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Lightened Up Healthy Corn Casserole

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I am definitely making this healthy corn casserole for the Fourth of July:

homemade corn casserole

It’s like traditional corn casserole, but without the cream, lard, and day’s-worth of saturated fat.

Many years ago, at a 4th of July barbecue, a neighbor brought a dish called “Aunt Linda’s Corn Casserole,” and everyone went crazy for it. As it turned out, there was a reason we loved the recipe so much: How can a recipe not taste good when it basically consists of eggs, sugar, corn muffin mix, and a whole lot of butter? The challenge is making a recipe taste good without these ingredients!

A few weeks ago, while going through old papers, I came across a scribbled sheet with “Aunt Linda’s Corn Casserole” and decided it had been much too long since I’d eaten that deliciously deconstructed cornbread mess. To make the homemade corn casserole recipe healthier, I pretty much changed every single ingredient until it looked nothing like the original… but incredibly, this healthy corn casserole tastes just as good!

healthy corn casserole

Lightened Up Vegan Corn Casserole


  • 1/2 cup fine cornmeal (85g) (whole-grain or regular)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Sweetener of choice – Amount will depend on your tastes, as well as the types of milk and yogurt you’re using. Use your favorite sweetener: maple syrup, stevia, agave, sugar, etc.
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh, frozen, or canned corn (drained if canned) (300g)
  • 2/3 cup silken-firm tofu (Mori-Nu brand) (160g) or yogurt of choice (such as Wholesoy)
  • optional: 2 tbsp coconut oil or Earth Balance, for a buttery flavor

In a medium pot, combine first 4 ingredients (and corn, if using raw) and heat on low-medium. Whisk periodically to prevent lumps. When desired thickness is reached, add all other ingredients and stir to combine, then take off the heat immediately. (If using Mori-Nu silken-firm tofu, blend it with 3 tbsp water before adding to the other ingredients.) I didn’t bake, since this is a summer casserole. But if you don’t happen to live in an area with scorching summers, feel free to experiment with baking the dish.

View Vegan Corn Casserole Nutrition Facts

corn casserole

Did you know that corn isn’t really a vegetable?

Technically, it’s a grain. But we eat corn like a vegetable, and it has ten times more Vitamin A than other grains, so we call it a vegetable. The USDA still considers sweet corn (not cornmeal) to count towards your 5-a-day fruits and veggie servings.

Link of the Day:

breakfast polenta

Breakfast Polenta for One

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. I didn’t know it wasn’t a vegetable, but that makes sense!

  2. Funny how we Americans call potatoes & corn vegetables when, as you point out are really starches, or in corns case, a starch that is also a grain. I a big fan of both (although I’d like my corn to be non-GMO, please!).

    I love that adapted the recipe to the point that it, “looked nothing like the original,” lol. I do that ALL the time with recipes when I’m veganizing & taking out the gluten & oils. But the “spirit” of the dish is there :). Looks delish, Katie.

  3. Meki says:

    This reminds me of our afternoon snack here in Philippines. It’s sticky rice with corn – it’s sweet and so delicious!

  4. Karen says:

    This sounds great! Can yogurt typically be subbed for tofu? I wasn’t aware of that one.

    1. I can only vouch for it in this particular recipe because I tried it both ways… knowing people would ask for a sub ;).

      1. Doesn’t the yogurt make it kind of…tart?

      2. I guess it depends on the brand. Definitely make sure you like the taste of the particular yogurt first, if using that option. My first choice would be the tofu, but I used Wholesoy for the yogurt option and didn’t taste any tartness.

      3. I think all opt for the tofu too. :) Thanks!

  5. I am SO excited to try this recipe! I absolutely love your healthy desserts, but also love when you post healthy main/side dishes. Thank you, thank you for making this healthy (and easily GF)!

    And, yes, I do know corn is not a vegetable. My mom preached that it’s a starch to us when we were growing up. I was disappointed, as it is kids’ favorite veg.

  6. Elisa says:

    I wonder – would chickpeas work instead of the tofu? That sounds like heaven to me! :)

    1. Hmmm that’s an interesting thought! If you try it let me know!

      1. Gale says:

        I have substituted successfully scrambled tofu with scrambled chickpeas: mixed equal quantity of chickpeas flour and water, fried. I would try that for this recipe. Thanks for the recipe, Katie. I love quick, easy and delicious recipes:)

  7. Saraquill says:

    You know what would be great to try for this recipe? Perhaps using corn broth to really run with the theme. The recipe can be found in the “Vegan Soul Kitchen” cookbook and is essentially making a yellow tea from corn cobs. It has a mildly savory flavor and smells like fish soup.

    That’s what I’ll try when I get around to making this.

