Featuring bold Southwest creamed corn
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Southwest Creamed Corn

Dive into Southwest Creamed Corn – Earthy poblanos, tangy cotija cheese, and a splash of lime juice bring bold flavors to this creamy, irresistible side dish. Simple to make and quick to disappear, this is the most-requested side dish in our house for a reason. If you love the flavors of Mexican street corn, you need to make this!

The South knows how to throw down the BEST side dishes in barbecue, period. (Sorry Midwest, they have you beat.)

This particular recipe comes straight from my cookbook, Chiles and Smoke! Hope you enjoy, it’s a favorite of ours.

Southwest creamed corn is a spicy twist on the Southern classic.

Creamed corn is one of those dishes that pairs with anything from tacos and smoked meats, to sandwiches and more. Combining the classic recipe with flavors of the Southwest is a natural progression, and kicks up the flavors in a big way.

By infusing the creamy comfort of traditional creamed corn with the bold, earthy flavors of Mexican street corn (elotes), you get a dish that’s both familiar and exciting. The sautéed poblanos and garlic add depth and contrast to the sweetness of the corn, while the cotija cheese and lime juice provide a tangy, refreshing finish.

Key ingredients for this version of elote creamed corn.

Key Ingredients for this Recipe

  • Corn: Fresh summer corn is ideal, but frozen works well too. Just ensure it’s completely thawed.
  • Poblano Chiles: These provide an earthy, mild heat that complements the sweetness of the corn.
  • Crumbly Cheese: A crumbly, salty Mexican cheese that adds a wonderful tanginess such as cotija or queso fresco.
  • Heavy Cream: Creates the luscious, creamy texture of the dish.
  • Garlic: Fresh works best, but garlic powder will do in a pinch.
  • Chile Powder: Use a high-quality blend or our own Sedona Sand All-Purpose Seasoning.
  • Lime Juice: Adds brightness and balances the richness of the cream.

Variations For Flavor

Kick it up with more heat, or add some char. We’ve tested this creamed corn recipe so many times, it’s easy to adapt and customize:

  • Grilled Corn and Poblanos: For an extra layer of smoky flavor, grill the corn and poblanos before adding them to the dish.
  • Spicy Kick: Add diced jalapeños instead of the poblanos, or even add a dash of cayenne pepper.
  • Cheese Swap: If you can’t find cotija, feta or freshly grated Parmesan can be used as substitutes.
  • Vegan-friendly: Use coconut cream instead of heavy cream. Honestly, it’s so good, we make it this way on occasion just because.

How to Prepare This Creamed Corn

This Southwest creamed corn can be prepared within about 30 minutes, made ahead, or can be held warm for hours. It’s very flexible so have fun with it.

  1. Prepare the fresh corn, if using. Using a small paring knife, carefully slice off the corn kernels into a large bowl. Using the back of the knife, scrape off any juices from the cob.
    If using frozen corn, make sure it’s completely thawed before cooking. The cold temperatures can slow the process or cause the cream to clump.
  2. Create a roux. Heat a saucepan to medium heat. Add in the butter and flour, whisking to cook out the raw flavor of the flour. After about 2 minutes, add in the garlic and poblano chiles, stirring for about 2 minutes.
  1. Add in the corn kernels, salt, pepper, paprika, and sugar. Cook and stir for another 3–4 minutes until the corn is completely coated.
  2. Slowly cook to finish. Add in the heavy cream and cook for another 10–15 minutes on low until it has thickened and the corn is cooked through. Do not let the cream boil, keep it to a very low simmer.
Stir in the lime juice and keep it on a low setting until ready.
  1. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cotija cheese and a squeeze of lime juice. Taste to season and adjust as needed.
  2. Add the toppings. Garnish with more cheese, dust with paprika or seasoning, and serve!

The creamed corn is best served warm if you’re serving it as a side dish… however, it’s fantastic as a topping for tacos as well! Don’t be afraid to serve a chilled version of it on top of Tacos Dorados or Carne Asada.

Scoop up the Elote creamed corn with tortilla chips.

Important Tips

  • Stir Frequently: When adding the cream, make sure to stir frequently to prevent it from sticking to the pan or burning.
  • Adjust Seasoning: Always taste and adjust the seasoning before serving. The sweetness of the corn can vary, so you may need more or less salt and sugar.
  • Serving Temperature: This dish is best served warm, but it can also be enjoyed at room temperature.
  • Prepare Ahead: The Southwest creamed corn can be held in a crockpot for hours on the low setting if you’re bringing to a party, or if you’re preparing it ahead of time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare it in advance and reheat it gently on the stove, adding a splash of cream if it becomes too thick. Hold in the oven or a crockpot on the warm setting until ready to serve.

What can I serve with Southwest Creamed Corn?

It pairs perfectly with grilled or barbecued meats, tacos, and other BBQ dishes. It’s also delicious as a dip with tortilla chips.

Can I use canned corn?

Fresh or frozen corn is recommended for the best texture and flavor, but canned corn can be used in a pinch. Be sure to drain and rinse it well.

Thank You For Trying Our Recipe!

We’re here to bring people together with bold flavors, using spice and flames to ignite the food and friendships.

If you try this recipe, please consider leaving an honest review below. You can also find more content by following Chiles and Smoke on InstagramYouTube, and Facebook.

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Featuring bold Southwest creamed corn

Southwest Creamed Corn

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5 from 1 review

Dive into Southwest Creamed Corn – Earthy poblanos, tangy cotija cheese, and a splash of lime juice bring bold flavors to this creamy, irresistible side dish.

  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: About 6 cups 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 medium ears corn, husk and silk removed (about 4 cups )
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup diced poblano chiles
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cup cotija cheese

For Garnish

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon paprika or chili powder

Instructions

Notes

  • Sedona Sand All-Purpose Seasoning works extremely well and adds even more chile & herb flavors.
  • Serving Temperature: This dish is best served warm, but it can also be enjoyed at room temperature.
  • Prepare Ahead: The Southwest creamed corn can be held in a crockpot for hours on the low setting if you’re bringing to a party, or if you’re preparing it ahead of time.
  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Side Dish, Appetizer, Salsa
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2 Comments

  1. A very easy and good side dish. I can’t hardly wait to try it out. I know that it will be a winning recipe thank you.






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