Creamy Corn Pasta

This corn pasta is deliciously creamy...without any cream! Blended corn creates the sauce's luscious texture. Fresh basil takes it over the top.

Corn pasta with basil

This corn pasta recipe is late summer in a bowl. Just like the season, it feels transitional. While it’s bursting with fresh, summery produce like sweet corn and basil, it’s also creamy and comforting, suggestive of all the cozy fare we have coming our way this fall.

To clarify—when I say that this corn pasta is creamy, I don’t mean that it’s made with actual cream. The luscious texture comes from the corn itself! It blends into a silky sauce that beautifully coats the pasta. More corn kernels stay whole for crunch, while basil and pecorino cheese add depth of flavor.

The entire dish comes together with 11 ingredients in under 30 minutes. If you’re looking for an easy, delicious recipe to make to celebrate the end of summer, this creamy corn pasta is it.

Recipe ingredients

Corn Pasta Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make this corn pasta recipe:

  • Corn, of course! You’ll need 3 cups fresh corn kernels, from about 4 ears. I highly recommend making this recipe while sweet corn is in season, but in a pinch, frozen corn will work here too.
  • Pasta – I like to use medium shells because they capture the crisp corn kernels and creamy sauce. Orecchiette would also be delicious. To make this recipe gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free pasta.
  • Shallots and garlic – For savory depth of flavor.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – For sautéing the vegetables.
  • Fresh lemon juice – It adds brightness and acidity to the sauce.
  • Pecorino cheese – It thickens the sauce and adds rich, umami flavor. If you don’t have pecorino, Parmesan cheese works too!
  • Fresh basil leaves – Their bold, citrusy flavor makes this pasta taste like summer.
  • Red pepper flakes – For heat.
  • And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Sauteed corn in a skillet

How to Make Corn Pasta

This corn pasta recipe is quick and easy to make!

Start by cooking the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. I typically stop at the low end of the time range on the package directions. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the starchy pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta. Toss it with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking.

Meanwhile, sauté the vegetables. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the corn kernels, shallots, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot has softened and the corn is tender and bright yellow, about 5 minutes.

Creamy corn pasta sauce in a blender

Next, make the sauce. Transfer half the corn mixture to a blender and pour in 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water. Add the lemon juice and puree until smooth.

Pouring sauce over shell pasta in skillet

Then, pour the corn puree back into the skillet. Add the cooked pasta and toss to combine, warming it over low heat. Add the cheese and another 1/4 cup pasta water, and stir until the cheese melts into the sauce. If you like, add more pasta water to loosen the sauce to your desired consistency.

Finally, season to taste with more salt, pepper, lemon juice, and/or cheese, as desired. Fold in half the basil, and garnish with the remaining basil and sprinkles of red pepper flakes.

Enjoy! Feel free to serve the pasta with more cheese on top. 🙂

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Stirring creamy corn pasta in skillet with wooden spoon

Corn Pasta Recipe Tips

  • Boil the pasta until it’s just al dente. It’ll cook more in the skillet with the sauce. If you go much past al dente on the initial boil, it can get too soft and mushy later on.
  • Don’t pour out the pasta water! Starchy and salty, it’s like liquid gold. In this recipe, it helps the corn blend into a smooth puree, then loosens that puree into a creamy sauce that lightly coats the pasta. Make sure to reserve at least 1 1/2 cups before draining the pasta.
  • Blend, blend, blend. I like this corn pasta best when the sauce is super smooth. Make sure to blend well to get rid of any graininess from the corn.

Folding grated pecorino cheese into skillet

Serving Suggestions

This creamy corn pasta is a wonderful summer dinner. Round out the meal with a simple vegetable side dish like roasted zucchini, grilled zucchini, grilled tomatoes, or lemony green beans, or serve a salad on the side. Any of these recipes would be a great choice:

How to Store Corn Pasta

This recipe is best on the day it’s made, but leftovers keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove with a splash of water to loosen the sauce. It thickens in the fridge.

Corn pasta recipe

More Favorite Corn Recipes

If you love this creamy corn pasta dish, try one of these corn recipes next:

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Creamy Corn Pasta

rate this recipe:
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves 4
This creamy corn pasta recipe is a delicious summer dinner! Made without cream or butter, the sauce gets it luscious texture from blended sweet corn. More whole corn kernels add crunch.



  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the pasta according to the package instructions, cooking until al dente. Reserve 1½ cups of the starchy pasta cooking water before draining.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the corn kernels, shallots, garlic, salt, and several grinds of pepper and cook for 5 minutes, or until the shallot has softened and the corn is tender and bright yellow. Turn off the heat.
  • Transfer half the corn mixture to a blender and add ½ cup of the reserved pasta water and the lemon juice. Puree until smooth.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the pan with the veggies and heat over low heat. Add the corn puree and stir to coat the pasta, then add the cheese and another ¼ cup pasta water and stir until the cheese melts into the sauce. Add more pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce to your liking.
  • Season to taste and fold in half the basil. Garnish with the remaining basil, sprinkle with red pepper flakes, and serve.


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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Mark Posey

    5 stars
    My second time making this. Really great. One question that often comes to mind… Garlic cloves can be really big or really small. Approx what amount (1 tsp? 1 Tbsp?) of garlic do you suggest. Very few recipes give a suggestion on the garlic measurement. It would be helpful.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Mark – about 1 teaspoon for each garlic clove.

  2. Sarah

    We made this recipe and it was amazing. Such a great corn flavor in a new way. It was light enough (it was really hot that week) but filling! We did use Parmesan as I couldn’t find Pecorino at our store. We love everything we’ve made from L&L!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so happy you loved it (and the other recipes you’ve tried!)

  3. Diane from

    5 stars
    I made this for dinner this evening and it was excellent. Such great corn flavour. I went to a local farm to buy the corn and, since we are 100% plant-based, I simply omitted the cheese. Thanks for such a great recipe using corn.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Diane, I’m so glad you loved it!

  4. Emily M

    5 stars
    We made this with the amazing sweet corn from our CSA. It was so delicious! Thank you for a way to use corn that I hadn’t tried before.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  5. Holidaytourspackage

    5 stars
    I am crazy about pasta and will definitely try this recipe as soon as I can.

  6. Holidaytourspackage

    5 stars
    Nice one, must recipe

  7. A very interesting recipe! I love the idea of blending the corn. Did you need to sieve it?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Mimi, There’s no need to strain the sauce after blending. We pour it right over the pasta!

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.