Crispy Southern Corn Fritters are the absolute best summer recipe! You simply need fresh, frozen, or canned corn to mix into a cheesy batter, and then pan fry the patties until you have a sweet and crispy dish. These cakes are a delicious, quick, and easy appetizer or side with a scoop of sour cream or aioli.

Perfectly crispy on the outside, full of sweet Southern corn, and lightly fried until cooked through and fluffy…

These cheesy corn fritters are what summer dreams are made of!! (And are pretty much a tie with these Crispy Zucchini Fritters!)

Seriously, they’re like sweet and savory corn pancakes that you’re allowed to eat for dinner.

And the best part, you can use fresh corn on the cob, previously frozen, OR even canned corn if you want to easily make them in a jiffy.

Serve them up with a dollop of sour cream (or dairy-free sour cream!) and enjoy them as a tasty side dish or appetizer.

Corn, cheese, flour, cilantro, seasonings, and different types of oil to use for a fried corn fritters recipe.

Ingredients

The ingredients you will need to make this cheesy corn fritters recipe include:

  • Corn. You can use fresh cut corn on the cob, frozen, or canned corn interchangeably in this recipe. It’s also your choice whether you use white or yellow corn. There’s no difference in taste, only a preference of color.
  • Flour. All-purpose flour or a gluten-free 1-to-1 blend can be used.
  • Eggs. Two whisked eggs act as the binding agent of the ingredients so the fritters do not fall apart.
  • Milk. Regular milk or a nut-based milk can be used.
  • Cheese. Finely shredded cheddar cheese is best since it will evenly disperse throughout the fritter batter. You can switch it up with some Monterrey Jack, a Mexican blend, or even mozzarella cheese. Feel free to substitute the cheese for a vegan variety if you’re dairy-free.
  • Cilantro. Chopped cilantro is mixed in for a burst of fresh herb flavor and gives these corn fritters a slightly Mexican flavor. Finely chopped basil would also taste delicious.
  • Seasonings. Paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper are used as the simple seasoning ingredients.
  • Oil. A few different types of oil can be used with varying results. (Read more about these below.)

How to Make Corn Fritters

Below you will find the easy steps to make corn fritters:

Prepare the Ingredients

As mentioned previously, you can use either fresh corn-on-the-cob, frozen, or sweet kernel canned corn.

  • Fresh: If using fresh, you will first need to boil corn on the cob. Once cooked, use a sharp knife to remove the corn kernels from the ear of corn to get 3 cups of corn.
  • Previously frozen: Place frozen corn in a fine mesh strainer and run under warm water until completely thawed. Pat dry with a paper towel. You can also set it out at room temperature and let it thaw on its own.
  • Canned: Add the corn and juice to a fine mesh strainer and rinse with water. Pat dry with a paper towel before using.

If you did not buy pre-shredded cheese, you will need one cup of either cheddar or Monterrey jack. Be sure to finely shred it so it can spread evenly throughout the batter.

Finely chop cilantro until you have about ⅓ cup.

Fresh, frozen, and canned corn to be used in a homemade fritters recipe.

Mix the Batter

Once you have the ingredients, it is time to put it together.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, paprika, salt, pepper and sugar in a large bowl.

Then add the corn, cilantro, whisked eggs, milk, and cheese and stir until combined. Your corn fritter batter will be thick.

Pan Fry

Turn your stovetop to medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a stainless steel or cast iron skillet and allow it to get hot. If the oil is too cool, the fritter might fall apart!

When it comes to oil, you have some choices. Here are the recommendations in order of best to worst:

  • Avocado Oil – Not only is it relatively healthy for you, it also has a mild flavor and a high smoke point of 520°F. (This means you reduce the amount of burnt bits in your skillet while frying!)
  • Safflower Oil – Another mildly flavored oil with a smoke point of 510°F that will work well for this recipe.
  • Grapeseed Oil – Has a relatively similar smoke point to olive oil of 420°F, but is mild in flavor.
  • Olive Oil – This oil has both a strong flavor and a relatively low smoke point of 410°F. If this is all you have you can use it, but be sure to keep a close eye on the oil so it does not burn!

Measure ⅓-cup of the mixture. You should have enough to get roughly 10 fritters.

Place 4-5 fritters spaced without touching at a time into the preheated skillet. Press each one down lightly with the back of a spatula and cook for 3-4 minutes per side.

Look for the fritters to fluff up and turn lightly browned and crispy. Continue cooking until all of the corn patties are done.

