This savory riff on the traditional corn pudding cuts out some of the sugar and adds in sautéed onions and fresh thyme for a great side dish!
Recently my husband and I became slightly obsessed with the AppleTV show Schmigadoon!, a comedy where a modern couple from NYC gets trapped in a golden-era musical town. It’s rather amusing, especially if you are a fan of musicals from the era, like Sound of Music, Oklahoma or Brigadoon. One of the musical numbers early in the show was “Corn Puddin’” which was absolutely as ridiculous as it sounds. Which, of course, got me hankerin’ for a batch of corn pudding! Of course, I knew I wanted to tinker a bit with the traditional version, and make it more savory, less sweet, but still easy to make. With one bite, my husband declared it the best corn pudding he ever had. He even asked for an extry serving!
What makes this corn pudding different?
Traditional corn pudding is a side dish popular in the South and the Midwest and is often served during the holidays. It’s also a dish that walks the line between savory and sweet, with a lot of added sugar to it. I think of it in the same category as the sweet potato casserole with toasted marshmallows on top. Sure, it’s served as a “side dish” to the main course, but honestly, it’s could almost function like a dessert.
My corn pudding recipe still has some residual sweetness from the use of the canned creamed corn (which has a little added sugar in it) as well as the natural sweetness from the corn itself. But it definitely falls in the savory side of the line with the addition of cooked chopped onion and fresh thyme in the mix. You can up the natural sweetness a little with the use of a sweet onion like Vidalia or Maui sweet onions if you wish. But I opted to just use a regular yellow onion.
How do I make this dish more tradition?
If you’re looking for a more traditional recipe, omit the chopped onion and fresh thyme, and add in 1/4 cup of white sugar to the pudding. Bake as directed.
Can I make this ahead?
Yes! This casserole is easy to make ahead of time. Just bake as directed and let it cool in the casserole dish. Refrigerate for up to 2 days, and then heat up the dish in a 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until warm.
Can I use fresh corn or frozen corn?
Yes. This recipe uses canned corn which is easy to find and cuts down on the prep. But if you have fresh corn or frozen corn, you can easily substitute for the canned corn.
For frozen corn, use 3 1/2 pounds of frozen corn. Take 1 1/2 cups of the frozen corn and put it in a blender or food processor and puree it. Use the corn puree with the whole kernels. Increase the flour to 4 tablespoons and add 1 tablespoons of white sugar to the mixture. There’s no need to defrost the corn kernels. Just use them frozen and increase the bake time to 40 to 45 minutes to accommodate the cold corn.
For fresh corn use 8 medium-sized ears of corn. Boil the corn until cooked, then cut off the kernels from 6 ears. Take the remaining 2 ears of corn and partially cut off the kernels, leaving half the kernels ends attached to the ear. Take the back of your knife or a butter knife and scrape the remaining corn milk from the kernels into the bowl. This “creams” the corn. Increase the flour to 4 tablespoons and add 1 tablespoons of white sugar to the mixture. Bake as directed.
If you like this savory corn pudding recipe, try these other holiday side dish:
- Roasted Green Beans with Dried Cranberries
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- Garlic and Leek Mashed Potatoes
- Parker House Rolls
- Herb Parmesan Wool Roll Bread
- Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta and Candied Walnuts
Savory Corn Pudding
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion about 1/2 medium sized onion
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves divided
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 6 large eggs
- 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter 1 stick or 115 g
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 15-ounce cans whole kernel corn no salt
- 1 15 ounce cream-style sweet corn
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.Place the olive oil in a large skillet and add the onions. Cook on medium heat until the onions start to turn slightly translucent. Stir in 1/2 the fresh thyme to the warm skillet and remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cream, eggs, and melted butter. Beat in the flour, baking powder and salt.Add the onions and thyme to the mixture. Drain and add in the whole kernel corn, as well as the entire content of the sweet corn. Stir to combine.
- Pour the entire mixture into a 3-quart sized casserole dish. Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top of the casserole is golden brown. Sprinkle with remaining serve thyme and serve.
- You can substitute the fresh thyme with 1 teaspoons of dried thyme in the baked mixture. Just skip garnishing the top of the casserole with thyme.
- If you use canned corn with salt, reduce the salt in the recipe to 1/2 teaspoon.
- Adapted from a Southern Living recipe