If you like corn fritters, you’ll love these Homemade Crispy Corn Nuggets. Simply make a quick batter by combining fresh or canned corn with a few kitchen staples, then fry them to golden perfection. This Southern fried corn nugget recipe is perfect for an appetizer, dessert, or side dish.
My kids love crispy snacks like Air Fryer Corn Dogs, Crispy French Fries, and these easy corn nuggets. One bite of these delicious nuggets and your family and guests will be asking for more.
They can be served as a dessert or savory side dish. Drizzle with honey or maple syrup for a sweet version, or add a dash of salt or various sauces for a savory version.
What are Corn Nuggets?
Corn nuggets were invented in the Southern United States as a variation of the popular corn fritter. It’s believed that the idea came from Native American recipes, which used corn as the main ingredient. Corn nuggets are usually deep-fried and crispier than corn fritters.
What are Corn Nuggets Made Of?
- Corn Kernels: You can use fresh, canned, or frozen corn kernels. Make sure to thaw the frozen kernels before mixing.
- Flour: Regular all-purpose flour works great for this recipe.
- Yellow Cornmeal: Use fine or medium grind cornmeal for a smooth texture.
- Sugar: Use regular granulated sugar for this recipe.
- Baking Powder: It helps to make the corn nuggets become light and puffy when deep fried.
- Salt: You can use any salt in this recipe.
- Eggs: Helps to bring everything together.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter for this recipe. Make sure to let the melted butter cool slightly before mixing in.
- Milk: Use whole milk for a creamier texture. Alternatively, you can use buttermilk.
- Vegetable Oil: Use vegetable oil for this recipe as it has a high smoke point.
- Powdered Sugar: Optional for dusting.
How to Make Corn Nuggets from Scratch
1. Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
2. Whisk together eggs, milk, and melted butter.
3. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Mix until combined.
4. Fold in the corn, and mix until well combined.
5. Add 2 inches of oil to a medium-sized pot. Preheat to 350˚F. Once hot, scoop out 1 tablespoon of the batter and drop it into the oil.
6. Fry for about 4-5 minutes or until golden brown, flipping halfway through so that the nuggets can get cooked evenly.
7. Using a slotted spoon, remove the corn nuggets to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat for the remaining batter.
8. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve and enjoy!
- Thaw your corn kernels completely before mixing it with the batter. Otherwise, the inside won’t be cooked thoroughly.
- Let the melted butter cool down slightly before mixing it with the egg and milk.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan during the frying and cook in batches.
- Make sure the oil stays between 300-350˚F. If the oil is too high, the outside might get burned before the inside is cooked properly.
- Use one spoon to scoop out the batter, and another spoon to push the batter into the oil for easy frying.
How to Serve these Corn Bites
- As a dessert: Dust with icing sugar, and drizzle with honey or syrup.
- As a savory appetizer or side dish: They can also be served with various dips, from spicy sauce to roasted garlic and parsley sauce.
Where to Buy Corn Nuggets?
Premade, frozen corn nuggets can be purchased at your local grocery store.
How Long Do You Air Fry Frozen Corn Nuggets?
If you buy pre-made corn nuggets, you can cook them in an air fryer at 400˚F for 10-15 minutes. You can also freeze homemade nuggets for 3 to 4 hours and air fryer them whenever you are ready.
More Recipes To Try
I hope you like this recipe. If you try it, please comment below and let me know how your Corn Nuggets turn out!
Fried Corn Nuggets Recipe
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal fine (see note)
- 1 tablespoon white sugar (I used 1 tablespoon sugar and the nuggets are slightly sweet. You can add 2 more tablespoons of sugar if you’d like it to be sweeter)
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 ½ cups corn cornels frozen or fresh (make sure to thaw them completely if using frozen ones)
- vegetable oil for frying
- optional powdered sugar for dusting
- Add 2 inches of oil to a deep fryer or medium saucepan. Preheat to 350˚F.
- Meanwhile, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl using a whisk.
- In a separate medium-sized bowl, stir in the eggs, milk, and melted butter. Whisk until combined.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Mix until combined.
- Fold in the corn, and mix until well combined using a spatula.
- When the oil is hot, scoop out 1 tablespoon of batter, and drop it into the oil. (You can use another spoon to help push the batter into the oil). Don’t overcrowd the pan and cook in batches.
- Fry for about 4-5 minutes or until golden brown, flipping half way through so that the nuggets can get cooked evenly. Make sure the oil stays between 300-350˚F.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the corn nuggets to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat for the remaining batter.
- Serve warm with a dipping sauce for fried corn nuggets or syrup for sweet corn nuggets. You can dust with optional powdered sugar. (Make sure to let the nuggets to cool down slightly so that they won’t burn your mouth.)
- If you don’t have cornmeal, you can substitute cornflour or more all-purpose flour.
- Air Fryer Method: Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place spoonfuls of batter on it and freeze for 3-4 hours until solid. Then air fry at 400˚F for about 10-15 minutes.
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