Buttery Southern Fried Corn

Southern Fried Corn
The Spruce
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

This easy Southern-style fried corn is made with fresh corn kernels, butter, optional sugar, and seasonings.​ Add a little bacon grease for extra flavor.

Consider sautéing some finely chopped onions and sweet bell pepper in the butter before adding the corn. It makes a delicious and colorful side dish. Alternatively, add a small amount of finely minced jalapeno pepper or chipotle pepper for some heat. A dash of cayenne pepper would be good as well.


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  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 6 ears)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or use part bacon drippings)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional: sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Corn on the cob
    Tom Grill/Getty Images
  2. In a heavy skillet, heat butter over medium-low heat until foamy.

  3. Add the fresh corn kernels; cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

    Buttery Southern Fried Corn
     The Spruce
  4. Lower heat if necessary to keep the butter from burning.

  5. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning, and add about 1 teaspoon of sugar if desired.

    Buttery Southern Fried Corn
     The Spruce
  6. Enjoy!


  • These days, corn is bred to be sweeter than in the past, but it will still lose some of its sweetness over time. If your corn isn't very sweet, add a dash of sugar or a bit of honey to sweeten up the dish.

Recipe Variations

  • Add color and flavor to the corn with some minced onion and bell pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of finely minced onion and 2 tablespoons of finely minced green and/or red bell pepper. Cook in the skillet for 2 minutes before you add the corn.
  • For some smoky spice, mince about 1/2 to one whole chipotle pepper in adobo sauce and add it to the corn a few minutes before it is finished cooking.