Creamed Corn Without Cream Recipe (2024)

By Martha Rose Shulman

Creamed Corn Without Cream Recipe (1)

Total Time
About 20 minutes
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When you grate corn on the large holes of a box grater, you get a lot of creamy milk from the corn, so no dairy cream is necessary for this version of what is usually a very rich dish. If the corn is sweet, as corn should be, I prefer to let the dish stand alone with no additional flavorings; that’s why I’ve made the shallot or onion and the herbs optional.

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Yield:4 servings

  • 4large ears of corn, husked
  • 2tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2tablespoons minced shallot or red onion (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 to 3teaspoons minced fresh herbs such as sage, tarragon, thyme, chives (optional)

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

206 calories; 7 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 37 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 6 grams sugars; 5 grams protein; 393 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Creamed Corn Without Cream Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Grate the corn on the large holes of a box grater placed over a wide bowl. If you wrap plastic wrap around the 3 other sides of the grater, the splashes will go into the bowl.

  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and add shallots if using. Cook, stirring, until shallot is tender and fragrant, about 2 minutes, and add the corn and salt to taste. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the mixture is sweet and creamy. Taste and adjust salt. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter and remove from the heat. Serve hot, garnished with fresh herbs if desired.


  • Advance preparation: This is best served right away.



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Cooking Notes


Instead of using a box grater, you can use a chef's knife to cut off the kernels (but don't try to cut the kernels all the way down to the cob). Then, take the knife and scrape out the cream that remains in the cut kernels. Push the knife against the cob and slide it down, pushing as you go.

They also make special little graters just for corn that you can buy at kitchen/cooking shops.


I consider this more like "fresh corn polenta" than creamed corn, but it is delicious nonetheless. I've done this with butter, olive oil, and other fats, all with the same success.

Make sure to run a spoon or knife down the cobs after grating to get any extra "juice." It adds a lot of sweetness and flavor that is only concentrated further with cooking.


I have grated the corn as suggested but it is a bit messy. Tonight I cut the kernels off and then used a stick blender to partially purée them. I found this quicker and easier.


This recipe works! It's very tasty and I don't feel guilty eating it. I grate the corn over a cookie sheet and saute a hot green pepper with the onion. This time of year we have so much fresh corn and this is a great way to serve it as an accompaniment to a nice dinner.


I have had corn prepared this way every thanksgiving for the last 60 years as this is how my grandmother made creamed corn. It was my favorite dish at the holiday table and would sometimes get admonished to save some for the others. When I was grown and asked for the recipe, I was shocked to find out it had no cream.

I tested this recipe and found it to be just like my grandmother's...delicious.

katy lesser

i like to add whole kernels of amazing summer corn into a recipe like this for added texture and corn-iness!

adam f

This is a fantastic recipe that has become a family favorite. Shallot, red onion, white onion - I've used them all and they all add wonderful flavor and texture. I use 4 cobs for grating and cut the kernels off a fifth to add - it still works really well and the whole kernels add another wonderful texture. One of the best recipes the Times has published!


Not only do you need to put plastic wrap around the box grater, but grating the corn also splatters juice out the top. N.B. the directions to use a "wide bowl," and do not think you can rely on wax paper- what a mess!!


My grandmother from S Georgia made this with farm-fresh corn when I was a young boy. We called it roast'n'ears (shortened from roasted ears). She'd score all of the ears first, then grate away all the way down to the cob until no 'milk' was left. When we had enough to fill a skillet, it was simmered for nearly 2 hours in bacon fat with salt and black pepper to taste. The corn starch will bind with the bacon grease and creates a wonderful texture, not to mention that extra flavor from the baco

Aurora Leveroni

What a great idea or wrapping clear plastic around the 3 sides of the box grater for this recipe.

Since I'm lactose intolerant this recipe is perfect. I suppose during the off season for corn I could use canned or frozen corn..



I use a mandolin (watch your fingers!) to scrape the kernels as well as the cream.


This recipe is a 10/10. Make it every summer!


