Corn and Parmesan cheese are a natural pairing and this Garlic Parmesan Corn Au Gratin takes it to another level. Sweet corn kernels are nestled in a garlicky cheese sauce and the casserole is topped with even more Parmesan before baking. The result is a golden, crispy gratin that will be a stellar side dish.
Any sort of gratin is going to rise to the top of my list of favorite side dishes. A gratin is topped with either breadcrumbs or cheese and baked or broiled until golden. The crisp and golden Parmesan lid to this corn au gratin is dream-worthy. You may have a dinner table battle on your hands over the cheesy edges!
Corn is a family-friendly ingredient that most kids really enjoy. These ground pork tacos have a sweet and crunchy corn slaw topping that adds great contrast to the warm citrus-spiked filling. Or try this sautéed corn with peppers recipe! And let's not forget that corn can be featured in desserts as well. Try this simple 3-ingredinet sweet corn ice cream!
We are keeping it simple for the ingredients in this side dish. Most of these will be staples in your pantry!
I include ingredient notes here when I think they’ll be helpful, including ways to source, any preparation tips, or why I've chosen a particular ingredient. Be sure to check out the recipe card below for the full list of ingredients and their quantities!
- Corn - When fresh corn is in season, this recipe is a great way to feature the sweet and crunchy kernels. Feel free to substitute frozen corn (add it straight from the freezer and sauté it a couple more minutes) or drained canned corn.
- Garlic - Measure this with your heart, but the recipe calls for 2 cloves. You can use jarred minced garlic or frozen cubes of garlic in place of fresh cloves.
- Butter - The recipe is written for salted butter. If you only have unsalted butter, add about ⅛ teaspoon of salt when you are melting the butter.
- All-Purpose Flour - AP flour is used to help thicken the milk and essentially make a roux that will keep the cheese and butter sauce creamy.
- Parmesan Cheese - Use the real deal if you are able to. The combination of sweet corn and salty, funky Parmesan is heavenly.
- Milk - I use 2% milk for this recipe, but anything from fat-free to whole milk will work just fine.
Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease a 3-quart casserole dish or make the entire recipe in an oven-safe skillet.
Melt the butter over medium heat in a skillet.
Add the corn and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes. If you are adding corn straight from the freezer, add a couple of minutes of cooking.
Sprinkle the flour, salt, and pepper over the corn. Stir to coat the kernels.
Cook the flour and corn together for one minute to get rid of any raw flour taste.
Add the milk in a gradual stream, stirring the corn mixture constantly. At first it will thicken very quickly and get clumpy, but keep stirring.
Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture is thick and bubbly. Remove the skillet from the heat.
Add all but about ½ cup of the cheese to the corn and stir it until the cheese is melted and well incorporated.
Transfer the mixture to the greased casserole dish if you are using one. Smooth out the corn mixture and top it with the remaining cheese.
Bake the corn au gratin for 25 minutes uncovered. When it is ready, the top will be golden brown and the edges will be crisp and bubbly. Allow the gratin to cool for five minutes before serving.
There are several ways you can customize this dish to your liking. Here are some suggestions:
- Add Extra Vegetables - Add in some chopped bell peppers, diced summer squash, or zucchini along with the corn for some color and variety.
- Add Herbs - Chopped oregano, ribbons of basil, thyme leaves, or finely chopped chives would all be great additions to this parmesan corn side. I would add them when you sauté the corn.
- Swap the Cheese - This recipe is wildly delicious with Parmesan, but use a Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, or Gruyere instead for a twist.
- Make it Spicy - Add red pepper flakes to the mixture when you add the salt and pepper or add some finely diced jalapeño along with the corn for a spicy kick to this dish.
If you have a cast iron skillet or other oven-safe skillet you can prepare and bake this side dish in one pan! Gotta love saving time on dish duty later. This gratin bakes up just as well in a 3-quart casserole dish. You can even use a deep-dish pie pan!
This parmesan corn au gratin is great served in summer with grilled meats like chicken thighs or steak. It will also make an impressive side on your Thanksgiving table along with all of the other gold standard side dishes.
Add this corn to a burrito bowl, as a filling for tacos along with some soyrizo or chorizo, or dip tortilla chips in it! Layer it with sliced turkey, basil leaves, and tomato for a grilled sandwich situation. You can thank me later for that little gem of a suggestion.
Make This Recipe Kid-Friendly
Corn is usually a popular side the whole family can enjoy. If you think that Parmesan cheese may be too strong a flavor, use a milder cheese like Monterey Jack, Colby, or a mild cheddar.
Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat the corn in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove top.
This side is a great candidate for making ahead of time. Cook the dish on the stovetop and transfer the mixture to a casserole dish. Sprinkle it with the Parmesan cheese and cover the dish with plastic wrap before storing in the refrigerator. When you are ready to bake it, bring it to room temperature while the oven preheats. Bake it for an additional 5 minutes or so to ensure the center is warmed through and the top is golden.
Using the flour and milk to make a roux keeps the cheese and butter from separating, ensuring your sauce is smooth creamy and not grainy or oily.
Instead of cutting the corn off the cob while it is standing tall on your cutting board, lay the cob down on its side and make long slices along the edge. The kernels don't have so far to fly! Rotate the cob and keep slicing until all of the kernels are removed.
Pair this corn au gratin with any of these dishes for a delicious meal:
More Hearty Sides
A corn side dish is popular with the whole family. Here are some other hearty sides to serve with your favorite main dishes:
Try It and Share
I hope you give this Garlic Parmesan Corn Au Gratin a try and that it's a hit at your table. I want to see your results! Tag your photo with #planeatpostrepeat and mention me @planeatpostrepeat on Instagram or Facebook so that I can give you a virtual high five and thank you for cooking one of my recipes. Comment below with any questions and please leave a review so others can find this recipe more easily!
Garlic Parmesan Corn Au Gratin
- ¼ cup salted butter
- 4 cups corn (from the cob, frozen, or canned and drained.)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced or grated)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper (ground)
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 2 cups Parmesan cheese (shredded, about 4 ounces)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease a 3-quart casserole dish or prepare the dish in an oven-safe skillet.
- In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the corn and garlic and saute them for 3 minutes.
- Add the flour, salt, and pepper and stir to coat the corn evenly. Cook for one minute.
- Add the milk, streaming it gradually into the pan while stirring the corn mixture. Cook until the mixture is thick and bubbling.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in all but ½ cup of the cheese.
- Spread the corn out evenly and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
- Bake uncovered, for 25 minutes or until the surface of the gratin is browned.
- Cool for 5 minutes and serve.
Nutrition facts are sometimes provided below and are calculated using an online calculator. With specific brands of ingredients and additions, omissions, or substitutions the nutrition facts may change. We encourage you to use your own nutrition facts caculator to obtain the most accurate nutrition facts for your meal.