Learn how to make corn nuggets; crispy outside and moist inside. Ready in less than 10 minutes, this simple recipe taste better than store-bought nuggets!
Craving something savory, crispy, and seriously addictive? Give my famous corn nuggets a try! This recipe uses simple, budget-friendly ingredients but transforms them into something impressive. They make a fabulous side dish, snack, or party appetizer.
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What are corn nuggets?
Corn nuggets are variations of the famous South American snack, corn fritters. Like corn fritters, the primary ingredient of corn nuggets is sweet corn, but the flavors are different.
Corn fritters are almost always sweet and come in a thin, flat shape. They are also pan fried. Nuggets, on the other hand, are deep fried and can be seasoned in a variety of ways- spicy, sweet, or my personal favorite, filled with mozzarella cheese.
Here are some reasons why I love this recipe:
- Easy to make. All you have to do is mix all the ingredients, make small nuggets and fry. Even the most beginner of cooks can make this.
- Crispy and crunchy. From flavor to texture, these corn nuggets tick all the boxes.
- Healthy. Compared to other deep fried snacks, these are lower in saturated fat and calories.
- Easy to customize. You can change the spices, add more vegetables, or even bake them or air fry them: the possibilities are endless.
This recipe for corn nuggets is simple, as you’ll only need basic everyday ingredients you probably have in your pantry. If you don’t, they can easily be found at your local grocery store. Here is everything you’ll need:
- Oil. To fry the nuggets. Choose oil that has a high smoke point, like peanut oil or canola oil.
- All-purpose flour. White flour is preferred, but wholewheat works, too. To make gluten-free corn nuggets, use gluten-free all purpose flour.
- Baking powder. A leavening agent that helps the nuggets puff up beautifully.
- Egg. Acts as a binding agent.
- Milk. I used whole milk, but use any milk you have on hand.
- Shortening. A much better alternative to butter or margarine for deep frying. If you can’t find this, I found butter to work much better.
- Corn kernels. Either canned or fresh corn works. I tested this recipe with creamed corn but found it had too much moisture to keep things crispy.
- Salt and pepper. To taste.
Printable recipe with measurements below.
How to make corn nuggets?
Making nuggets from corn is super simple. You’ll just have to mix and deep fry the batter! It literally takes 5 minutes. Here is how to make this recipe:
Preheat the oil. Start by heating the oil in a large deep skillet or large pot to 180C/350F.
Prepare batter. Next, make the batter by combining flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the egg, milk, and melted shortening until a smooth mixture forms. Add egg mixture to the flour batter. Finally, add corn and stir the mix well.
Cook the nuggets. Now, drop spoonfuls of the corn mixture batter into the hot oil. Cook both sides until a golden texture appears.
Ready to serve! Now, take out the cooked nuggets with a slotted spoon and place them on paper towels to drain excess oil before serving.
Alternative cooking methods
While I prefer deep-frying the nuggets (hello, crispy goodness!), I’ve also tested this exct recipe in the oven AND the air fryer.
Oven baked corn nuggets: Preheat the oven to 200C/400F and bake these for 11-12 minutes on a lined baking sheet greased with cooking spray or until they become golden brown to dish out and serve.
Air fryer corn nuggets: Once the nuggets are prepped, place them in a greased air fryer basket and air fry at 200C/400F for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Use a thermometer. My #1 tip! The most important factor with deep frying is to make sure the oil is hot enough. If it is too cold, the nuggets will be greasy and a little dense. Use a thermometer to check, and I find that around 350F is the perfect temperature of the oil, with some wiggle room on both ends.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. My #2 tip. Yes, I want to dive right into the nuggets, but it’s best to cook in batches if your pan is not big enough. This will ensure each nugget cooks on all sides completely.
- Use a slotted spoon. To remove excess grease and oil. These are super affordable and can be found at any mainstream grocery store or online.
To Store: Put leftover corn nuggets in an airtight container to store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To Freeze: Place leftovers in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Reheating: You can reheat corn nuggets in the oven, air fryer, or skillet, Do not microwave them or else they will be soggy.
Frequently asked questions
No, corn nuggets aren’t hush puppies. Although both are deep-fried, the batter is completely different for both recipes.
To get a crispy outside and moist inside, deep fry these nuggets for 10-12 minutes at high heat or until golden brown. Flip side after 7-8 minutes to cook both sides evenly.
What to serve with corn fritters?
These nuggets are so versatile, you can serve them with almost anything or keep them simple with your favorite dipping sauce:
- With a sauce like bbq sauce, sugar free ketchup, potsticker sauce, or a fry sauce.
- All kinds of potatoes. These include mashed potatoes, air fryer French fries, or stuffed potatoes.
- With simply cooked protein like air fryer chicken breast, salmon, steak, or pork chops.
- Over a salad like coleslaw, spinach salad, or a broccoli salad.
Easy Corn Nuggets Recipe
- Heat oil in a heavy pot or deep fryer to until it reaches a temperature of 180C/350F.
- Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, milk, and shortening. Combine the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Fold through the corn.
- Drop the nugget batter by spoonfuls into the hot oil. Fry until golden, around 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the nuggets from the oil and place them on a paper towel to drain. Serve immediately.
Recipe originally published July 2022 but updated to included new information for your benefit.
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