This 5-Ingredient Casserole Is the Only Thing I’m Bringing to Potlucks This Summer

This 5-Ingredient Casserole Is the Only Thing I’m Bringing to Potlucks This Summer

I went on a date with a local radio show host during my freshman year of college (Go Jayhawks!). He took me to one of the most popular barbecue restaurants in Kansas City, Missouri, Jack Stack Barbecue. Even though he was probably too old for me and said more words per minute than anyone I've ever met, it was a date to remember thanks to the food.

When I took a bite of Jack Stack's Cheesy Corn Bake, one of the restaurant's most popular side dishes, I went to Lala Land and never returned. It’s velvety like creamed corn, very cheesy and studded with bits of smoked ham – salty, sweet, creamy and so delicious. It's been over 20 years, but the memory of this dish still makes me salivate.

You can find the original recipe and many copies of Jack Stack's Cheesy Corn Bake on the Internet, and I've tried them all. They are as delicious as you would expect with a mixture of cheese, corn and ham. However, I tweaked the recipe over several years and ended up with a quicker, simpler version that requires five ingredients.

Bring this cheesy corn casserole to a get-together this summer and be ready to tell everyone where you got the recipe.

Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn

How to Make My 5-Ingredient Corn and Cheese Bake

To serve 8 to 10 as a side dish, you will need:

  • 1 (8 ounce) brick cream cheese
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 (8 ounce) brick pepper jack cheese, grated
  • 1 cup (3 ounces) crumbled or diced cooked bacon
  • 4 cups (20 ounces) fresh corn kernels

Preheat oven to 350°F.

There are two ways to melt cream cheese. Start by cutting the cream cheese into small cubes. Then place them in a small saucepan with the milk. Place it over medium heat, bring it to a boil (do not boil) and whisk to combine. You can also place the cubed cream cheese in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave every 20 seconds until softened. Add the milk and use a whisk to mix.

Add the cream cheese and milk mixture, shredded cheese, bacon and corn to an 8- or 9-inch casserole dish. Stir to combine, spread into an even layer, and bake until bubbly and edges are golden brown, about 40 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn

My Tips for Making This Easy Corn and Cheese Pastry

But: Fresh corn remains a little crunchy even after it's cooked, so it's great for textural contrast. I usually get a cup of corn kernels per cob. Here's a simple guide to removing corn from the cob. You can use frozen (thaw first) or canned (well-drained) corn if fresh corn is not available.

Cheese: I prefer pepper jack for its heat, spiciness and flavor. Sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, or part-skim mozzarella are good alternatives.

Bacon: I usually cut cooked bacon into small strips, but store-bought bacon bits are a smart shortcut. Look for a brand with larger pieces: the small crumbles melt and disappear into the cheese sauce unsatisfactorily. If you want to get closer to Jack Stack's version, use cubed pieces of smoked ham.

Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn


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