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Nantucket Corn Pudding

Nantucket Corn Pudding - A creamy corn casserole topped with a buttery, cheesy cracker crust. Perfect Thanksgiving side dish.

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Nantucket Corn Pudding is a traditional recipe that was popular with the original colonial inhabitants of New England – and today, it’s a classic side dish still served at many Thanksgiving dinners around the United States.

There are so many different recipes for corn pudding – and most modern day versions (like today’s Nantucket Corn Pudding) use whole corn kernels, rather than a porridge made with ground corn or corn meal. Back in the 17th century, the savory corn meal porridge was called ‘Hasty Pudding, and the sweet corn meal porridge was called ‘Indian Pudding.’

Nantucket Corn Pudding - A creamy corn casserole topped with a buttery, cheesy cracker crust. Perfect Thanksgiving side dish.

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We found this Nantucket Corn Pudding recipe in this cookbook – and my husband Jack and I absolutely loved the golden and savory, buttery cracker and cheddar topping that was piled high on the creamy, flavorful corn pudding.

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Nantucket Corn Pudding - A creamy corn casserole topped with a buttery, cheesy cracker crust. Perfect Thanksgiving side dish.

If you can find it, this Nantucket Corn Pudding is best with fresh whole corn kernels cut off the cob. But fresh corn isn’t often readily available during the Fall season, so a good quality drained canned sweet corn is a good alternative. (Frozen corn kernels may also be used, but we’ve found that the texture of frozen corn tends to be a little rubbery, so we’d highly recommend using canned as the best alternative to fresh corn.)

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Nantucket Corn Pudding - A Family Feast

Nantucket Corn Pudding


  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings

Description

Note: The original Nantucket Corn Pudding recipe calls for ‘pilot crackers’, ‘hard tack’ or oyster crackers. We’re fairly certain pilot crackers and hard tack (a simple flour and water biscuit) aren’t available at the supermarket, so oyster crackers are what we used. (They worked great in this recipe!)


Ingredients

  • 8-10 ears fresh corn on the cob, or 5 cups canned corn, drained
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup half and half
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • Few grinds fresh nutmeg
  • ¾ cup crushed oyster crackers, divided (crush the crackers, then measure). Also see note above
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter, divided
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Paprika

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut corn from cob if using fresh corn and scrape right down to the cob saving the liquid that scrapes off with the corn kernels. You should have about 5 cups. Set aside. (Alternately, drain 5 cups of canned corn.)
  3. Butter a 9” round or square 9 X 2 ½“ deep casserole dish.
  4. In a large bowl beat eggs, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  5. Add corn, ½ cup of the cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
  7. Sprinkle all of the cheese over the top.
  8. Mix the remaining cracker crumbs with the remaining butter and sprinkle over the top.
  9. Dust with a little paprika.
  10. Bake 45-50 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. The edges will be crispy and the center a bit loose.
  11. Serve immediately.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.


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Nantucket Corn Pudding - A creamy corn casserole topped with a buttery, cheesy cracker crust. Perfect Thanksgiving side dish.

 

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  1. Just to be clear, I measure out 3/4 cup oyster crackers and then I crush those crackers. I’ll add 1/2 of that (roughly 1/4 cup of the post-crushed crackers into the dish and add the roughly 1/4 cup on top. Is that correct or was the 3/4 cup what they measured out to after they were crushed? Thanks

    • Hi Anne – Great question! We went back to our notes and it is 3/4 cup crushed (so you’ll probably start out with about 1 cup uncrushed) – I will update the wording in the recipe right now to clarify. Thank you for asking! We hope you enjoy the recipe.

  2. Could panko breadcrumbs be subbed for the oyster crackers? (Trying to use what’s already in the pantry).

  3. Would the dish still be good if made in advance then reheated the day of?

    • Emmi,this is Jack. I just replied to Beverly with my recommendation on this. See below.
      “I would say you could prepare all of the wet ingredients ahead in a bowl and refrigerate. Also prepare the topping ahead and refrigerate as well as shredding the cheese ahead and refrigerating. The the day of, butter the casserole dish, add the crushed crackers to the egg mixture and pour it in the casserole dish, sprinkle on the cheese and cover with the topping and bake. Good luck.”

  4. Do you think I could assemble this the day before, then bake it the next day?

    • Beverly, this is Jack. I would say you could prepare all of the wet ingredients ahead in a bowl and refrigerate. Also prepare the topping ahead and refrigerate as well as shredding the cheese ahead and refrigerating. The the day of, butter the casserole dish, add the crushed crackers to the egg mixture and pour it in the casserole dish, sprinkle on the cheese and cover with the topping and bake. Good luck.

  5. I know you said making ahead is not a good idea. However, we are traveling to NYC from NJ (1-1.5 hours). My parents house is a shhh show and bringing anything that needs to be cooked is guaranteed to not be served! Could I make it the day of and put in a hot/cold bag and drive that hour or so? It is make ahead but not by much as we have no plans to arrive early so my husband doesn’t have to deal with me getting angry at everyone.

