Breakfast Cornbread Casserole with Ham and Kale

The combination of ham and kale is traditional for a reason: it's so unbelievably good. But this satisfying casserole is easy to adapt to[ other greens and meat pairings, depending on what you have on hand: Try cooked sausage with frozen spinach or Andouille with frozen mustard greens.]

Total Time:
1 hr 25 min
10 min
15 min
1 hr

8 to 10 servings

  • Creamed corn:
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the baking dish
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Two 16-ounce bags frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 pound thick-sliced deli ham, diced
  • 5 ounces frozen kale (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • Cornbread topping:
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup shredded sharp yellow Cheddar
  • Hot sauce, for serving
  • Special equipment: a 2-quart oval baking dish

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart oval baking dish.

  • For the creamed corn: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the corn and cream, and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces in volume and bubbles rapidly, about 15 minutes. Transfer 2 cups of the corn mixture to a food processor, puree until smooth, then stir it back into the skillet. Fold in the ham and kale. Transfer the creamed corn to the prepared baking dish; set aside. Clean the food processor bowl.

  • For the cornbread topping: Pulse the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a food processor to combine. Add the butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the cream and 1/2 cup of the Cheddar, and pulse until the batter just comes together.

  • To assemble: Sprinkle the cornmeal batter over the creamed corn. (Don't worry if the corn isn't completely covered; the batter will puff and spread as it bakes.) Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar. Place the casserole on a baking sheet, and bake until the corn is bubbling and the crust is puffed and golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Serve with hot sauce.

  • Copyright 2014 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.

Blending Hot Liquids: When blending hot liquids, remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid; that prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times, then process on high speed until smooth.

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    This recipe is featured in:

    The Best Christmas Recipes