Creamed Corn is a crowd-pleasing side dish that feels a little more special than your usual corn on the cob, but is still easy to make. It’s delicious homemade comfort food, all made in 20 minutes!
What I love about corn is it’s always a reliable ingredient for pleasing everyone at the table. So many of our family favorite sides are corn-based, like my epic Cornbread Recipe or Corn and Avocado Bean Salad.
While we do love this easy side dish for a busy weeknight dinner, this is also a great recipe to dress up for any holiday table, but especially for Thanksgiving dinner.
This recipe is my basic homemade version of canned creamed corn, but I share ideas below for different ways to change it up.
If you’re used to having the canned stuff, tasting this made from scratch will blow your mind! Real butter, and quality milk and cream really make a difference. And there’s just enough creamy sauce here to satisfy, without being excessively heavy.
Why This Recipe Is So Great
Very simple, but still feels special – Corn is good enough on its own that most people usually just eat it plain, but jazzing it up here with a few extra ingredients creates a really delicious side dish.
20 minutes to make – This is truly a quick and easy recipe, and I’m always able to make it in 15 to 20 minutes.
Great flavor and creaminess – The natural sweetness and richness of dairy enhances the sweet corn beautifully, but without any crazy or distracting flavors. Shallot also gives a nice flavor base, and fresh thyme adds a fresh herby note.
Use fresh or frozen corn – In the summertime, this dish is excellent when you can cut fresh corn from the cob. You can even take it up a notch and grill the corn before cutting, to add a smoky flavor. However, most of the time I make this, I use frozen corn kernels straight from the bag for convenience. The choice is up to you, and you can choose to prioritize what you’d like here.
I want to note here that I do add some shallots, but not garlic. I like garlic, but I find it’s a little too strong here.
And while I prefer to use fresh thyme as the herb for this dish, other herbs that go well with corn are basil, chives, rosemary, dill, parsley, cilantro, and marjoram.
Step by Step Overview:
This homemade creamed corn recipe only takes 15 to 20 minutes to make, and it’s all done on the stovetop using simple ingredients. Let’s go through the process!
Soften the aromatics
In a large skillet or saucepan, combine butter, chopped shallots, a fresh bundle of thyme, and kosher salt:
I like to tie the thyme leaves together so they’re easy to take out later, but it’s not required.
Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the shallot softens.
Add flour to thicken
Add some all-purpose flour to the pan, which will help thicken the cream sauce:
Stir everything around and cook for 1 minute, until the shallot is coated in the flour and moistens into a paste:
Add the corn
Now add your whole corn kernels to the skillet:
I add the corn in a frozen state. There’s no need to thaw ahead of time.
You can also use fresh corn kernels here (cut them off the corn cobs using a sharp knife). If you use fresh, cut the following simmer time in half.
Add half and half (cream and milk)
Add some half-and-half to the pan.
I purchase actual half-and-half from the store, but of course, you can just combine heavy cream and whole milk if you have that on hand:
Simmer, but do not boil
Simmer the creamed corn on medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes:
The sauce will thicken up over this time period, and the corn will absorb some of the cream.
Remember, if you are using fresh corn, you only need to simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, which is plenty sufficient for thickening the dairy and cooking the corn kernels through.
Should you blend it?
Some people prefer to blend a little bit of the corn to change up the texture. Ultimately, this is personal preference.
I like having the whole kernels here, but you may also blend a little bit of the corn mixture with an immersion blender. Make sure not to overdo it.
Serve with extra thyme for garnish
Take another sprig of thyme and run your fingers down the stem to release a few leaves on top. This looks nice, and also gives an extra pop of flavor.
This is the perfect side dish for playing with different variations. Below are some of my favorite ways to switch it up.
- Garnish with crispy bacon (see How to Cook Bacon in the Oven for my favorite way to make big batches at one time).
- Add freshly ground black pepper or ground cayenne pepper to give it a spicy flavor. I recommend starting with 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne.
- Grate fresh parmesan cheese over the top.
Leftover creamed corn keeps beautifully! Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freezing is not ideal, because the dairy will inevitably curdle.
You may use either here, though of course fresh corn tastes better. I usually use frozen corn because it’s more convenient.
Try basil, chives, rosemary, dill, parsley, cilantro, and marjoram.
If you want to make this for a potluck, this is a great dish for holding in a slow cooker. The crock pot does a great job of keeping the corn mixture warm, especially if you’re traveling to someone else’s house. Only keep on low heat, and if it looks like it’s starting to dry out, add extra milk or heavy whipping cream.
More Corn Recipes and Side Dishes:
- 2 tbsp butter (salted or unsalted)
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots (about 2 small shallots)
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme (I tie with a string for easy removal later)
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 16 ounce bag frozen corn kernels (about 2.5 cups of corn kernels)*
- 1.5 cups half-and-half (or use 3/4 cup heavy cream + 3/4 cup milk)
- extra thyme leaves for garnish optional
- Heat a high sided skillet or saucepan over medium heat.
- Melt the butter, and add the shallots, thyme, and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, until softened.
- Add the flour, and stir for 1 minute until it coats all the shallots and turns into a paste.
- Add the corn kernels to the pan, and stir for 1 minute.
- Add the half and half, and bring to a simmer, taking care not to boil the creamed corn (the dairy can curdle). Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens and the corn is cooked through.
- Serve immediately in a dish, adding extra thyme leaves on top for garnish. Enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.