This homemade creamed corn recipe is a delicious and easy-to-make side dish perfect for any holiday or weeknight meal. Made with fresh or frozen corn kernels and packed with sweet, creamy, buttery flavors, this homemade creamed corn will become a staple in your home.
Creamed corn is one of my favorite side dishes and is on heavy rotation in our home year-round. Fresh or frozen corn kernels are combined with cream, milk, butter, brown sugar, and spices to create an incredibly satisfying and comforting side dish.
I'll be honest, we ate the canned stuff when I was growing up and I found out later in life that it doesn't even compare to the deliciousness that is homemade cream corn! For more tasty side dishes, check out our Southern Squash Casserole and Soul Food Candied Yams recipes next!
What Is Creamed Corn?
Creamed corn, or cream corn, is a side dish typically made with corn kernels combined with cream and/or milk along with flour (as a thickener) and other ingredients like butter, sugar, and spices. The result is a flavorful thick and creamy corn mixture that makes an excellent accompaniment to just about any main dish.
I love to make cream corn during the summer months when fresh corn on the cob is plentiful, but I also make it year-round with frozen corn and it's just as delicious! Creamed corn is one of my favorite summer cookout, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas side dishes!
Important Ingredient Notes
A complete list of ingredients with measurements along with detailed recipe instructions can be found in the recipe card located at the bottom of this post.
- Corn. You will need 4 cups of corn kernels for this recipe. Feel free to use fresh, frozen, or canned corn kernels. Be sure to scrape the cob with the dull side of your knife to get that delicious "milk" if using fresh corn and drain the liquid if using canned corn.
- Heavy cream. Heavy whipping cream adds serious richness and creaminess to the corn. I recommend heavy whipping cream for the best texture.
- Brown sugar. I add a couple of tablespoons of light brown sugar to my creamed corn to highlight the natural sweetness of the corn and add a subtle caramel-like note that is so dang good! Feel free to use regular granulated sugar or to omit the sugar altogether.
- Cajun seasoning. I use my homemade Cajun seasoning for this recipe and it adds the perfect amount of kick without being overly spicy! Start with a tablespoon and add another if you'd like a little more heat. Store-bought Cajun seasoning also works great. Slap Ya Mama is one of my favorites!
- Slurry. Flour is combined with milk to create a slurry, a thickener made of starch combined with liquid, for the corn to give it sturdiness and added creaminess. I use whole milk but low-fat milk also works great. I do not recommend plant-based milk such as almond or soy for this recipe.
- Parmesan cheese. I like to add some grated parmesan once the creamed corn is done cooking for a tasty cheesy and salty bite. This is an optional ingredient but I highly recommend trying it!
How to Make Homemade Creamed Corn
Making homemade creamed corn is incredibly easy and requires only a few simple steps!
- Cook the onion and garlic. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the onion until it softens then add the garlic.
- Add the corn and cream. Add the corn, heavy cream, sugar, and spices to the pan and cook for a few minutes until the mixture is creamy.
- Add the slurry. Whisk the flour into the milk until no lumps remain then pour the slurry into the pan with the corn. Cook the corn for about 5 minutes until is hot and thick.
- Stir in the cheese. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in your parmesan cheese. Serve warm!
Variations and Substitutions
This homemade creamed corn is so flavorful and comforting on its own but feel free to try some of these fun additions to kick things up a notch!
- Add bell peppers for some crunch
- Thrown in chopped jalapenos for more heat
- Add chopped bacon or ham for some meaty flavor
- Swap out the parmesan for cheddar, queso fresco, or pepper jack
- Add some fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley, or thyme
Frequently Asked Questions
Honestly, either fresh or frozen corn work great for creamed corn. I do like to use fresh corn when possible because you get to add the delicious "milk" from the corn cob. When fresh corn isn't in season, frozen or even canned corn are excellent options for creamed corn.
Creamed corn needs a slurry, or a mixture of starch and liquid, added to thicken it. You may use cornstarch or flour combined with milk, water, or broth. Mix the starch into the liquid with a fork until it has dissolved, add it to creamed corn, and cook for several minutes until your cream corn thickens.
Not at all! Corn contains a good amount of naturally occurring sugars and has a sweet flavor on its own. While additional sugar is not required to give creamed corn a sweet flavor, I like to add a small amount to really highlight the natural sweetness of the corn. Whether or not you add sugar to your creamed corn is completely up to you!
What to Serve With Creamed Corn
Homemade creamed corn is a super versatile side dish that pairs well with a number of entrees. Serve creamed corn with some of these dishes for a delicious and comforting meal:
- Hot Honey Chicken Thighs
- New Orleans BBQ Shrimp
- Southern Fried Catfish
- One Pan Apple Cider Chicken
- Southern Homemade Chicken and Dumplings
- Pork Chops with Apples
- Best Oven Baked BBQ Chicken
- Southern Salmon Croquettes
- Southern Smothered Chicken
- Easy Brown Sugar Glazed Chicken
- Easy Cajun Salmon
- Oven Fried Catfish
- Cajun Smothered Chicken Breasts
- Maple Glazed Salmon
Make-Ahead and Storing Instructions
Creamed corn is an excellent make-ahead side dish and can be made a day or two in advance and heated in the microwave or on the stovetop when ready to serve. You can also reheat creamed corn covered in a casserole dish in the oven while you prepare other dishes.
Leftover creamed corn can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If making this in advance, be sure to count those storage days!
More Irresistible Side Dishes You Will Love!
- Southern Baked Mac and Cheese
- Cajun Potato Salad
- Southern Baked Beans
- Maple Glazed Carrots
- Southern Sweet Potato Casserole
- Southern Green Beans
- Southern Collard Greens
- Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Creamy Southern Cheese Grits
- Southern Coleslaw
- Southern Chicken and Dressing
- Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese
Best Homemade Creamed Corn
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ medium yellow onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups corn kernels from 8 ears or 2, 10-ounce bags of frozen corn
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar optional
- 1 - 2 teaspoons homemade Cajun seasoning my recipe linked, store-bought also works
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Melt the butter in a 10-inch cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the corn kernels, heavy cream, brown sugar, Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper to the skillet and stir the ingredients to combine. Cook the corn for 2 to 3 minutes until creamy.
- In a small bowl, mix the flour into the milk with a fork or small whisk until no lumps remain. Pour the flour mixture into the pan with the corn and cook, while stirring, for about 5 minutes until the corn is hot and thickened.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and cracked black pepper if desired. Enjoy!
- Creamed corn can be made with fresh, frozen, or canned corn kernels. Be sure to scrape the cob with the dull side of a knife to get all that delicious "milk" if using fresh corn! Drain the liquid if using canned corn.
- Leftover creamed corn can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.