Southern fried corn is a delicious side dish you can whip up with only a few simple ingredients and it is chock-full of flavor! This is one of those quick recipes you are going to want to have in your arsenal for easy weeknight dinners!
Southern Skillet Fried Corn Recipe
In just 15 minutes or less, you can have a mountain of freshly cooked sweet corn covered in garlic butter and sauteed onions. Mix in some salty bacon pieces and top with freshly chopped chives, and you’ll have a showstopper!
All of these ingredients go well with pretty much anything, so if you’re picking a main dish to match, you shouldn’t have to look far. Air Fryer Recipes are usually fast and easy, and many work well with southern fried corn.
Southern-fried corn: You’ll never want corn plain again!
Make no mistake, this is one of the fastest, most delicious sides you can make. Everyone will love this indulgent dish, and you might even find a new family favorite!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
Quick and Easy! With only 5 minutes of prep time and 2 steps, it’s hard not to fall in love!
It's Versatile! This dish goes well with almost everything!
It's Flavorful! Plain corn is delicious, but this takes it to the next level!
These are mostly pantry staples, but you might have to run out for some fresh chives. They add a great green taste to the other, richer flavors.
- 4 tablespoons Butter - This comes out to be ½ stick or ¼ cup.
- 2 strips Bacon - Cook it and chop it up. Any kind will be good but thick-cut, streaky bacon is best.
- ½ cup Yellow Onion - Sauteed onions and garlic are the base of this rich, savory dish.
- 1 teaspoon Garlic - Cooking the garlic in butter before adding the corn releases all the flavor that will be distributed by the butter.
- 4 cups of Corn - You’ll need about 8 ears of yellow corn or 4 cans of drained whole corn.
- ½ teaspoon each Salt & Pepper - As always, you can add as much or as little as you’d like.
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Chives (optional) - Chop up some chives for a colorful garnish!
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for ingredients, amounts & instructions!*
🧂 Substitutions & Additions
For some added spice or flavor, try adding one of the following:
- Cayenne Pepper - As always, if you want to add some extra spice, cayenne pepper is an easy way to do it without interfering with the intended flavor of the dish.
- Sriracha - Sriracha will kick things up a notch but will change the taste a bit. In a good way!
- Chipotle Chile Powder or Smoked Paprika - For that unique smokey flavor, try one of these!
- Bacon Drippings - To intensify the bacon flavor, use the bacon drippings for part or all of the butter in step 1.
- Jalapeños - These little peppers will also bring up the heat. If you really like it hot, cut them up and add them when you saute the onions. For more flavor than heat, add them when you add the bacon.
- Ham - For a more protein-heavy side, throw in some ham pieces when you add the bacon.
- Tomatoes - If you love your vegetables, add even more with a few chopped tomatoes. Transfer them to the skillet at any point in the process. For softer pieces, add them with the onions. For firmer pieces, add them closer to the end.
🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions
For this recipe, you’ll need a cast-iron pan, a wooden spoon, and a cutting board. There are only 2 steps and 15 minutes necessary, so I hope you like easy cooking!
- Melt butter. To begin, melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until it starts to brown. Then, add ½ cup yellow onion, cooking until it also starts to brown. It takes about 3 minutes stirring frequently. Dump in 1 teaspoon garlic and cook for about 30 seconds or until you start to smell it.
- Add remaining ingredients. Pour in 4 cups of corn and ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper, or to taste. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. The corn should be tender (*See note). Then, remove from heat and stir in 2 strips of chopped bacon. Serve and enjoy!
💭 Angela's Tips & Recipe Notes
- If you decide to use canned corn, reduce the cooking time. Canned corn is already tender, so only cook until it’s thoroughly heated. While both are acceptable, using canned or frozen corn can change the texture a bit. With the latter, be sure to thaw and drain it before using.
- Use a bundt pan when cutting the corn. It’s always messy when you cut corn off the cob. One way I’ve discovered to limit runaway kernels is to use the middle hole of a bundt pan to steady the cob while I cut down. The rest of the pan does a great job of catching the corn as it comes off. Plus, it’s secure enough I don’t have to worry about my knife slipping.
- Cut close. Remember to get as much of the kernels as you can without cutting the cob.
- Be careful when adding corn. If your pan is too hot, corn could pop, and with hot butter involved, it can easily burn your skin. For peace of mind, wear long sleeves.
- Brown the butter. Don’t skip this step. While it seems trivial, the butter will take on a completely different–and delicious–taste when it has been cooked to this point. Be careful not to burn it.
🥡 Storing & Reheating
If you have extra, it can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
To freeze, move leftovers to an airtight container or freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. They’ll be good for up to 3 months.
Reheating Southern Fried Corn
To reheat southern fried corn, thaw overnight in the fridge. Then, put it in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until hot. You can also put it in a skillet and warm it over low heat
🍚 More Easy Side Dishes!
- Cheesy Bacon Ranch Potatoes
- Steakhouse Creamed Spinach
- Fried Cabbage
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Broiled Potatoes
- Roasted Green Beans
Cast-iron adds great flavor to this dish as well as great color. This is some serious cookware that does well on or in the oven, but if you don’t have one or prefer to use another option, it will still taste amazing!
I love thick-cut peppered bacon, but I love that even outside of the context of this dish. There’s no reason a maple, apple-smoked, or even turkey bacon wouldn’t be equally as delicious if that is what you prefer. *Keep in mind the last option will change the original flavor a bit but will still be good.
Southern Fried Corn
- 4 tablespoon butter (½ stick or ¼ cup butter)
- 2 strips bacon (cooked and chopped)
- ½ cup yellow onion (chopped)
- 1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
- 4 cups corn (8 ears of yellow corn or 4 cans whole corn, drained)
- ½ teaspoon each, salt & pepper (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives (optional, chopped)
- In a medium to large cast-iron skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat until just beginning to brown. Next, add the onion and cook until it's starting to brown as well, about 3 minutes. Stir frequently. Then, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.4 tablespoon butter, ½ cup yellow onion, 1 teaspoon garlic
- Add the corn and salt & pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes or until the corn is tender (*see note). Remove from heat, stir in the chopped bacon, and garnish with fresh chives before serving if desired.2 strips bacon, 4 cups corn, ½ teaspoon each, salt & pepper, 1 tablespoon fresh chives
- If using canned corn, cook until heated through as the corn is already tender.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!