15-Minute Charred Blackened Corn

Blackened corn is an easy 15-minute and three ingredients side dish made by simply tossing corn in blackened seasoning and lightly charring. The flavor is sweet and warm, bringing a fresh twist to corn. This recipe is perfect for dinner, picnics, potlucks, and barbeques. It is also perfect with tacos on top of burritos, bowls, and salads.

Up close picture of blackened corn in a wooden bowl.

The fresh flavor and versatility of corn are hard to deny. But sometimes, it needs to be spiced up a little bit to meet the taste of your dish or to spice up the ordinary.

Enter blackened, charred corn. This recipe is so easy; in a nutshell, you only need to melt butter, add seasoning, toss in your frozen corn kernels, and saute. How is that for a simple side dish recipe?

But why limit yourself to a side dish when you can add charred corn to just about any dish to spice it up? In our house, we add it to salads, tacos, fish, chicken, and homemade Chipotle bowls to spice up the flavor.

A cast iron skillet filled with blackened corn.

Why This Blackened Corn Recipe?

  • You only need three ingredients, all of which are pantry staples!
  • Fast and flavorful side dish

Ingredients

Frozen Sweet Corn Kernels – You can use fresh, frozen, or canned corn. I prefer frozen, except in summer when fresh corn peaks and the flavor is amazing.

Blackened Seasoning – Use the blackened seasoning of your choice. I use a premade mix. If you prefer your combination, I have included a recipe below. It is super easy.

Butter – Two tablespoons of the butter or plant-based butter of your choice.

Instructions

Step One: Prep –

Preheat a large deep skillet or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter/plant-based butter in the hot skillet, sprinkle the blackened seasoning on the butter, stir, and sprinkle. Let the spices simmer for one minute.

Step Two: Cook –

Add the corn kernels and toss the kernels in the melted butter to coat each kernel evenly. Leave the corn to cook undisturbed for 3 – 5 minutes, stir, and repeat until the corn is golden brown. Remove the charred corn from the skillet and allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Optional Topping Ideas

Garnishing adds an extra flavor dimension and pops of color. While garnishes are optional, here are a few ideas.

  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Diced bell peppers – use red, yellow, or green bell peppers
  • Feta cheese
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sliced green onions
  • Sliced jalapeno peppers
  • Sprinkle of lime juice

Homemade Blackened Seasoning

Making homemade blackened seasoning is an easy spice blend using pantry staple spices. To make this blend at home, instead of using a premade seasoning, all you have to do is mix the following seasonings:

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt – use table, sea, or kosher salt

In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together. Store any leftover seasoning in an airtight container in a dark place.

Alternative Cooking Methods

There are many different ways to make this charred corn. I love it cooked in a cast iron skillet or the oven; both methods add depth of flavor. You can use this table to find an alternative cooking method.

Cooking MethodDescription
Air fryer1. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
2. Toss frozen corn with blackened seasoning and a drizzle of oil.
3. Place corn in air fry for 10-12 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through.
Grill1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
2. Toss frozen corn with blackened seasoning and a drizzle of oil.
3. Place on the grill for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until lightly charred.
Oven1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Toss frozen corn with blackened seasoning and a drizzle of oil, then spread on a baking sheet.
3. Roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
Blackened corn on a spoon with a bowl of corn in the background.

Pair Blackened Corn With…

Salads: Add a pop of sweetness and spice to your salad. Add it to this kale crunch salad or corn and avocado salad.

Tacos: Move over corn salsa; blackened corn will add a new twist to your tacos.

Bowls: Add it to your next bowl, or try it with this poke bowl for a flair of Southern flavor!

BBQs: Serve as a side dish for your next BBQ.

Cooking Tips

  • Evenly distribute the seasoning: Be sure to toss the corn in the seasoning a few times to distribute it evenly. This ensures the flavor is consistent. Not to mention, who wants a mouthful of too much seasoning? That would not taste good.
  • Use high heat: Always heat the pan, oven, or air fryer basket before adding the corn. High heat is necessary to create the charred exterior.
  • Don’t overcook: Blackened corn should be tender, slightly charred, and not rubbery. Keep an eye on the corn and remove it from the heat once it blackens. Over-cooking creates a rubbery texture and a burned flavor.
  • Let it rest: Once the corn is cooked, rest for a few minutes to allow the flavors to marry before serving.
Close-up of blackened corn.

FAQS

What is blackened corn?

Corn has been charred on the outside, giving it a smoky flavor and slightly crispy texture. This recipe is often associated with Southern cooking.

How do you store leftover blackened corn?

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.

How do I make blackened corn using fresh corn cobs?

Yes, you can. I recommend oven-roasting or grilling corn on the cob instead of cooking it on the stovetop. Here. Is how you do it:
Step One: Use two tablespoons of olive oil instead of butter in the recipe. Mix the blackened spices with the olive oil. Rub the oil over the ears.
Step Two: Place the corn on the hot grill and cook for 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally, until the char is your desired color.
Step Three: Remove from the grill and let it cool for a few minutes. Slice the kernels off the cobs and serve as desired.

Up close picture of blackened corn in a wooden bowl.

15 Minute Charred Corn

Blackened corn is an easy 15-minute and 3 ingredients side dish made by simply tossing corn in blackened seasoning and lightly charring. The flavor is sweet and warm, bringing a fresh twist to corn. Charred blackened corn is perfect as a side dish for dinner, picnics, potlucks, and barbeques. It is also perfect with tacos on top of burritos, bowls, and salads.
5 from 2 votes
Print Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Southern
Servings: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Equipment

  • 1 Cast iron skillet or skillet
  • 1 Wooden spoon or spatula

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter/plant-based butter
  • 2 tablespoons blackened seasoning
  • 4 cups frozen corn kernals

Instructions

  • Step One: Prep –
    Preheat a large deep skillet or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Melt the 2 tablespoons butter/plant-based butter in the hot skillet and sprinkle the 2 tablespoons blackened seasoning on the butter and stir, sprinkle. Let the spices simmer for one minute.
  • Step Two: Cook –
    Add the 4 cups frozen corn kernals and toss the kernels in the melted butter to evenly coat each kernel. Leave the corn to cook undisturbed for 3 – 5 minutes, stir, and repeat until the corn is golden brown. Remove the charred corn from the skillet and allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
15 Minute Charred Corn
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
152
Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
3
g
5
%
Cholesterol
 
1
mg
0
%
Sodium
 
542
mg
24
%
Carbohydrates
 
33
g
11
%
Fiber
 
4
g
17
%
Sugar
 
7
g
8
%
Protein
 
5
g
10
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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