Skip to Content

How to Cook Frozen Corn (on the Cob and Kernels)

Sharing is caring!

Learn how to cook frozen corn, either frozen corn on the cob or corn kernels. Instructions on how to boil, microwave, roast, grill, air fry them, and so on.

cooked frozen corn kernels in a black bowl.

Cooking frozen corn is easy. There are many methods to do it; you can either cook the kernels or the whole ears of corn. Whatever you choose, the techniques are quick and straightforward. And the results are always delicious!

Corn is a popular side dish worldwide, so why only have it during the summer months? You can enjoy freezer corn whenever you like; it makes a perfect side for many dishes. And if you would like to know more about cooking frozen food, try Roasted Frozen Cauliflower, Frozen Chicken Breast in the Air Fryer, or Frozen Chicken Thighs. You can also learn How to Cook Frozen Sausages, How to Boil Frozen Chicken Breast, how to cook Air Fryer Frozen Sweet Potato Fries or Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Wings.

Why should you eat more frozen corn?

  • Quick and easy: The kernels are ready in a matter of minutes (unless roasted), and all the other methods take between 5- and 30-minutes tops.
  • Always available: You can have it whenever you want, not only in season. It keeps for a long time in the freezer.
  • Affordable: A cheap and tasty side dish.
  • Nutritious: Freezing the corn directly after the harvest is the best way of keeping most of its vitamins and nutrients.

What do you need?

collage of two pictures of frozen corn on the cob and kernels.
  • Frozen corn, either kernels or whole ears of corn. The amount of sweetcorn is not so significant; cook as much as you need.
  • Other ingredients: butter, fine sea salt or kosher salt, and pepper. You can use other spices as well, whatever you like. For instance, sweet or smoked paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, spice blends, dried or fresh herbs, and so on.

How to cook frozen corn on the cob?

Boil

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil enough to cover the vegetables.
  • Add salt, a knob of butter, and corn cobs (1).
  • Continue to boil on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes until heated through and tender (2).
  • Variation: Replace ½ of the water with milk. Be careful; milk tends to cook over quicker than water.
  • Serve with a knob of butter and seasoning.
collage of two pictures of boiling corn cobs.

Microwave

  • Place the frozen cobs in a microwave-safe dish.
  • Add water to the dish, about ½ inch/ 1.2 cm deep.
  • Cover with a microwave-safe lid.
  • Cook on high for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Check! Remove one kernel to see if it’s hot on the inside. If not, continue cooking, checking every minute.
  • Serve with a knob of butter and seasoning.
collage of two pictures of microwaved corn cobs.

Roast

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/ 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Place the cobs on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil or baking paper or roast them directly on the oven rack.
  • Roast for 30 minutes, turning them halfway until heated through.
  • Serve the roasted corn with a knob of butter and seasoning.
oven roasted ears of corn.

Grill

  • Place the cobs on the medium-hot grill.
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes or until charred to your liking, turning the ears with tongs a quarter turn every few minutes.
  • Serve with a knob of butter and seasoning.
  • Crockpot/ slow cooker:
  • Place corn in the pot.
  • Cover with water.
  • Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1-2 vegetable stock or chicken bouillon cubes (or just 1 tablespoon kosher or fine sea salt).
  • Cook on low for 6 hours or 4 hours on high. 
  • Add more butter (if desired) and seasoning.
six grilled ears of corn.

Instant Pot

  • Pour 1 ½ cup water/ 350 ml water into the pot.
  • Place corn pieces on the rack.
  • Cook on high for 4 minutes.
  • Release the steam and remove vegetables with tongs.
  • Season and serve the hot corn with a knob of butter.

Air fryer

  • Preheat the air fryer if required by the machine’s instructions.
  • Place vegetable pieces in the basket in a single layer. They should not touch; the air needs space to circulate.
  • Air fry at 360 degrees Fahrenheit/ 180 degrees Celsius for 6 minutes.
  • Turn, brush with a little melted butter and sprinkle with salt.
  • Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes or until heated through.
  • Brush with more butter and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.

How to cook frozen corn kernels?

Add to the dish

  • The easiest way is to add them directly to the dish.
  • Place frozen kernels in a colander. Run under hot water until defrosted.
  • Add directly to the corn recipe you are cooking, for instance, stir-fries, soups, stews, and so on.

Boil

  • Measure out ½ cup/ 125 ml water for each cup of kernels (160 g).
  • Place everything into a pot, add some butter (about 1 teaspoon per cup of corn) and some salt.
  • Once the water starts to simmer, cook for 2-3 minutes or until the corn is done to your liking. Don’t overcook it. Drain.
  • Add more butter (if desired) and seasoning.

Skillet

  • Place kernels in a colander and rinse under cold water until no more ice is left on them. Drain well and pat a bit dry with a paper towel.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet or non-stick pan.
  • Add kernels and 1 teaspoon sugar, stir to coat, and cook until starting to get brown about 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Season with salt and fresh black pepper.
collage of two pictures of cooked corn kernels in a pan.

Microwave

  • Place frozen kernels in a microwaveable bowl or dish.
  • Add about 1/8 cup/ 30 ml water for each cup of corn (160 g) you are cooking. Cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid.
  • Microwave on high for about 2 minutes.
  • Stir and check. If not hot enough, give it another minute.
  • Add butter and seasoning.

Roast

  • Place kernels on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper in a single layer, toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, about ¼ teaspoon salt, and some freshly ground black pepper.
  • Roast in the preheated oven (400 degrees Fahrenheit/ 200 degrees Celsius) for 20-30 minutes until heated through done to your liking.
  • You can add other spices like sweet or smoked paprika, garlic powder, ground cumin, coriander, and dried herbs. You can also add some Parmesan cheese during the last 10 minutes of the roasting time.