Serve

There are so many ways you can serve these homemade corn fritters. A few of the best pairings include:

  • With a bit of homemade aioli, mayonnaise, or even secret sauce.
  • Add a dollop of sour cream, or even dairy-free and vegan sour cream.
  • Sprinkle some cut green onions or cilantro on top.
  • Make a breakfast dish out of it with a fried egg and sliced avocado.
Southern Fried Corn Fritters with a tub of shredded cheddar cheese and cilantro behind them.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Make up a batch of these fritters in advance and reheat when ready to serve. You can also prepare the batter up to 24 hours in advance and fry them just before serving.
  • To Store: Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • To Freeze: Place a piece of wax or parchment paper between each fritter before storing in a freezer safe container or storage bag for up to 4-6 months.
  • To Reheat: Add a bit of oil or butter to a skillet over medium-low heat. Cook them on both sides for 2 minutes or until heated through.
A serving platter full of an easy corn side dish recipe for fritters made with sweet corn.

Dietary Modifications

The recipe you’ll find below is already vegetarian as written. Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:

  • Dairy-Free: Swap out the milk and cheese for plant-based options.
  • Gluten-Free: Use a gluten-free 1-to-1 blend.

FAQs

Are corn fritters healthy?

While they’re not particularly unhealthy, corn fritters are not considered healthy since they are fried. You can make them healthier by using a better quality oil such as avocado or safflower oil instead of vegetable oil.

Why are my corn fritters falling apart?

Fritters can fall apart for a couple reasons. They could be too watery or not have enough flour or eggs to act as a binder. Also, if your pan is not hot enough or you don’t use enough oil this could result in a problem with fritters falling apart.

What is the difference between corn fritters and hush puppies?

Fritters are made with kernels of corn mixed in a batter, whereas hush puppies are made with cornmeal.

Can I make zucchini corn fritters?

That’s super easy to do! Simply substitute 1 cup of corn for 1 cup of shredded zucchini that has been squeezed to remove the liquid.

An appetizer plate with easy Southern corn fritters in a stack with fresh cilantro.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Let it sit. If you have the time, let the batter sit for 20 minutes before frying so they hold together better.
  • Use the right type of oil. Use avocado oil, it is mildly flavored and has a higher smoke point.
  • Spritz the spatula. Before flattening, spray the spatula with non-stick cooking spray so the fritters don’t stick.
  • Make it easy. There is very minimal difference in taste, so use canned or previously frozen.
  • Preheat the pan. Make sure your pan is hot and coated with oil before cooking the fritters.

More Corn Recipes

If those sweet kernels are still on your mind, try out these recipes:

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 8 votes

Easy Fried Corn Fritters Recipe

Crispy Southern Corn Fritters are the absolute best summer recipe! You simply need fresh, frozen, or canned corn to mix into a cheesy batter, and then pan fry the patties until you have a sweet and crispy dish.
Yield 10 fritters
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 30 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups sweet kernel corn fresh, previously frozen, or canned
  • 1 cup flour gluten-free 1-to-1 blend
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1- 1 ¼ tsp. salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar optional
  • cup cilantro finely chopped
  • 2 eggs whisked
  • cup milk cashew or almond milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheese cheddar or Monterrey jack
  • 2-3 Tbsp. avocado oil
  • Green onions optional
  • Sour cream* optional

Instructions 

  • If using previously frozen corn, either rinse it until warm water until thawed or thaw at room temperature. Dab with a paper towel until completely dried.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, paprika, salt, pepper and sugar in a large bowl. Add corn, cilantro, whisked eggs, milk, and cheese. Stir until mixture is well combined.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large stainless steel or cast iron skillet. Heat oil until it begins to sizzle.
  • Measure out ~⅓ cup of batter for each fritter. Place batter for 4-5 fritters evenly spaced into the skillet. Press each one down lightly with the back of a spatula and cook for 3-4 minutes per side.
  • You’ll know the corn fritters are done cooking when they fluff up and turn lightly browned and crispy.
  • Serve corn fritters with a dollop of sour cream* or some homemade aioli with a sprinkle of green onions.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 8 votes

Video

Notes

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Make up a batch of these fritters in advance and reheat when ready to serve. You can also prepare the batter up to 24 hours in advance and fry them just before serving.
  • To Store: Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • To Freeze: Place a piece of wax or parchment paper between each fritter before storing in a freezer safe container or storage bag for up to 4-6 months.
  • To Reheat: Add a bit of oil or butter to a skillet over medium-low heat. Cook them on both sides for 2 minutes or until heated through.

Nutrition

Calories: 165kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Sodium: 525mg, Potassium: 171mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 341IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 102mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These were delish! Omitted the sugar, pan seared them in EVOO. Added chipotle hot sauce
    To the sour cream for dipping.

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Sally! That sounds delicious. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!

  2. 5 stars
    I had some leftover corn on the cob and was looking for a recipe to use it. I’m so glad I found this one! I didn’t have cilantro so I left it out. These were such a hit with my family that we went out and bought more corn (and cilantro) the next week and made a double batch this time. They were good without the cilantro but with it they are incredible. This will be a go to summer recipe for us for years to come!

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Robyn! I love finding awesome recipes for leftovers. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!

    1. You can either pop them in a skillet with a bit of butter, in the air fryer, or in the oven! I would avoid reheating them in the microwave as they’ll get soggy.