This Parmesan Creamed Corn recipe is layered with sweet and savory flavors and sprinkled with irresistible crispy toasted garlic breadcrumbs. Quick and easy to make (and prep in advance, if you’d like) too!
Say it with me — no more boring creamed corn! ♡
This Parmesan creamed corn recipe is here to steal the show this holiday season and guaranteed to have everyone coming back for seconds. It’s seasoned with a generous amount of garlic and smoked paprika, balanced out with an extra drizzle of honey to bring out the sweetness of the corn. It’s simmered with a creamy broth which is then mixed with lots of umami-rich Parmesan, to make it extra cheesy. It’s topped with zesty, crispy, toasted garlicky breadcrumbs, which add a fantastic bit of extra flavor and crunch to each bite. And finally sprinkled with chopped herbs for freshness.
Even with all of these delicious flavors and textures layered in, this creamed corn recipe is surprisingly quick and easy to make in less than 30 minutes. I intentionally designed this recipe so that it can be 100% made on the stovetop, in case a turkey happens to be taking up most of the oven. You’re also welcome to prep all of the components up to 3 days in advance if you’d like, then heat and assemble right before serving. And if you have loved ones around your table who are gluten-free, simply swap in gf breadcrumbs to make this dish without gluten.
Everyone around the table raves about this cream corn whenever we’ve served it. So if you’re looking for a winning side dish this holiday season — or for any random weeknight of the week — I hope you’ll give it a try!
Parmesan Creamed Corn Ingredients
Here are a few quick notes about the Parmesan creamed corn ingredients that you will need to make this recipe:
Corn: Whole kernels of sweet corn provide the base for this creamy dish. Feel free to use whatever type of corn you prefer — freshly-shucked, canned or frozen sweet corn.
Parmesan: Parmesan cheese brings its signature cheesy, salty, umami flavor to the party. I highly recommend freshly-grating your Parmesan on a microplane or with a box grater for optimum flavor.
Aromatics: Shallot and garlic serve as our base aromatics here, which we will sauté briefly in butter to soften.
Half and half: We will use half and half (half milk + half heavy cream, for any of you international readers!) will create our luxuriously creamy broth for the corn. I’ve written the recipe using a tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken the broth, but you are welcome to use 2 tablespoons of flour instead to create a roux if you prefer.
Honey: A hint of honey helps to balance out the savory and smoky flavors here and enhance the natural sweetness of the corn.
Seasonings: Smoked paprika adds an irresistibly subtle hint of smoky flavor to the dish. We also love sprinkling a bit of extra smoked paprika on top for a pop of color!
Garlicky breadcrumbs: A quick batch of garlicky breadcrumbs is easy to make with butter, garlic, Panko, salt and pepper. Toast on the stove until they’re golden brown and crispy!
Garnish (optional): Finally, I recommend a sprinkling of chopped fresh chives or parsley for extra flavor and freshness.
Full instructions for how to make creamed corn are included in the recipe below, but here are a few more quick tips to make this recipe a success!
Toast the breadcrumbs until golden. Since we’re not baking this creamed corn in the oven, the breadcrumbs need to be fully cooked in the sauté pan. So be sure to sauté until they’re perfectly golden and crispy.
Be sure to use cold half and half. It’s essential that the half and half be nice and cold when whisking in the cornstarch so that it does not clump.
Try to avoid overcooking the corn. The aim is to have a tender yet slightly crisp texture to the corn here. So keep an eye on it and try to avoid overcooking if possible.
Season to taste. You may want to add in extra smoked paprika, salt, pepper, or honey here. So give the dish a quickly sampling before serving and season as needed.
Here are a few more fun variations that you’re welcome to try with this creamed corn recipe:
Add bacon: Stir crispy bacon bits into the creamed corn and sprinkle some extras on top as a garnish. (Bonus, use the leftover bacon grease to sauté the shallot and garlic for extra flavor.)
Add a kick: Add your preferred heat source – diced jalapeños or crushed red pepper flakes — to the shallot sauté for extra heat. Or drizzle the finished dish with hot sauce.
Add sun-dried tomatoes: Stir some chopped sun-dried tomatoes (those packaged in oil) into the dish.
Add pesto: Stir a generous spoonful of basil pesto into the dish.
Use roasted corn: Use roasted sweet corn (I love the frozen roasted corn from Trader Joe’s) for more depth of flavor. Alternately, you can roast your own sweet corn on the grill or in the sauté pan using extra butter.
Make it gluten-free: Use gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs to make this a gluten-free creamed corn recipe.
More Simple Side Dishes To Try
Looking for more simple side dish recipes to try this holiday season? Here are a few of our faves:
1/2 teaspooneach: fine sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, smoked paprika
1 ounce freshly-grated Parmesan
optional garnish: chopped chives or parsley
Garlicky Breadcrumbs Ingredients:
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs*
1/2 teaspooneach: fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Make the garlicky breadcrumbs.Melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat in a sauté pan. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add Panko, salt and pepper. Continue sautéing, stirring occasionally, until the Panko reaches a toasted golden brown color. Transfer the breadcrumbs to a bowl and set aside. Wipe off the pan.
Sauté the shallot and garlic.Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the butter. Add the shallot and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is lightly golden.
Whisk in the cornstarch.While those are cooking, whisk together the half and half and cornstarch until combined.
Simmer.Add the half and half mixture, corn, honey, salt, black pepper, smoked paprika to the pan and stir until evenly combined. Continue cooking until the sauce reaches a low simmer and thickens. Turn off the heat and stir in the Parmesan until combined.
Serve.Sprinkle the garlicky breadcrumbs on top of the corn, and garnish with chopped chives or parsley if desired. Serve warm and enjoy!
Gluten-free option: If making this recipe gluten-free, be sure to use gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs.