Blackened Corn | Kara Lydon

Ready in just 15 minutes, this blackened corn is perfect for a summer side dish. Charred in a cast iron pan with spices like smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, and garlic powder, this corn is packed with flavor and heat!

blackened corn in tan and blue bowl garnished with cilantro and crumbled feta cheese

Why I Love This Recipe

This blackened corn is loaded with flavor and is so simple to make in just one skillet and in only 15 minutes!

With fresh summer corn charred to perfection, it has a nice crunch and kick of heat from the cayenne powder that is balanced by sweetness from the brown sugar.

With the abundance of corn we get in the summer in our CSA box, it’s nice to have different ways to prepare corn other than just straight up corn on the cob.

Delicious on its own but can be leveled up with a hefty sprinkling of feta or cojita cheese and cilantro. It’s a refreshing summer side that doesn’t skimp on flavor! 

Ingredients You’ll Need

Notes on Ingredients

corn: corn is at its best in late summer but if you don’t have fresh on hand, feel free to use frozen (defrosted first) or canned (drained and rinsed)

butter: acts as a flavor enhancer by absorbing the aromatic and spicy notes from the seasonings

smoked paprika: adds a smoky, woodsy flavor with a tiny bit of sweetness

cayenne powder: this fiery spice gives heat to any dish

garlic powder: flavor enhancer 

onion powder: also adds a punch of flavor to the corn

thyme: adds layers of flavor to the corn without being overwhelming

oregano: gives a bold and pungent flavor 

brown sugar: balances the heat from spices and adds a hint of sweetness

salt and pepper: essential flavor enhancers 

Equipment You’ll Need (affiliate links – if you make a purchase I receive a small commission):

Cast iron pan

How to Make Blackened Corn

step by step graphic of how to make blackened corn

  1. Combine spices. Whisk together smoked paprika, cayenne powder, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, brown sugar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. 
  2. Add corn and spices to pan. Add butter to cast iron or nonstick pan over medium heat. Once melted, add corn and spices and stir until coated.
  3. Cook corn until charred. Cook corn, stirring occasionally, until browned and starts to pop, about 10 minutes.
  4. Serve. Serve corn warm or cold with and top with feta or cojita cheese and cilantro, as desired.

Expert Tips

  1. I love elevating this recipe with some fresh cilantro and hefty sprinkling of feta or cojita cheese. You can use parsley too if you’re not a cilantro fan.
  2. Frozen corn works just as well as fresh corn – just be sure to defrost in the refrigerator over night first and drain any excess water. If you’re in a time crunch, you can defrost frozen corn in the microwave too.

Recipe FAQs

How do you char corn without a grill?

Use a wide cast iron or nonstick pan, add butter, and get it hot! Once you add the corn to the pan turn it every few minutes, getting a nice sear on all sides. 

How can I jazz up corn?

Spice it up! Use a combination of sweet and spicy like brown sugar or honey with smoked paprika, cayenne, and black pepper. You can even add a little more heat with some diced fresh jalapeños! Feel free to get creative with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro or even add crumbled feta cheese on top. 

Does corn have any health benefits?

Corn is high in insoluble fiber, which can help to regulate bowel movements and maintain healthy blood sugar levels. 

blackened corn in bowl with handle topped with fresh cilantro and crumbled feta cheese beside kitchen towel

Storage and Preparation

Blackened corn leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat corn, place it in the microwave for 60-90 seconds or reheat it in a pan over medium heat with a little butter or olive oil for a few minutes until warmed through. If frozen, defrost in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Recipes that Pair Well

Vegan Chickpea Burgers

Baked BBQ Salmon

Chicken Pesto Flatbread

Air Fryer Whole Chicken

Shrimp and Veggie Kabobs with Wild Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

close up image of blackened corn garnished with cilantro and feta cheese in bowl with blue rimFor more corn inspiration, check out my other recipes below!

6 Ingredient Corn and Tomato Salad

Slow Cooker Chipotle Corn Chowder

Blackened Salmon Tacos With Corn Avocado Salsa

The Best Mexican Street Corn Dip

Summer Peach Corn Salad

If you like this recipe, please be sure to comment and give it a 5 star rating below. If you make it, share it on Instagram and tag me @karalydonrd and I’ll re-share it with my followers! If you want to save this recipe for later, be sure to pin it on Pinterest!

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Description

Ready in just 15 minutes, this blackened corn is perfect for a summer side dish. Charred in a cast iron pan with spices like smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, and garlic powder, this corn is packed with flavor and heat!


  • 1 1/4 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 ears of corn, shucked and kernels removed (about 3.5 cups kernels)*
  • Optional: feta or cojita cheese and cilantro, for garnish


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, cayenne powder, brown sugar, salt and pepper until combined.
  2. In a large nonstick or cast iron pan, add butter over medium heat. Once melted, add corn and spices and stir until coated.
  3. Cook corn, stirring occasionally, until corn is browned and starts to pop, about 10 minutes.
  4. Serve warm or cold and garnish with optional toppings like feta or cojita cheese and cilantro.

Notes

  1. You can use frozen corn as well – defrost the corn before cooking.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Cast iron
  • Cuisine: Summer

Keywords: blackened corn, charred corn, blackened corn without the grill, cast iron corn

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