Spicy Southern Hot Corn

Every Thanksgiving my husband begs for this Spicy Southern Hot Corn! This sassy Southern-style recipe has been part of our holiday meal tradition for years and doubles as a side dish AND a dip. Get ready to rock those parties and potlucks and be sure to have the recipe handy – people will totally harass you for it!

Every Thanksgiving my husband begs for this Spicy Southern Hot Corn! This sassy Southern-style recipe has been part of our holiday meal tradition for years and doubles as a side dish AND a dip!

So… it’s super duper common for this dish to be served appetizer-style with a mountain of tortilla chips or a fresh fluffy baguette. If you search “Hot Corn” on Pinterest it’s literally ALL that comes up!

Don’t get me wrong, my husband and I will GLADLY inhale this dish with either delivery method but I’ve got to say, my favorite way to eat this spicy creamed corn is alongside a plateful of holiday sides and mains.

We typically make it with Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner and there’s something so magical about throwing caution to the wind and ignoring any semblance of food spacing on our plates. If I can push a little mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and stuffing into every bite of hot corn I’ve basically won at life. The creamy, spicy corn is at perfect harmony with the savory carbalicious stuffing, tart cranberry sauce, and buttery mashed potatoes. It’s even great on chicken and/or turkey too.

Everything. It’s great with everything!

Every Thanksgiving my husband begs for this Spicy Southern Hot Corn! This sassy Southern-style recipe has been part of our holiday meal tradition for years and doubles as a side dish AND a dip!

Ok seriously, just writing up this post has me dying to reheat the last cup of leftover hot corn. I made it early so I could snap some photos for this post, but I’m not allowed to eat another bite of of the creamy, spicy deliciousness because I promised it to Paul already.

Hmmm… Maybe I’ll eat it and then make it again tonight before he gets home tonight… YES!

Spicy southern hot corn for everyone!

Every Thanksgiving my husband begs for this Spicy Southern Hot Corn! This sassy Southern-style recipe has been part of our holiday meal tradition for years and doubles as a side dish AND a dip!

make-ahead + leftover tips

This spicy hot corn makes a fabulous make-ahead dish for the holidays (and the most EPIC leftovers of my life) so feel free to prep it the night before!

To reheat you have three options depending on oven/stovetop availability. I like to take the hot corn out of the fridge about 30-60 minutes ahead of time to thaw a little. This will help it cook up faster!

  1. Cover with foil (to prevent over-browning) or an oven-safe lid and bake at 350 F for approx. 20 minutes.
  2. Re-heat on the stove over low heat, covered. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  3. Microwave until hot and bubbly!

Spicy Southern Hot Corn

Whether you go the appetizer route or whip this up as an easy peasy side dish, this spicy southern hot corn is sure to rock your plate! Make it as spicy or as mild as your heart desires.

One Thanksgiving I made it so spicy that I’m pretty sure people started sweating and fanning their faces. It was totally worth it!

Spicy Southern Hot Corn
5 from 36 votes

Spicy Southern Hot Corn

This sassy Southern-style recipe has been part of our holiday meal tradition for years and doubles as a side dish AND a dip.

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Spicy Southern Hot Corn
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 206 kcal
Author Jenn Laughlin - peas and crayons


  • 3.5 cups corn (fresh, canned, or frozen)
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper diced
  • 2 fresh jalapeno peppers diced (seeds/veins removed)
  • 3-4 TBSP diced pickled jalapeno peppers plus extra to taste
  • 2.5 TBSP butter
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 tsp paprika (regular, not smoked)
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • hot sauce
  • extra cheese for topping
  • extra jalapeños for a fiery kick!
  • spicy green salsa see note below
  • cilantro or parsley for topping


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Thaw corn if using frozen.
  3. Chop all your veggies and set aside.
  4. For tender peppers, feel free to sauté your bell peppers and fresh jalapeño to soften.
  5. In a medium saucepan, combine butter and cream cheese.
  6. Heat burner to medium to melt, stirring often until smooth and creamy.

  7. Add your corn, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and pickled jalapeños.
  8. Season with paprika, salt, and pepper to taste.
  9. Stir in 1/2-3/4 cup of cheddar cheese and stir until fully melted.
  10. Pour into a casserole dish and top with remaining cheddar.
  11. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until hot and bubbly!

