Corn casserole doesn’t take too long to prepare. Nevertheless, it would be a lot easier if you could make it ahead of time and freeze it for later use. But, can corn casserole be made ahead and frozen?
You can make corn casserole ahead of time and freeze it. You can freeze it in two ways. The first way is to mix all the casserole ingredients, store them in the refrigerator, and bake them just before serving. The other option is to bake the corn casserole and let it cool before freezing it up.
Let’s now look at how to store corn casserole in closer detail.
Does Corn Casserole Freeze Well?
Corn casserole is one of the easiest holiday dishes to prepare.
It has become a popular holiday food ever since Jiffy Corn casserole mix became a big hit.
This boxed cornmeal casserole is a pre-prepared mix containing all the ingredients necessary for the casserole.
All you have to do is mix it and bake it.
You can easily prepare corn casserole, even without a box mix.
Homemade corn casserole has a unique taste because it uses fresh ingredients.
In this case, you will assemble the dry and wet ingredients, mix them, and bake them in the oven.
Whether you use a box mix or bake your corn casserole from scratch, the dish is deliciously moist, with a sweet and savory, melt-in-the-mouth texture.
Even better is the fact that corn casserole freezes well and thaws beautifully to regain its original texture.
It will look and taste like you pulled it out of the oven. Hence, it’s a dish that you can prepare in advance.
Corn casserole freezes well because the cold environment of the refrigerator and freezer doesn’t alter the texture of the dish.
This is partly because of the ingredients used to make it.
Corn casserole recipes use both wet ingredients and dry ingredients.
The process starts by mixing the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately.
The wet ingredients are then mixed with the dry ingredients to create the casserole.
The main ingredients for corn casserole are the following.
- Corn: For extra-moist corn casserole, creamed corn is the best choice because it contains liquid. However, if it’s unavailable, you can use corn kernels.
- Butter: Butter is an integral part of a corn casserole recipe. It adds immense flavor and acts as a binding agent for the ingredients. Butter also adds moisture and helps the casserole achieve the desired texture.
- Buttermilk: This ingredient adds moisture and tanginess to the recipe. The acidity of the buttermilk helps the ingredients in the batter combine well. Some recipes may use yogurt or other acidic ingredients instead of buttermilk.
- Eggs: Eggs are a binding ingredient. They also affect the texture of the corn casserole.
- Flour: Flour is an essential ingredient in cornbread casserole. The gluten in the flour holds the dish together. You can use either whole-grain flour or refined flour for this recipe. However, cake flour and self-raising flour won’t work. You will have to use it along with cornmeal to get the authentic flavor of corn casserole.
- Cornmeal: Cornmeal gives corn casserole its authentic flavor and color. It also creates a beautiful texture, which is slightly crunchy on the sides and soft and moist on the inside.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar enhances the natural sweetness of the corn. It also helps the remaining ingredients shine. Store-bought mixes usually contain large amounts of sugar. You don’t need as much sugar when you make the recipe from scratch. You can even replace granulated sugar with coconut sugar. However, it will slightly alter the taste.
- Baking powder and baking soda: Corn casserole uses baking powder and baking soda as the leavening agents. These ingredients help the casserole achieve a cake-like texture and help the dough to rise during baking. It will also be light and fluffy due to the addition of these ingredients.
- Salt: Salt cuts through the sweetness of the corn and balances the flavor of the casserole.
Some ingredients aren’t entirely essential but are used for flavor. These include the following:
- Seasoning agents: You can add different herbs and spices like pepper, paprika, thyme, rosemary, or cumin for added flavor. These seasonings will alter the taste profile and help you customize the taste to your individual preference.
- Cheese: Grated cheese is a delicious topping for cornbread. The saltiness of the cheese will cut through the sweetness and make the entire dish richer. When preparing corn casserole ahead of time, add the cheese just before baking. This will ensure that it melts well and forms a delicious coating over the surface.
So, how to freeze corn casserole? Let’s find out.
Two Easy Make-Ahead Methods For A Corn Casserole
There are two ways in which you can prepare corn casserole ahead of time and store it till you need it.
1. Assemble And Store The Unbaked Casserole
In this method, you will assemble and measure all the ingredients for the casserole.
Prepare the mix as per the recipe.
If you are using a box mix, follow the instructions on the box and stop at the stage where you must put it in the oven for baking.
Cover the bowl using plastic wrap or a lid before placing it in the refrigerator.
You can store this mix for up to one day in the refrigerator.
If you wish to keep it for longer, put it in the freezer.
On the day you will be serving the corn casserole, pull the bowl out of the freezer or refrigerator and let the ingredients come to room temperature.
Give it a quick stir, and then bake it in a pre-heated oven.
The benefit of this method is that storing the mix in the refrigerator or freezer overnight allows the ingredients to mix better.
It helps the casserole develop better flavors and taste delicious.
It also saves you valuable time for putting together the ingredients and cleaning up afterward on the day you’re serving it.
2. Pre-Cooked Method
In this technique, you will not only assemble the ingredients but also bake the casserole in the oven.
Once the corn casserole is ready, take it out of the oven and let it cool. Wait till it reaches room temperature.
Then, cover the casserole with plastic wrap.
You can also divide it into individual portions if you will not be using the entire casserole.
Cover each portion separately with plastic wrap and make sure that it’s airtight.
If you will be using the casserole within two days, store it in the refrigerator.
Else, put it in the freezer. The corn casserole will hold up for up to three months in the freezer.
On the day you serve it, take it out and let it thaw completely.
If you stored it in the refrigerator, it should reach room temperature in thirty to forty minutes.
However, it can take longer to thaw if you took it out of the freezer.
We recommend thawing it overnight in the refrigerator. It allows the dish to thaw evenly, leaving no frozen bits.
Once it reaches room temperature, you can reheat the casserole in a pre-heated oven at 300 degrees for ten minutes.
It will be ready to serve. You can also reheat the casserole in a microwave oven if you prefer.
Benefits Of Making Corn Casserole Ahead Of Time And Freezing It
Making corn casserole ahead of time can free up valuable time for food prep and assembly during the holidays.
It’s also a good choice for easy heat-and-eat dinners on hectic days.
Hence, it’s a great idea to make this casserole ahead of time and freeze it for later.
If there are leftovers after baking and serving, you can store them in the refrigerator or freezer.
However, you must put the casserole in the refrigerator or freezer within two hours of preparation since it has perishable ingredients.
Leaving it out for too long will encourage bacteria growth.
Make sure to consume the refrigerated corn casserole in three to four days.
However, frozen corn casserole remains usable for much longer.
It will be safe for consumption for a month or longer, depending on how well you store it.