    • Hi Angela! Sure – you can make it (a little) ahead and transport it. The crackers will probably absorb some of the liquid but it will still be delicious. I hope you have a nice holiday! 🙂

  6. Hi – Looking to see about making this for a crowd. Would you just double everything or any adjustments? Looks great! Thanks!

    • Hi Lauren – Sorry for the delay in responding. Sure – you can double the recipe. The baking time might be a little longer for a larger dish but otherwise, just double everything. Enjoy!

  7. This was a crowd pleaser for Thanksgiving 2016!! We have no leftovers!

  8. Hard tack is a thick cracker about the size of a graham cracker. You can find it in your store sold by Wasa.

  9. I definitely want to try this. I noticed the recipe did not include an option for frozen corn (which is what I mostly keep around). Is this an option (thawed, of course)? If so, how large a package?

  10. This is very good. Taking one to Easter and kept one for the hubs and me. It’s so good.

  11. Virginia Moore :

    I don’t have oyster crackers, how would saltine crackers or Ritz crackers work? I think the Ritz crackers would change the flavor, just not sure if the saltine crackers would be an okay substitute. Thank you.

  12. Do you cook the corn on the cob first?

  13. This corn pudding looks amazing! I absolutely LOVE corn, and we always have it on the table for holidays. Always on the look out for new corn recipes. YUM!

  14. Hi there! I’m going to make this for tommorrows dinner. I have only the options of preparing today and cooking tommorow, or cooking today and reheating tommorow. .which would be the lesser of two evils? Thanks

    • Hi Ann – I would prep today and bake tomorrow. But bring hold off on sprinkling the remaining cracker crumbs (step 7) until you are ready to bake it tomorrow. (Also bring it closer to room temperature before baking.) Hope that helps!

      • What are your thoughts on converting this to a crock pot option? What changes would you make to accommodate crock pot instead of oven?? Time etc

        • Hi Sara – I personally wouldn’t make this in the slow cooker. The texture corn and the crumb topping won’t be the same. If you insist, I’d cook it for as little time as possible in the slow cooker so the corn doesn’t get rubbery.

  15. look’s like a good recipe to try

  16. Hello! Are you able to make this in the crockpot?

    • Hi Emily -I personally wouldn’t make this in the slow cooker. The texture corn and the crumb topping won’t be the same. If you insist, I’d cook it for as little time as possible in the slow cooker so the corn doesn’t get rubbery.

  17. hi. Ive seen all of the recommendations for cooking ahead, but as I am the only one cooking for thanksgiving.. can I cook ahead without the topping and then pop it back in later in the day for the crispy topping for a shorter amount of time, obviously?

  18. Could this recipe be made in a slow cooker?

    • Hi Ashlea-I personally wouldn’t make this in the slow cooker. The texture of the corn and the crumb topping won’t be the same. If you insist, I’d cook it for as little time as possible in the slow cooker so the corn doesn’t get rubbery.

  19. Any ideas on how to make this gluten free?

  20. I stupidly did not pay attention to how much this recipe would serve when I chose to make the for my family thanks giving today. I had planned to make it in a 9×13 casserole dish. I’m not great at increasing recipes. Would you have suggestions on how I should adjust this yoummy looking dish?

    • Hi Angela – Doubling the ingredients should be the right amount for a 9×13-inch casserole. The baking time will probably be a little longer so plan accordingly. Enjoy!

  21. no time to use fresh corn-can you use frozen corn or does it need to be canned if not using off kob?

  22. Can this be made ahead of time and warmed up

  23. Instead of oyster crackers I used Ritz crackers. The sweet corn with a sweet cracker made this dish a tradition in my home!
    Oh and I did get called crazy from my mother lol but I paid $4.99 for 4 small ears of corn. It is November here in Boston and to be honest I didn’t even think I would find it. I wanted it to be extra special for our Thanksgiving!!! Enjoy everyone

  24. I know people have asked about making a freezing but can you make and bake the morning of and then warm later when ready to eat?

    • Hi Michelle – I’m sorry I didn’t see your question sooner! (I’m sure you’ve made it by now.) While we think it tastes best freshly baked, you can reheat it.

  25. Love this recipe! I used fire crackers for a little heat and it was a big hit. Will make this again!

  26. I would like add canned crab meat to this recipe to make it a seafood side. Do you think the crab would get overcooked and rubbery from the long baking time? Crab meat is expensive.

    • Great idea Christine! And a great question – we’ve never tried adding crab meat to this recipe so I can’t speak from experience. We have a hot crab dip recipe on our site that bakes for 30 minutes and I know from that the crab meat doesn’t get rubbery. With all of the other ingredients around the crab meat, I’m not sure you’d need to worry about 15 extra minutes. If you try it, please let us know how it comes out!

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