Recipe Notes

As written above this dish is quite mild in spice/heat. We like it spicy, so each time I taste before baking, then add 2-3 TBSP of HOT green salsa ( this brand is everything!) and some extra jalapeño. If you can handle the heat, totally follow suit! We love this dish as spicy as we can get it!

No bell peppers handy? Feel free to use canned Mexi-corn, which has diced bell peppers mixed in with the corn.

This makes a fabulous make-ahead dish for any occasion so feel free to prep it all the night before and bake when you're ready the next day! Simply cover with foil (to prevent over-browning) and bake away. Enjoy!

Recipe yields approx. 4 cups and 8 (1/2 cup) servings. Nutrition facts below are estimated with an online nutrition calculator. Simply adjust as needed based on toppings/extras! xo

Nutrition Facts
Spicy Southern Hot Corn
Amount Per Serving
Calories 206 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 39mg13%
Sodium 258mg11%
Potassium 215mg6%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 1020IU20%
Vitamin C 17.9mg22%
Calcium 119mg12%
Iron 0.6mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you get a chance to try this spicy southern hot corn, let me know! You can leave me a comment here (LOVE checking those daily!) or tag @PEASandCRAYONS on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creations. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

Every Thanksgiving my husband begs for this Spicy Southern Hot Corn! This sassy Southern-style recipe has been part of our holiday meal tradition for years and doubles as a side dish AND a dip!

Man this stuff is GOOD!

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Recipe Rating



    5 stars
    Made it for a family celebration dinner. What a winner. Everyone wanted the recipe.

  • Bev

    I absolutely love this recipe. I made it just as writen. Getting ready to make it again. Thanks so much.

    • I’m so thrilled you’re loving the hot corn, Bev! Thank you!

  • jamie vacaliuc

    5 stars
    Wow. I wasn’t so sure about this recipe, but I couldn’t resist what seemed to be a major comfort food.
    Five stars all the way! Warm, crunchy, salty and soft.
    Making this again and again.
    I did sauté the veg. Amazing.


    I just love this corn dish. I am from California and have been making it since the early 1980’s. Just of couple of things I do differently. I used canned diced hot green chili, usually Ortega brand. Just a little bit of cilantro.

  • Carolyn

    Jenn, your directions tell us to combine the butter and cream cheese in a medium saucepan. This is over some heat? How hot would you recommend the burner to be?
    Is the casserole dish used to bake this a 9 x 13?

    • Carolyn

      Now I see by your pictures the casserole dish is round and not a 9 x 13 dish.
      Could you please tell me how hot the burner should be to heat the butter and cream cheese? I’m not an experienced cook or baker. Sure would appreciate your advice.

      • Hi Carolyn! We make this so often I think I’ve used ever size/shape baking dish in my cabinet at this rate, lol! Start with the burner at medium (I’d say around a 6 on a regular 1-10 dial) for the butter and cream cheese and stir often until smooth and creamy.

  • Carrie

    5 stars
    I made this for Thanksgiving, it was a huge hit. The next day I went to eat it and tried it cold, to me and my house it actually tasted even better cold than hot. Will definitely be my go to corn dish, Thanks for sharing!

  • KC

    5 stars
    Served this tonight as a side dish. The whole family loved it!

  • Jillian

    If I use fresh corn on the cob, do I need to cook it first?

    • Hi Jillian! I’d sauté the kernels in the pan first to get them nice and tender.

  • Heidi

    5 stars
    Easy to make, delicious and my picky husband really liked it too.

  • Karen

    My husband hates melted cheese. Can I leave out the cheese?

    • It will be more of a spicy creamed corn but still tasty! Just adjust the seasoning to taste if needed you’re good to go.

  • Kristine

    5 stars
    I believe this recipe will be the ONLY way we will eat corn from now on! If I could give it 10 stars I would.

    • DAY = MADE! So stoked you enjoy dit Kristine – thanks!

  • Kathy M Crothers

    Loved this recipe! Sweet yet a great spicy bite to it. I made this as the recipe lists but wonder if anyone has tried using vegan butter, cream cheese and cheddar, and, if so, is it as good and what vegan brands would be best suggested.

