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!

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

8 votes


Spicy Southern Hot Corn




Yield 6 servings

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


  • 3 + 1/2 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, extra to taste
  • 2 + 1/2 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. Stir 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!


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! Enjoy!

Recipe yields approx. 4 cups.

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!

Feel free to prep it a day in advance and bake the following day for an easy peasy side dish (or appetizer!) that’s ready to rock your plate!

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  • Ramona Ham

    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

    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

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

  • 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

        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

    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! 🙂

  • 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!

  • 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

    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

    Great dish. Flexible enough for spiciness and heat.

  • Eve

    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!