Here’s how to cook frozen corn so it tastes fresh—and not mushy. The secret? A little butter and a few minutes in a skillet.
Frozen corn is a pantry staple. This easy recipe starts with a bag of frozen corn and makes it taste amazing.
Frozen Corn: Any plain frozen kernel corn works in this recipe. Here are the varieties you might see at the store.
- Sweet Corn. (sometimes called super sweet) This variety is really tasty. As the name implies, it’s sweet. The kernels are tender and small. It reminds me of fresh summer corn off the cob. It’s my favorite frozen corn.
- Whole Kernel Cut Corn. This is what many people think of when they think about frozen corn. It’s got a traditional corn flavor and a sturdy texture with large kernels.
- Yellow and White Corn Blend. A mixture of yellow and white kernels. Mildly sweet and crunchy. This variety makes for a pretty side dish.
- Frozen Baby Corn. Sometimes available in all white or a blend of yellow and white kernels. This frozen corn is small and flavorful. The kernels are delicate.
Ingredient Note: Some brands offer frozen corn in a sauce. While tasty, this style of frozen corn doesn’t work for this recipe.
Butter: A little butter adds a nice flavor to the corn. Both salted and unsalted work. Plant-based butter works great in this recipe too!
Sugar and Salt. Optional but encouraged.
Onion (optional). A great variation for this recipe is adding a sautéed onions. The flavor of the onion goes perfectly with the corn.
How to Cook Frozen Corn.
- Thaw the Corn. Remove the corn from the bag. Place it in a medium nonstick skillet. Add a tablespoon of water and cover. Heat over low until the corn thaws, about three minutes.
- Add Butter. Remove the lid and add the butter. Stir until the butter melts and coats the corn.
- Season to Taste. Sprinkle the corn with salt and, if needed, a pinch of sugar.
Variation: Add an Onion.
If you want to add an onion, sauté (cook) an onion in about one teaspoon of olive oil. Then follow the steps listed above.
Cook Fast, Eat Well Tip: Heat the Corn. Don’t Boil.
When cooking frozen corn, remember this: heat it, don’t boil. When you boil frozen corn, it can get tough. Simply heat the corn gently until it’s hot. That’s it. A little water in the skillet is all you need.
If you’ve got some corn leftover, store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat gently in a small skillet with a little water.
How to Cook Frozen Corn
It’s quick and easy to make great-tasting frozen corn.
- 1 (10-14 ounce bag) frozen corn, sweet kernels recommended
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely diced (about ⅔ cup)
Place frozen corn in a medium skillet. Add water. Cover and heat over medium-low until how, about three minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add butter. Stir until butter melts and coats all the corn kernels. Season with salt and a pinch of sugar to taste.
Variation: Corn and Onions
Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook onions until soft, about three minutes.
Add corn and water. Stir to combine. Cover and heat over medium-low until corn is hot. Stir occasionally.
Add butter. Stir to coat. Season with salt and a pinch of sugar.