  • Chris

    5 stars

  • Kayce f

    5 stars
    I’ve become famous in my family/friend gatherings for bringing this.MAKE IT!!! It’s soooo good. I do cook down the pepper and jalapeño and this makes it more enjoyable for kids and my picky husband. Super yummy. Thank you for sharing this recipe!!

    • Ahhhh yesssss! Love it! Thanks Kayce 🙂

  • Theresa Cannon

    5 stars
    I tweaked this a little and used my candied jalapeno peppers and it is delicious!!!

  • Laurie Warford

    5 stars
    Love Love Love!!! Going to be part of our Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners!!! Thanks Jenn!!! And Hey from Texas!!!

    • Yay! So excited you’re loving the recipe, Laurie! Loooooove me some TX, I’m so jealous! My husband is there right now and I wish I was too!

  • Stephanie G

    5 stars
    Made this for the first time for a work Thanksgiving pot luck and the whole tray was gone! I didn’t have extra cheese for the top and I only used 2 jalapenos but I’d do a 3rd fresh one next time. Made it a day early so all the flavors marinated together. YUM. Will keep this on my list!

  • Terri

    5 stars
    This was amazing!!! I thought I had made it too spicy for the non heat eaters, but they loved it too! My friend and I agreed we could eat it by the bucketful, can’t wait to make it again!!

  • Kristin

    5 stars
    Cheesiness, sweetness, and a little heat all packed into the perfect must-have side. This one is hit for any Southern-style BBQ.

    • SO stoked you enjoyed it Kristin – thanks!

  • Ryan Pusins

    5 stars
    Stop what you are doing and make this! Jenn’s hot corn has just the right amount of kick, perfectly complimenting a wide variety of meals. Definitely worth your time.

    • Thanks Ryan! It always vanishes super fast!

  • care

    Started to make this as I have so much corn but just realized I have no cream cheese. I am going to try to substitute greek yogurt instead. Crossing my fingers!!

  • Yolanda Quimby

    It’s recipes like this featuring my O So fav sweet corn, that make me hope Monsanto doesn’t own all of the free corn in this country!!! I Opt for N-GMO Organic! But, there are times when the flesh is weak and the corn is sooo sweet and I fall prey to the dreaded enticer!!!

    • They don’t for sure — I’ve been able to get frozen organic corn in FL pretty easily! <3 Hope you get a chance to try the recipe Yolanda! xoxo

  • Tracy

    Do you think this would work as a freezer meal? I prep everything before we go camping and was thinking I could make this then freeze. Then thaw and bake on a campfire?

    • Hi Tracy! I haven’t had the opportunity to test it yet. Because of the dairy content the texture may change when frozen and reheated, but the dish does refrigerate and reheat like a dream!

  • Dawn van Wesenbeeck

    5 stars
    Okay, I didn’t completely follow this recipe because I was making a side for black bean quesadillas and was originally looking for a Mexican corn recipe. I changed out the paprika for cumin, added “Mexican cream cheese” for plain cream cheese and “Mexican cheese blend instead of the cheddar. But it was awesome!! Easy swap outs for non-chefs like me. Thanks so much!!

  • catherine

    5 stars
    Leftovers? are you kidding? I have to quadruple this recipe when I make this for guests. We are vegan so I do some substituting and always add the relish Also, I use jarred roasted red peppers in place of the fresh peppers. Thank you for this recipe!

  • Nicole

    5 stars
    This was delicious. It’s similar to something else I make. The only extra thing I added was 1 bunch of chopped green onions.

  • Jeanne

    5 stars
    Well. I took this to Christmas dinner. Was looking forward to taking home the leftovers of this, but they were claimed by the other guests because this is SO GOOD. Huge hit with everyone. But how can you go wrong with butter, cream cheese, and…more cheese?

  • Jess

    5 stars
    This was amazing. Made it for a family get together -everyone went crazy. Made it for a work Thanksgiving party – it was completely gone. Made it for Thanksgiving, and now everyone is requesting it for Christmas.

    I’ve made it with the cheese and without the cheddar – and both are equally good!

  • Becca

    This looks awesome. I need to make this for about 15 people. Should I just double it? Also, how would you cook this in the crock pot?

    • Woot! So excited you’ll be making it Becca. You’ll simply double the recipe and be good to go!