  8. I LOVE Corn Casserole but can never make it because of the high calorie count – this is perfect!

  9. Moe Purple says:

    Uh yum! I’m definantly trying this.

  10. Corn casserole is by far my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner at my grandma’s house. I think I might try adding chopped red peppers and celery and then topping it with a little cheese and then baking it to make it more like my grandma’s. Thanks for the great idea of using tofu! Maybe I can sneakily sub this for my grandma’s not so healthy version this year. 😛 What they don’t know won’t hurt them right?

  11. Sarah says:

    We make an amazing cornbread casserole at Thanksgiving but it’s so so so so unhealthy. I’ve always been interested in finding one that tastes as good but better for you! :) Thanks Katie!

  12. Elizabeth says:

    Hi there,

    Perhaps I’m missing something, but I see no where in the instructions to actually heat the first bit of ingredients- just to combine them in a medium pot. Is this correct?

    Thanks :)

    1. Yikes, you’re right! Thanks for letting me know. I edited my post :).

  13. Destinie says:

    YUMM!!! Must try… and great idea. :)

  14. that sounds so delicious! i love fresh sweet corn at this time of year! thanks for sharing!

  15. Kara says:

    I had no idea!! Thanks for the recipe, it sounds delicious!

  16. yummy! I literally love corn everything, so this makes me happy :)

  17. Peggy says:

    Can you tell me the difference in the shelf tofu and the fresh? I thought I could just use the type-silken, firm, ect.

    1. Liz says:

      Mori Nu is shelf-stable and you can find it not in the refrigerator section. Also I think it has no weird tofu aftertaste.

  18. 91% Chocolate Lover says:

    I’ve never heard of this, but I love cornbread. Just curious, how much sweetener did you use?

  19. ~Nilu~ says:

    I’ve heard of corn casserole but did not try one. I don’t know if its supposed to taste sweet or tangy.. Could you please tell us what sweetener did you use and how much? Thanks!

  20. This looks delicious as usual Katie!
    Thanks for sharing x

  21. Stefanie says:

    Throw some black beans in there and call it a meal. :)

  22. I’ve never had corn casserole…but I definitely am a fan of corn! Especially in the summer…its SO sweet! I definitely want to try this out !

  23. This looks great! I love that you have taken such a popular dish and lightened it up! Thanks :)

    Check out my latest recipe @

  24. BroccoliHut says:

    Yep, corn is more of a starch than a veggie, which is why we count it as a grain in the diabetic exchange system!
    Starch or vegetable it’s darn delicious!

    1. Liz says:

      Agree with this! :)

  25. Brin says:

    Can I have a waffle recipe? And preferably blueberry please with vegan cool whip on top? 😉

  26. I love corn so much! This looks so delicious, and I love that it is already gluten free! Perfect addition to a BBQ or taco night!

  27. It’s actually one of my pet peeves that my mom always serves corn as a vegetable! I think of it as a grain, so having it alongside a baked potato always seems redundant :)

  28. Catherine says:

    This looks soooo good :) Now I have a dinner recipe for tomorrow!

  29. I just discovered your blog and I must say I am already addicted!!

  30. Liz says:

    Hi Katie,

    I made this just now for dinner, and it is a fantastic recipe. I used the tofu version, and it gave the pudding (I’m calling it pudding) a delightful custard taste and texture. My kids asked me for seconds.

    I felt like supermom :).

  31. Hazyy says:

    Wow I didin’t know!
    It happens the same with tomato, it’s a fruit (well, that’s a popular fact anyways)

    It looks really yummy. I bought cornmeal yesterday and I was how to cook it, I will have to wait until I can get tofu again though (is not very popular in Chile, hard to find :( )

  32. I can just imagine this being nice and creamy. The recipe sounds kind of similar to polenta + broth and actual corn pieces. Since my family loves polenta I’m sure this would be a hit ^^

  33. Sarahishealthy says:

    This was really good! I made it for dinner last night, and I just had another serving for breakfast this morning! :)

  34. That looks really good! I bet my fiance would gobble that all up!

  35. Mich says:

    I can’t wait to try this at my barbeque tonight! I’m making a couple alterations–a more savory rather than sweet casserole. Hopefully it turns out as delicious as yours. :)

  36. Jessica says:

    That is the cutest bowl. Just sayin’ :)

  37. BB says:

    New favorite recipe right here!

    We all agreed that this was BETTER than traditional corn casserole. Yes, BETTER. It wasn’t as heavy, or as overly sweet. It was the perfect side dish to our sauteed spinach and vegan “meat” loaf we made from Ohsheglows blog. If you haven’t checked out that blog, it’s really great. My other favorite besides CCK.

    To summarize: make this now. You won’t regret it!

