Scalloped Corn Recipes, Facts, and Frequently-Asked Questions

A classic recipe, scalloped corn calls to mind time spent dining with family members during the holidays. Read on to learn more about a few different scalloped corn recipes (including an extra-healthy version) to serve to your family and friends on your chosen holidays.

Now, let’s start with this scalloped corn classic.

Scalloped Corn Recipe

The secret is in the rich, buttery crackers. Ritz is the most popular brand for this recipe, but any kind of buttery crackers will work and Saltines will do in a pinch.

  • Makes: 8 servings
  • Prep: 25 minutes
  • Bake: 35 minutes
A classic corn casserole dish / scalloped corn recipe.

A classic scalloped corn recipe. Photo: CC by SA 2.0 Anokarina via Flickr.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 3/4 cup coarsely butter crackers (about 10 crackers)
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels or one 10-ounce package of frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
  • 14 3/4-ounce can cream-style corn
  • 1 cup coarsely crushed butter crackers (about 15 crackers)
  • 1 cup milk, light cream, or half-and-half
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 4-ounce jar diced pimiento, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) shredded Swiss, cheddar, or provolone cheese (2 ounces) (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 2-quart oval baking dish, 2-quart round casserole dish, or an 8x8x2-inch square baking dish (2-quart); set aside.
  3. For topping: In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the 3/4 cup of crushed crackers. Cook and stir until crackers are lightly browned, then remove from skillet and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in corn, cream-style corn, the 1 cup of crushed crackers, milk, pimiento, eggs, black pepper, and, if you like, paprika.
  5. Transfer corn mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle on the topping.
  6. Bake, uncovered, in a 350-degree oven F for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is set and an inserted knife near center comes out clean. Remove. If you like, sprinkle with cheese. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.

And Now for a Much Healthier Vegan Scalloped Corn Recipe

Vegan scalloped corn recipe.

  • Makes: 8 servings
  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • one large onion, chopped
  • 1 large green or red pepper, diced
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 4 cups cooked fresh corn kernels (4 ears) or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup soft whole grain bread crumbs 
  • 1/2 cup nondairy cheddar or American cheese (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and sauté over medium heat until golden. Add the bell pepper and tomatoes and continue to sauté just until they become tender.
  3. Sprinkle in the flour, paprika, and cayenne pepper, stirring until well blended. Slowly pour in the nondairy milk, stirring continuously. Bring to a simmer, then stir in the corn and simmer for another minute or so.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Pour the mixture into a lightly oiled shallow oblong baking pan. Quickly toss the oil with the bread crumbs until evenly coated and distribute the crumbs over the corn mixture.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the crumbs begin to turn crusty. Remove and top with nondairy cheese shreds if you choose. Let stand for 3 minutes. Serve and enjoy! Makes 8 servings.

The History of Scalloped Corn Recipes

This all-American comfort food often found at potlucks and the Thanksgiving table is well-known and loved all throughout the United States. This seemingly humble and simple dish like always steals the show with its creamy texture, abundant flavors, and toasty crown of buttery cracker crumbs, a good pair with a Traditional Cornbread recipe.  

But where did this quintessentially American, and tasty tradition begin? Experts say it originated in New England. One thing is for sure, its simplicity and popularity allows for innovation and creativity. Time-tested cookbooks each have their own version, from just simply salt and pepper, to add a few drops of hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce.

You could easily create your own recipe for every holiday and diet. A Christmas version, an Easter version, an exciting blend of roasted chiles and queso fresco added for a southwestern kick or a creamy, bubbling nondairy variation for a healthier side that doesn’t sacrifice on flavor. It’s endless! I don’t think this classic favorite is going anywhere any time soon.

Here’s a video with another old-fashioned corn pudding/corn casserole recipe.

Scalloped Corn: Frequently-Asked Questions

  • Question: What does “scalloped” mean?
    • Answer: Great question! The word scalloped refers to the type of dish we traditionally bake casseroles in, round ones with ridged or fluted edges like scallop shells. Now, the term applies to baked casseroles regardless of the containers we bake them in. 
  • Question: How long should you cook scalloped corn? 
    • Answer: Well, that depends on the recipe. In the recipe we’ve indicated previously, you’ll want to bake the corn for about a half an hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Different recipes will call for different baking times, of course.
  • Question: Can you freeze a corn casserole like scalloped corn?
    • Answer: To freeze your corn casserole, you can wrap it tightly with aluminum foil. You may then store it in your freezer for up to 1 month. If you wish to serve more of your frozen casserole, simply place it back in the oven – covered – for at least 30 minutes until you reach the desired temperature.
  • Question: Can you make scalloped corn in a crockpot?
    • Answer: Yes, absolutely. There are a number of recipes that make use of a crockpot in order to cook scalloped corn. Ultimately, the use of equipment depends on what you’re looking to achieve and what you have available.

The History of Corn in Our Diet

Corn has been a staple of many cultures’ diets throughout the timeframe of human history. Its one of our main source in baking cornbread, cake, and corn muffins

Since wheat didn’t originally grow in the Americas, corn was the main source of grain for the indigenous people in Mexico and Central America. It was first cultivated around 10,000 years ago by those ancient peoples looking to supplement their diets.

Historians believe that corn was first domesticated in the Tuscan Valley in Mexico. However, additional research conducted by a scientist has uncovered that the starting point for corn may have been near the Balsas River Valley in southern Mexico.

Additional studies were undertaken to discover the beginnings of corn have found that all maize came from one source of domestication in southern Mexico. 

That means that the spread of corn was accomplished after the initial domestication in one geographic location. As such, corn did not spontaneously arise in a variety of areas, leading scientists to believe that the archaeologic record is correct.

Corn Spreads to South America and Beyond

From Mexico, corn spread to South America in two waves of exchange: the first one occurred 6,000 years ago and spread through the Andes. 

The second wave occurred in the lowlands of South America around 2,000 years ago. Given the lack of transportation and communication technologies of that era, it’s easy to see why it took so long for a staple product like corn to take so long to travel across the continent.

Now, you’re probably wondering how corn became a staple food in European and North American diets after the arrival of Europeans on the continent. The Europeans first arrived on the continent in 1492. 

Spanish settlers and colonists brought maize back to the Old World where it was not particularly well-received. However, the Spaniards did consume the food and even cultivated in colonial Florida.

The rest, of course, is history. A cursory look at agricultural production in the United States will reveal the huge amounts of corn cultivated in this country. Other countries also cultivate significant amounts of corn as a staple product.

In Modern Times

Corn serves as a staple food all around the world. Its total production has surpassed wheat and rice, although much of this production has been used for animal feed, corn ethanol, and a variety of derivative products such as corn starch and corn syrup. There are 6 major types of corn currently produced by large-scale agricultural operations:

  • Dent Corn: Also known as Reid’s yellow dent corn or field corn, this type of corn has high starch content and constitutes the majority of the corn grown in the United States in the modern era. It is also used as a base ingredient for cornmeal flour, corn chips, tortillas, and taco shells.
  • Flint Corn: Flint corn takes its name from its hard kernels that are multi-colored. It has low water content and is the only Vermont crop that survived the 1816 Year Without a Summer.
  • Pod Corn: Pod corn is also known as wild maize and may be an early predecessor the modern version of corn currently cultivated in the United States and elsewhere.
  • Popcorn: You probably already know about popcorn! Farmers even cultivate some strains of corn specifically for popcorn.
  • Flour Corn: Flour corn is used in the production of corn flour.
  • Sweet Corn: Finally, we have sweet corn. This corn has high sugar content due to a genetic mutation in the genes that control sugar production inside the kernels.

 

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