Top 2 Creamed Corn Substitutes

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Creamed corn substitutes aren’t particularly common, but there are some excellent options for making your own at home!

Creamed Corn Substitutes

Believe it or not, creamed corn substitutes do exist, but the best thing to do is simply make your own. What many people don’t realize is that “creamed corn” is deceptively named. Although creamy in texture, it doesn’t contain actual cream. The juice from the kernels of corn reacts with the naturally occurring starches to create a creamy end product that is used in casseroles, soups, sauces, and as a dip.

A close-up shot of a bowl containing cream corn

A delicious bowl of cream corn. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Originally a Native American food, creamed corn can act as a thickener and provide an earthy, buttery flavor to a dish. Not everyone will have a can of creamed corn stored in the pantry and, as there are not many direct substitutes for this key ingredient, it’s important to know how to make your own!

Fresh, Canned or Frozen Corn

There is a range of different recipes for creamed corn out there which use fresh, canned, or frozen corn, but the basic steps are as follows. We recommend experimenting and finding a combination of ingredients that works for you.

  • Step 1: If using frozen corn, make sure it is defrosted before use or you might need to simmer the final product for longer.
  • Step 2: If using fresh corn, first take the kernels off the cob using a knife.
  • Step 3: After you’ve taken the kernels off the cob, remove the pulp with a spoon to include in cooking – that’s where much of the creaminess will come from!
  • Step 4: Melt butter or oil in a pan. If you want to add onions to your creamed corn, fry them on low heat at this stage.
  • Step 5: Put the corn kernels and pulp into the pan and add some cold water. If using canned corn, adjust the water to the thickness you want.
  • Step 6: Simmer for approximately 25 minutes until the corn is tender.
  • Step 7: To finish, you can add cream, sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. If adding cream, you must simmer the mixture until the cream thickens. 
Sliced and fresh corn ears with leaves on a wooden table

Corns kept on a table Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Béchamel Sauce

Another potential substitute is a simple white sauce made from butter, flour, milk, and a pinch of salt.

  • Step 1: Warm one tablespoon of butter with two tablespoons of flour until lightly bubbling.
  • Step 2: Slowly add two cups of milk whilst stirring and then add a pinch of salt.
  • Step 3: Take the mixture off the heat before it boils. 

This can be a great alternative to creamed corn if you’re looking to avoid the corn flavor. If you want to substitute the corn flavor for a different flavor, béchamel sauce is an excellent base to which you can add herbs and seasoning.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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