Celebrate summer with fresh Corn Fritters! A flavorful recipe that works as a tasty appetizer, hearty side dish, or a vegetarian main course. Serve with creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce!
These Mexican-inspired Corn Fritters are easy to make and packed full of summertime goodness. My husband loves them- although I must admit, any vegetable that arrives in the form of a fritter will recieve high praise from him! I love making this recipe in summer when sweet corn is fresh for the best texture! But frozen corn will work too.
Fresh corn kernels, cut right off the cob, have the best flavor! Combined with scallions, cheddar cheese, Mexican spices, lime, and cilantro in a light batter, they are pan-seared until golden and crispy, then finished in the oven. Make them spicy or keep them mild- up to you! Serve them with a cool and creamy cilantro dipping sauce. The recipe makes 24 small fritters which can be refrigerated for later and reheated—a fun thing to pull out of the fridge for mid-week snacks.
Corn Fritter Ingredients
Fresh Corn- Fresh sweet corn has the best texture here, but frozen corn or roasted frozen corn works well too!
Red Bell pepper (optional or add more corn)
Scallions- Green onions add savory goodness.
Cilantro- We love adding fresh cilantro here, but you could easily leave it out or use basil or flat-leaf parsley.
Lime zest and lime juice- To add a nice tangy brightness to the corn fritters.
Fresh jalapeno– or sub cayenne pepper! ( both optional)
Cheese– grated cheddar cheese, jack cheese, or mozzarella cheese
Freshly picked corn, right off the cob, has an earthy sweetness. Juicy plump kernels accentuate the fritters, giving them the perfect texture. Picking out good corn requires a little effort at the market. Husks should be green and feel moist. You can actually feel the kernels through the husk to check for uniformity and plumpness, but if you are not sure, pull back the husks and examine them before buying. This will save you from ending up with mildewy or shriveled corn, clearly past its prime.
If the husk looks as if it has already been pulled back, chances are, someone has already checked it and ruled it out. Set it aside and dig a little deeper in the pile. Kernels should be plump and juicy, and somewhat uniform and should not have any discolored or slimy spots.
After 24 hours of being picked, the natural sugars in corn start to turn into starch and they begin to lose their sweetness. So if possible, make an effort to buy the freshest corn available.
Lay the corn on its side (rather than straight up) and cut the kernels off as close to the cob as possible.
You’ll need three cups of corn total (so be sure to measure), which is about 3-4 large corn cobs. If using frozen corn, make sure to thaw it first.
Make the corn fritter batter. Whisk the eggs, milk, lime juice, spices, salt, pepper and sugar in a large bowl.
Whisk the baking powder with the flour, then whisk this into the batter until smooth.
Stir in the fresh corn, scallions, bell pepper, cilantro, lime zest, grated cheese and optional jalapeno.
You’ll have a fairly thick batter.
Cook the corn fritters. I always like to do one tester fritter and taste first.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, spoon a little of the fritter batter into the hot skillet and fry. Smaller fritters are easiest to handle here- roughly 2 1/2 inches wide.
Flip when golden, using a thin spatula, about 3 minutes on each side. To keep calories lower, you can use spray olive oil. Or, for extra luxuriousness, add a little butter.
Sear the other side, then place on the wire rack in the oven to finish cooking through. Continue working in batches until all the batter is gone; you’ll have roughly 24 fritters.
While the fritters are in the oven, make the cilantro cream sauce. Just whisk the ingredients together in a bowl.
Corn Fritters Serving Suggestions
Serve the Corn Fritters as a tasty appetizer, plattering them all up with the Creamy Cilantro Sauce on the side. You could also serve with a dollop of sour cream.
Serve them as a vegetable side dish. Trust me when I tell you, even picky vegetable eaters generally love veggies in the fritter form. 🙂 A useful gateway to eating more veggies.
Serve them as a tasty vegetarian main course with a green salad or our Mexican Slaw. They would also be good with Cilantro Rice and Mexican Pinto Beans, a delicious vegetarian Mexican Feast!
Cook all the corn fritters, then store in the fridge for up to 4 days, reheating as needed in a 375F oven, letting them crisp up again. Cooked Corn fritters can also be wrapped tightly and frozen- thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Can the Batter be Made ahead?
Yes, except wait to add the baking powder until right before cooking. Whip up the batter and store in the fridge for 24 hours. Sprinkle the baking powder through a fine mesh strainer and mix in the batter right before cooking the fritters.
Enjoy the corn fritters and let us know what you think in the comments below!
Prep the corn. Lay the corn flat on the counter, and cut the kernels off. Set aside.
Make the corn fritter batter. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, lime zest and lime juice, spices, salt, pepper and sugar until smooth. Combine the flour and baking powder in a small bowl, then whisk this into the egg mixture, whisking until very smooth.
Stir in the fresh corn, cheese, scallions, cilantro, bell pepper, and optional jalapeno. You should have a thick batter that mounds on a spoon. If it feels overly thick, add a splash of milk, or overly runny, add a tablespoon of flour. If unsure about consistency, cook one “tester” fritter first.
Cook Fritters: Heat olive oil in a large nonstick pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Place 5 rounded spoonfuls of fritter batter (2-inch round fritters) carefully into the skillet (scooting in any stray kernels) and cook for about 3 minutes on each side until golden and holding together. Working in batches, move the fritters to the wire rack in the oven to cook all the way through. Don’t worry if they are still a little doughy in the middle; they will continue to cook in the oven. Bake until puffed, about 10-15 minutes.
Cilantro Dipping Sauce In a food processor, pulse cilantro cream ingredients until blend until combined.(Alternatively, feel free to mix in a bowl)
Serve the fritters with the Cilantro cream, garnish with cilantro, lime wedges and your favorite Hot sauce.
Leftovers in the fridge will last up to 4 days and can be reheated in a toaster oven or oven. Fritters can also be frozen.