Easy Corn Nuggets Recipe (2024)

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Published by Izzy

on Jan 19, 2024

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Crispy and crunchy on the outside and creamy in the middle, these corn nuggets are so fun and delicious. Serve this Southern finger food as an appetizer, snack, or side dish.

Watch the Easy Corn Nuggets Recipe Video Below!

I’ve made tons of different variations of corn nuggets over the years as my kids love them as a comforting snack. This simple recipe is the easiest way to make crispy and creamy corn nuggets with a few ingredients. One bite of these delicious nuggets and your family and guests will be asking for more.

These bite-sized nuggets are great finger food for parties or as a savory side dish. It’s a kid-friendly recipe that is easy to make at home from scratch. It’s so much better than the frozen store-bought version.

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What are Corn Nuggets?

Corn nuggets were invented in the Southern United States as a variation of the popular corn fritter. The idea came from Native American recipes, which used corn as the main ingredient. Corn nuggets look like hush puppies, and are usually deep-fried and crispier than corn fritters.

What do they taste like? Corn nuggets are savory and slightly sweet, with a satisfying contrast between the crispy exterior and tender interior.

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Ingredient Tips

  • Use fresh or canned corn kernels for the best results. If you use frozen corn kernels, make sure to thaw them before cooking.
  • Use fine or medium grind cornmeal for a smooth texture.
  • Add baking powder for the extra crispy coating. The baking powder reacts with the oil and creates tiny air bubbles, resulting in a more crunchy and crispy coating.

Recipe Tips

Oil Temperature

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.

Uniform Nugget Size

Use a cookie dough scoop to ensure that the corn nuggets have a similar size, which helps to cook them evenly.

Avoid Overcrowding

Don’t overcrowd the pan during the frying as this can lower the oil temperature too much, resulting in unevenly cooked nuggets. Cook them in batches if necessary.

Drain Excess Oil

Use a slotted spoon to drain excess oil. Transfer the cooked nuggets to a plate lined with paper towels. This will help maintain a crispy coating.

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How to Make Corn Nuggets

These corn nuggets are easy to make with a few simple ingredients. Here’s how it goes:

  • First, make the batter. Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs, milk, and melted butter. Then mix the dry and wet ingredients. Fold in the corn, and mix until well combined.
  • Next, deep fry corn nuggets. Add oil to a medium-sized pot, and heat the oil to 350˚F. Once hot, scoop out 1 tablespoon of the batter and drop it into the oil. Fry for about 4-5 minutes or until golden brown, flipping halfway through so that the nuggets can get cooked evenly.
  • Drain the oil. Using a slotted spoon, remove the corn nuggets to a paper towel-lined plate.
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How to Serve Corn Nuggets

These corn nuggets are great as an appetizer, side dish, or snack. My favorite way is to dip them into a delicious sauce such as ranch dressing, honey mustard, or aioli. Below are some other popular ways to enjoy them:

  • As a side dish to fried chicken, sandwiches, wraps, or burgers.
  • Cut them into smaller pieces and add to salads.
  • Use them as a topping for soup or chili.

More Favorite Appetizer Recipes

If you like these corn nuggets, try one of these delicious appetizers next:

  • Corn Pone
  • Air Fryer Corn Dogs
  • Air Fryer French Fries
  • Cornbread
  • Cachapas

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Easy Southern Corn Nuggets Recipe

By: Izzy

Quick and easy corn nuggets made with just a few simple ingredients. They are ready in 20 minutes or less.

Prep: 5 minutes mins

Cook: 15 minutes mins

Total: 20 minutes mins

Servings: 24 Nuggets

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  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal, fine
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups corn cornels, fresh, canned or frozen (make sure to thaw them completely if using frozen ones)
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • Add 2 inches of oil to a deep fryer or medium saucepan. Preheat to 350˚F. I recommend using a deep-fryer thermometer to monitor the oil temperature.

  • Meanwhile, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar 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 about 1 tablespoon of batter using a cookie dough scoop or measuring spoon 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 your favorite dipping sauce.


  • Storage: These corn nuggets are best served fresh and hot. If you have leftovers, store them in an airtright container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can reheat them in the oven at 400˚F for about 5-8 minutes.
  • 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. Then air fry at 400˚F for about 5-8 minutes.
  • Make them ahead: You can freeze uncooked corn nuggets by freezing the shaped nuggets on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag. You can fry them straight from frozen once you are ready.


Calories: 49kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 40mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 83IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate only and will vary based on ingredient brands and cooking methods used.

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About Izzy

I'm Izzy, a food lover and photographer. Here you’ll find a collection of simple recipes that are perfect for busy people. My blog aims to help you make and enjoy delicious and healthy food at home.

Read More About Me

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