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How to Make Southern Fried Corn

Jan has been cooking and writing about food for over 20 years. She has cooked on multiple television stations, including the Food Network.

One of our family's favorite dishes, this simple recipe for Southern fried corn is super easy but with a flavor payoff you won't believe!

One of our family's favorite dishes, this simple recipe for Southern fried corn is super easy but with a flavor payoff you won't believe!

A Heritage Dish

This is one of my favorite recipes—seriously. It's been handed down in my family for at least six generations. My grandmother made it and talked about her grandmother making it almost exactly the same way. My kids adore it, and it lets me connect them with the beautiful women who came before us. On top of that, though, it's just plain fabulous. Corn, bacon, cream, and green onions —what's not to love about that?

It's also fast—one of the quickest dishes I make at special occasions. Frankly, it's easy enough to make every day. But I love that I can throw it together ahead of time, then simply reheat and serve. Because of that, it's almost always on the table for celebrations at our house. And it's almost the first dish to disappear.

Kids love it because it has corn and bacon. Adults love it because it's a bit sophisticated for a simple corn dish, so it's win-win all around. Try it yourself—you'll have a new family favorite!

Ingredients

  • 4 cans golden corn, drained (or 8 cups frozen, defrosted)
  • 8 strips bacon, diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup green onions, minced, including the green tops

Instructions

  1. Drain the corn and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, cook the bacon until crispy, stirring occasionally. Be patient while you cook the bacon. You want to get rid of the most fat possible and use only the crispiest bacon. This happens best over rather low heat and with a bit of patience.
  3. Remove the cooked bacon from the pan and set aside. Drain off all but a tablespoon or so of the rendered fat.
  4. Add the corn to the same skillet and bring it up to heat, scraping up the bottom of the pan to capture all the gorgeous brown stuff off the bottom.
  5. Add cream, kosher salt, black pepper, and bacon back to the skillet and heat through. Sprinkle with minced green onions and serve.
  6. To make it ahead, simply cover and chill. To reheat, microwave for just about 4 to 5 minutes, or transfer to a casserole dish and heat, covered for 30 minutes at 350°F. That's all there is to it!

Photo Guide

Start with the bacon! I find the easiest way to deal with bacon is to dice it small while it's still raw. This is easiest to do if the bacon is really cold—stick it in the freezer for just a few minutes before cutting it into small pieces.

Start with the bacon! I find the easiest way to deal with bacon is to dice it small while it's still raw. This is easiest to do if the bacon is really cold—stick it in the freezer for just a few minutes before cutting it into small pieces.

I have discovered that the best way to get super crispy bacon (and to get the maximum amount of grease out) is to cook the bacon slowly on medium low heat. This renders out as much of the fat as possible, producing the best smoky bacon flavor.

I have discovered that the best way to get super crispy bacon (and to get the maximum amount of grease out) is to cook the bacon slowly on medium low heat. This renders out as much of the fat as possible, producing the best smoky bacon flavor.

Set the rendered bacon aside, and pour off almost all of the grease. You'll be working in the same skillet, capturing the fond left behind, so the grease really isn't necessary. You'll get plenty of flavor without the majority of it!

Set the rendered bacon aside, and pour off almost all of the grease. You'll be working in the same skillet, capturing the fond left behind, so the grease really isn't necessary. You'll get plenty of flavor without the majority of it!

Add the corn. I use canned instead of frozen corn, although it really doesn't matter. Use what works for you. I tend to like the texture and flavor of canned corn more than frozen. Of course, if you have fresh corn, run with it!

Add the corn. I use canned instead of frozen corn, although it really doesn't matter. Use what works for you. I tend to like the texture and flavor of canned corn more than frozen. Of course, if you have fresh corn, run with it!

Just a little splash of cream is all you need—about 1/4 of a cup. The cream highlights the flavors of both the corn and the bacon.

Just a little splash of cream is all you need—about 1/4 of a cup. The cream highlights the flavors of both the corn and the bacon.

A little kosher salt and pepper are really all this dish needs. Black pepper is gorgeous with the bright flavor of the corn, and you're really only  heating the corn through. Add the bacon back to the pan.

A little kosher salt and pepper are really all this dish needs. Black pepper is gorgeous with the bright flavor of the corn, and you're really only heating the corn through. Add the bacon back to the pan.

You can serve the fried corn as soon as it's hot through, but you can also make it ahead. I usually do before holidays. Just pop it in a casserole dish, cover and chill. To reheat, give it about 4 minutes in the microwave, or 30 minutes at 350°F.

You can serve the fried corn as soon as it's hot through, but you can also make it ahead. I usually do before holidays. Just pop it in a casserole dish, cover and chill. To reheat, give it about 4 minutes in the microwave, or 30 minutes at 350°F.

Southern fried corn is just plain good—it's one of the first dishes to disappear at the holidays. Try it yourself!

Southern fried corn is just plain good—it's one of the first dishes to disappear at the holidays. Try it yourself!

Learn About Green Onions (or Scallions)

© 2017 Jan Charles

Comments

Jan Charles (author) from East Tennessee on November 28, 2017:

Rachel and Jill - thank you both so much! This really is one of our favorites!

Rachel Alba on November 26, 2017:

Hi Jan, Southern Fried Corn sounds so good to me. I love southern recipes. I will be pinning this and making it for sure. Thanks for sharing.

Blessings to you.

Jill Spencer from United States on November 26, 2017:

Oh my, what a lovely recipe! I will have to try it. Thanks so much for sharing it.