The creamiest creamed corn made with fresh or frozen corn is a comforting side dish that goes from summer barbecues to the Thanksgiving table.
creamed corn is the ultimate comfort food
Proving once again that it’s often the simplest foods that have the biggest impact. What other side dish do you know of that is equally at home on the Thanksgiving table as it is next to your barbecued ribs? It gets a gold star for versatility.
what is creamed corn?
Creamed corn is a triple dairy + cozy carbs side dish that literally everyone loves. This recipe uses cream cheese, cream, and butter to make a thick luxurious sauce for fresh or frozen corn kernels. It can be made on the stove top or slow cooker.
ingredients for creamed corn
- corn kernels
- You can use fresh or frozen, but I suspect you will use frozen most times of the year. Frozen corn is already blanched, so it’s ready to use. If I use fresh corn kernels I briefly microwave them to lightly steam and tenderize them.
- cream cheese
- Don’t let this throw you, you won’t taste it as ‘cheese’, but it creates the perfect creamy base for the sauce. Use brick style, full fat cream cheese for best results.
- You can use half and half to cut calories.
- salt and pepper
- So many classic casseroles make use of this secret ingredient ~ it’s wonderful! You can substitute paprika.
what kind of corn is best for creamed corn?
FRESH: I can’t lie, fresh is best. If you’re making this in high summer, there’s nothing like it. 3 medium ears will yield the equivalent of a 10-ounce package of frozen corn so you’d need up to 12 ears for a casserole.
FROZEN: Frozen corn varies in quality and I recommend going for the premium brands. Some brands, like Birds Eye, sell smaller packages meant for microwaving and they tend to be very good. Just be sure to avoid any pre-sauced varieties.
WHITE OR YELLOW CORN? There’s hardly any difference between the two, so go for what you can get. Yellow corn contains a bit more beta carotene, which is what makes it yellow, but otherwise, they’re pretty much identical.
to make creamed corn in the slow cooker
The slow cooker is ideal for creamed corn because you can set it and forget it. Allow about 4-6 hours on low. I give it a stir once or twice, which is normally a no-no for slow cooking, but it’s fine in this case because you’re basically just heating everything up.
- Load everything in the slow cooker. Be sure your cream cheese and butter is broken up into small pieces.
- Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours, or low for 4-6 hours.
- Open the crock pot and stir well.
- Keep warm until ready to serve.
to make ahead
You can do this ahead. Make it and let it cool completely. Then pop it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Gently reheat on the stove top over medium low heat, adding more cream or milk to thin the sauce.
Let cool completely and then package in freezer containers or heavy duty zip lock freezer bags.
to make non dairy (vegan) low fat cream style corn
A simpler version of creamed corn, sometimes called cream style corn, can be made without dairy or any added fat. You will need fresh corn on the cob for this version. First slice the kernels off the cobs. Then scrape a knife down the cobs to release the ‘milk’ and any remaining pulp. Cook the corn until tender in a saucepan, or in the microwave. Add a little water as needed.
more recipes using corn
- Jalapeño Corn Chowder
- Sweet Corn and Watermelon Salad
- Creamy Sweet Corn Salad
- Sweet Corn Fritters
- Corn and Cucumber Salad
- Mexican Street Corn Salad
- If you are using fresh off the cob corn kernels you will need to par-cook the kernels briefly first. I do this in a large bowl in the microwave. Add a splash of water and cover the bowl. Microwave on high for 5-6 minutes, stirring once or twice during cooking. Drain and proceed with the recipe.If you are using frozen corn, you can use from frozen, or leave on the counter to thaw first. Frozen corn has already been flash cooked.
- Put everything into a Dutch oven or large skillet and set over medium heat.
- Stir often as the sauce melts. If you are using frozen corn this will take quite a bit longer.
- Once the corn is hot and the sauce is creamy, cook gently until you are sure everything is hot throughout. Add more cream (or milk) if you would like a looser sauce. Taste to adjust the salt and nutmeg.
- Serve hot, with fresh cracked black pepper and fresh thyme or basil as a garnish.
- Leftovers can be reheated gently on the stove. Add more cream (or milk) to thin the sauce.
- minced jalapeños
- crumbled bacon
- diced ham
- minced onion