Corn Spoon Bread

During the fall months, and of course as Thanksgiving approaches we all find ourselves searching for just the perfect side dish recipes.  We want recipes that will be at home next to a roasted chicken or turkey, a beef roast, a ham, recipes that are crowd-pleasers, recipes that shimmer with the glow of comfort food.

Spoonbread Corn Pudding / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman /

We want side dishes that people inch towards while contemplating a second helping (and knowing full well what the final decision will be).  Creamy, comfort food corn pudding is just such a side dish.

Thanksgiving Corn Pudding

I knew I wanted something corn-based for the Thanksgiving table, and then got a bit torn between spoonbread and corn pudding.  Both dishes are very popular in the South, and appear annually on holiday dinner tables.

Basically corn pudding is an egg and dairy based pudding with corn kernels studded throughout.  Spoon bread is more like a cornbread that is soft enough to eat with a spoon, with a cornmeal base.  I borrowed the cornmeal idea from the spoon bread concept, adding just enough to give my corn pudding a bit more oomph.

Spoonbread Corn Pudding / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman /

Let’s just say the “should I have seconds?” question was answered in the affirmative.  Purists from the South might cock an eyebrow at me…..I invite them to give it a shot (and acknowledge cheerfully that strict culinary authenticity is not my strongest suit).

Fluffy Corn Pudding

Whipping the eggs whites is an extra step, but one that ensures that the resulting dish with be light and fluffy, while not missing a beat in the substance department.  You do want to serve this dish warm from the oven, so that it holds its slightly soufflé-like texture.

Spoonbread Corn Pudding / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman /

Look at that gorgeous puffy crown!

Having said that, a scoop or two reheated in the microwave the next day, paired with a green salad tossed with vinaigrette, is one of the finer lunches I can imagine.

Sweet Potato Spoonbread is another option to play with.

Corn Pudding: Fluffy and comforting, studded with corn kernels, this is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving or another holiday feast.

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Spoonbread Corn Pudding / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman /

What to Serve with Corn Pudding:

More Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes:

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Corn Pudding

Fluffy and comforting, studded with corn kernels, this is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving or another holiday feast.
Yield: 8 People
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian


  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter plus additional for greasing dish
  • 3 ¼ cups whole milk divided
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 cups corn kernels from 3 to 4 ears of corn, or frozen kernels, drained
  • Large pinch cayenne pepper
  • 4 large eggs separated and at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter a shallow 1½ or 2-quart baking dish.
  • Combine the butter, 3 cups milk, sugar and salt in a heavy saucepan, and heat over medium high heat. When it comes to a simmer, and the butter is melted, reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the cornmeal in a slow steady drizzle, whisking all the while. Whisk in the corn kernels and cayenne and continue whisking for another 4 or 5 minutes, until the mixture is thick. Remove from the heat and turn into a large mixing bowl.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the eggs yolks and remaining ¼ cup milk, and set aside. In a medium-sized bowl using an electric mixer (or a clean whisk if you have the stamina) beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until the peaks are stiff, but not dry or separating.
  • Add about ½ cup of the cornmeal mixture to the bowl with the egg yolks and stir quickly to combine. Turn the yolk mixture into the bowl with the rest of the cornmeal mixture and whisk to combine. Fold about 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the cornmeal mixture, which will lighten the batter, then gently fold in the rest of the egg whites so that they are almost incorporated – you will see a white streak or two, which is fine.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes until the top is browned and puffy. When you shake the pan the spoonbread should juggle slightly, not too much so that it looks liquidy in the middle. Remove and either serve hot, to try and capture the spoonbread at its puffiest self, or cool slightly on a wire rack, then serve warm.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 442mg | Potassium: 297mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 473IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 128mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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  1. Wow! So excited to have found this recipe! It’s absolutely perfectly balanced and delicious. My husband and I had the best spoon bread pudding on a trip to Chincoteague island 5 years ago and have never been able to replicate it until now! Thank you!!

      1. Can this be made a few hours ahead? And then bake it?
        Or should it be baked and warmed up?
        Or none of the above?

      2. I would bake it and warm it if you want to make it ahead! Try warming it covered in a 300°F oven for about 15 minutes.

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