Creamed Corn

published Oct 14, 2023
Creamed Corn Recipe

Sweet corn kernels simmered in butter and cream is better than anything from a can.

Serves2 to 4

Prep10 minutes

Cook10 minutes to 15 minutes

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Overhead view of a wooden spoon resting in the creamed corn, with a scoop taken out of it.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: James Park

While summer may be “corn season,” I welcome a serving of creamed corn on my plate any time of the year. Whether I’m holding a paper plate at an outdoor cookout or my grandmother’s fine china during the holidays, there’s nothing better than sweet corn simmered with butter and cream. 

This creamed corn puts the flavor of corn at the forefront. In lieu of a flour-based roux for thickening (which can subdue the corn’s subtle sweetness), this recipe relies on the natural starches from the corn and the richness of dairy to bind this side dish. If you’ve only been served creamed corn from a can, it’s time to see how simple and comforting homemade creamed corn can be. Here’s how to do it.

What Ingredients Are in Creamed Corn?

  • Corn: You need about 1 1/2 cups of fresh, frozen, or canned corn kernels. The choice between using yellow or white corn is entirely up to you. 
  • Onion and butter: All good things start with onion sautéed in a bit of butter, and this creamed corn is no exception.
  • Dairy: Simmer the corn with half-and-half or, for a truly decadent finish, opt for heavy cream. 
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: James Park

What Kind of Corn Is Best for Creamed Corn?

There’s nothing like creamed corn made with fresh kernels scraped off the cob. Luckily, you can still make delicious creamed corn once summer has passed with frozen or canned sweet corn kernels too.

What to Serve with Creamed Corn

Creamed Corn Recipe

Sweet corn kernels simmered in butter and cream is better than anything from a can.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes to 15 minutes

Serves 2 to 4

Nutritional Info


  • 2 ears

    fresh corn, 1 (10-ounce) bag frozen corn kernels, or 1 (about 15-ounce) can corn kernels

  • 1/12

    small yellow onion

  • 2 teaspoons

    finely chopped fresh chives (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup

    heavy cream or half-and-half


  1. Prepare the corn: If using fresh corn, shuck and cut the kernels from 3 ears (about 1 1/2 cups) into a bowl, then use the back of your knife to scrape against the cobs to release the moisture into the bowl (also known as “milk”). If using frozen corn, place 10 ounces frozen corn kernels in a shallow bowl and let sit at room temperature to thaw, about 45 minutes. If using canned corn, drain 1 (about 15-ounce) can corn kernels.

  2. Finely chop 1/2 small yellow onion (about 1/2 cup). Finely chop fresh chives until you have 2 teaspoons, if using.

  3. Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in an 8-inch cast-iron or other medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook until light golden brown, about 2 minutes.

  4. Add the corn kernels (and “milk”) and 1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half. Simmer until the corn is tender and the cream has reduced slightly, 2 to 4 minutes. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed. Top with the chives.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.