As an easier option, rather than grate the corn, run the knife down the length of the cobs trimming off the kernels to about half their depth, then take the back of the knife and run it down the cob scraping out all the remaining juices into a bowl. Mix the kernels and the 'cream' then go ahead with the rest of this recipe adding some white pepper and a dash of nutmeg - they are a must when I make this.

adrian f

I’ve found the grating is much less messy if you use time foil — instead of Saran Wrap. You can form the tin foil, since it’s sturdier, and it makes for a good shield around the box grater.


Made this last night and was delicious. Grated the corn earlier in the day using a flat grater in a large bowl and it was no problem. Stored in fridge until ready. I left some kernels whole for texture. Next time I might omit the herbs because I think a simple fresh buttered corn flavor would be better


I used three ears of corn, about one tablespoon of butter, and one minced shallot. Cut the kernels off with a knife and cooked as instructed. Boiled the three cobs in water for 15 minutes. Added nearly all of the corn to blender with about 1/4 cup of the corn water, added one tablespoon at a time until reached desired consistency. Put everything back in saucepan with remaining corn to reheat. Was delicious! Will make again. Husband didn’t know it lacked cream.


the box grater set into a deep mixing bowl worked perfect


Mandoline is great for getting the kernels off the cob without mess. Try stick blender afterwards next time.


This is indeed a fantastic and tasty recipe. Low dairy works well with our diet without any compromise of taste! I have gone a step further and start by sautéing lardons of 2 strips of thick bacon to which I add shallots after the bacon is almost crisp. (I might remove some of the rendered fat if it seems excessive) I then add a little butter and then the corn and salt after which I add some Pimenton (smoked Spanish paprika) to taste. Everyone loves the smoky flavor of this variation!


My grandmother from S Georgia made this with farm-fresh corn when I was a young boy. We called it roast'n'ears (shortened from roasted ears). She'd score all of the ears first, then grate away all the way down to the cob until no 'milk' was left. When we had enough to fill a skillet, it was simmered for nearly 2 hours in bacon fat with salt and black pepper to taste. The corn starch will bind with the bacon grease and creates a wonderful texture, not to mention that extra flavor from the baco


Used the box grater with Saran Wrap on 3 sides, a baggie over the top which allowed me to still hold the handle and a deep, wide bowl to handle splatter — was quick and worked well — used red onion, thyme and, as suggested, I cut kernels off another ear and added in last minute of cooking — delicious — don’t skimp on salt to bring out the corn flavor — can’t wait to make for Thanksgiving — this is now my fave corn recipe!


I wish this had worked. It didn't. Maybe it was the corn or the technique. I will find a different recipe.

Donna S.

This dish is outstanding! I made this as an accompaniment for chicken cacciatore instead of polenta. Everyone in our dinner group loved the creamed corn without cream. I grated the corn on a large one sided grater laid flat over a bowl and it worked beautifully without any mess at all. Although grating the corn was time consuming, the end result was worth the effort. I used two tablespoons of butter for eight cobs of corn and it was plenty rich.


It's amazing, but it seems to make such a teeny portion - more for 2 people than 4. I would recommend using 8 ears instead.


Sooo much easier and less messy to cut the kernels off the cob, and then run a knife to release the milk and germ. Just don’t cut too close to cob on the first pass.


Not nearly as good. I've done both, and they are very different. Grating is better. :-)

Karen TS

This dish is an all time favorite. I use a cast iron skillet which creates a wonderful crispy edge. Basil is magical with corn and to make a complete meal out of this I lay some sautéed shrimp on top to serve and add a salad.

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Creamed Corn Without Cream Recipe (2024)


What can I use instead of cream corn? ›


Put all the corn + 1/3 of the liquid in the can + 1 tbsp flour into a bowl. Then blitz with hand blender (or use blender) until you can't see whole corn kernels anymore but there are still corn chunks (don't to puree). Use all of it in place of canned creamed corn in this recipe.

What ingredients are in cream corn? ›

How do you make creamed corn thicker without cornstarch? ›

However, if your creamed corn is really soupy, you will want to use flour to thicken it up. Our Everyday Life suggests using rice flour. The beauty of rice flour over cornstarch is you can sprinkle it right into your creamed corn and mix until you get your desired consistency.

