Creamed Corn Barley | Naturally Ella

Creamed corn is one of those items that I always look fondly upon from my childhood. I can really only relate it to the holidays, specifically my family’s ‘recipe’ for corn casserole. Nevertheless, the idea of creamed corn makes me happy; just not from a can. Also, at least for this recipe, there’s no cream in sight.

One of this season’s cookbook pick-ups helped guide me a bit on this. Jeremy Fox’s On Vegetables relies on corn, and only corn, to make creamed corn (and a subsequent vegan polenta which is amazing.) I took the method and applied it here to make an extremely simple dish. Between the starch from the sweet corn and the barley, a risotto-like texture is created. It’s comfort food, vegan style.

1 review

Creamed Corn Barley

Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 25 minutes Serves 2 servings     adjust servings Calories 512
Creamed Corn Barley | Naturally Ella

An easy vegan summer meal featuring a homemade creamed corn and hearty barley.


Creamed Corn

  • 2 cups sweet corn kernels
  • 1 cup sweet corn broth or low-sodium vegetable broth


  • 1 cup pearl barley, uncooked
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

For Serving

  • Scallion greens, for serving
  • Chili flakes, for serving
  • Olive oil, for serving


  • In a medium pot, heat the sweet corn kernels and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the kernels have softened, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the broth and ¾ the kernels to a blender. Puree until smooth. Transfer back to the pan with the remaining kernels and gently heat until ready to use.
  • In a separate pan, combine barley with 2 ¼ cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 30 minutes. Barley should be tender but slightly chewy. Stir in the creamed corn, salt, and pepper.
  • Transfer the barley to bowls and top with scallion greens, chili flakes, and olive oil.


Recipe Notes

Tips & Tricks: To make sweet corn broth, place 4 corn cobs in a pot, breaking as needed to fit. Cover with equal parts water (4 cobs + 4 cups of water). Add in 1 bay leaf, 2 springs of rosemary, and half a yellow onion. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let cook for 45 minutes. Remove the cobs, onion, and herbs then transfer the stock to a jar. Don’t strain- you will lose some of the goodness!  

Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: sweet corn, barley, scallions

Nutrition:  see the information.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 512 Calories from fat
% Daily Value
Total Fat 4.2 6%
Saturated Fat .7 4%
Sodium 511.8 21%
Carbohydrate 104.5 35%
Dietary Fiber 19.7 79%
Sugars 5.5
Protein 16.7

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g

Creamed Corn


This recipe is simple which means you can easily vary it based on your flavor preference. I love to add cheese but a thick nut cream is also delicious (and helps give a boost in protein!)

Heavy Cream: creamed corn is often made with heavy cream. If you’re looking for a richer taste, add a splash or two into the creamed corn. You could also use nut creams, if desired.

Pesto: I kept the toppings fairly simple but given the summer flavor, a bit of pesto spooned on top or mix into the barley is delicious.

Grains: The beautiful thing about this recipe is that it works with really any grain. Use sorghum to make it gluten-free while keeping the chewy texture or use a quicker cooking grain like millet.

Cheese: Sharp cheddar is amazing melted into this dish.

Creamed Corn Barley and Scallions | Naturally Ella