How to Cook Frozen Corn (the RIGHT way)

5 from 114 votes
61 Comments

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Want to know the secret to making frozen corn taste delicious? Kick your corn side dish up a notch with How to Cook Frozen Corn (the RIGHT way)!

Skillet showing how to Cook Frozen Corn.
Featured with this recipe
  1. Ingredients Needed for this Recipe
  2. Benefits of Frozen Corn
  3. Basic Tips for Cooking Frozen Corn
  4. Frequently Asked Questions – Cooking Frozen Corn
  5. More Variations to Try
  6. What to Serve with Corn
  7. More Recipes using Corn
  8. How to Cook Frozen Corn
  9. How to Cook Frozen Corn (the RIGHT way) Recipe

There’s something about crisp, sweet, fresh corn that adds color and vibrancy to your dinner table. But when you can’t have freshly picked corn on the cob, you can have the same delicious side dish using frozen corn! You’ll never use canned corn again. This recipe is easy, fool-proof, and oh so delicious. Once you try this simple method using frozen corn kernels on the stove top, you will never go back!

Ingredients Needed for this Recipe

Make perfectly flavorful, crispy, delicious corn with just three ingredients! Here’s all you need:

  • 1 pound frozen corn
  • Butter– about four tablespoons melted butter, give or take
  • Sugar – one tablespoon. Trust me on this. It’ll make your corn taste absolutely scrumptious!
Frozen corn, sugar and butter to show how to cook Frozen Corn.


Benefits of Frozen Corn

Frozen corn beats canned corn any day of the week. And it’s a perfect substitute to fresh corn cobs. Why? For one thing, it’s cheaper. A big bag of frozen corn can last for several weeks in the freezer and when prepared correctly, tastes just as fresh as straight off the cob. And it actually takes less time to prepare than fresh. It’s nutritious too! There are actually fewer calories in frozen corn than in fresh or canned.

Basic Tips for Cooking Frozen Corn

  1. Don’t BOIL or microwave frozen kernel corn! Just don’t do it. I know the package tells you to do it, but trust me, it zaps all the flavor out of the corn.
  2. Use a skillet. Stir-frying or sautéing frozen corn keeps it crisp and bright and tastes much better than roasted corn in the oven.
  3. Add a little sugar. It’s ok, it won’t taste weird and it will bring out the natural sweet flavor.
  4. Don’t salt until ready to serve. Salting the corn too early can dehydrate it and it won’t taste as sweet. Wait until after you’ve cooked it, then salt and pepper to taste for perfectly tender kernels.
Frozen corn in a skillet with butter and sugar to cook.

Frequently Asked Questions – Cooking Frozen Corn

Should I thaw corn before cooking?

It doesn’t need to be completely thawed. Just rinse the corn under cool water until all the ice crystals are gone.

How can I use up leftover corn?

Throw a handful of skillet-cooked corn into salads, burritos, tacos, casseroles, or soups for extra color and crunch. Or sauté other veggies with the corn and enjoy a beautiful vegetarian lunch or dinner.

How do I store leftover corn?

Keep leftover corn in an airtight container in the fridge. Try to use it up within about five days.

Is corn a vegetable?

Fresh corn is considered a starchy vegetable, but dried corn is considered a grain. Botanists classify corn in the fruit family.

READ NEXT: 25+ Traditional and Easy Sunday Dinner Ideas

More Variations to Try

  • Easy Seasoned Corn: Add 2 cloves garlic or some garlic powder and ½ teaspoon thyme before cooking.
  • Mexican Street Corn: After cooking, add ⅓ cup queso fresco and sprinkle paprika and parsley over the top. Squeeze a little fresh lime juice over the top and garnish with cilantro, if desired.
  • Parmesan Corn: Add 2 cloves garlic before cooking. After cooking sprinkle ⅓ to ½ cup fresh parmesan cheese over the top. Add in some fresh herbs for even more flavor.

What to Serve with Corn

Corn is a great side dish to proteins and potatoes. Here are some ideas:

  • Grilled Chicken
  • Fried Chicken
  • Pork Chops
  • Pulled Pork
  • Steak
  • Baked Potatoes

More Recipes using Corn

Wanting to find more incredible corn side dishes, main dishes, and corn casseroles? Look no further!

How to Cook Frozen Corn

Skillet showing how to Cook Frozen Corn.

How to Cook Frozen Corn (the RIGHT way)

5 from 114 votes
Want to know the secret to making frozen corn taste delicious? Kick your corn side dish up a notch with How to Cook Frozen Corn (the RIGHT way)!
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings

Video

Equipment

  • Skillet

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place corn in a colander and rinse with cold water until ice is no longer present. Shake off excess water over the sink.
    Colander of rinsed frozen corn to teach how to cook frozen corn.
  • Place corn and butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat.
    Frozen corn in a skillet with butter and sugar to cook.
  • Sprinkle sugar over corn and stir until butter is melted and corn is hot (about 5-6 minutes). Do not over cook.
    Skillet with wooden spoon and butter cooking Frozen Corn.
  • Season with Kosher salt and fresh black pepper if desired.
    Skillet of Cooked Frozen Corn with a wooden spoon.
  • Serve immediately. 
    Close up of a large bowl of Frozen corn cooked to perfection.

Notes

  • Don’t BOIL frozen kernel corn! Just don’t do it. I know the package tells you to do it, but trust me, it zaps all the flavor out of the corn.
  • Use a skillet. Stir-frying or sautéing frozen corn keeps it crisp and bright and tastes much better than roasted corn in the oven.
  • Add a little sugar. It’s ok, it won’t taste weird and it will bring out the natural sweet flavor.
  • Don’t salt until ready to serve. Salting the corn too early can dehydrate it and it won’t taste as sweet. Wait until after you’ve cooked it, then salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 150kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 3gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 71mgPotassium: 222mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 235IUVitamin C: 5.4mgCalcium: 5mgIron: 0.5mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! The corn tasted amazing! I have never been partial to boiling corn and now will never use that method again. I used butter as was recommended but did not use sugar. Thank you for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    Super easy and delicious. I didn’t add sugar as the frozen corn I had was already quite sweet, and since I am vegan I used margarine instead of butter

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious and such an easy recipe! Taste like fresh buttered corn on the cob. Definitely a keeper. Thank you for sharing!

    1. 5 stars
      I made 2 batches. One with salted butter and the other with unsalted butter. After I sprinkled the sugar in both (I used a little less sugar than what the recipe calls for) and BOTH batches were really good!

  4. 5 stars
    I noticed a typo in the Mexican street corn variant. I think “queso” was autocorrected. Looking forward to trying this!

  5. 5 stars
    This sounds great! My teeth are terrible, and I’d like to cook the corn to be a little less crispy. Slightly longer cook time? Anything else? Thanks so much for this recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    Love this! I just did this tonight and so glad I did, it was delicious! I will never boil frozen corn again! Thank you!

  7. Hi! If made this a day ahead and put in the fridge would it work to reheat in the skillet again? Or what do you think the best method would be?

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