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How to Cook Canned Corn

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Learn how to cook canned corn and serve a delicious and easy side dish in less than 10 minutes. All you need is a can of sweet corn and a few pantry ingredients.

bowl of cooked corn kernels wit a spoon in it.

Cooking corn from a can is easy, fast, and delicious. Making a quick side dish is rarely complicated, but this easy canned corn recipe is easier than most. Pair this with the Honey Lemon Pepper Wings, and your children will be delighted. Or try another delicious corn recipe, these golden Corn and Zucchini Fritters.

Why will you love this delicious recipe?

  • Taste: sweet, slightly caramelized sweet corn kernels with a kick from the red pepper flakes.
  • Pantry ingredients: corn in a can and a couple of spices.
  • Budget-friendly: preparing canned sweet corn costs pennies.
  • Kid-friendly side dish: most kids love this canned vegetable.
  • The best thing: it takes less than 10 minutes to make corn from a can.

Recipe ingredients

bowl of corn, spices, water, parsley, garlic and butter on the table.
  • A can of corn. Or two cans, depending on their size and how much you want to make.
  • Spices: a pinch of red pepper flakes (to taste), salt, and pepper.
    • You can sub the flakes with chili powder or cayenne pepper. Or leave them out if you don’t want a spicy dish.
    • The amount of salt you need depends on how salty the canned veggies are and the kind of butter (salted or unsalted) you use.
  • Herbs: you can either top the cooked corn with chopped fresh parsley or you can add a good pinch of dried parsley to the skillet when you add the other spices
    • Alternatively, use fresh or dried dill; I think dill goes particularly well with corn.
  • Other ingredients: salted or unsalted butter, sugar (it enhances the natural corn flavor).
    • To make the dish vegan, you can use olive oil instead of butter.
  • You might need a can opener as well.

How to cook corn from a can?

  • Drain the contents of the can in a sieve. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a medium skillet or saucepan (1).
  • Sprinkle the sugar in the pan and let it caramelize gently for about 1 minute.
  • Add drained corn, grated garlic, red pepper flakes, water, a little bit of salt, and some freshly ground black pepper. If using dried herbs, add them now as well (2).
two pictures showing how to cook canned corn.

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  • Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes or until the liquid is completely evaporated, stirring occasionally (3).
  • Adjust the taste with salt and pepper, add an extra dot of butter (optional) and sprinkle with the chopped parsley before serving (4).
collage of two pictures of cooking corn in a pot and serving it in a bowl.

Recipe variations

  • Other vegetables:
    • You can cook a small, finely chopped white or red onion in the pan before adding the kernels.
    • Add a few deseeded very finely chopped tomatoes or finely sliced green onions.
    • Add about the same amount of peas to the pan. The peas should preferably be frozen and defrosted. But you can also use canned peas if you want them (I don’t like canned peas).You can also combine the corn with kidney beans, black beans, diced red pepper, chopped cooked green beans, or broccoli (tiny florets and diced stem).
  • Make it creamy: Add a couple of tablespoons of cream cheese or sour cream and adjust the seasoning again.
  • Make it cheesy: Add a couple of tablespoons of grated cheddar cheese or Parmesan cheese during the last 2 minutes of the cooking time. Let cheese melt gently (low heat) while stirring all the time.
serving cooked corn kernels with a spoon.

Tips and Recipe FAQ

When using a larger can (about15 oz/ about 425 g), you will have 4 servings as a side dish. If the cans are smaller (8.5 oz/ 240 g), you will need two for 4-5 servings.

Can I use frozen corn?

Yes, of course. You can defrost it on the counter or in a bowl of cold water before using it. If you are in a hurry, cook it from frozen and add a few more minutes to the cooking time.

Can I roast canned corn?

Yes. Drain well, mix with any spices you like, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast in the preheated oven (400 degrees Fahrenheit/ 200 degrees Celsius). Roast for 15-20 minutes to serve a side dish (the corn will still be soft) or for about 25 minutes for crispier kernels (delicious as a snack).

Can I use other spices?

Yes. As already mentioned, you can add dill to the cooked, canned corn. But other herbs you like are fine as well. Try thyme, basil, or chives; even a pinch of mint is a good fit sometimes, depending on the main dish.
You can also spice the dish with curry powder, turmeric, cumin, coriander, and so on. Or a bought mixture of spices.

How to store?

Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge; they will be fine for at least 2-3 days. You can serve them directly from the refrigerator or reheat them.
Reheat it in the microwave (in a microwave-safe dish) or on the stovetop (in a small saucepan). Add a tiny splash of water when reheating.
Freeze the leftovers in an airtight container; they will keep for at least 3 months or longer. Reheat before serving. You can reheat the leftovers from frozen or let them defrost first; it will not take long.

What else to make with canned corn?

How about a salad or salsa? Corn fritters, creamed corn, or chowder are always good classic ideas. Add it to soup or stews.

What to serve with it?

close up cooked corn from a can with butter melting on top.

More fast side dishes

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close up cooked corn from a can with butter melting on top.

How to Cook Canned Corn

Learn how to cook canned corn and serve a delicious and easy side dish in less than 10 minutes. All you need is a can of sweet corn and a few pantry ingredients.
5 from 3 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 106kcal
Author: Adina

Equipment

  • Can opener
  • Small saucepan

Ingredients  

  • 1 can corn 15 oz/ about 425 g, Note 1
  • 1 tablespoon butter + extra for serving (optional), Note 2
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 garlic clove grated
  • 1/8 – ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1/8 cup water 1 fl.oz/ 30 ml
  • fine sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 sprig of parsley Note 3

Instructions

  • Drain the corn in a sieve.
  • Melt the butter in a medium pot or saucepan.
  • Caramelize the sugar for about 1 minute.
  • Add corn, grated garlic, red pepper flakes, water, a small pinch of salt, and some freshly ground black pepper. If using dried herbs, add them now as well.
  • Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes or until the liquid is completely evaporated, stirring occasionally.
  • Adjust the taste with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the chopped parsley, and add a tiny dot of butter before serving.

Notes

  1. Cans of corn could be smaller (8.5 oz/ 240 g) or larger (15 oz/ about 425 g). Or something in between, depending on where you live.
  2. Salted or unsalted, adjust the salt accordingly.
  3. If you don’t have fresh parsley, replace it with dried parsley added to the pot together with the other spices.
  4. You can also sub parsley with fresh or dried dill; this is an herb that always goes well with corn.

Nutrition

Calories: 106kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 237mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 353IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @thefastrecipe or tag #thefastrecipe!

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