Creamed corn is a classic comfort food side dish that can be served year-round, or during the holidays. Rich, silky, sweet and delicious.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like a helping of creamed corn with a meal. I always make sure to have some on the table for the holidays or Thanksgiving, but I’ve been known to make a batch all throughout the year.
What Kind Of Corn Should I Use?
Creamed corn is a step above just having corn on the cob, but it’s just as easy. In fact, this dish takes all but 20 minutes from start to finish when pulling it together.
The best part is, you can use fresh, canned, or frozen corn kernels for this!
- If you’re using frozen corn make sure to defrost it before you make this recipe. You’ll need about a pound of the frozen corn (16 oz.) to make up the 3 cups called for in the recipe.
- If using canned corn, drain it well before using. After draining, there’s about 1 and 1/2 cups of corn in a 15 ounce can, so you’ll need 2 cans for the 3 cups called for in the recipe.
- If using fresh corn on the cob, you have to cook the corn before taking it off the cobs and adding it to the recipe. The easiest way to cook it quickly is to microwave the corn on the cob. You’ll need about 3-4 cobs of cooked corn to make up the 3 cups called for in this recipe.
What Type Of Cream To Use
The recipe below calls for heavy cream. If you’d prefer to not use heavy cream, you can instead use half-and-half or whole milk. The only thing to note is that sometimes dairy with a lower fat content can curdle if boiled. So, once you add your milk in, bring it up to a simmer and then immediately turn it down to the low.
You can use canned evaporated milk instead of the cream in this recipe. The full-fat version will taste best, but I’ve also made it with the fat-free version and it was good. Note that because it has a sweeter flavor, you should omit the sugar from the recipe if using evaporated milk.
For a non-dairy alternative, your best bet here is oat milk. And your best bet among oat milks is to use a barista-style one. These are readily available at grocery stores and they have a texture that’s similar to cream. On the assumption that if you’re choosing a non-dairy milk you also want non-dairy in the rest of the recipe, I’ll let you know here that you can use cooking oil instead of butter in the recipe, whatever your general preference is will work fine but I’d opt for something with no real flavor, like vegetable oil or grape seed oil.
How To Make Creamed Corn
This creamed corn recipe is so simple. I like starting with some onion and butter in a skillet. Sauteed onion adds the perfect flavor to the final dish. Then add in the corn, sugar, salt, and pepper. I know what you’re thinking – sugar?! It’s only a little bit. And why yes, corn is sweet but the 1/2 teaspoon of sugar really helps give the dish that extra-specialness that it needs. The salt and pepper balance it out perfectly.
Then, you’ll essentially be making a roux in the skillet (a roux is the basis for making gravy and many other sauces, like classic Béchamel and cheese sauce too), by adding some flour and mixing it in.
Then, in goes the heavy cream. After that, you’re simmering to thicken it up, and then it’s ready to serve! I know you’re going to fall in love with this classically simple recipe.
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days. Mine always gets eaten up well before that though!
Make-Ahead Creamed Corn
Creamed corn is a great choice for a make-ahead side dish for Thanksgiving or other special dinners. It’s perfect for these dinners because you can make it as described below and then keep it warm in a slow cooker or Instant Pot set to Warm/Keep Warm.
If you want to make it ahead of time, make it as instructed and then put it into a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Then you can reheat it in the microwave for 45 seconds at a time until heated through. Or, heat it in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat while stirring frequently. Finally, you can heat it in the slow cooker on low for 1 hour or in the Instant Pot using the Sauté function on low, stirring frequently.
I’ve kept the seasonings simple in my creamed corn to let the corn flavor be the star, but feel free to make it your own. Stir in some freshly grated Parmesan cheese at the end or top it with crumbled bacon. Want some spice? Add in some cayenne pepper or diced jalapenos to give your corn a kick.
More Corn Recipes
If you like creamed corn, you’re going to LOVE the other corn-based recipes that I’m linking to here.
- Cheesy Jiffy Corn Casserole
- Simple Corn Salad
- Creamy Spicy Corn Salad
- Black Bean and Corn Salsa
- Microwaved Corn on the Cob
- How To Make Grits
And, for more delicious side dish inspiration, check out all of my side dish recipes over here.
Podcast Episode: Making Creamed Corn
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make this creamed corn, along with some other great tips, by clicking the play button below:Print
Creamed corn is a classic comfort food side dish that can be served year-round, or during the holidays. Rich, silky, sweet, and delicious.
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 cups corn*
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 3 Tbsp. flour
- 1 cup heavy cream**
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low. Stir in the corn, sugar, salt, and pepper.
- Sprinkle everything with the flour and stir. While stirring, drizzle in the cream.
- Increase heat to medium. Bring the mixture to a boil, still stirring frequently. Immediately turn the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, 2-3 minutes.
*You can use fresh, frozen, or canned corn. For fresh, you’ll need 3-4 cobs of corn, cooked and cut from the cob. For frozen, you’ll need about 16 ounces (1 pound), thawed. For canned, you’ll need two 15 ounce cans, drained.
**Instead of heavy cream you can use half-and-half or whole milk or a mixture of both. Canned evaporated milk also works well in this recipe. However, it has a sweeter flavor and so omit the sugar from the recipe.
This post originally appeared in November 2019 and was revised and republished in November 2022.