This classic side dish recipe for Southern Homemade Creamed Corn is easy to make, and like my recipe for Fried Corn, it’s cooked in a skillet and packed with fresh sweet summer corn. It doesn’t bear any resemblance to the canned variety, and if that is all you have ever had, you are in for a real treat.
If you grew up in the South, you have undoubtedly had delicious fresh homemade creamed corn at some point. The first Silver Queen corn of the season always makes me think of making creamed corn. And, if it’s fresh, this tasty variety is usually so tender it only takes minutes to cook.
Now that fresh sweet corn is showing up at the farmers’ markets, this is the perfect time to try making this delicious side dish.
- What is Southern creamed corn:
- Recipe ingredient notes and substitutions:
- How to make homemade creamed corn:
- Top tip:
- What to serve with this classic side dish:
- What to look for when buying fresh corn:
- How long does fresh corn stay fresh:
- How to store fresh corn:
- How to shuck fresh corn:
- How to cut corn kernels off of the cob:
- Recipe variations:
- Recipe FAQs:
- Tips and tricks:
- More corn recipes:
- 📋 Recipe:
What is Southern creamed corn:
Creamed corn is a popular side dish, especially in the South. This Southern-style recipe combines sweet corn kernels with butter, cream, salt, and pepper to make the best-creamed corn you have ever tasted.
Homemade creamed corn is always prepared using fresh corn, which highlights the natural sweetness and freshness of the corn. I like to cook mine in a cast-iron skillet. This versatile and popular side dish is most commonly enjoyed at barbecues and potlucks.
Recipe ingredient notes and substitutions:
- Fresh sweet corn – The star ingredient of this dish is fresh yellow or white sweet corn. The quality of your corn can make a huge difference in the taste of this dish. I suggest using Silver Queen if possible.
- Butter – adds richness and flavor. It is often used for sautéing the corn and enhancing the overall taste. Many Southern cooks substitute bacon grease for added flavor.
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper – are basic seasonings that are added to enhance the flavors.
- Cream – is used to create the creamy base of the dish. Heavy cream lends a rich and indulgent texture. Whole milk can be substituted for a lighter version.
- Flour – is commonly added when making creamed corn to help thicken the sauce and create a smoother texture. For gluten-free, you can substitute your favorite gluten-free flour.
(A complete list of all ingredients and measurements is listed in the recipe below.)
How to make homemade creamed corn:
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add the butter and bacon grease if you are using it, and let it melt.
- Add the kernels and cook for a minute or so, stirring frequently.
- Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and add the salt and pepper. Mix well and cook for a minute.
- Add the cream and water to the mixture and mix well.
- Turn down the heat to medium-low and cook for 10-15 minutes more or until the kernels are tender.
- Serve immediately.
Many Southern cooks like to use bacon grease instead of butter or equal parts of butter and bacon grease. If you have any bacon grease, I encourage you to try this variation.
What to serve with this classic side dish:
I like serving cream-style corn with grilled half chicken, pork tenderloin, or grilled grouper. It also pairs well with fried chicken, oven-fried chicken, grilled ham steaks, or pecan-crusted fish fillets.
Homemade creamed corn goes with almost any entree, but my favorite summer meal combines it with a piece of tomato pie, a big helping of white acre peas, and a slice of crispy old-fashioned southern buttermilk cornbread.
What to look for when buying fresh corn:
When buying, pick up each ear and look for tassels that are light brown and sticky to the touch. If the tassels are black or dry, the ears are old. You also want the ears to feel full and heavy, and the husks should be green and healthy-looking, not brown or dry.
Last, but not least, look at the stalk on the bottom of the ear; if it has already turned brown, it is probably at least two days old.
How long does fresh corn stay fresh:
The most important thing to remember when buying fresh corn is that it starts converting its sugar to starch as soon as it’s picked. So, if possible, buy it, cook it, and eat it the same day or as close to the same day it’s picked.
It will last for a few days in the refrigerator, but the quality and taste will decline each day.
How to store fresh corn:
To keep it from drying out, store it in your fridge with the husk wrapped tightly in a plastic bag and use it as soon as possible, but no later than three days after purchase.
How to shuck fresh corn:
Two easy methods:
- Peel back the husk at the tip of the cob just until you can see the top few rows of kernels. Slip your finger under the layers, grasp about a quarter of the leaves and silk firmly, and peel downward. Continue doing this until all of the kernels are exposed. Gather the husk and silks in one hand and snap them off with the stalk at the base. Discard the leaves, silks, and tassels.
- Cut off the stalk end one inch above the last row of kernels. Place two ears on a microwave-safe plate and microwave uncovered for two to four minutes. When it has cooled a bit, grab the ear by the uncut end, shake, and squeeze it until it comes out husk and silk-free. Repeat with any remaining corn. Check out my video to see how this is done.
Once you get the hang of method one I think it’s quicker, but you can’t beat the ease of method two.
How to cut corn kernels off of the cob:
Place one ear in a large bowl with high sides and, using a small sharp knife, cut the kernels off of the cob. Then, using the back of the blade, scrape against the cob to press out any remaining milky corn liquid. This will add extra flavor.
Repeat with the remaining ears.
This recipe for creamed corn is very versatile. Check out these variations:
- Spicy or Jalapeno Creamed Corn: Add a kick of heat by incorporating diced jalapeños or red chili flakes.
- Cheesy Creamed Corn: Stir in shredded cheese, such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Gruyère, to create a rich and cheesy dish.
- Herbed Creamed Corn: Infuse the dish with fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or basil. Finely chop the herbs and mix them into the dish while cooking.
- Smoky Bacon Creamed Corn: Fry bacon until crispy, then crumble and mix it in.
- Mexican-Inspired Creamed Corn: Incorporate flavors inspired by Mexican cuisine by adding spices such as cumin, paprika, or chili powder. Top with crumbled queso fresco, chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice for a zesty twist.
- Grilled Creamed Corn: Grill the ears before removing the kernels to add a smoky and charred flavor.
I have seen many online recipes using slow cookers or instant pots, but I don’t get it. In my humble opinion, putting fresh summer corn in a slow cooker or instant pot and cooking it to death is a mistake. If you have fresh, it only takes minutes to cook.
The fresher the ears of corn, the less time it will take to cook. I have made this recipe in less than five minutes before. The secret is to keep tasting the kernels until they are tender.
Leftovers, if you have them, are equally delicious and can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. I usually reheat in the microwave for a minute or two.
Yes, like my recipe for Corn Dip with Creamed Cheese, store it in a freezer-safe, air-tight container and freeze for up to three months. All it to thaw overnight in the fridge before warming it up.
Yes, this recipe can be prepared up to 24 hours ahead of time and warmed up in a sauce pan or skillet before serving.
Tips and tricks:
- If you prefer a smoother texture, you can blend some of the creamed corn in a blender or food processor, then mix it back into the remaining mixture. This will give you a creamier consistency.
- Add more milk or cream if your mixture gets too thick.
More corn recipes:
If you like this Southern-style dish, you might also like these southern recipes made with corn:
Need more recipes or menu ideas, check out all of my Southern-style recipes.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐⭐⭐ If you make this dish, please leave a comment and give this recipe a star rating. I would love to know how you liked it!
Thank you so much for visiting Grits and Pinecones; I hope you come back soon!
Southern Homemade Creamed Corn Recipe
- 8 ears of sweet corn, shucked (Silver Queen preferred)
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon bacon grease, optional
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup water
- Place an ear of corn in a large bowl and using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the cob. Then, using the back of the blade, scrape against the cob to press out any remaining milky corn liquid. Repeat with the remaining ears.
- In a large skillet over medium heat add the butter and optional bacon grease.
- Melt the butter, add the kernels, and cook for a minute or so, stirring frequently.
- Sprinkle the flour over the corn and add the salt and pepper. Stir and cook for a minute.
- Add the cream and water to the mixture and mix well.
- Turn down the heat to medium-low and cook for 10-15 minutes more or until the kernels are tender. (The fresher the ears, the less time it will take to cook.)
- Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- Expose the tip of the ear of corn. Peel back the leaves at the tip of the cob just until you can see the top few rows of kernels. Slip your finger under the layers and grasp about a quarter of the leaves and silk firmly and peel downward. Continue doing this until all of the cob is exposed. Gather the leaves and silks in one hand and snap them off with the stalk at the base. Discard the leaves, silks, and tassels.
- Cut off the stalk end one inch above the last row of kernels. Place two ears on a microwave-safe plate and microwave uncovered for two to four minutes. When it has cooled a bit, grab the ear by the uncut end and shake and squeeze it until the ear comes out husk and silk-free. Repeat with any remaining ears. Check out my video to see how this is done.
**This post was originally published on June 1, 2016.