Southwest Creamed Corn Casserole with Cornbread Topping

southwest creamed corn casserole with cornbread topping in a white rectangular baking dish with a gold spoon in it.

For a fun side dish with a southwestern kick, try this oven-baked southwest creamed corn casserole with cornbread topping. A creamy, corn filling with bacon and peppers gets topped with a layer of easy homemade cornbread that will have everyone coming back for seconds!


  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 tbsp of the bacon grease from cooking
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp jalapeño, diced (seeds removed)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 oz cream cheese (I use reduced fat)
  • 2 1/4 cups milk (I use 2%)
  • 3 cups corn kernels (fresh, frozen or canned)

For the Cornbread Topping:

  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted


  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease an 8- or 9-inch baking dish.
  2. Cook bacon using your preferred method (I like the oven) until crispy, reserving 1 tbsp of the grease. Crumble bacon and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat reserved bacon grease over medium low heat. Add garlic, onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are softened, about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to low and add cream cheese and milk. Whisk until smooth. Continue cooking and stirring until sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat and stir in corn kernels and crumbled bacon.
  6. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.
  7. Make the cornbread batter. In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients together. Stir in wet ingredients and mix until just blended.
  8. Carefully spoon cornbread batter evenly over the top of the corn mixture in the baking dish. It's okay if it doesn’t go all the way to the edges. It will expand and spread in the oven.
  9. Bake 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.


  • Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.
  • This recipe can be doubled for a 9x13" dish.
  • To save yourself dishes, you can cook everything in a cast iron skillet, from cooking the bacon, to stirring the filling together, to baking.
  • To make this dish vegetarian, simply leave out the bacon. Use the cooking oil of your choice to cook the peppers and onions instead of bacon grease.
  • For gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free cup-for-cup blend in place of the whole wheat flour in the cornbread batter.
  • If you don't have buttermilk for the cornbread batter, you can make soured milk by adding 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a measuring cup, then filling it to the 2/3 cup line with regular milk.
  • Fresh, canned and frozen corn all work in this recipe. If you're using canned corn, drain the juices. If you're using frozen corn, thaw and drain it before using.
  • I used 2% milk in this recipe, but any kind is fine (whole, skim, etc.). I also use Neufchatel cheese (sold next to the cream cheese as one-third-less-fat cream cheese), but regular cream cheese is fine, too.

Keywords: baked creamed corn casserole, southwest creamed corn, creamed corn with cornbread topping