Best Ever Slow Cooker Creamed Corn
Slow cooker creamed corn is the perfect side dish for the Thanksgiving table! Made with sweet tender kernels of corn, in a velvety smooth parmesan cream sauce. It comes together in a slow cooker or crockpot, and you can customize it however you like!
I’m just going to do it.
I’m jumping right in with the Thanksgiving dinner sides this week, starting with a classic that graces so many people’s Thanksgiving table — creamed corn. My slow cooker creamed corn makes it super easy to make, just toss everything into the slow cooker and let it all just hang out and simmer until the flavors come together and the cream cheese sauce thickens right up. The best part is since we’re making this in a crockpot, you save on oven space!
I’m super finicky about creamed corn. I mean, as the name implies, you need some variety of ‘cream’ and ‘corn.’ But a lot of times, I’ve noticed when people make a stove-top version of the recipe, they often start with a blonde roux, consisting of butter and flour. And though that may work for some, it’s not my thing. I find flour-based creamed corn tastes like gum paste. The taste and texture is claggy! For me, a few cubes of cream cheese, a splash of heavy cream, and a generous sprinkling of parmesan thicken up the creamed corn sauce naturally without having that gritty texture that sometimes comes from making a butter and flour-based roux.
It also makes it a heck of a lot easier to reheat leftovers or to freeze them! The flour-based sauce often changes once it cools in the fridge/freezer.
For me, corn is the center of all comfort food. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I was born in the corn state. I’ll always use it in my chicken pot pie soup and chicken corn soup, sometimes I’ll throw it into my tater tot hot dish, essential for zucchini corn chowder, esquites nachos, and it’s the star of my Mexican corn dip.
But one thing is for sure, good slow cooker creamed corn is the actual epitome of comfort food. I if made properly, I could eat it straight from the bowl with a spoon! Also, I use garlic in my creamed corn recipe.
Am I a rebel, or what?
What do you need to make crock pot creamed corn?
- Butter: we’ll use butter to saute the onions on the stovetop before transferring the ingredients into a slow cooker.
- Sweet onions: You can also use yellow or white onion for this recipe. I prefer to use the milder sweet onion because it works so well with the corn.
- Whole corn kernels: whole yellow sweet corn or white corn kernels work. You can use fresh corn, canned corn, or even frozen corn. Just be sure to thaw the corn and drain the excess liquid before using it.
- Heavy cream: or whipping cream works well for this recipe. The main difference between these two ingredients is their fat content. Since we’re not using any type of acid for this recipe, you can easily use these two ingredients interchangeably without sacrificing flavor!
- Sugar: just a bit of sugar to bring out more of the sweetness from the corn. You can omit this if you didn’t want to use it.
- Seasonings: garlic powder and dried thyme add just a hint of flavor. You could also swap the dried thyme for rosemary if you’d like. You can add as little or as much of the garlic as you’d like. We love all things garlic here, so I use a hefty pinch!
- Bay leaf: They add depth of flavor. This is an ingredient that I find is unique to my creamed corn recipe. The natural bitter taste of bay leaves helps balance the sweetness of the corn and adds a beautiful herbal and floral note.
- Cream cheese: adds a creamy texture to the corn as it slowly cooks in the crockpot. This dish would be excellent for Christmas with your favorite roast too!
- Grated parmesan: adds cheesiness and a delicious nutty flavor to the crockpot creamed corn.
How to make slow cooker creamed corn:
- Saute in butter. Start by heating the butter in a skillet. Once it melts, add the onions and sauté them with a pinch of salt until tender and translucent.
- Slow cook the corn. Spray the inside of a slow cooker with cooking spray, so it’s easy to clean up. Then, transfer the onions into the pot of a slow cooker. Add all the remaining ingredients, other than the grated Parmesan to the slow cooker, place the lid on top, and cook it on low heat for 4 hours or the high heat setting for 2 hours. You’ll want to stop by and stir the mixture every hour or so to keep things smooth.
- Finish and serve: Once it’s done, add the parmesan and give it a good stir; you’ll also want to fish out the bay leaf before serving and adjust with salt as needed. I like to sometimes sprinkle a bit more parmesan on top as garnish! You can never have too much!
FAQs about slow cooker creamed corn:
- Do I have to saute the onions? I prefer to saute the onions as it sweetens them up a bit and doesn’t make them as harsh! Also, it’s essential to use sweet onions (or Vidalia onions) for this recipe as they aren’t as harsh as yellow or white onions. The good thing is that you can easily saute the onions a day ahead of time and store them covered in the refrigerator if you’d like to make the prep work easier for when you make creamed corn.
- Can I use frozen corn instead of canned corn? Yes, frozen corn would work. You just want to be sure to defrost and drain the corn, so you don’t end up diluting the sauce with the additional water! Same with the canned corn, make sure to drain the cans before adding the corn to the slow cooker.
- Can I make slow cooker creamed corn in advance for holidays? Yes, You can easily make this slow cooker creamed corn in advance, allow it to cool to room temperature, and then store it in the refrigerator. I would allow the creamed corn to come to room temperature for about 1 hour and then pop it back in the slow cooker on the warm setting for 1-2 hours before serving. All in all, you need to get the process started on reheating about 3 hours from serving time.
I hope you’ll give my simple slow cooker creamed corn a try! I’ve played around with this recipe tons, so it’s easily customizable. Sometimes I’ll add in a chopped jalapeño for a little heat. Sometimes, I’ll add a bit more sugar. Other times I’ll omit the salt and season it with ranch seasoning instead. So many ways to play around with this recipe!
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
- herb roasted thanksgiving turkey
- the best green bean casserole
- garlic butter brussels sprouts
- the most amazing cheddar mashed potatoes
- homemade cranberry sauce
- roasted garlic focaccia
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 cup sweet onions, minced (such as Vidalia)
- 3 (15-ounce) can whole corn kernels, drained
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 ounces cream cheese (cut into cubes)
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- PREP: Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter to the skillet and allow it to melt. When melted, add the minced onion and season with a tiny pinch of salt and sauté the onions for 4-5 minutes or until they soften, make sure they don’t brown, you just want them to soften and turn translucent.
- SLOW COOKER: Placed the sautéed onions, corn, half and half, sugar, garlic powder, thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, and bay leaf in the bowl of the slow cooker. Add cracked pepper, if desired. Place the cream cheese on top. Cover and let cook or 2 hours on the high setting or for 4 hours on the low setting. You basically just want the cream cheese to melt and for everything to heat all the way through. Stir every hour or so to make sure things are moving along. When cooked, add the grated parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Taste and adjust with additional salt, pepper, and sugar as desired. Remove the bay leaf and discard it.
- SERVE: Transfer the creamed corn to a serving dish and serve. Alternately, you can serve directly from the slow cooker (just be sure to put it on the warm setting and stir every 20-30 minutes if your slow cooker runs hot.)