An easy, Southern creamed corn recipe made on the stovetop with cream cheese, milk, and fresh or frozen corn. The perfect Southern side dish.
I grew up in Houston, surrounded by family. Just about all of my aunts, uncles, and grandparents were within a 30-mile radius of our home, and whether it was for a birthday, a holiday, or a weeknight dinner, we saw each other often. My grandmother’s home was probably my favorite to visit, as the welcoming was always warm and loving, the environment was relaxed and cozy, and the food was always good.
She served only comfort food, full fat and full flavor. She always made the main dish from scratch and would call upon the freezer or the pantry for the sides. One of my favorite staples from her pantry was creamed corn, and I requested it regularly. My adoration for Southern creamed corn carried on into adulthood, and it wasn’t until college that I had my first taste of fresh creamed corn.
I attended college at Texas A&M University, and in my little college town was a barbecue joint everybody raved about…actually, I was in Texas so there were a few…but there was only one that claimed to have the best-creamed corn in town. Given that it was one of my childhood favorites, I had no choice but to weigh in. This creamed corn was not the same product as the one my grandmother heated from a can, and topped with butter. Told ya she served full-fat foods. And while I’m sure the restaurant’s creamed corn was full fat as well, it was a completely different product. You could actually see the corn kernels, the sauce was velvety smooth, and it was absolutely luscious, to say the least.
Fast-forward even further down the road, and here I am, married to a man who has a pretty serious obsession with grilling and smoking beef for a crowd. Naturally, being the dutiful wifey I am, I merrily take on the party sides. And one of the first barbecue side dishes I was dead set on conquering was homemade creamed corn. Y’all — mission accomplished, cause this creamed corn is by far the best creamed corn I have ever eaten in my entire life. Legit. And the shocking part? It’s so, SO easy. So if you’ve never made creamed corn from scratch, or ever had any sort of hesitation in creating this dish, rest assured, friend. You got this.
INGREDIENTS IN SOUTHERN CREAMED CORN
To make life easier on yourself when preparing creamed corn, start with frozen corn. You could also use fresh corn if you’re into overachieving, however, steer clear of the can aisle. Frozen vegetables have a tendency to taste fresher than canned vegetables, and also better maintain both structure and flavor.
So, we’ve got the most important ingredient out of the way. Let’s talk about the second most important ingredient — cream cheese. Cream cheese not only gives your creamed corn sauce that luscious, creamy texture, it also keeps your milk from curdling. Necessity. Next on the list is butter. Yup. This one’s full-fat, too. All that’s left is whole milk, a little sugar, salt, and pepper.
HOW TO MAKE EASY CREAMED CORN ON THE STOVETOP
Creamed corn begins on the stovetop with a sauce made from butter, cream cheese, and milk. To season the sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper are added, then in go the corn kernels. The mixture bubbles away at a low simmer until slightly thickened. About half of the mixture goes into a food processor or blender and is pulsed just a few times to break down the kernels. We are not looking to make a puree here, so easy on those buttons, peeps. The broken down kernels go back into the saucepan, it’s mixed together, and you’re ready to eat the best creamed corn ever.
So there you have it! An easy homemade creamed corn recipe that most definitely beats the pants off the canned stuff and rivals even the best BBQ joint renditions. Serve as a spruced up side to any comfort food dinner, or prepare a batch for your next BBQ and watch your guests swoon.
- ½ cup one stick of unsalted butter
- 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese room temperature, cut into chunks
- 2 cups whole milk warmed
- 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 1/2 cups frozen corn thawed
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the cream cheese and the milk, and stir often until the creamed cheese has melted, 6-8 minutes. Add in the sugar, salt, and pepper.
Add the corn, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the mixture has thickened slightly. Stir often, and do not allow the mixture to boil
Ladle 2 cups of the creamed corn into a blender or food processor and pulse 2-3 times. Pour back into the pan, stir and serve immediately.