    1. Anonymous says:

      I’ve never heard of corn casserole, but I LOVE cornbread and polenta and your review has made this a MUST TRY for me. OhSheGlows IS and awesome site too, I totally agree. The 5 minute avocado pasta sauce is INCREDIBLE :)

      1. Laura says:

        It was a hit with my family too!
        The veggie loaf sounds good. I’ll have to remember that for next time I make this casserole. And there will be a next time ;).

      2. Lia says:

        To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t gonna try this when I first read the recipe. It just didn’t sound like something I’d like. But then I saw the comment from BB and so I figured Hey why not?
        I am so glad I did! How glad? Well, I made it two days ago and the entire recipe is already gone!

  38. Oh sounds wonderful!!! I think I’ll give this a go, but I may add some fresh jalapeno in it!! I love my corn with a kick!! Have a great weekend!

  39. No, I did not know that corn was a grain, not a vegetable. My world has been officially rocked.

  40. Katie, this sounds amazing! I am going to print this one out to keep for certain. I grew up being told that corn was a starch and I couldn’t serve it alone without another veggie on the plate. 😀 My mom had old-fashioned ideas, like calling fiber “roughage,” but I guess she was ahead of herself here. lol

    I love what you say about of course a recipe tastes good with all of those awful ingredients in it! When I was trying to learn to cook healthfully, people used to rave about such and such’s cooking in our little church. I used to snort to myself that ANYbody could be a good cook with butter, milk, sugar, and such. It took a REAL talent to cook healthfully and taste good enough that nobody could complain! 😀

    Keep up the marvelous work! You are an inspiration. :)

  41. Dr. Rebekah says:

    But….corn is getting dangerous (until it is truthfully labeled whether gmo or not), and saturated fats are GOOD! Don’t discount the fats and the calories…many chronic diseases are due to low fat diets.

  42. That’s an interesting fact about corn not being a vegetable..who knew! Great recipe…

  43. Kim says:

    You are my hero!! This is a favorite dish in my family, but the Paula Deen version is a big no-no! Thank you so much!! I can’t wait for your book!!
    PS – I pretty much make at least one thing from your blog every day!

  44. I agree with the previous comment and what you said about cooking with butter and other animal products. One of the best feelings in the world is making something vegan and healthy that skeptical friends and family actually like. Even better if they don’t ask what’s in it until their done eating. Thanks for sharing a yummy looking makeover of a traditional dish!

  45. Moni Meals says:

    This is really great Katie! I have a similar recipe to this as well.
    It’s always a hit too!
    you’re right, perfect for the fourth :-)

  46. Laura says:

    This was dinner tonight :)
    I served it up southern style, with Bush’s vegetarian baked beans and nice big salads, and it was the perfect summer meal. Even my picky kids loved it!

  47. Another amazing recipe! You’re such a genius Katie!!

  48. Hi Katie,
    I’m sorry this comment won’t have anything to do with this recipe- it looks fantastic though, I’ll have to try it out!

    However, my comment is about the chocolate peanut butter fudge. I just tried it out and it was heavenly, although next time I’ll be using less banana and more peanut butter. I was wondering how healthy is coconut butter though? I was trying to do research on its nutrition and some people talk about its special uses like how it can help metabolism, how the fat is actually good fat, but I was told by my mom about how coconut can be very unhealthy because of all of the saturated fat it has, which is a lot according to the nutrition information label on my jar. Any insight on coconut butter?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Dr. Rebekah says:

      Tropical traditions is an AWESOME resource for coconut oil facts…they sell coconut cream concentrate which is the same thing as the coconut butter I believe.

      Saturated fat is HEALTHY! Get the current research. Email me if questions :)

  49. Gabrielle says:

    OH my gosh this looks heavenly. May be one of my favorite foods – but always so unhealthy. You’re a golden corn goddess!

    Like Pocahontas!


  50. Lachelle says:

    You do so awesome with recipes! I am amazed. I have been trying to find an oatmeal square recipe (like the oatmeal squares Corazonas make–chocolate chip is my favorite, of course). I was wondering if you had something like it (that I am not finding) or if you could try to make some (you are so talented). They are “healthy oat squares” but I would like to try to make them at home with out the preservatives.

  51. Maggie says:

    Can’t wait to try! How much sweetener did you use?

    1. Abby says:

      I used 2 tbsp maple syrup for the tofu version, and it came out perfect. So much less sugar than my grandma’s old recipe. I compared them!

  52. I have always eaten healthier than my SO’s. My husband is great. because he is the cook in the family and will prepare meals to my tastebuds. Then if he needs greasy, comfort food, he just eats it for lunch or when we eat out. Works for us!

  53. I really enjoy your blog. I’ve tried many things and loved them. This looks like another winner! Thanks and have a great day!

