Creamy confetti corn with bacon

Backyard grilling weather is here! Looking for the best barbecue side dish on the planet? This creamy confetti corn with bacon from Cooking Classy might just be it!

Get ready for fresh-off-the-cob corn kernels, sweet pepper and red onion sautéed in bacon fat (this is a winner already), all draped in a mouthwatering cream cheese sauce and topped with bacon bits, green onions and fresh cilantro. What’s not to love? One taste, and you’ll want to make confetti corn every week.

The best recipes start with the best ingredients, of course. Fresh corn is hands-down the tastiest corn, and well worth the trip to the farmers market. (While down there, pick up a red pepper, onion and some fresh cilantro, too.) Bacon is also a star ingredient in our confetti corn recipe — half a pound of it! Choose your favorite kind, but be sure it has that signature smoky aroma and flavor.

Ready to cook? Fry up the bacon in a large skillet until it it has just become crisp. Don’t overcook it, or you’ll have hard, burned-flavor bacon bits in your salad. Remember: Bacon continues to cook after you take it off of the heat. Transfer it to a paper-lined plate while you cook the rest of the dish.

In the same skillet with a little of the rendered bacon fat, cook the corn, pepper and onion until they’re tender. Season with salt and pepper. You can add a dash or two of cayenne pepper for a little heat, or some chipotle powder for more.

This is where the confetti corn gets really good. Stir in the cream cheese and melt it into the hot corn mixture. Add milk a tablespoon at a time to adjust the creaminess to your liking. (Keep in mind that the cream cheese sauce will thicken a bit once you take it off the heat.)

Toss in the tasty bacon bits, green onions and cilantro. Now you’ve got yourself a party of a dish. Serve it while it’s hot!

Quick tip: You don’t have to wait for sweet corn season to dig into this delish side. Just swap in some frozen and thawed sweet corn kernels. Skip the canned corn, though, which usually pales in comparison to fresh or frozen.

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Fry chopped bacon in pan

Creamy confetti corn with bacon sliding chopped bacon into frying pan from a cutting board


Cook bacon until crispy
Creamy confetti corn with bacon fried bacon in a frying pan

Transfer fried bacon to a plate

Creamy confetti corn with bacon transferring fried bacon to a paper towel covered plate


Sautee corn, and add red bell pepper

Sautee corn, and add red bell pepper


Add red onion to pan

Add red onion to pan


Stir cream cheese and then milk into corn mixture

Stir cream cheese and then milk into corn mixture


Reincorporate bacon crumbles into corn mixture

Reincorporate bacon crumbles into corn mixture


Top plated dish with more bacon goodness

Top plated dish with more bacon goodness


Add parsley to plated dish for a pop of color

Add parsley to confetti corn for a pop of color


There’s a gorgeous contrast of colors and textures

Gorgeous contrast of colors


Makes a stunning side dish

Makes a stunning side dish


It’s a great way to dress up any BBQ or dinner party!

Way to dress up any bbq or dinner part


Everyone will want seconds.

Everyone will want seconds


Creamy confetti corn with bacon

Yield 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 slices (8 ounces) bacon, diced into small pieces
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 7 ears), cut from cobs, divided into fourths
  • 2/3 cup small red bell pepper, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces cubed cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup milk, plus extra if needed
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. In large skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving about 1 tablespoon fat in skillet.
  2. Transfer bacon to plate lined with paper towels.
  3. To hot skillet, add corn, bell pepper and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for about 6 minutes or until pepper and onion are tender.
  4. Stir in cream cheese and milk. Cook until cheese has melted. Add more milk 1 tablespoon at a time to thin as needed.
  5. Transfer corn to serving bowl and top with remaining bacon, green onions and cilantro.  
  6. Serve warm.

Courses Side dish