine.
Transfer to a 9×13 casserole dish and sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese over the top.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.** Check the inside to make sure it's warmed through.
*The red bell pepper is optional. It adds more color but if you don’t like the flavor of bell pepper, leave it out.
**Baking times will vary according to whether the corn is frozen or thawed and what size the casserole dish is. See the post for tips and options.