By August my family and I have already eaten our weight in corn, and yet we still always manage to find more ways to go crazy for it. While we might not be up for corn on the cob (again), we'll quickly gobble up a creamy corn casserole.
If you're picturing a corn casserole that begins with a little blue box of cornbread mix and has a standing reservation at the Thanksgiving table, think again. Here, a mountain of fresh corn kernels take center stage, just barely bound together with a splash of dairy and finished with Parm and sweet basil. Scooped onto plates as the veggie side, it's the perfect pairing for any summer dinner.
Fresh and Simple Corn Casserole: Watch the Video
Buy the Freshest Corn
The key to easy summer cooking is choosing the best ingredients and treating them right — especially when the dish contains just five ingredients total. At the market, choose corn cobs that are heavy for their size with no soft spots. The silky tassel should be white, golden, or light brown. If the tassel is dark brown or black, chances are that the cob is past its prime. Corn husks are nature's shrink-wrap, so the cobs will stay fresher, longer if you keep them on until you're ready to cook.
Easy Casserole Assembly
Assembling the casserole could not be simpler. Shuck the ears of corn, then cut off the kernels with a chef's knife or paring knife. You will chase kernels for days if you do this on the cutting board. Instead, stand the corn up in a large bowl — when the kernels pop off, they're corralled in the bowl. I like to go back over each of the cobs with a butter knife to scrape them clean of any lingering bits of kernel and to extract the sweet milky liquid.
Finely grated Parmesan adds a mild saltiness, while the aroma of freshly chopped basil is a natural partner to peak-season corn. A single egg binds the casserole loosely together without weighing it down. Scooped onto plates, this sweet corn casserole is at home in weeknight meals, and can be easily doubled for weekend cookouts.
More Peak-Season Corn Recipes
Fresh and Simple Corn Casserole
Prep time: 30 minutes ; cooking time: 40 minutes to 45 minutes
fresh corn, husks removed
large egg, beaten
finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup), divided
chopped fresh basil leaves, divided
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F.
Cut the kernels off corn cobs and transfer to a large bowl. Use a butter knife to scrape the cobs clean, collecting the milk and any bits of corn kernel into the bowl. You should have about 5 cups kernels.
Add the egg, half-and-half, salt, half the Parmesan, and half the basil and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to an 8x8-inch baking dish (or 2-quart baking dish) and spread into an even layer. Top with the remaining Parmesan.
Bake until bubbling, fragrant, and the corn color intensifies, 40 to 45 minutes. Set aside to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Top with the remaining basil and serve.
Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.