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This buttered corn is naturally sweet, buttery, and so addicting! Flavored with scallions and black pepper, this delicious side dish is perfect for summer! Plant-based, 7 ingredients, and ready in just 25 minutes!

Sautéed butter corn with scallions and red cabbage.

🌽 How to Make Buttered Corn

Preparing this sautéed corn is super quick and simple to make. You will need very basic ingredients:

  • Corn – Fresh sweet corn is obviously best and will yield a better flavor. If you don’t have access to fresh corn, frozen corn kernels is the second best option. I would recommend staying away from canned corn.
  • Scallions – Also called green onions, they don’t only add a vibrant green color, but also brings a fresh and mild sweetness.
  • Saté – Totally optional, only use if you want to add spiciness. The addition of saté brings some heat, as well as hints of garlic and lemongrass flavors.
  • Butter – For richness, you can use store-bought butter, or homemade vegan butter.
  • Salt and sugar – To season. I went with regular white sugar, but coconut sugar or maple syrup will work perfectly as well.
  • Black pepper – For a sharp and woody aroma.
Ingredients like corn, scallions, butter, salt, and sugar.

How to Remove Corn from The Cobs

First, we start by separating the corn kernels from the cob. To do so:

  1. Remove the leaves and the threads from the ears of corn.
  2. Trim off each end of the corn and cut the corn into 2-3 pieces.
  3. Use a knife to cut one row of corn kernels.
  4. Use your thumb to detach the following rows. They will come very easily.
  5. Repeat with the remaining corn pieces and rinse the kernels.
Chopped ears of corn on a wood board.

Now that our corn kernels are prepared, it’s time to cook them!

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the corn kernels and let simmer for about 3 minutes, or until the corn has taken a deeper yellow color. This step will pre-cook the corn and allow it to absorb some of the salt.

Next, drain the corn kernels and sauté in a skillet for 3-5 minutes over medium heat.

Once the corn is starting to get slightly golden brown and caramelized, season with salt, sugar, and ground black pepper. Stir in the vibrant green onions, a teaspoon of vegan butter, and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Done!

🍲 What To Serve with Buttered Corn

This buttered corn can be served as a side with your plant-based protein of choice, like vegan chicken, braised tofu, or with pasta, quinoa, clay pot rice, sautéed veggies, and more!

You can even use leftovers in salads or as a topping for soups or congee! This sautéed corn is so versatile!


If using frozen corn kernels, how much should I use?

I recommend going with about 1 cup of kernels.

Why use a combination of oil and butter?

Starting with oil and then stirring the butter at the end of cooking prevents it from burning.

How long does buttered corn keep?

This sautéed corn will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Buttered corn with scallions on a plate.

This sautéed corn has the perfect balance of sweet and salty! It’s rich and buttery, and delicious served with rice, sautéed greens, or even burgers!

🍛 More Delicious Plant-Based Sides

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!

Close-up of buttered corn with scallions.
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Buttered Corn with Scallions

Author: Thomas Pagot
Rich and buttery sautéed corn with scallions and black pepper. A quick and delicious summer side dish!
Prep Time : 15 minutes
Cook Time : 8 minutes
Total Time : 23 minutes
Servings 2 servings (as a side)


  • 2 ears of sweet corn
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp vegan butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 tsp saté optional, for spiciness


  • Prepare the corn: Remove the leaves and the threads from the ears of the corn. Trim off the ends of the corn and discard. Cut the ears of corn into 2-3 pieces.
    Use a knife to cut off one row of corn kernels. Then, use your thumb to push the other rows in the direction of the one you just removed. Repeat with the remaining corn pieces. Rinse the corn kernels under cold water and drain.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the corn kernels and let simmer for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and drain the corn kernels.
  • Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the corn kernels and sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until the corn is slightly caramelized and golden brown.
  • Season with salt, sugar, and ground black pepper. Stir in the vegan butter, chopped scallions, and saté if using. Stir to coat and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  • Serve immediately with rice, quinoa, greens, and/or your protein of choice!
Course : Side Dish
Cuisine : American
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

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Wow another great recipe. Thank you Thomas