This easy blackened corn recipe makes a great summer side dish! Fresh corn charred in a hot skillet, then tossed with a smoky and spicy seasoning, melted butter, lemon, and parsley. It includes a recipe for the best homemade blackening seasoning!
Easy Charred Corn
Summer fresh sweet corn is one of my favorite seasonal vegetables! It’s crisp, juicy, and sweet like in Roasted Chili Corn Salsa and this charred corn recipe. Combine that with spicy and smoky Cajun Blackened Seasoning, and you have a winning combination!
- Why you'll love this recipe
- What is blackening?
- Ingredients & Substitutions
- Equipment needed
- How to make blackened corn
- Expert Tips
- Make ahead instructions
- Storage & Reheating
- What to serve with blackened charred corn
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More summer side dish recipes
- Blackened Skillet Charred Corn
Why you'll love this recipe
- It’s different. Fresh summer corn is delicious, but this recipe is a great way to change up your usual corn side dish!
- It’s fast. The corn will char pretty quickly in a hot cast iron skillet, so this whole dish only takes about 15 minutes to make!
- Seasonal recipe. While corn is usually available all year round in cans or frozen, fresh summer corn is so crisp and sweet.
What is blackening?
In the culinary world, blackening refers to a method of cooking with high heat in a cast iron skillet to char or blacken the food. It also refers to a special blackening seasoning blend that helps give the dish that caramelized and delicious smoky flavor.
Blackening was invented by New Orleans famous chef, Paul Prudhomme. You can use the blackening method for most foods. It works great on chicken, fish, and pork, but also for veggies too!
Ingredients & Substitutions
See the recipe card below for the complete list of ingredients and measurements.
- Seasonings - You will need a few seasonings and dried herbs to make the blackened seasoning. Don’t skip the smoked paprika, it really gives it that necessary smoky flavor! If you want to skip making your own seasoning, you can use premade cajun seasoning. You will have some leftover blackening seasoning from this recipe, so use it to make Blackened Shrimp or Crispy Blackened Chicken Wings.
- Fresh corn - The star of this dish! You can also use 1 can of corn or about 14 ounces of frozen corn. Make sure to defrost and drain corn well, then pat it try.
- Avocado oil - I don’t like using olive oil for this recipe, since it has a lower smoking point and we are using high heat. Olive oil will work in a pinch though, or use another high heat oil like grapeseed or canola.
- Unsalted butter - The blackening seasoning has the perfect amount of salt, so go for unsalted butter.
- Fresh parsley - This corn dish needs a fresh herb! You can also try chopped chives or thinly sliced green onions.
- Lemon - A squeeze of fresh lemon juice adds a necessary acidity and pop of brightness to finish off this blackened corn.
If you can’t get enough fresh sweet corn, try this Roasted Chili Corn Salsa recipe.
How to make blackened corn
STEP ONE: PREP
Mix together blackening seasoning. Cut corn from the cob and pat dry. Mince garlic.
STEP TWO: SEAR
Add oil to a hot pan and add in corn in a single layer. Leave UNDISTURBED until the undersides are slightly blackened.
STEP THREE: SAUTÉ
Add butter, garlic, and blackening seasoning to the skillet and mix together until butter is melted.
STEP FOUR: FINISH
Remove the pan from heat. Top with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and mix in parsley. Serve warm.
What's the best way to cut corn off the cob?
First remove the husks from the corn along with all the stringy bits. Hold the corn stem side up perpendicular to the cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut the kernels off in a downward row, then rotate the corn and cut again. Repeat until all the corn is removed!
- Pat the corn dry. Whether you are using fresh, frozen, or canned corn, it will contain a lot of moisture. Pat the corn dry before adding it to the pan so it can blacken properly.
- Get your skillet HOT. Make sure your skillet is fully heated before adding the oil and corn. You definitely want to hear a sizzle when the corn hits the pan.
- Single layer. Adding corn in a single layer in the pan will ensure each kernel can get some charring action.
- Don’t touch it! Once the corn hits the pan, leave it undisturbed for a few minutes so it can properly char and blacken.
- Use a splatter screen. Juicy corn in a hot pan can equal big pops (or even some corn flying out of the pan). To prevent this, use a splatter screen!
Make ahead instructions
This blackened skillet corn recipe makes great leftovers. Make a day or 2 in advance, but skip the lemon and parsley. Reheat in the microwave until warm and top with lemon and parsley before serving.
Storage & Reheating
How to store leftovers: Store leftover blackened corn in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
How to freeze: I don’t recommend freezing this recipe.
How to reheat: Reheat blackened corn in the microwave.
What to serve with blackened charred corn
Other ways to use leftover blackened corn
- Make a southwest salad with chicken breasts, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and Chipotle Lime Dressing. This works great for leftovers!
- I love corn in creamy pasta. Mix leftover blackened corn into Cajun Alfredo Sauce, Andouille Sausage Pasta, or Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce, Check out more summer vegetable pasta recipes here.
- Toss charred corn with diced tomatoes and red bell pepper for a corn salsa.
- Add it to quesadillas, burritos, burrito bowls, or these Chimichurri Shrimp Tacos.
- Sauté diced white or red onion with the corn.
- Add in crumbled feta or cotija cheese.
- Change up the fresh herbs by using fresh chives or green onion instead of parsley.
- Mix in diced tomatoes to make a blackened corn salsa.
- Make it Mexican style by swapping parsley for fresh cilantro and using a squeeze of fresh lime juice instead of lemon. Toss with cotija cheese.
- Get decadent and add in crispy bacon.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can char corn without a grill in a cast iron skillet. Fully preheat the skillet over medium-high heat, add in oil, then corn. Leave undisturbed for a few minutes until a charred area develops. If using corn on the cob, turn the corn to char a few sides.
Making blackened corn is a great way to spice up a boring can of corn. Just make sure to drain the juices and pat corn kernels dry.
No, you do not have to pre-cook the corn for this recipe. The corn will fully cook in the cast iron pan.
More summer side dish recipes
Blackened Skillet Charred Corn
Blackening seasoning (*makes 3 tablespoons)
- PREP: Mix together blackening seasoning* (see notes). Remove husks from ears of corn, and cut kernels from the cob. Pat corn dry with a paper towel. Mince garlic. Set a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and allow it to fully heat for a few minutes.
- SEAR: Add oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add in corn and spread evenly. Leave corn to sear UNDISTURBED for 4-6 minutes, until the undersides are slightly blackened. *
- SAUTÉ: Add butter, garlic, and ONE TEASPOON of blackening seasoning to the skillet and mix together. Let butter melt and allow garlic to cook for about 1 minute while stirring.
- FINISH: Remove the pan from heat. Top with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and mix in parsley.
- SERVE: Serve warm.
- This blackening seasoning recipe makes 3 TABLESPOONS of seasoning. This recipe only calls for ONE TEASPOON to be used! You can use the remaining blackening seasoning on chicken, pork, fish, or veggies!
- Substitute fresh corn for 1 can of corn or about 14 ounces of frozen corn. Make sure to defrost and drain corn well, then pat it try.
- Since the corn contains moisture, the kernels may pop up and splatter. To prevent a mess or burns, use a splatter screen!
- 2 large corn cobs makes enough for 4 side dish servings. To make a larger portion, you may want to char corn in batches so every kernel touches the pan to get blackened!
- How to store leftovers: Store leftover blackened corn in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- How to freeze: I don’t recommend freezing this recipe.
- How to reheat: Reheat blackened corn in the microwave.