Deliciously creamy, rich, and ready in just fifteen minutes, this creamed corn recipe is about to become a staple side dish all year long.
Just a quick search for “corn” on my blog will convince you that I love the stuff. And I love to find different ways to transform corn kernels into amazing dishes. So, if you’re like me, you’re going to love this better-than-canned cream corn that’s packed full of flavor and makes an easy side dish that’s easy on the wallet too. I’ve used canned corn for this recipe and, trust me, it tastes just as good (maybe better!) than fresh.
An easy creamed corn is traditionally made with whole sweetcorn and the milky liquid made from corn residue when it’s removed from the cob. It’s believed to have originated in Native American cuisine but is now a staple side in the USA – particularly in the Southern states. These simple ingredients are also a popular addition to holiday tables, especially around Thanksgiving.
Creamed Corn Ingredients
- Corn: I prefer to use canned or frozen corn for this recipe to save time. Just make sure to thaw/drain the corn before using. You can also use fresh, though that will extend the make time because it needs to be cooked through.
- Sugar: White sugar works best for this recipe to bring out the corn’s sweetness.
- Butter: I prefer unsalted butter – it means you can control 100% of the salt in the dish, but lightly salted also works.
- Heavy Cream: Or double cream, as it’s sometimes known. Anything lighter and you might need an additional thickener so your dish isn’t watery.
- Milk: Whole milk works best, but you can also use a plant-based alternative.
- Flour: Use all-purpose, plain, or cornflour. The flour acts as a thickener, so these are the best options. If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, you can use a gluten-free alternative, like rice flour or ordinary GF flour.
- Salt and Pepper, to season to taste
- Optional: If you want variations to the traditional recipe, you can add extra spices to give homemade creamed corn more flavor. I recommend using cumin, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, or paprika for more heat, or sprinkling parmesan cheese or parsley for color and taste.
How to Make Creamed Corn
If you’re using fresh corn, shuck the corn and remove the kernels from the cob. If you’re using frozen corn, thaw and remove any excess moisture. If using canned, make sure to drain the can well before using it.
Mix the flour and milk together and whisk well so there are no lumps. I find this works so much better than adding all the ingredients together – it’ll stop your creamed corn from getting lumpy as you cook it.
In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Then, add the corn kernels, sugar, salt, pepper, and cream. If you’re using any extra spices, you can add these too. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally so the corn doesn’t stick or burn at the bottom.
Add the milk-flour mixture into the skillet and lower the heat. Continue to cook the creamed corn, stirring constantly until the sauce has thickened and the corn is cooked through. It should take about 4-5 minutes. If it’s a little dry, add more cream one tablespoon at a time until it’s creamy again.
Remove from the heat. If you want, garnish the corn mixture with fresh parsley and extra black pepper. Serve hot.
Chef’s Tip: If you’ve got leftovers, they will do remarkably well frozen. Just make sure your corn has cooled down completely before transferring to a freezer-safe bag or airtight container. Thaw completely when you want to use it again and reheat it in a skillet or the microwave – the flavor is still excellent!
What Goes with Creamed Corn
- Creamed corn is an easy addition to any weekday dinner table – try serving it up with staples like meatloaf, bacon, roast chicken, short ribs, or pork chops.
- Pair with other popular sides. I find it works best with other “creamier” sides like mashed potato or creamed spinach.
- Try with other BBQ staples during the summer months like pasta salad, chicken sandwiches, potato salad, or coleslaw.
- Creamed corn is also a great compliment to veggies with a more powerful flavor – think sauteed mushrooms, asparagus, green beans, pickled onions, or baked beans.
If you’ve got leftovers, you can even use them in other dishes. Try these leftovers:
- Baked into a corn casserole,
- Added to creamy soups or chowders,
- Add to a corn dip,
- Mix into pies,
- Add to quiches and frittatas,
- Stir into creamy pasta sauces for extra veggies,
- Use it to make cornbread muffins or corn muffins – it’ll keep them deliciously moist and keep a delicious flavor too.
Top Tips For a Smooth and Lump-Free Creamed Corn
- If you want to make the best creamed corn recipe out of the Thanksgiving season, fresh corn will give you the sweetest results. Corn is in peak season from June to September and this is a great dish to make if you’re looking to diversify your summer corn recipes.
- Pre-mixing the flour and milk will give your creamed corn a flawless texture – smooth, rich, and creamy with no lumps.
- Creamed corn is a versatile dish and a great carrier for other flavors – especially herbs and spices. Experiment with what’s in your pantry and easily adjust to your tastes. Some great corn complements include cilantro, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, chives, chili powder, and smoked paprika.
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If you try this corn recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
Easy Creamed Corn Recipe
- 24 oz corn 4 cups, canned or frozen
- 1 cup heavy cream (double cream)
- 1/2 cup milk OR use 1.5 cups half and half in place of the cream and milk
- 1 oz sugar 2 Tbsp; white sugar works best
- 1 oz butter 2 Tbsp; dairy or dairy-free; unsalted or lightly salted (adjust extra salt accordingly)
- 0.6 oz flour 2 Tbsp
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Mix together the flour and milk. Whisk well until it forms a smooth, thick consistency and there are no lumps.
- If you're using fresh corn, shuck from the cob. If you're using frozen, allow it to thaw completely and remove any excess moisture. If you're using canned corn, drain well and pat away any excess moisture.
- In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Then, add the corn kernels, sugar, salt, pepper, and cream. If you’re using any extra spices, you can add them too. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the milk-flour mixture into the skillet and lower the heat. Continue to cook the creamed corn, stirring constantly until the sauce has thickened and the corn is cooked through. It should take about 4-5 minutes. If it's a little dry, add more cream one tablespoon at a time until it’s creamy again.
- Remove from the heat. If you want, garnish with fresh parsley and extra black pepper. Serve hot.
- Fridge: If you have leftovers, allow them to cool completely and transfer to an airtight container. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Freezer: Transfer the cooled creamed corn to a freezer-safe bag or container. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat: Gently reheat the corn on the stovetop (or in the microwave), adding an extra splash of water or cream if needed to bring it to my desired consistency.
- Season to taste: Without enough salt, this cream-style corn recipe will taste flat. However, tastebuds vary, so season to taste.
- For even creamier creamed corn: Use an immersion blender or regular blender to partially puree some of the corn, based on the consistency you’re looking for.
- Cream cheese: To use alongside or instead of the cream.
- Thyme OR cumin: Just a pinch to add a dimension of flavor.
- Garlic: Use fresh or powdered garlic, adjusting the amount to taste.
- Onion or Shallots: One medium onion or two smaller shallots, pan-fried for 3-4 minutes (or until softened) before adding the corn to the pan.
- Bell pepper: Sauteed bell peppers are a popular addition to Southern creamed corn.
- Jalapeño: To increase the spiciness, make jalapeño cream corn with some finely minced (de-seeded) jalapeño.
- Spinach: Add some spinach into the skillet right at the end, stirring it until wilted.
- Vegan creamed corn: Use vegan butter and a vegan cream or make a roux with all-purpose flour and dairy-free milk.