This skillet roasted corn recipe uses canned corn for an easy and versatile side dish. Just fifteen minutes and your favorite seasonings are all you need to add so much flavor to plain corn.
If you're finding yourself bored with the cans of corn you have in the pantry, might I suggest this skillet roasted corn?
What a canned vegetable glow-up. This has become my favorite way to serve corn as a side dish. It makes a great addition to tempeh tacos and BBQ pulled pork nachos, and meshes so well with main dish proteins with southwestern or grilled flavors.
Or really any flavor. Just mix up the seasonings! The choice is yours.
The star of the show is one 15.25-ounce can of sweet corn kernels. Besides being necessary in order to pan roast them, draining the corn reduces a portion of the sodium content.
Then you'll need one tablespoon of your favorite cooking oil. I use olive oil. If you'd like this dish to be closer to Southern-style skillet corn you can use bacon grease.
Technically that's all you need for skillet roasted corn: corn and oil. Everything else is optional with lots of wiggle room. I like to add a garlic clove, chile lime seasoning, and crumbled queso fresco.
Start by heating the oil in a medium skillet and roasting the corn for ten or so minutes. It won't be golden brown yet, but we want to give it a head start before adding the pressed garlic. Garlic doesn't need a ton of time to cook, so adding it later in the process prevents it from burning before the corn is ready.
Keep the corn roasting in the pan until it has browned to your liking. That's somewhere around fifteen minutes for me.
Once it's roasted like the photo above, it's time for the seasonings.
When I serve this skillet corn in flavored dishes I'll keep things simple and just use salt and pepper. Roasting the corn kernels adds so much flavor already! When it's a standalone side dish I like to add a bolder seasoning.
I've taken to using chile lime seasoning and I think it's my favorite way to prepare this roasted corn to date. I can't find Tajín here in stores so I use this blend from Trader Joe's. Big fan! The citrus twist with a little zip pairs well with bursty corn kernels.
And while it's not necessary, a few tablespoons of crumbled queso fresco add the proverbial cherry on top of this roasted corn side dish.
If your dinner is going in a different cuisine direction, by all means sub in a different seasoning blend for the chile lime, omit the queso fresco, etc.
This corn would work so well with baked chili lime salmon as a main dish or sprinkled over top of a quinoa turkey taco salad.
It would also pair up flavor-wise with taco stuffed zucchini boats - either stuffed in or served alongside.
- Chile lime seasoning is my pick for this skillet roasted corn, but you can sub in your favorite blend.
- The queso fresco helps elevate the southwestern vibe here, but can totally be omitted if you don't have any on hand or prefer not to add it.
- Pan-roasting the corn kernels in bacon grease, replacing the queso fresco with bacon crumbles, and subbing in salt and pepper for the chile lime seasoning will bring you close to a Southern-inspired skillet corn.
Easy Skillet Roasted Corn
- 1 15.25-oz can of whole sweet corn kernels, drained
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
- ¼ teaspoon chili lime seasoning, or to taste
- 2 tablespoon crumbled queso fresco, or to taste
- Heat oil in a pan set over medium heat. Drain corn and add to pan.
- Let corn roast for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add garlic. Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, still stirring occasionally, or until the corn is golden brown to your liking.
- Remove the pan from the heat and season with chile lime seasoning (or your preferred spices). Stir in crumbled queso fresco, if using, and serve warm.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer
Pam E says
Does the corn have the be dried before putting it in oil?
You can give it a quick pat with a paper towel if it seems excessively moist but you don't have to make sure every kernel is dry or anything.
Can this be prepped the day before?
Hi Peggy, you can make this ahead of time. You may want to reheat it in a skillet (vs. microwave) so it doesn't get too mushy.
Lara Minerva says
I absolutely love love LOVE this recipe. I’ve only made it once with the queso fresco, but it’s still delicious without.
I'm so happy you like it, Lara!
Glad you liked it, Leslie!