      For the slow cooker – spray the inside of the pot with olive oil or rub with butter to prevent sticking. Add everything but the cheddar cheese and cook on low for 1-2 hours (I’m going to test it this weekend to get a feel for exact timing but this is typical timing for cream cheese based dips). Once all your veggies are tender and the sauce is hot and melty, add the cheddar cheese and stir it all up! You can sprinkle some extra on top if desired for a cheesy casserole effect. The stove-top method is still going to be the quickest option but if you want to toss it all in the crock-pot and then just leave it on warm for guests to help themselves – that works great too!

      • Becca

        Thank you so much!!!

  • Deborah Bunting

    5 stars
    I made this yesterday and brought it to our Thanksgiving dinner, and it was a big hit!! Everyone loved it and of course asked me for the recipe. I can’t wait to make this again at our next gathering!!

    • So crazy stoked to hear it Deborah! We are already contemplating making round 2 this week haha!

  • Saadia

    Would mozzarella cheese work in this in lieu of cheddar?

    • The flavors will be a wee bit different as mozzarella is a more mild tasting cheese but the texture will still be spot on! xo

  • 5 stars
    Your cheesy creamy corn is so appealing that I just want to make it ASAP xD Corn has been my staple for years, gonna put this recipe in my week meal plan 😉
    – Natalie

  • Kaye W

    Love your blog! Your recipes are wonderful; thank you for sharing.

  • 5 stars
    Wow. RESPECT. That’s the best corn dish I’ve ever made, thank you! I used jarred roasted red bell pepper instead of fresh because my red bell was used the night before. Besides that did everything the same, although a tablespoon or two of bacon fat might have been involved — it was sitting around so why not. Oh, I added a diced onion too. Man oh man, so good, thank you.

  • Calli

    Would this be a good side dish for a fish fry?

  • Wanda

    5 stars
    I made this for Father’s Day family gathering. It was a huge hit! Served it with Scoops.

    FYI – I used frozen corn

  • Sarah-Eve V.

    5 stars
    I made this dish the other for a potluck party. It was the best thing ever! I’m now know as the corn dip lady haha!

  • Ramona Ham

    5 stars
    This sounds like just the ticket for my son to enjoy while watching the BIG game! (He loves anything super-duper hot so I can up the jalapenos and maybe even use a few habaneros.)

  • Shauna

    5 stars
    This corn dip is one of my go-to recipes when I have a potluck to attend (along with a few of your other recipes). The ingredient list is short, but the flavor is to die for! People think I’m crazy when they see me spoon out a huge serving as soon as I sat the bowl down, but it is always the first dish emptied so if I don’t do it then I might miss out. My toddler even requested this as a side at her birthday party recently so I served it up with some tortilla chips. It has just the right amount of spice as written, in my opinion. I love that I can rely on your recipes turning out perfectly every time! Thank you!

  • Shelly Hussey

    5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight and it was awesome! Definitely making again and sharing with my family and friends.

  • 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing the recipe, I’ve been looking for a good alternative to corn bread but yet still corn. This looks amazing.

  • Andrea sanchez

    When do you ADd THe hot sauce in? or is it just to drizzle on top?

    • Hey Andrea! You can mix it in with the other ingredients or drizzle on top, whichever you prefer! 🙂 Hope you love the recipe!

      • Diana

        5 stars
        Do i cover to bake in the oven??

        • If you plan on baking any longer than 20 minutes I for sure would! When I do a short bake I don’t, but sometime I’ll leave it in longer until we need the dish and then I for sure cover it to prevent it from over-browning on top <3 Hope this helps Diana and that you adore the recipe!

  • Caitlyn Miller

    5 stars
    Hi Jenn!




    • Hey Caitlyn! So happy to hear y’all are loving it – this is one of our favorite recipes this time of year and we do the same by making extras so we have leftovers! If everyone takes a nice scoop it’s going to feed 6 people a serving each, so I’d say go all out and quadruple the recipe so you have enough for everyone and a little to squirrel away for the next day. Hope y’all have an amazing Thanksgiving! 🙂

  • 5 stars
    Wow! I’ll definitely give this recipe a 5 star. It really looks like delicious. The sweetness of corn with spices on it is absolutely a one of a kind food. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  • Yummm! Great recipe. I love that all of the ingredients are currently in my pantry. Thanks!

