This easy one-pot creamed corn with smoky bacon is the only side you’ll be making for cookouts from now on. Use fresh, frozen, or canned corn, and it’ll be just as rich and creamy!
Why You’ll Love This Creamed Corn Recipe
It’s quick, convenient, and way better than anything you can get at a restaurant or out of a can!
- Fresh, Frozen or Canned: You can use fresh, frozen or canned corn in this recipe!
- Creamy: With a combination of butter, milk, cream cheese, and parmesan cheese, it’s no surprise that this dish is so rich and creamy!
- Easy: Creamed corn is a beginner-friendly recipe that just requires you to stir until the cheese has melted into the mixture.
- One-pot: There’s practically nothing to clean except for the pot you cook in. It’s perfect!
A crispy, smoky bacon topping really sets this easy creamed corn recipe apart. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact amounts.
- Bacon: Use your favorite, I prefer thick cut bacon.
- Unsalted Butter: Reduce the salt in the rest of the recipe if you use salted butter.
- Flour: You can use cornstarch instead, but reduce the amount by half.
- Whole Milk: Or for an extra creamy sauce, try using heavy cream.
- Granulated Sugar: Avoid light brown and dark brown sugar because they have hints of caramel.
- Salt: Kosher salt is best.
- Black Pepper: I prefer freshly cracked black pepper.
- Red Pepper Flakes: Cayenne pepper is a good swap, but reduce the amount by half.
- Parmesan Cheese: Make sure it’s freshly grated.
- Corn: Fresh or fozen is best, but canned works too.
- Cream Cheese: You can use full-fat or low-fat, but full-fat will make your cream sauce creamier.
- Parsley: Chopped chives are another garnish option.
What Corn is Best for Creamed Corn?
Frozen corn kernels is superior. It holds its texture much better, compared to canned corn which tends to be softer. Fresh corn can also work but it requires extra prep and cooking time, so I prefer frozen corn because it’s more convenient.
How to Make Creamed Corn
The secret to this classic side dish is to stir the flour-milk mixture extremely well until no lumps remain for a perfect creamy sauce. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for more detailed instructions.
- Bacon: Cook the bacon in a pot until crispy. Set it aside and reserve 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease in the pot.
- Thicken: Add the butter and flour, stirring well, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the milk and whisk until slightly thickened.
- Season: Add the sugar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Mix and let it simmer for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Combine: Add half of the parmesan and bacon to the pot. Stir in the corn and cream cheese. Cook until corn mixture is well combined and warmed through.
- Serve: Remove it from the heat. Top the cream corn with the remaining parmesan and bacon. Garnish with parsley. Serve and enjoy.
Tips for Success and Variations
From choosing the right pot to cooking over low heat, these tips will make any creamed corn recipe practically fail-proof.
- Bacon Fat: Swap all of the butter for the leftover bacon fat in the pot after cooking. It’ll give your corn lots of smokiness.
- Non-Stick: Choose non-stick pots or a cast iron enameled Dutch oven to make this creamed corn recipe in. The corn is less likely to stick to the sides and bottom than with stainless steel pots.
- Thicken: When you’re not sure whether your corn has thickened enough, remove it from the heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes. It’ll thicken more as it cools and you’ll be able to decide whether you want to place it back on the stove or not.
- Fresh Corn: If you use fresh corn, cook it with the bacon for 3 to 4 minutes, just until it softens a little. Remove it from the pot and set it aside. Add the corn back in later when the recipe calls for corn to be added.
- Blend: Process 1/2 to 1 cup of the creamed corn and stir it into the mixture for a creamier, smoother texture.
Creamed corn is southern side dish that is great with so many different dishes. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Chicken: Go all out with this juicy and crispy chicken fried chicken!
- Steak: A smothered cube steak pairs great, but you could also try these easy grilled steak kabobs!
- Pork: These southern fried pork chops are the perfect pairing with sweet corn!
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
Refrigerate the cooled leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To reheat it, pop it into the microwave for up to a minute, until warmed through. You can also heat it in a small pot over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes.
Can I Freeze Homemade Creamed Corn?
Absolutely! Transfer the cooled creamed corn to a freezer-friendly bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months. Here’s how to thaw it:
- Fridge: For best results, let it thaw overnight and then reheat it as usual.
- Stove: Place the corn in a pot straight from frozen. Heat it over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until fully thawed and warm.
- Microwave: Use the “defrost” setting or set your microwave to the lowest power. Microwave it for 2 minutes at a time, stirring occasionally until thawed and warm.
- 6 bacon strips, chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, optional
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 5 cups frozen corn, or 4 cans corn, drained
- 2 oz cream cheese
- Fresh parsley, optional garnish
- Place a dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring often, until crispy. Remove bacon from pan and set aside. Drain off grease, reserving 1 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pan.
- Add the butter and stir until melted. Whisk in the flour, stirring constantly and cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour the milk in slowly, whisking constantly. Stir in the sugar, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.
- Bring mixture to a simmer and then add in 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese, corn, cream cheese and half of the cooked bacon. Stir to combine and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until everything is warmed and well combined.
- Remove from heat and top with remaining parmesan cheese, bacon and fresh parsley. Serve immediately.
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