Fried Corn Recipe – Immaculate Bites

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Fried Corn – Classic corn cut fresh off the cob fried in bacon drippings with garlic, onions, paprika, and Creole seasoning delivers the ultimate Southern comfort food. Then top it with bacon bits for a heavenly side dish! Pair it with grilled or fried meat, roasted veggies, and saucy dishes for a happy family!

I have always been a huge corn fan. From sweet corn fritters and shrimp corn soup to corn pudding, you name it! My love for anything corn is far beyond what you can imagine. I grew up eating it, so it will always hold a special place in my heart and palate.

This super easy side dish is also pretty versatile, so make enough for leftovers. Plus, if you’re lookin’ for a no-fuss and quick summer side dish, this Southern fried corn is definitely a top recommendation. It comes together so fast with simple pantry staple ingredients. If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.

Delicious fried corn served with mashed potatoes Salisbury steak

How to Shell Corn for Fried Corn

The best method that I’ve been using for years to scrape off all those corn kernels is to use an angel food cake or bundt pan. That center hole holds the cob perfectly. Place the cob in that hole and grab the cob in place. Then carefully run a sharp knife down the cob until all kernels are extracted and all over the bundt pan. Voila! A mess-free and easy way to strip the corn kernels off the cob.

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients you'll want for this deliciousness
  1. Corn – Sweet corn is out of this world, but tender dent corn will work. And now heirloom corn is available in so many colors you can go wild. No fresh corn? Frozen corn will work, too.
  2. Bacon – This guy makes everything better. And don’t forget to save the drippings because it adds a delicious smokiness to any fried corn recipe.
  3. Butter always amazes me with its creaminess that gives a delectable taste to any dish.
  4. Spices – Corn is naturally delicious, but adding more flavor from oniongarlicCreole seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, paprika, and pepper flakes is always welcome. They are the ultimate flavor-enhancing mixture giving a savory-salty-umami-sweet-spicy combo.

How to Fry Corn

Cook the bacon and seasonings and add the rest of the ingredients
  • Shell the Corn – Remove the husk from the corn and, using a sharp knife, cut the kernels from the cob from top to bottom and gather them with their juices in a large bowl or cake pan. Use the back of a knife to scrape the residual corn from the cobs. Repeat with the remaining ears of corn.
  • Fry the Bacon – In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté bacon until brown and crisp this may take about 3-5 minutes. Set aside reserve about ¼ of it for garnish. You’ll add the rest when adding the onions.
  • Reserve the Drippings – Keep 1-2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings in the pan and save the rest for another recipe.
  • Sauté – Add butter to the pan, followed by onions and garlic. Sauté for about 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to let it burn.
  • Add Corn and Season – Add corn, paprika, white pepper, Creole seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce. (Now is also a good time to add some cream to really make it decadent.) Continue cooking for 7-10 minutes or more, depending on your preference.
  • Serve – Adjust seasonings to taste with Creole seasoning, salt, and pepper flakes. Serve warm.
A skillet full of deliciously fried corn

Recipe Variations

There are so many different ways to make delicious fried corn!

  1. Add Color: Diced red and green bell peppers are excellent additions. Diced tomatoes thrown in right at the end are also great.
  2. Spice it Up: Diced jalapeños add more spice, and minced cilantro gives it a Mexican flair.
  3. Cheesy Twist: Shredded smoked cheddar cheese is awesome on top of this goodness. But your favorite melty cheese will work great, too.
  4. Bacon Swaps – This recipe works, too, with other deli meats, like ham, sausage, and pepperoni.

Tips and Tricks

  1. After removing the kernels from the corn, you might want to cook them for about 5 minutes in ½ cup of water to reduce frying time and ensure plump, tender corn kernels.
  2. About ½ cup of cream is optional here, but it’s a great addition, especially if you love creamy corn.
  3. If you’re replacing the corn on the cob with frozen corn, use about ¾-1 cup per serving.
  4. While just about any variety of corn is delicious, corn with bright green husks typically has the best quality.

Make-Ahead Instructions

Rejoice, as you can make fried corn with bacon a day or two ahead. Just follow the recipe all the way to the end and store your fried corn in an appropriate container in the fridge. Reheat in the skillet when ready to enjoy. Easy peasy!

Serving and Storage Instructions

In a sealed container, fried corn will last for up to 5 days in the fridge. You can also freeze it for six months

To reheat it, give it a zap in the microwave or reheat it in the skillet over medium heat. 

Southern Fried Corn in a bowl ready to enjoy


Where did the idea for fried corn come from?

This recipe is a genuine Southern specialty. Corn is native to North America and is a staple ingredient in Southern cooking. Hey, cornbread is undeniably Southern, right?

What are some different ways to cook corn?

Oh, the list is endless! You can grill it with or without the husk (with the husk on and soaked for about an hour before grilling is my favorite). You can boil, bake, roast, air fry, and grind it up for a tender, moist cornbread or pudding. What’s not to love?

Should you add sugar to fried corn?

That is a personal decision. Honestly, a lot of Southerners add just a spoonful of sugar to balance out the saltiness. I don’t, but that’s me. You do you.😍

What to Serve With Fried Corn

Tons of options go great with fried corn! I absolutely love Southern fried chickencollard greens, and mouthwatering mashed garlic potatoes. And remember to make some homemade Southern sweet tea to wash it all down. Yum!!!

More Fantastic Corn Recipes to Try


I know you’ll love this incredibly simple fried corn recipe for your next Southern extravaganza. Have you already tried it? Then please pin it and share.😍

Watch How to Make It

This blog post was originally published in June 2018 and has been updated with additional tips, new photos, and a video.

Southern Fried Corn

Classic corn cut fresh off the cob fried in bacon drippings with garlic, onions, paprika, and Creole seasoning delivers the ultimate Southern comfort food. Then top it with bacon bits for a heavenly side dish! Pair it with grilled or fried meat, roasted veggies, and saucy dishes for a happy family!