Does canned creamed corn have cream in it? ›

Canned creamed corn does not usually contain any cream, but some homemade versions may include milk or cream. Sugar and starch may also be added. Commercial, store-bought canned preparations may contain tapioca starch as a thickener.

What can I use as a substitute for heavy whipping cream? ›

The 10 Best Substitutes for Heavy Cream
  • Milk and butter.
  • Soy milk and olive oil.
  • Milk and cornstarch.
  • Half-and-half.
  • Tofu and soy.
  • Yogurt and milk.
  • Evaporated milk.
  • Cottage cheese and milk.

Is there a difference between creamed corn and cream style corn? ›

Canned creamed corn is usually called "cream-style" corn because it typically contains corn, water, sugar, starch, and sugar. That's right: Cream is not one of the ingredients. Canned cream-style corn is a go-to staple for those seeking a convenient and readily available option.

What are the ingredients in Libby's cream corn? ›


How do you enhance canned cream corn? ›

Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar to enhance the natural sweetness of the corn. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. For added creaminess, you can stir in a splash of heavy cream or a dollop of sour cream.

What is the main ingredient in corn? ›

The kernel is made up of four major components – starch, fiber, protein and oil – that can be processed in different ways to be used in all kinds of products. In fact, a typical grocery store contains 4,000 items that list corn ingredients on the label.

What thickens creamed corn? ›

The answer to thick and smooth creamed corn

If you're short on time, add a tablespoon of rice flour straight into the runny mix and stir to combine. If rice flour isn't available, cornstarch, potato starch, or flour are also great thickeners.

Can you use flour to thicken cream corn? ›

Flour: All-purpose flour acts as a thickening agent, so you don't have to worry about runniness. Cheese: Parmesan cheese is the perfect finishing touch. For more cheesy flavor, sprinkle some more on top before serving.

Can I use cornstarch instead of thick it? ›

Using cornstarch to thicken sauce is very similar to using flour, but you need different quantities: Use one tablespoon cornstarch mixed with one tablespoon cold water (aka a cornstarch slurry) for each cup of medium-thick sauce. Thoroughly mix the cornstarch and water together, then pour into your sauce.

Is creamed corn good by itself? ›

Canned creamed corn has versatility, often shining as a delightful side or enhancing various recipes. Some do enjoy it on its own, appreciating its simplicity and taste.

Can you eat creamed corn straight from the can? ›

Great straight from the can

If you're looking for a quick meal or a tasty side, the canned goods from DelMonte are the ones you want! The creamed corn was indeed sweet right out of the can. The corn pieces are nice and firm and taste fresh.

Can you eat creamed corn straight from the tin? ›

Corn and ALL common canned foods have been heated/cooked to temperatures you cannot reach on the domestic stove top. They do not require any further heating. You can eat most anything out of a can, safely, without heating it beforehand. Canning is a means of preserving food.

What is the difference between cream corn and regular corn? ›

Cream style corn has a noticeable difference in color between the corn kernels and the cream portion primarily due to the "sheen" of the skin of the kernels. The cream portion has a "matt" finish.

Can I use cornstarch instead of corn? ›

This is very important. Cornstarch is a 'starchy' gluten free flour, whereas corn flour is a 'protein' gluten free flour. Therefore, they carry out very different functions in gluten free baking. That means that you can't substitute cornstarch for corn flour, or vice versa.

What can I use instead of heavy cream cornstarch? ›

Milk + cornstarch

Cornstarch is low-calorie and low fat, and it will help to thicken your dish without imparting any flavor to it. To replace one cup of heavy cream, mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch into 1 cup milk, whisking well to break up any clumps.

What is the difference between creamed corn and corn pudding? ›

The main difference between the two is texture. Corn pudding has a gelatinous consistency similar to dessert pudding; the casserole is thicker and can hold its shape. Despite the textural difference between corn casserole and pudding, the ingredients are similar.


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