Nov 07, 2023
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Creamed corn is a classic Thanksgiving side dish and easy to make with a frozen bag of sweet corn. But it’s also great as a summer BBQ side when fresh corn is in season. Just simmer the corn in a rich and creamy sauce, then season with the right amount of herbs and spices. It’s quick to make and as delicious as can be!
Creamed corn is a classic undisputed side dish. And it’s one of my personal favorites for Thanksgiving or Christmas, alongside these creamy mashed potatoes or candied yams. It’s sweet and creamy bite always reminds me of simple comfort food at home.
Store-bought and canned versions of creamed corn tend to be a bit bland and watered down, but this simple homemade version with sweet corn is buttery, rich, and slightly chunky. Just as it should be!
Then, when summer BBQ season hits, you can make this recipe with fresh in-season corn for a smashing BBQ side dish! It’s right up there next to grilled corn on the cob or a fresh corn salad as a family favorite corn recipe.
Creamed Corn Ingredients
- Fresh or frozen corn: For Thanksgiving or Christmas, I always opt for bags of frozen sweet corn. But in the summer you can use fresh corn on the cob.
- A thick and creamy base: A mixture of whole milk, heavy cream, unsalted butter, and some flour is the prime combination for the creamiest texture. Gluten-free flours work as well! If you’re looking for substitutions, I’ve got ideas in the recipe card notes.
- These add extra flavor: Sautéed shallot, cayenne pepper, and dried thyme give this a subtle yet delicious flavor boost. For more flavor variations, head to the flavor section in this post.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
How To Make Creamed Corn
Dissolve the flour. Whisk the flour and milk together in a small bowl, then set aside.
Saute the shallot. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Saute the shallot in the melted butter for one minute, until softened.
Mix it together. Add the corn, cream, and thyme to the skillet. Stir for 4 to 5 minutes, until the corn has plumped up. Then add the milk mixture and stir for another 3 to 4 minute, until the sauce has slightly thickened.
Blend some corn. Take 1 to 2 cups of the creamed corn and blend it in a blender or food processor, until smooth. Alternatively, you could use a stick blender and spot blend a few times. This not only thickens the creamed corn, but also enhances the corn flavor while making the sauce a vibrant yellow!
Season and serve. Add the blended corn back to the skillet and stir together. Season the creamed corn with cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. If you’d like it extra creamy, stir in some freshly grated parmesan! Then serve it up warm. You could even add chopped parsley or green onion on top for a pop of fresh green!
- Bacon & Cheese: Cook bacon bits first, then and add diced red onion and garlic and stir together. Add the corn and dashes of paprika, salt, and black pepper, and stir. Add heavy cream and milk, and stir until creamy. Top with diced green onions.
- Cajun Corn: Follow this recipe as is, but instead of using cayenne pepper and thyme, use half a teaspoon of Cajun seasoning or more, depending on how much flavor you want.
- Coconut Lime: Sauté shallot, fresh garlic, and red Thai chilies. Then add the corn and stir together. Add coconut cream and a squeeze of fresh lime juice to taste. Stir it all together until it’s nice and creamy. Top with freshly chopped cilantro.
- To store for the week: I doubt there will be any leftovers! If there are, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
- To freeze for later: If you want to enjoy this a month later, you can freeze it! Let it cool completely before storing it in a freezer-safe container. It will last for up to 3 months in the freezer.
More Holiday Side Dishes
- Honey Glazed Carrots: The ultimate carrot side dish for the holidays.
- Roasted Acorn Squash: A savory twist with parmesan herb goodness.
- Sweet Potato Casserole: The nutty pecan crumble topping is unmatched.
- Balsamic Bacon Brussels Sprouts: The best way to serve sprouts this season!
- Or these other delicious Thanksgiving side dishes!
I hope you love this creamed corn recipe! If you make it, I’d love to know your thoughts on this recipe in the comment box below. Your review will help other readers in the community.
Perfect Creamed Corn
- Mini Food Processor This is great for sauces and blending small quantities!
- 1 tablespoon flour (arrowroot powder, cornstarch, or other flour)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons finely diced shallot
- 5 cups (about two 12-ounce bags) frozen sweet corn, thawed
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Optional: freshly grated parmesan
- Dissolve the flour. Whisk the flour and milk together in a small bowl, then set aside.
- Saute the shallot. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Saute the shallot in the melted butter for one minute, until softened.
- Mix it together. Add the corn, cream, and thyme to the skillet. Stir for 4 to 5 minutes, until the corn has plumped up. Then add the milk mixture and stir for another 3 to 4 minute, until the sauce has slightly thickened.
- Blend some corn. Take 1 to 2 cups of the creamed corn and blend it in a blender or food processor, until smooth. Alternatively, you could use a stick blender and spot blend a few times. Add the blended corn back to the skillet and stir together. Optional: If you'd like it extra creamy, stir in ¼ cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Season and serve. Season the creamed corn with cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper, stir it again, then serve warm.
- While some people add sugar to creamed corn, I don’t think it’s necessary if you buy frozen sweet corn. It’s naturally sweet! But, you can always add a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup if you prefer a sweeter flavor profile.
- You can substitute 2 cups of half-and-half for the heavy cream and milk. If you’re dairy-free you can swap in your milk of choice and coconut cream.
- If you save rendered bacon grease (as I always do!) you can use that as an alternative to the butter, to impart a slight bacon-y flavor. You can of course add bacon crumbles to the creamed corn as well, for even more bacon flavor.
- If you prefer a chunkier creamed corn, blend only one cup in step 4. If you like a smoother creamed corn, blend 2 cups. Keep in mind that the blended corn plus the parmesan (if you use it) will thicken this recipe up, so it shouldn’t be super thick in step 3. But if at the end you find that the recipe is a bit too thick for your liking, you can always thin it down again with a little bit more cream or milk.
- If you’re gluten-free, keep in mind that many brands of canned creamed corn you’ll find at the market are not gluten-free, which is one more reason to make it at home (and because it just tastes better).
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