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30 Minutes Or Less / 5 Ingredients Or Less / One Pot Recipes / Recipes / Side Dish / Vegetarian

Skillet Fried Corn

Are you tired of the same boring sides? This Skillet Fried Corn recipe is a southern delight! Sweet, buttery corn is fried in a cast iron skillet with onion, garlic and seasonings.

Sautéed corn in a black bowl on a black plate.

Skillet Fried Corn

Skillet fried corn is a southern masterpiece and is a go-to corn recipe when you’ve had enough grilled corn on the cob. This dish is different from the southern creamed corn since it doesn’t use sugar, milk or flour. Instead, this savory side dish uses bacon drippings, butter, onion and cajun seasoning to make a truly irresistible side dish!

Skillet fried corn just happens to be one of my favorite summertime side dishes because it’s sweet, savory, and full of buttery corn in bacon drippings with tender fried onion and garlic. Everything is good about this southern side dish!

Not only is this dish something your taste buds will love, but it’s incredibly easy to make. With 5 minutes of prep time and a little skillet time, you can have an amazing side dish ready to go as you pull your entree out of the oven. You can quickly whip it up before a BBQ, party or even for dinner with the family. 

Ingredients for corn side dish in white bowls with a cast iron skillet behind them.

Southern Fried Corn Ingredients

With only 5-ingredients, this recipe takes virtually no time at all to prep. And, you probably already have everything you need to make it!

  • Bacon grease: If you don’t have bacon grease, you can use olive oil. However, you only get the southern feel with good old bacon grease. 
  • Butter: You want to use real salted butter, not margarine. 
  • Onion: I like to use a sweet yellow onion as it pairs well with the sweet corn. 
  • Corn: Fresh corn cut straight off the cob is the best, but you can use frozen corn as well! Just don’t use canned corn, the texture will not be the same.
  • Cajun seasoning: This is the perfect blend of spices. I like to use Slap ya Mama as its not as salty as other brands. 

How to Make Skillet Fried Corn

Bland sides can be the downfall of your dinner, but this skillet fried corn adds flavor and spunk to any meal. And, it’s so incredibly easy to make you’ll be adding it to your menu every week. 

Cook the onion: First, add your bacon grease (olive oil) and butter to a large skillet. Once the butter melts, cook your chopped onion for 3 minutes or until softened. 

Add the corn and seasoning: Next, add your corn and cajun seasoning to the skillet. Then, cook the corn on medium-low heat for 20 minutes. 

Serve and Enjoy!

Corn with seasonings and onion in a cast iron skillet.

Tips for the Best Southern Fried Corn

  • Add bacon. If you don’t have bacon grease, you can always make bacon and add it to the fried corn. Cook the bacon first then remove it and continue with the recipe. Add your bacon back in the last 5 minutes of cooking. 
  • Spice it up. If you want a little kick, add some fresh chopped jalapeno when cooking the onion. 
  • Use all the corn. Two pounds of corn may seem like a lot of corn, but it cooks down when you cook it for 20 minutes. Trust me, it’s really not that much. 
  • Stir often. While the corn is cooking, be sure to stir it often so it doesn’t burn to the bottom. 
  • Add more flavor. If you want more seasoning, you can add a little more cajun seasoning. Don’t add salt before you taste it, since the cajun seasoning already has plenty of salt. 
Overhead image of sautéed corn in a bowl on a black plate.

Recipe Variations

There are a bunch of fun ways to change up or dress up your skillet fried corn. Here are some popular variations we make often:

  • Bacon. Sauté chopped bacon first, until crispy, and remove it and set aside. Continue with recipe (keeping the bacon grease in skillet) and then add back in the cooked bacon for the last 5 minutes of cooking!
  • Peppers/Chilies. Adding jalapeño, green bell pepper, hatch chilies or green chilies is easy! Just add them when you add the onion!
  • Spicy. If you like your fried corn spicy, there are quite a few ways to go about that. You can add jalapeños (directions above!), hot sauce, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes etc.

What is the Easiest Way to Cut Corn Off the Cob?

For this recipe, you can use fresh corn or frozen corn. If you use fresh corn, you may need to cut it off the cob.

To cut the corn off the cob, rest the tip of the cob on your cutting board and tilt it at a 45-degree angle. Using a large knife, run it down the top face of the corn towards the board. Continue until all the kernels have been cut off. 

Can I Use Canned Corn?

I would not use canned corn to make skillet corn. This is because canned corn has been processed and added salt which can affect the recipe. However, if you can not use fresh corn, frozen corn makes a great substitute!

Overhead image of cooked corn with onions in a bowl.

Main Dish Ideas

Not sure what to make with this delicious southern side? Here are some great ideas to pair with this delicious corn!

How to Store Leftovers

If you have leftover corn, you can store it in your refrigerator for 3-5 days. Let the corn cool, put it in a tupperware bowl with a lid and place it in the refrigerator. 

Fried corn in a cast iron skillet with a wooden spoon.
Yield: 6 servings

Skillet Fried Corn

Overhead image of cooked corn with onions in a bowl.

Are you tired of the same boring sides? This skillet fried corn recipe is a southern delight! Sweet, buttery corn is fried in a cast iron skillet with onion, garlic and seasonings.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease or olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 2 pounds corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet add olive oil and butter. Once butter melts add chopped onion cook for 3 minutes, stirring often, until starting to soften.
  2. Add corn and seasoning, stirring until well combined. Cook over medium to medium low heat, stirring often for 20 minutes, or until it's cooked to your liking.

Notes

Want to add bacon? Sauté chopped bacon first, until crispy, and remove it and set aside. Continue with recipe (keeping the bacon grease in skillet) and then add back in the cooked bacon for the last 5 minutes of cooking!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6 servings

Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 279Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 891mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 6g

More Easy Sides Recipes To Try

Looking for more easy, delicious sides to try? Here are a few of my go-to sides for any night of the week:

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