Chipotle cream corn | Homesick Texan

Chipotle cream corn

During a summer outdoor gathering, a friend offered whole ears of corn he had slathered with butter and red chiles. The creaminess, sweetness, and earthiness of the three ingredients were welcome, though I prefer to eat my corn with a fork and not my hands. An idea for turning it into a cream corn dish was born.

My friend had used crumbled dried ancho chiles, which gave the corn a bittersweet piquancy. Though at the time, I thought that the smoky heat of chipotle chiles, which are smoked and dried jalapeño peppers, would also work well.

Cream corn is a side offering that originates back to Native American cuisine, as this plant is also a Native American. The original renditions took corn and cooked it using the natural starch and liquid that can be extracted from the cobs to create the creamy texture.

Chipotle cream corn | Homesick Texan

As corn also became a staple for European-Americans, dairy products such as milk and butter were introduced, along with sweeteners such as sugar. This produced a richer dish.

There are many approaches to cream corn (or creamed corn, as it’s sometimes labelled). You can follow the classic method and let the natural starches thicken the dish. You can also incorporate flour or butter.

Though one rendition, which uses both cream cheese and heavy cream, is a truly decadent take that’s popular with Texans. To balance some of the cheese’s heaviness, I find that the addition of aromatics and lime juice work well when using this method.

Following the example of my friend, I also add chiles, though these days I do prefer the smoky chipotle. The dish can be prepared with either fresh or frozen corn. While the former will be more flavorful when corn is in season, the abundance of supporting flavors makes this a successful dish with frozen, too.

Chipotle cream corn | Homesick Texan

After lightly cooking the corn and garlic, you add butter, cream cheese, spices, and chiles. As the corn and sauce meld together, a creamy blend is formed. It’s sweet, smoky, and savory. And a pleasing accompaniment to all your summertime favorites.

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5 from 2 votes

Chipotle cream corn

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Texan
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 8
Author Lisa Fain


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo, minced
  • 5 cups corn kernels, fresh (about 8 ears) or thawed
  • 1 cup cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


  • In a large skillet, on medium-low heat melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne, and chipotle chiles until they're well blended with the garlic, then add the corn to the skillet. While stirring, cook the corn with the garlic and spices until fragrant and warm, about 2 minutes.
  • Add to the skillet the cream and cream cheese and turn the heat to low. While stirring occasionally cook for 15 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened and reduced.
  • Stir in the lime juice then taste and adjust seasonings. Serve warm.


Be aware that the recipe calls for two individual chipotle chile peppers and not two entire cans. 

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Recipe Rating


  1. Janet Martin says:

    5 stars
    While some might find this recipe overly “rich,” my family thought it was spectacular. I, the daughter of a farmer who raised corn and peas for Green Giant in the 50s, was told by my dad in no uncertain terms to NEVER buy canned creamed corn, so I particularly value this recipe (he used to bring home cases of Green Giant Mexicorn and LeSeur baby peas from the cannery, however). I’ve made this recipe a couple of times either with chipotles as written, or with some minced onion and pickled jalapenos–both versions were SO GOOD!

    1. Lisa Fain says:

      Janet–Ha! I don’t think I’ve ever bought canned cream corn so I’m glad an expert agrees. And thank you for the adaptation tip. I imagine the recipe would be great with onion and pickled jalapeños!