Expert Tips and FAQ

You should start flavoring the corn during the cooking process; all you need is a little butter and salt. You can also add other spices if you like. Add more butter and seasoning to the hot vegetables before serving for the tastiest results.

Recipe FAQ

What exactly is frozen corn?

Fresh corn harvested when near ripe, blanched, and immediately frozen. Like many other frozen vegetables, it retains more vitamins and nutrients than vegetables sold fresh.

Do I have to defrost it before cooking?

You don’t have to defrost if you follow any of the methods described above.

How to store and reheat?

Once cooked and cooled, refrigerate in airtight containers for up to 3 days.
Reheat kernels in the microwave or a pan.
Reheat cobs in the microwave, oven, or boiling water.

Can I refreeze it?

Only if you’ve cooked it! Once cool, place in a freezer bag and freeze for 2-3 months.
Never refreeze defrosted but uncooked corn (or anything else) again.

What to serve it with?

One of the most popular side dishes there is! It’s perfect with almost any main dish you can think of. How about serving it with Roasted Turkey or Roasted Chicken, Pork Chops and Potatoes, or Tagliata Steak?

cobs of corn on a plate.

More recipes using corn

Do you like this recipe?

Please leave a good rating in the recipe card below. Stay in touch through social media: Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. Don’t forget to tag me #whereismyspoon when you try a recipe!
cooked corn kernels on a black plate.

How to Cook Frozen Corn (on the Cob and Kernels)

Learn how to cook frozen corn, either frozen corn on the cob or corn kernels.Instructions on how to boil, microwave, roast, grill, air fry them, and so on.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Share Grow Rate
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 140kcal
Author: Adina

Ingredients 

Corn on the cob:

  • 1 lb corn on the cob 500 g, Note 1

Corn kernels:

  • 1 lb corn kernels 500 g, Note 1

Other ingredients (Note 2):

  • 1-3 tablespoons butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • fine sea salt and ground black pepper
  • more butter and salt for serving each of the recipes.

Instructions

Frozen corn on the cob

    Boil:

    • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, enough to cover the vegetables. Add 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, a knob of butter, and corn.
      Continue to boil for about 5-7 until heated through and tender.
    • Variation: Replace ½ of the water with milk.

    Microwave:

    • Place the frozen cobs in a microwave-safe dish. Add water to the dish, about ½ inch/ 1.2 cm deep. Cover with a microwave-safe lid.
      Cook on high for about 5-7 minutes.
      Check! Remove one kernel to see if it’s on the inside. If not, continue cooking, checking every minute.

    Roast:

    • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/ 180 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Or roast the cobs directly on the oven rack.
      Roast for 30 minutes, turning them halfway until heated through.

    Grill:

    • Place the cobs on the medium-hot grill. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until charred to your liking, turning the ears with tongs a quarter turn every few minutes.

    Crockpot/ slow cooker:

    • Place corn in the pot. Cover with water. Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1-2 vegetable stock or chicken bouillon cubes (or just 1 tablespoon fine sea salt).
      Cook on low for 6 hours or 4 hours on high.

    Instant Pot:

    • Pour 1 ½ cup water/ 350 ml water into the pot. Place corn pieces on the rack.
      Cook on high for 4 minutes.
      Release the steam and remove vegetables with tongs.

    Air fryer:

    • Preheat the air fryer if required by the machine’s instructions.
      Place vegetable pieces in the basket.
      Air fry at 360 degrees Fahrenheit/ 180 degrees Celsius for 6 minutes.
      Turn, brush with a little melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes or until heated through.

    Frozen corn kernels

      Add directly to the dish:

      • Place frozen corn in a colander. Run under hot water until is not covered with ice anymore.
        Add directly to the dish you are cooking, for instance, stir-fry, soups, stews, and so on.

      Boil:

      • Measure out ½ cup/ 125 ml water for each cup of kernels (160 g). Place everything into a pot, add some butter (about 1 teaspoon per cup of corn) and some salt.
        Once the water starts to simmer, cook for 2-3 minutes or until the corn is done to your liking. Don’t overcook it. Drain.

      Skillet:

      • Place kernels in a colander and rinse until no more ice is left on them. Drain well and pat a bit dry.
        Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet or non-stick pan.
        Add kernels and 1 teaspoon sugar, stir to coat, and cook until starting to get brown about 5 to 8 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper.

      Microwave:

      • Place frozen kernels in a microwave-safe dish. Add about 1/8 cup/ 30 ml water for each cup of corn (160 g) you are cooking. Cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid.
        Microwave on high for about 2 minutes.
        Stir and check. If not hot enough, give it another minute. Add butter and seasoning.

      Roast:

      • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/ 200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
        Place kernels on the tray, toss with olive oil, about ¼ teaspoon salt, and some freshly ground black pepper.
        Roast for 20-30 minutes until heated through and done to your liking, stirring twice in between.
        You can add other spices like sweet or smoked paprika, garlic powder, ground cumin, coriander, and dried herbs. You can also add some Parmesan during the last 10 minutes of the roasting time.

      Notes

      1. Use as much as you need, 1 lb is just a suggestion.
      2. According to the method you are choosing. Each technique needs butter, salt, and pepper. Otherwise, you might need a little olive oil and other spices to taste. For instance, sweet or smoked paprika, ground cumin, coriander, dried herbs, fresh herbs, and so on.
      3. The nutrition is calculated for 1 lb/450 g corn kernels and 2 tablespoons butter.

      Nutrition

      Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 851mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 228IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
      Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @adinabeck or tag #WhereIsMySpoon!

      Sharing is caring!

      Recipe Rating