  54. Tracie Meier says:

    Hi loving the blog, you make my life easier by already converting ingredient for me. My husband doesn’t eat wheat, dairy or sugar so it is so hard to find treats. I have such a sweet tooth! Thank you!! I did make a recipe today and thought of you. You may already have a recipe like this but I thought I’d share. This was found on pinterest on a blog pennies from heaven, I didn’t make it up.

    Avocado Chocolate Pudding
    Prep Time: 2 minutes

    Total Time: 5 minutes

    Yield: 2-3 servings

    Serving Size: 1/2 cup

    2 ripe medium avocados, peeled and chopped
    1/3 cup cocoa powder
    1/4 cup honey or raw agave nectar (or other sweetener of choice)
    1/2 cup milk (regular or almond milk, coconut, etc.)
    1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Blend all ingredients, until smooth, in a blender, food processor or using a hand held mixer. Serve immediately, or chill first.

    Source: Adapted from my dear friend at Forgiving Martha

  55. Tara Deal says:

    This looks like a delicious Thanksgiving recipe!! I can’t wait to try it!

  56. Alex says:

    This was delicious, thanks.
    I loved it, but I’m into healthy eating. But my husband and teenaged son who are NOT into healthy eating also loved it too!

  57. Abby says:

    Just made this and it came out perfect! I used 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and I made the tofu version. I actually got out my grandma’s old recipe to compare, and this one used so much less sugar and fat and I didn’t miss it one bit :).

  58. Elizabeth says:

    Just curious, about how much (in cups) is a serving?

  59. Stephanie W says:

    I couldn’t wait to make this as corn casserole is one of my favorite things! I made the yogurt version, added some green chiles, then baked it at 375 for about 40 min…the texture was perfect!

  60. Therese says:

    S’wonderful! I doubled the recipe, added baking powder, used a whole 12 oz block of firm sprouted tofu, threw it in the vita mix, stirred in frozen corn and baked it at 400 for half an hour. Absolutely fabulous, sort of quiche/cornbread hybrid, you’d swear it was made with eggs. Gooey in the middle, golden brown crispy chewy on the edges. This is like the refrain from a cheesy old cartoon, but: “Gee thanks, you saved us again Chocolate Covered Katy…” Until next time, stay tuned for the amazing adventures of CCK!

  61. Another delicious creation – I’m featuring this in today’s Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and I always love dropping by to see what you’ve created…

  62. Anonymous says:

    Hi Katie!

    What is “silken-firm” tofu? I have heard of silken tofu and firm tofu but not both together.

    1. Search google images for “mori nu” and you’ll see it :)

  63. Christy says:

    just made this for lunch! very good :)

  64. Rachel Ramey says:

    This looks delicious! I was just wondering if you might be willing to post the original you adapted this from. I know you wouldn’t cook it that way, but then we could see how far it’s come!

  65. Alexia says:

    I just made this and i baked it. It was great!

  66. trajayjay says:

    It is kind of weird. I mean, there’s popcorn, cornmeal, and cornstarch which are all grains. Then there’s corn syrup, which is well, sugar. But I guess because just plain old corn has a large % of water, unlike oats, quinoa, or flour, it seems more like a veg. But I do think that corn could be classified as a grain. There are more carbs in corn than most veggies.

  67. Jo says:

    I have made corn casserole the “easy” way with vegan corn bread mix, canned cream corn (Golden Corn, Water, Sugar, Modified Corn Starch, Salt.), and almond milk. No need to add additional sweeteners, it rises, is very moist and could NOT BE EASIER. Trader Joes Cornbread mix (Enriched unbleached flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin and folic acid), sugar, enriched cornmeal (yellow degermed ground corn, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin and folic acid)

  68. Amanda says:

    Hi Katie – did you use tofu or yogurt when testing this recipe? Or did you test it with both options? Did you have a preference of one over the other?


  69. sarah says:

    Katie! I made this last night and it was FANTASTIC! I wasn’t a fan of it uncooked, but popped in the oven at 375 for an hour made it an awesome consistency. Unfortunately, our fresh corn is not very flavorful here yet, so I added some mustard powder, garlic powder, a chopped up onion and some sliced yellow squash. Everyone loved it! The onion in it really gave it a great flavor. There is no way anyone could tell there was tofu in this… it was thick and creamy as though it was filled with butter, heavy cream, and flour! Thank you for this recipe!!!!

  70. Isabel says:

    Hi Katie.

    I recently found your website and love it! I recently found out I have gluten allergies, and so now I am exploring other recipes :)
    I live in Denmark, so some of the procedures are a little different for me. When you say 1/2 cup go broth, what exactly do you mean? Do toy make it yourself, or do you resolve those cubes in water?

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      Either is fine.