ULTIMATE Cornbread Casserole

Ultimate Cornbread Casserole takes the classic side dish to the next level, made from scratch with the flavorful additions of bacon, cheddar, and jalapeño!

Ultimate Cornbread Casserole with text overlay.


If you're looking for more decadent holiday sides, you'll also love Bacon Green Bean Bundles with Brown Sugar Glaze, Scalloped Corn, and Brussels Sprouts Gratin!

I have always made the same, delicious, decadent Creamy Cheesy Corn Casserole every Thanksgiving and Christmas and Easter and birthday and special occasion for years and years and years. Why mess with a good thing, right? But the truth is, this holiday season, I've got a hankering to change things up a bit! And after developing and testing today's recipe, I do believe I'm going to be serving this Ultimate Cornbread Casserole for Christmas dinner from here on out!

Cornbread Casserole recipe in a baking dish.

From-Scratch Cornbread Casserole

It seems that most folks have some type of corn dish on their table for big holidays. And while my other popular corn casserole gets its creaminess from cream cheese, this time I decided to take a stab at the traditional Jiffy cornbread mix-type corn casserole. Except I knew I didn't want to rely on a packaged cornbread mix with its not-so-natural ingredients.

Instead, I whisked together a few ingredients. This created my own simple homemade cornbread mix as the base for this Ultimate Cornbread Casserole.

Ingredients arranged on table.


This recipe starts out with the basics: cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt.

To the dry cornbread ingredients I added thawed frozen corn (I much prefer its flavor over canned), sour cream, and melted butter...hellooooo, holidays!

But then, I wanted to take this cornbread casserole from good to great. You know, make it ULTIMATE. So  I decided to mix in one of my favorite combos of ingredients: salty bacon, zippy jalapeño, and glorious cheddar!

Stirring bacon, cheddar, and jalapeño into batter.

And the results were mahhh-velous. On the day I initially tested it, I served this recipe to my family as a side dish with dinner. And my eldest son-- who could happily eat nothing but stuffing on Thanksgiving...with a small side of creamy corn casserole for good measure -- declared Ultimate Cornbread Casserole THE BEST SIDE DISH OF ALL TIME. Because in his mind, it was basically like combining stuffing and corn casserole and howcanasidedishgetbetterthanthat?!?!

Cornbread Casserole ready to go into oven.

This recipe has the texture of moist, spoonable cornbread packed with plenty of sweet corn kernels. And then for a scrumptious flavor boost, there's that aforementioned crispy diced bacon, minced fresh jalapeño, and grated sharp cheddar throughout. I've been known to add those ingredients to regular cornbread to rave reviews, so I wasn't surprised that they worked swimmingly in this recipe as well.

Spoonful of Cornbread Casserole.

So do you have your Christmas menu set yet? If you've got space on your table to try something new -- or perhaps just a new twist on a beloved classic that you already happen to serve -- I think this Ultimate Cornbread Casserole will be a big hit!

Everything's better with bacon...and this winner of a dish is no exception. 😉

On a plate with missing bite.

Helpful Tips, Tricks, & Equipment

  • If you have a tub of my Homemade Cornbread Mix in the pantry, that'll give you a head-start on this recipe (substitution instructions included in the recipe card directions).
  • 1 tablespoon sugar will give a slightly sweet undertone to the cornbread in this recipe. 2 tablespoons will make the cornbread noticeably sweet. But you may leave out the sugar altogether if you prefer completely unsweetened cornbread.
  • You can keep the jalapeño flavor in this dish very mild by removing all of the seeds and membranes from the peppers, which are where the heat is found. For a bit of heat, leave the seeds and membranes intact. And for extra heat, double up on the jalapeños!
Spoonful of Cornbread Casserole showing corn, bacon, cheese, and jalapeños.
  • Speaking of which, feel free to add more bacon to this recipe if you so wish. And who wouldn't wish for more bacon?
  • Don't forget to reserve some bacon, jalapeño, & cheese to sprinkle on top of the casserole before baking. Not only does this garnish add a little color, but it also lets everyone know what they can expect to find inside the casserole once they dig in.
  • Be careful not to overbake so as not to end up with dry cornbread.
Ultimate Cornbread Casserole on plate and in baking dish.

More Tasty Holiday Side Dishes

Ultimate Cornbread Casserole.

