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Sautéed Sweet Corn with Cilantro and Lime

5 from 3 community reviews

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A sweet-spicy sautéed sweet corn side dish. This super-quick recipe has fresh lime, aromatic spices and green chili. Make this easy vegetarian side dish in 15 minutes.

A gray bowl full of fresh corn salad tossed with green jalapeno, mustard seeds and cilantro leaves.

This simple sautéed sweet corn recipe has so much going on — it tastes surprisingly layered with flavor, with little effort.

There’s zesty green chili pepper, Indian-style seasoning, including mustard seeds, turmeric and cumin, and a big hit of tangy acidity from fresh lime juice.

It’s one of the quickest vegetable side dish recipes in my file, and way beyond ordinary.

A creative fresh corn side dish

If you have any picky eaters in your house, chances are you can win them over with anything made with sweet corn. When my kids were little, those bags of frozen sweet corn saved many dinner hours.

As their palates got a little more sophisticated I loved introducing them to bolder spices and sweet corn carries those big flavors like a champ.

Sautéed spicy sweet corn salad loaded with flavor. This super-quick recipe has fresh lime, Indian spices and green chili. Make this easy vegetarian side dish in 15 minutes.

Plus, frozen sweet corn is conveniently available all year long.

It’s not quite the same as eating juicy kernels straight off the cob on a summer day, but you can’t beat how easy it is to cook.

How to make delicious sweet corn all year long:

  • This recipe works with either fresh or frozen corn. No need to defrost the frozen corn.
  • If you want to make this recipe with fresh corn, you’ll need about 5 or 6 ears of shucked corn for four people, depending on their size. Keep in mind that one average ear will yield about 3/4 cup of corn kernels.
  • Play with the spices — brown mustard seed has a delicious nutty crunch and gives this dish a decidedly Indian-style punch, but if you don’t have it on hand leave it out. Or omit the turmeric and add about 1 teaspoon of your favorite curry or Mexican spice blend instead.
  • Cheese is a fantastic addition to this recipe – try 1/4 cup of something soft and salty, such as crumbled feta or Mexican cotija.

Sautéed Sweet Corn with Cilantro and Lime

Karen Tedesco
Sautéed spicy sweet corn side dish loaded with flavor. This super-quick recipe has fresh lime, Indian spices and green chili. Make this easy vegetarian side dish in 15 minutes.
Print Pin
5 from 3 community reviews
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Vegetables
Cuisine Vegetarian
Servings 4 servings


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 serrano or jalapeno chili pepper, halved lengthwise and finely chopped
  • 1 shallot or 2 trimmed scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 pound frozen sweet corn or 4 cups fresh sweet corn kernels, from 5 or 6 ears
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Freshly grated zest from 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro


  • Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds and cover the pan. When the seeds start to sizzle and pop, toss in the cumin, turmeric, chili and shallot. Stir and cook 1 minute.
  • Add the corn to the pan with ½ teaspoon salt and stir.
  • Cover the pan and cook 5 minutes, then remove the lid and continue cooking until the corn starts to turn golden brown, a few minutes more.
  • Stir in lime juice, lime zest and cilantro.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

  • Cheese is a fantastic addition to this recipe – try 1/4 cup of something soft and salty, such as crumbled feta or Mexican cotija.
  • The corn keeps 3-5 days, refrigerated


Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 256mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 410IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.

Did you make this recipe? Search @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Pinterest
Recipe developer Karen Tedesco of the popular website Familystyle Food in her kitchen making a kale salad.

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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  1. How many servings does this recipe make? I couldn’t seem to find. Thanks!

  2. This recipe sounds fantastic. Cumin is one of my favorite spices however, I never really think to use mustard seeds in very much. I think I’m going to have to pick up a copy of this book. I love Indian, but sometimes the recipes can be a bit daunting. But these sound great.

  3. Kristen, you’re right, and it feels like the season is so short!

    Joe, I’m still waiting for local corn, too. I always have lots of big ideas, and not enough time.

    Erika, I think it would be just delicious either way.

    Dani, cumin and corn are are a great combo. Maybe I’ll try a more Southwest seasoning next time, as well!

  4. Dani Spies says:

    This looks great…I’ve made something very similar, but instead of the tumeric and mustard seeds I used a bit of cumin. Can’t wait to try this version.

  5. That sounds delightful! Corn is just around the corner for us, but I’m tempted to pick up some frozen corn to try this one.

  6. I’ll have to give this a try when we get some fresh corn from the farmers market!

  7. Alanna, I think you’ll like this…

    Liza, and DITTO for you! After kayaking, of course.

    Valentina, this is a nice alternative to buttered corn – but no replacement. Butter and fresh summer corn are not to be missed!

  8. valentinA says:

    I was starting to get bored with corn coz each time I end up eating them with a dollop of butter. But you’ve greatly inspired me now!! Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe Karen!

  9. YUM! I love corn in almost any form. It will be a while before we get local corn here in Maine though. I think I can wait.

  10. That looks just delicious …