Deliciously comforting, this Skillet Pancetta Corn Casserole is the fall side dish you crave with an Italian twist you’ll absolutely love!
This crazy good Skillet Pancetta Corn Casserole will blow any old-school corn casserole recipe out of the water. Rich Italian flavors like crispy pancetta, parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh basil will make this reinvented classic side dish a new favorite at your dinner table.
This post is sponsored by Ibotta. All opinions are 100% my own.
I always serve corn casserole for Thanksgiving. It’s a must have at our table… my family thinks it’s just as important as the turkey. This year I’m making our holiday dinner for next to nothing. How you ask? Ibotta is back with their free Thanksgiving dinner and it’s better than ever!
When you purchase the bundle of products listed below, Ibotta will give you 100% cash back. Just use the Ibotta app on your smartphone to scan your receipt, or use the website and browser extension for online grocery pick-up and delivery orders. It’s a HUGE timesaver to be able to have someone shop and just pick everything up when I’m ready.
Free Thanksgiving Dinner
Some years I love to make all the side dishes and desserts from scratch. Other times I like to keep things easy, especially when it’s just Casey, the boys, and me. That’s what we’re doing this year. The easy mix and serve options in the Ibotta bundle are so easy to whip up so I’m not slaving away in the kitchen all day.
This year’s Thanksgiving bundle is available at select retailers, while supplies last. Here’s what’s included…
- Birds Eye frozen vegetables
- Idahoan instant potatoes
- Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup
- Great Value stuffing
- McCormick turkey gravy packet
- Jiffy honey corn muffin mix
- Great Value french fried onions
- For new members: up to $15 cash back on your Thanksgiving turkey
Existing members can unlock the turkey savings just by referring a friend. And who doesn’t love to help their friends and family get cash back on groceries they’re already buying?
THE PERFECT RECIPE FOR FROZEN CORN
While I’m currently gearing up for the season of big family holiday meals and baking, I’m stocking up on things early to avoid last-minute grocery shopping! I make my list, go through the Ibotta app to score all those amazing deals, and then shop. It’s that easy!
OTHER RECIPES TO SERVE WITH PANCETTA CORN CASSEROLE
Pineapple Glazed Ham – If you want to mix up your traditional family dinners, Italian flavored corn casserole, and Pineapple Glazed Ham are the way to go!
Thanksgiving Stuffing – No holiday meal is complete without all the fan-favorite side dishes!
Mamaw’s Dinner Rolls – I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest pairing the best corn casserole for Thanksgiving with my Mamaw’s famous rolls.
Meats and Cheese: This baked corn casserole recipe will use 4 ounces of diced pancetta and a little more than a cup of shaved or shredded parmesan cheese.
Veggies: This baked corn casserole recipe works well with fresh or frozen corn kernels, I used Bird’s Eye frozen corn that I got for free as part of the Thanksgiving bundle from Ibotta.. You will also need sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.
Dry Ingredients: You will need instant polenta as well as baking powder and salt from the pantry.
Wet Ingredients: You’ll need some olive oil to cook the pancetta. You’ll also need 2 eggs, and a cup of sour cream and heavy cream for this corn casserole recipe.
HOW TO MAKE SKILLET CORN CASSEROLE
STEP ONE: Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, cook the pancetta until it’s browned. Use a slotted spoon to place the pancetta on a paper towel-lined plate. Set this aside for now.
STEP TWO: In a large mixing bowl, combine the instant polenta, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together these dry ingredients and then mix in the eggs, sour cream, and heavy cream.
STEP THREE: Fold in the frozen corn kernels, chopped basil, sun-dried tomatoes, and 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese. Once the batter is combined, spread it evenly into the same cast iron skillet you used to cook the pancetta.
STEP FOUR: To finish prepping the Skillet Pancetta Corn Casserole, top it off with the browned pancetta and the remaining parmesan cheese.
STEP FIVE: Bake it in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the center is set and it’s browned around the edges. Remove from the oven, allow the corn casserole to cool for 5 minutes, and then sprinkle more basil on top.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- Don’t accidentally discard the pan drippings in the skillet after cooking the pancetta. These flavors play a huge role in making this dish as flavorful and amazing as it is!
- Whenever possible, I prefer to buy fresh parmesan and grate it myself. I just think it gives this dish a better flavor.
- If you don’t have a cast iron skillet or oven safe skillet don’t worry. Pour the pancetta drippings into a 9-inch x 9-inch baking dish. Then prepare the batter and continue as directed using the baking dish instead.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CORN CASSEROLE
I have served this recipe as my Thanksgiving corn casserole a number of times before and it never disappoints! The beauty of this recipe is how well it fits into just about any weeknight meal! Whether you’re serving it with a huge Roasted Turkey or alongside Breaded Pork Chops, it will always be a worthy co-star.
CAN YOU MAKE CORN CASSEROLE AHEAD OF TIME
For this particular recipe, I do not recommend making it ahead of time because you will lose the crispiness of the pancetta which would be a crime! That being said, you could assemble and bake this corn casserole, allow it cool completely, and then store it covered in the fridge until you were ready to reheat it. The same can be said for any leftovers.
See how gorgeous everything looks! It was SUPER budget-friendly and my family couldn’t get over how tasty everything was. Since my boys love corn muffins, I had some in addition to the corn casserole. The mashed potatoes were buttery and if you hadn’t told me they were instant I probably wouldn’t have guessed. Of course, I had to grab some frozen green beans for green bean casserole too. All I had to do was steam them in the bag, and mix everything together. This meal was everything we love for Thanksgiving at a fraction of the price and almost entirely free thanks to Ibotta!
OTHER AMAZING FAMILY MEAL SIDE DISHES
- Mom’s Mashed Potato Recipe
- Mother In Law Candied Yams
- Roasted Acorn Squash
- Honey Garlic Carrots
- Ambrosia Salad
- Drop Biscuits
*This post originally published on 09/18/2016.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 ounces pancetta diced
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil chopped
- 1 cup Instant polenta (or cornmeal)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups corn kernels (see note)
- 6 leaves fresh basil chiffonade (plus more for garnish)
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F
- Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Add the pancetta and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon. Set aside and leave the grease in the skillet.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the instant polenta, baking powder, and salt. Add in the eggs, sour cream, and heavy cream and mix well. Fold in the corn kernels, chopped basil, sun-dried tomatoes, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.
- Spread the batter evenly into the same skillet you used to crisp the pancetta. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and cooked pancetta.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until set in the center and lightly golden brown around the edges. (The pancetta grease makes the bottom and sides crispy.)
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Then sprinkle on some more basil, cut into 8 slices, and serve.
- I usually use a 10-ounce bag of frozen corn for this recipe (slightly more than 1 1/2 cups). You could also use canned corn that’s been drained and then use a measuring cup to get 1 1/2 cups.
- If you don’t have a cast iron skillet or oven-safe skillet don’t worry. Pour the pancetta drippings into a 9-inch x 9-inch baking dish. Then prepare the batter and continue as directed using the baking dish instead.