Creamy Corn

This is not exactly creamed corn, but a delicious creamy substitute that is the perfect side dish for any holiday (or other) table.

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A skillet of creamed corn with chives and black pepper being stirred in with a wooden spoon.

Creamed Corn vs Creamy Corn

Should creamed corn include cream or not? That is the question. But… it’s not a pressing question and there are no significant consequences should you pick a side. I can tell you that canned creamed corn does not include cream and some purists insist that true creamed corn is dairy free. Instead, the cobs of corn are scraped to release a milky liquid which is cooked with the corn to give the dish its creamy consistency. When making “creamed corn” at home, however, you usually add cream (or other dairy) to the pan, making a decadent and rich side dish that can hold its own next to anything else on the plate. I call this dish “creamy corn” because it does add half-and-half and doesn’t stick to the traditional technique. 

Cream and corn in a skillet with a wooden spoon on a wooden table, next to a chopper with puréed corn inside and an orange towel nearby.

Thickening Methods for Creamy Corn

This recipe for creamy corn uses a couple of additional thickening techniques. First of all, a little flour is added to the pan. This is because instead of using heavy cream, we’re using half-and-half. If we didn’t add the flour, the half-and-half could curdle and the sauce would break. The flour helps keep the sauce creamy and smooth. Secondly, some of the corn is puréed and then returned back to the pan. This also thickens the dish significantly. If it gets a little too thick for your tastes, just thin it with a little hot water until it is the consistency you like.

Looking down into a chopper with puréed corn inside and a skillet of creamy corn next to it.

Quick and Easy Creamy Corn

One advantage this recipe has over the traditional creamed corn is how quick and easy it is to make. There’s no scraping of corn cobs and you can use fresh or frozen corn kernels. That makes it a dish you can serve any time of year (although it is always best in the summer when fresh corn is at its peak).

Looking down into a skillet of creamed corn with a wooden spoon and an orange hand towel next to it.

Seasoning for Creamy Corn

When corn is at its peak, it is naturally sweet, and if you’re anything like my father, you definitely want your creamed corn on the sweet side. So, one of the seasonings (which you can absolutely leave out if you prefer) is sugar. This is a safety net in case the corn you are using is not naturally sweet. I also like to add a cayenne pepper for a little heat and just a pinch of ground nutmeg. Then, season to taste with salt and pepper and sprinkle some fresh herbs on top. Chives are pretty, but parsley would work as well.

A spoon lifting creamy corn out of a white bowl with orange and green napkins next to it.

What to Serve with Creamy Corn

Creamy corn is a perfect side dish for a holiday table, but you could serve it with any number of other things. It could be a fantastic summer side dish with some fried chicken or some BBQ ribs and coleslaw. It would also be delicious with a grilled pork chop and potato salad. When the recipe is as easy and versatile as this, you can really serve it any time of the year with almost anything.

Creamy Corn

  • Prep Time: 10 m
  • Cook Time: 15 m
  • Total Time: 25 m
  • Servings:


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ onion finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar optional
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups half-and-half
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives


  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and stir in the salt, sugar, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until the onions start to soften.
  2. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Then pour in the half-and-half and bring to a boil. Stir in the nutmeg and add the corn kernels. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer 1 cup of the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. Returned the puréed corn back to the pan and simmer for another minute. If the consistency gets too thick, add water to thin the mixture to your desired consistency.
  4. Season with freshly ground black pepper and stir in the fresh chives.
  5. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.
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Comments (1)Post a Reply

  1. 5 stars
    This was so easy to make and VERY good!! I made it with frozen corn and cut the salt & sugar in half due to family’s medical issues. I used my immersion blender to puree the 1 cup of mixture so I wouldn’t have to lug out my heavy food processor, plus it’s easier to clean.
    Thank you for another great recipe Meredith.

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