Southern Fried Corn

Fried Corn is a country southern classic. Of course everyone’s Nana and Momma have their own spin on to put on southern fried corn, but overall, it isn’t even actually “fried,” it is caramelized. The base is of course, corn.

wooden spoon in pan of southern fried corn with text overlay for facebook


Depending on who you ask will depend on the answer of what type of corn you have to use. I typically use frozen corn, which would make those who swear by their local fresh corn.

Others use canned corn. Any cooked corn will do; white, yellow, sweet, not sweet. I find using frozen corn saves me the time I will need to really let me corn caramelize. While it is a simple process, it does take a little while to get the right results. Think of it as low and slow…

It is an easy dish perfect for a BBQ side or even simple Mayo Parmesan Chicken.

Why You’ll Love This Southern Fried Corn

Easy recipes are a must this time of year, and this delicious summer side dish couldn’t be easier. 

  • Minutes of prep time – With only five minutes of prep, you will want to make this recipe all corn season long!
  • Short ingredient list – Grab your cast iron skillet and only FIVE ingredients and you’re well on your way to making this easy dish.
  • Family favorite – I get asked for the recipe every time I make this dish. It’s loved by all, both kids and adults.
overhead shot of wooden spoon in pan of southern fried corn

Southern Fried Corn Ingredients

You only need five simple ingredients to make this southern fried corn recipe- that’s it!

  • Butter – I always prefer to use unsalted butter when cooking so that I can control the amount of salt in the recipe. However, if you are using salted butter, just omit the extra salt in the recipe.
  • Red onion – I like the color and flavor of red onion. But you could use yellow onion instead for a more mild onion flavor if you’d like.
  • Corn – I personally use frozen corn because I always have a bag in the freezer. But you could cut fresh corn kernels off of a corn cob just as easily.
  • Amber agave nectar or honey – If using fresh sweet corn, you might need a little less of this than called for. Depending on the sweetness of the corn, you might want to add a little more or less.
  • Fine sea salt – I just like to finish this delicious side dish with a little salt. If you used salted butter, you can omit this ingredient.
angled shot of wooden spoon in pan corn

How to Make Southern Fried Corn

You are going to love how easy it is to make this delicious corn recipe.

  1. Sauté onion. Heat butter in a large, heavy bottom skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, allowing to sweat for a few minutes.
  2. Add corn. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring every few minutes to cook evenly. Corn and onions should start to lightly brown and caramelize.
  3. Add agave and salt. Before serving, add agave nectar and salt, mixing to combine. Serve immediately.


There are plenty of different ways you can make this savory side dish your own!

  • Veggies – Don’t like the onion? Leave it out or swap it for something else. Fresh tomatoes like cherry tomatoes or even chopped green peppers would taste great with this skillet corn.
  • Bacon – Instead of cooking your corn in butter, try bacon grease! Cook strips of bacon, then use the bacon fat to sauté the corn. You could even add the bacon to the corn for a little crunch.
  • Seasonings – You can totally dress this dish up a bit with some seasonings. Cajun seasoning, freshly cracked black pepper or even white pepper would add amazing flavor.
angled shot of southern fried corn on plate with chicken and broccoli

How to Serve

The options for serving this classic southern side dish are really endless. As for main dish options, we like to serve ours with some sort of protein like pork chops or fried chicken.

For side dishes, this corn pairs well with other southern recipes. Think along the lines of collard greens, hush puppies or cornbread

Storage and Freezing

Storage: You can store any leftover southern fried corn in an airtight container. It will stay in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Freezing: This corn can also easily be frozen. Store the same way, in an airtight container and it will last for up to three months.

collage of fried corn for pinterest

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wooden spoon in pan of southern fried corn with text overlay for pinterest
close up of southern fried corn in pan

Southern Fried Corn

5 from 5 votes
Southern Fried Corn is a simple southern recipe caramelizing corn and onions for a sweet side dish or taco filling!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4



  • Heat the butter in a large, heavy bottom skillet or cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion, allowing to sweat for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the corn, continue to cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to cook evenly. The corn and onions should start to lightly brown and caramelize.
  • Before serving, stir in the agave nectar and salt, mixing to combine. Serve immediately.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.


Calories: 255 kcal, Carbohydrates: 37 g, Protein: 4 g, Fat: 12 g, Saturated Fat: 7 g, Cholesterol: 30 mg, Sodium: 688 mg, Potassium: 373 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 8 g, Vitamin A: 350 IU, Vitamin C: 10.2 mg, Calcium: 14 mg, Iron: 0.8 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 255
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: corn side dish, southern fried corn
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

  1. Ummmmm yea!!! This sounds wonderful! The flavours sound like they come together nicely making this a delicious side! It is going on the menu!

  2. This is a new to me recipe and I love how easy it is, and I typically have everything on hand. Great side dish for when I’m in a weeknight pinch!

  3. 5 stars
    What a delicious side dish! I love corn so much and this looks absolutely yummy! Can’t wait to try it real soon!