If you’re going to “fritter away,” then this is the way to fritter! A whole lotta savory and a little touch of sweet make my Corn Fritters with Bacon and Chives a total comfort food “keeper.” No deep frying means they’re healthy(ish), wholesome, and definitely cleanup-friendly. Enjoy these gluten free bites year-round!
There are a lot of jokes about Americans and fried food. A LOT. I’d put money on it being the number two all-time topic right behind male comedians joking about nagging wives. (Cause we all know you definitely didn’t do anything to deserve that, right, champ?) But I digress…
We love fried food. We worship it here. The more recently our food was submerged in a vat of scalding hot oil, the better! There are contests and festivals and county fairs; and I think with the advent of deep-fried Turkey, Thanksgiving is probably giving the 4th of July a run for its money in the burn ward. Look, all you need to know is some dude whose nickname is (I kid you not) “Fried Jesus” invented Deep Fried Butter in Texas. It doesn’t get any more meta – or American -than that.
Bottom line, much like jazz and true crime podcasts, we take fried food seriously as an American art form. Also, much like jazz and true crime podcasts, we have, in some ways, ruined fried food too by being so… “extra” about it. This is not to say that all fried food is bad, but it’s just… a bit much, n’est ce pas?
So, I’m trying to reclaim, bit by bit, the notion that not every fried food needs to be deep fried and grease soaked to be good. (But not in an “air fryer” kind of way. Because let’s be fair, I love my air fryer, but there’s nothing “fried” coming out of a glorified convection oven.) If we return to our humble roots in a cast iron skillet, with a shallower dose of healthier fats, we can achieve the same satisfaction. Or, if I may be so bold, an even better one with these corn fritters.
What are Corn Fritters?
It’s all about that batter, baby! By loose (but universally recognized) definition, fritters are really just any battered and fried food, or just fried batter/dough. This is not to be confused with croquettes, which are typically just mixed with breading and then fried (think crab cakes).
However, colloquially, we tend to think of fritters as foods that are mixed with batter and then fried, rather than coated in it. Corn Fritters are just that, with corn (and in this case, also bacon and chives) being the “food” in question.
How to Make Corn Fritters
Have no fear: pan-fried Corn Fritters are here. These hearty little guys boast big flavor from corn, bacon, and chives – not the grease you cook them in! Use fresh or frozen corn in a wholesome cornmeal batter to create savory patties that the whole family will love. And by love, I mean eat… and eat… and eat. Garnish with sour cream and, of course, more bacon.
For a condensed post, click through to view the web story for this recipe!
- COOK BACON. Cook chopped bacon until golden brown and crisp; remove with a slotted spoon and set onto paper towel to drain. Keep the rendered bacon fat in your skillet.
- COMBINE DRY INGREDIENTS. Whisk cornmeal, cornstarch, baking powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the corn and bacon, then gently fold until evenly coated.
- COMBINE WET INGREDIENTS. Whisk milk, eggs, honey and chives until well combined.
- MAKE BATTER. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and fold with a rubber spatula until just barely combined and evenly moistened. Let sit 5-10 minutes to allow the cornmeal to hydrate.
- HEAT FAT. Add enough olive oil to the skillet to create a shallow (⅛″) layer of fat; heat until shimmering.
- PAN FRY. Drop ¼ c portions of batter into skillet, leaving 1” space in between. Fry 3 minutes per side, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- GARNISH & SERVE. Serve with sour cream for dipping and garnish with fresh chives.
Tips for Perfect Corn Fritters
- Allow the batter to sit for 5 minutes so the cornmeal can hydrate. You’ll notice that it will thicken a bit.
- You’ll use more oil or fat than you think you need, but you’re also not deep frying. Add enough fat to cover the pan by about ⅛″ inch for golden brown fritters that cook through to the center.
- Make sure both the pan AND the oil are properly heated. The oil should “shimmer” just a bit once heated.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. The batter will spread just a bit, so leave 1″ space around each dollop of batter.
- Drain the fritters on a paper towel lined sheet pan or large plate.
Skip the All Purpose Flour!
I love cornmeal. Not enough recipes call for it where they could. And what better recipe to use it in than corn fritters?!
Make your batter using fine (not coarse) cornmeal with just a touch of cornstarch for binding. It makes your fritters heartier, plus bonus corn flavor! Need another reason? Using certified gluten-free cornmeal will make this recipe completely gluten free.
Can I use Frozen Corn?
Yes! I actually used frozen corn in these photos because my local co-op was out of fresh corn. Plus, frozen corn is a great way to enjoy corn fritters in the offseason!!
Defrost first, then shake to remove most of the moisture. Spread onto a paper-towel lined sheet pan to dry; or, transfer to a cotton kitchen towel, gather up the ends to create a pouch and shake to absorb the water.
Make It Your Way
- SPICY: add 1-2 minced jalapenos with or without seeds.
- AS A MEAL: top with a fried or poached egg and diced avocado.
- PARTY SNACK: halve the portion size (2 tbsp vs ¼ cup) and serve with sour cream on the side for dipping (they’re great room temperature!).
Storing and Reheating
- FRIDGE: store fritters in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- REHEAT: in the toaster oven, air fryer (350°F for 2 minutes per side), or on the stove top in a tiny splash of fat.
- FREEZE: arrange on a sheet pan in a single layer then place in the freezer until firm (about 1 hour); transfer the individually frozen fritters to a gallon Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Corn Recipes for Passing and Sharing
- Mexican Street Corn Stuffed Peppers
- Gluten Free Fried Green Tomatoes with Cornmeal
- Blueberry Cornbread Muffins
- Grilled Corn Salad with Peppers
- Roasted Corn Salsa
- Corn Salsa Ricotta Toast
- Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
Did you make these corn fritters? I’d love to know how they turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
Corn Fritters with Bacon and ChivesPrint Recipe Rate this Recipe Pin Recipe
- 4 strips bacon, chopped
- 1 c fine cornmeal
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 3 c corn kernels, fresh or frozen and defrosted
- ½ c milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp minced chives, plus more for garnish
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2-4 tbsp olive oil
- sour cream, to taste
- Place the bacon in a cold cast iron skillet. Heat over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat renders and bacon turns golden brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Whisk the cornmeal, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, paprika, and garlic powder in a large mixing bowl until well combined. Add the corn and chopped bacon to the dry ingredients and mix until evenly coated.
- Whisk the milk, eggs, chives, and honey in a 1-cup measuring cup (or small bowl) until smooth.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold with a rubber spatula until just combined and evenly moistened. Rest 5 minutes to allow the cornmeal to hydrate. The mixture will be thick.
- Add enough oil to the bacon fat to create an ⅛” layer of fat in the skillet. Heat over medium high heat until the oil is shimmering.
- Drop ¼ c portions of the batter into the skillet, leaving 1” space in between. Fry 3 minutes, or until golden brown, then flip and fry 2-3 minutes more, until the fritters are puffed and evenly golden brown on all sides.
- Transfer the fritters to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Makes about 16 fritters. Serve warm or room temperature with sour cream and additional chopped chives.