Ultimate Cornbread Casserole

Ultimate Cornbread Casserole takes the classic side dish to the next level, made from scratch with the flavorful additions of bacon, cheddar, and jalapeño!
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 427kcal
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  • 1 cup cornmeal*
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour*
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder*
  • ¾ teaspoon salt*
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen corn, thawed & drained
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces bacon, cooked until crispy and diced
  • 1 to 2 jalapeños, minced (see Tips & Tricks above for a note about controlling the heat level)
  • 1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese, DIVIDED


  • With oven rack in the center position, preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 9- by 13-inch baking dish and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add the corn, sour cream, and milk and stir to combine. Blend in the butter, black pepper, most of the bacon, most of the jalapeños, and 1 cup of the cheese until just combined.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Smooth the top and sprinkle with the remaining bacon, jalapeños, and ½ cup cheese. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the center is set and the top is golden brown.



*If you wish to use my Homemade Cornbread Mix as a base for this recipe, you may substitute 2 cups Cornbread Mix for the asterisked ingredients above. Add an additional ¼ teaspoon salt to the mix, however. Then proceed with the recipe as directed, starting with the sugar.


Calories: 427kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 521mg | Potassium: 462mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 518IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 241mg | Iron: 2mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

Post originally published on December 6, 2018.

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Recipe Rating


  1. When the measurements are adjusted from 10 to 14 servings, what is 1.4 cup cornmeal mean????? Maybe should not let a computer adjust the recipe.

    1. Hi Christine! The math will work out the same whether a computer adjusts the recipe or you calculate it yourself. 🙂 The issue is that when a recipe was developed to a specific number of servings, certain multiples of that number will have "neater" measurement conversions than others. So you could adjust the servings from 10 to 15, for a nice 1.5X multiple (and exactly 1 1/2 cup cornmeal). Or you can leave it at 14 servings, look at your measuring cup, and estimate the line between 1 1/3 cup and 1 1/2 cup for "1.4 cups." Hope that helps!

  2. 5 stars
    I have this in the oven right now to serve as a side dish to chili for my mid week Bible study group. It smells so delicious! I like that the batter is thick so I can easily make one side with jalapeños and one side without…for those that don’t like the heat!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this for not one, but 2 gatherings on the same day (after church lunch with our Sunday School class, and also with our community group later that evening). It was well received by both groups - AND, since the community group was smaller, we had leftovers to take home for the next day. Easy and delicious (I added healthy amounts of bacon and cheese - more than on the optional items recommendation...)

  4. This sounds great and I love the no egg part because I want a bit more of a cornbread or stuffing consistency instead of a moist pudding texture. Can’t wait to try it!

  5. Sorry for the dumb question but has anyone tried to make this in muffins? I think my kids would LOVE this but I know they won't give it the time of day if not in muffin form.

    1. I think you could definitely baked this Cornbread Casserole as muffins...that's actually a really great idea! I haven't tested it myself to know the exact cooking time, but I would say to grease your muffin tins really well and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes (or possibly longer). Check early and frequently for doneness the first time you make it just to make sure you don't overcook the muffins. Hope your kids love them...come back and let us know how they turn out! 🙂

    1. This recipe isn't overly sweet, but you can definitely leave out the sugar if you prefer. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Variations in ingredients between recipes will yield different results in the final dish, so I guess it's just a matter of personal preference. 🙂

    1. Yes! As long as the cornbread mix yields an 8-inch round pan or 12 muffins, the ratio will be the same. Simply substitute your mix in place of the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt. 🙂

    1. Hi Donna! I'm sorry that I don't have any experience using Carbquick, so I'm not sure if or how it would work in this recipe. But I can say that this recipe works using gluten-free flour, in case that's similar in any way...

    1. I haven't tested it, but gluten-free flour should work fine in this recipe, Jenifer...with the understanding that GF flour often results in a slightly different rise/texture than all-purpose flour. 😉

  6. This looks awesome. I was thinking leftover casserole would be yummy with a fried egg on top for breakfast!

  7. I love the sound of this casserole! It looks so delicous and perfect for winter. I simply cannot wait to try this recipe. Thanks!

        1. Hi Ashley! I haven't tried it, but I would worry about the recipe possibly not rising correctly if you completely mix the batter (thereby activating the baking powder) too far ahead of time. That being said, I think you could definitely prep the components and do most of the work ahead of time -- cook/dice the bacon, mince the jalapeño, mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, mix the wet ingredients in another bowl (and refrigerate), and then combine right before baking. If I were to do that, I'd probably leave out the melted butter (it would solidify in the fridge) and the chopped bacon (it would get soggy) until just before baking...I'd stir those in at the same time I combined the dry and wet ingredients. Hoped this makes sense and hope it helps!