  • 5 stars
    After reading this recipe I want to try, because it looks very tasty …

  • Jeff

    I’m just brainstorming… I was looking for a side dish for some fish tacos I was going to try to make while camping, this might be good, but the lack of an oven is a deal breaker. Best I can do is a big lodge dutch oven over fire. I’m wondering if I could use your exact recipe, except add some flour and a couple eggs to make fritters and fry them in oil in the dutch oven over the fire… hmmmm…

    • Hey Jeff! This would be a fun camping recipe for sure! Dutch oven over the fire or even a good ole cast iron skillet would do the trick – The only reason I pop it in the oven is to keep it warm for company and melt the extra sprinkle of cheese on top so you can for sure tweak it for over the fire 🙂 As for the fritters, I’m not sure on measurements and such to transform them into fritters but that sounds like a super fun way to use up leftover hot corn! Happy camping!

  • Tom

    this looks great! could I use a crock-pot method

    • Hi Tom, thanks! You absolutely could. It wont take much time at all so totally forego the typical 4-6 hour instructions many crockpot recipes give. I feel like this bad boy would be done much sooner and you wouldn’t want the dairy to scorch or curdle. Also, add the grated cheese at the end.

      Let me know how it goes! <3

  • Jada Caniford

    5 stars
    SWeet and spicy. Will make again

  • Debbie

    HI, how spicy does this come out? I would like to make it for my young family, but they do not do spice – yet… I was wondering how much to reduce the spice so theres flavor, but no spice? Any ideas???

    • Hi Debbie! It for sure has a little kick to it (nothing insane but young palates would notice it) so you would want to leave out both the pickled and the fresh jalapeños here. Instead use some extra minced bell pepper (red bell pepper is the sweetest) if you’d like and you’re good to go! 🙂

  • Natalie

    Does it freeze well? How long in freezer or fridge

    • Hi Natalie! It’s so quick to make that I haven’t attempted freezing it yet. Because of the dairy content the texture may change when frozen and reheated, but the dish will keep for 4 days in the fridge and tastes great the next day!

  • Beth

    I bet black beans would be great in the dip!

    • Beth that sounds like an amazing addition! Almost like a hot + melty southwestern salsa 🙂

  • Diane

    5 stars
    Great dish. Flexible enough for spiciness and heat.

  • Eve

    5 stars
    Delicious. I made exactly as it was written and I would not change a thing. Thank you!

  • Nikki

    This looks delicious! Could it be made in the crock pot?

    • Absolutely! My guess would be low heat for about 2 hours? This is a great one for the game this weekend! <3 Hope you adore it!

  • Simi

    Do you combine the cream cheese and butter in a saucepan over the flame? Or off the flame

    • Hey Simi! I added them once the pan was hot. Butter first, then the cream cheese, both while the pan is over heat.

  • Macy

    Can you combine everything the night before and bake in the morning?

    • Absolutely Macy! I’ll add a note in the recipe – this is one of my favorite make-ahead dishes and tastes great the next day!

  • Lori

    This looks so delicious! I don’t have time to order the salsa. Can I just add additional Jalapeno or some chopped green chilies? Thank you in advance for your reply.

    • Thanks Lori! You can absolutely add more jalapeño, no worries! I’ve run out and done that and it’s still super tasty. 🙂

  • Love a creamy and delicious dish that doubles as a side dish and also a dip for an appetizer. This is a recipe we need to add to our holiday routine. Sharing, of course!

  • Jess Wright @ The Cookbook Obsession

    This looks like a dish my Aunt makes for all our get together’s. We simply call it “The Corn”. This looks like a BETTER version 🙂 I can’t wait to try it and maybe have a little family corn showdown lol!

    • “The Corn” <-- LOVE IT! A corn showdown sounds like my kind of fun! 🙂 Hope y'all have a marvelous Thanksgiving, Jess!

  • This looks so stunning and addicting and crowd pleasing. I have been trying to think of something new to bring to the in-law Thanksgiving pot luck….I know they would all love this.

    • Thank you Annie! <3 I'm so excited to make this again in a few days -- hope y'all get a chance to try it! Happy Early Thanksgiving!

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