Happy Summer! It finally feels like it here in Illinois where we’ve been in 90 degree temps (and it feels like the 100’s) this week. With Fourth of July cookouts and BBQs upon us, I have a special side dish recipe that’s a favorite of mine and my friends. I’ve served it at big group get-togethers like Thanksgiving. But with fresh sweet corn, this Cheesy Jalapeno Corn Bake makes an awesome summer side too!
In the past for Thanksgivings, I’ve used canned corn for my Cheesy Jalapeno Corn Bake. But since I live on a farm in Illinois and am married to a corn farmer, I’d be remiss to not use the sweet corn grown here. Last night I made this recipe again – for the first time since moving to Illinois – with corn grown right here on the farm.
You can also use fresh jalapenos or pickled jalapenos. I’ve made it both ways. My version from last night contained about a 1/4 cup of diced pickled jalapenos. This was a bit too much for Craig who started sweating. So I’ve adjusted the recipe below to reduce the amount of jalapenos. Obviously go by your own taste buds though. If you like a lot of heat, you can increase the amount.
If jalapenos aren’t your thing, you could try a milder pepper like green chilies. Or add meat like bacon – but remember that this would alter the WW points for the recipe. Jack Stack BBQ a popular Kansas City restaurant serves their famous Cheesy Corn Bake with chopped smoked ham in it. I’m drooling just thinking about it. So on to the recipe.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then start melting the butter and the Neufchatel cheese in a medium sized pot over low-medium heat.
Once melted, stir in onion powder, garlic powder, and salt. Whisk in the milk.
Once smooth, whisk in cornstarch to thicken the mixture – if desired. Then stir in diced jalapenos.
Add approximately 4 cups of corn and stir until well incorporated.
Pour corn mixture into a greased 9×12 inch casserole dish. Smooth out the mixture and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove casserole from oven and top with reduced fat cheddar cheese.
Return the corn bake to the oven and bake for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.
And don’t forget to check out these other Grub Delite sides and dishes for your 4th of July festivities:
Berry Shortcake, Green Chili and Cheddar Macaroni Salad, Lite Bacon Blue Cheese Deviled Eggs, Buffalo Ranch Deviled Eggs, Light & Creamy Pea Salad.