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Our Sautéed Fresh Corn recipe is the easiest AND most delicious way to prepare fresh corn!
The Absolute Best Way to Cook Fresh Corn
I’ll admit – this photo of our Sautéed Fresh Corn might be a little misleading. You’re probably thinking that the photo looks like your average sauté pan filled with some corn. Nothing special – right?
Well, you’re in for a delicious good surprise…because this Sautéed Fresh Corn is the absolute best and most amazing way to prepare fresh corn! (We still love our fresh, sweet boiled corn on the cob – but this sautéed fresh corn tastes even better!)
Fresh corn kernels are cut off the cob (see our easy trick here) and simply sautéed in butter, salt, and pepper which brings out the natural sweetness of the corn in a way that no other cooking method does!
And if you really want to send this delicious dish over the top – a small sprinkle of super fine sugar added just before serving enhances the sweet, fresh corn flavors even more.
You may never cook your fresh corn any other way after you’ve cooked it this way. Promise me you’ll try this recipe?
Why You’ll Love Sautéed Fresh Corn
- It’s so quick and easy – once you try it – you won’t want to prepare fresh corn any other way.
- This cooking method brings out the natural sweetness of the corn. It’s so, so delicious!
- This also makes eating fresh corn easy to eat. As fun as eating fresh corn right off the cob can be – it’s messy and difficult for some. This recipe is perfect way for everyone to enjoy fresh corn flavors.
You said it, the corn was amazing! Thanks for sharing. – Teri
Key Ingredients & Substitutions
- Fresh Corn on the Cob – Look for corn with the husks still attached. The husks should be a light green color and should be firm and tightly wrapped around the corn. Avoid husks with bruises, mildew, or worm holes.
- Butter – We typically cook with unsalted butter so we can control the amount of added salt. You can use a salted butter if you prefer. Either way choose a quality butter for this recipe.
- Salt & Pepper – You can go more fancy if you’d like, but fresh corn really doesn’t need more seasoning than a sprinkle of salt and pepper. You can substitute white ground pepper for the black – just note that you’ll use less, since the white pepper is more finely ground.
- Sugar – This is optional, but will make the sautéed corn even sweeter. We like to use superfine sugar as it melts instantly, but a sprinkle of white granulated sugar can also be used. (*See more information below about superfine sugar.)
A note about superfine sugar
You can buy superfine sugar at most supermarkets or on online. It’s also sometimes called caster sugar or baker’s sugar. Just note that it is NOT the same as powdered/confectioner’s sugar.
You can make your own superfine sugar at home using white granulated sugar. In a clean, electric coffee grinder, place several tablespoons of the regular white granulated sugar and pulse in the grinder until the sugar is a superfine consistency.
Special Supplies Needed
- Sharp knife and a bundt pan (see our tips here for an easy way to cut fresh corn kernels off the cob. Or, a corn stripper tool like this also works fairly well.
- Large saute pan
- Spatula or wooden spoon, for stirring
How do I make Sautéed Fresh Corn?
- Husk the corn, removing all husks and silk.
- Cut the kernels off each ear.
- Melt butter in a large sauté pan.
- Add the corn kernels and sauté – stirring frequently – until the corn is tender but still crisp.
- Sprinkle salt, pepper, and sugar (if desired) over the corn and stir to mix.
- Serve immediately.
It’s important to avoid overcooking the corn. As long as your corn is fresh, you’ll only need a few minutes to cook this recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I made this recipe ahead of time? You can cut the kernels of corn off the cob, but we suggest cooking it right before you serve.
- Can I make this recipe with frozen or canned corn? Technically, yes. The taste and texture of the frozen corn won’t be as good as using fresh kernels. Canned corn is actually already cooked and just needs to be reheated – so you’ll really just need to melt the butter and add drained canned corn, stirring until it’s heated through.
- Can I freeze this corn? Yes – several readers have told us that they prepare their garden corn this way, then freeze in zipper seal bags. I’d suggest under-cooking the corn slightly so it is not overcooked once you’ve thawed and reheated.
This post originally appeared on A Family Feast in 2013. We’ve updated the photos and post, but the delicious recipe remains the same.
More Delicious Corn Recipes
Click here to learn How to Easily Cut Fresh Corn Kernels off the Cob
- 8 ears of corn on the cob
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon superfine sugar* or caster sugar (optional)
- Husk the ears of corn, removing the husks and silk. Cut the kernels off each ear – see our How-To page here for some tips to make this easy to do.
- In a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the corn and sauté – stirring frequently so that the corn cooks evenly in the pan. After about 6-7 minutes, start testing for doneness – you want the corn to be cooked but still crisp, not mushy.
- When cooked, turn off the heat and sprinkle with salt, pepper and sugar.
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Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties! cookbook
*You can buy superfine sugar at most supermarkets. Or – in a clean, electric coffee grinder, place several tablespoons of regular white granulated sugar and pulse in the grinder until the sugar is a superfine consistency.