With plenty of tender sweet corn available, this flavorful Skillet Corn with Spinach and Peppers returned to our menu. The addition of bacon and a pinch of red pepper flakes gave an amazing depth of flavor.

First made nearly a decade ago, I pulled out my cookbooks to hunt down one of the more memorable Corn Recipes I’ve served to my family.

Overhead view of skillet corn in a white bowl.

Why You Must Make

  • It’s a delicious way to serve corn!
  • If you eat a lot of corn on the cob in the summer, this recipe is a delicious alternative.
  • Bacon pushes this side dish over the top!!

How to Make

This is a perfect recipe for summer, when fresh sweet corn on the cob is plentiful. We’d had our fill of steamed and buttered corn, and when a friend of my husband gave us a dozen ears of his tender, homegrown corn, it was time to try another corn dish.

  • Cook your fresh corn and cool.
  • Remove the kernels from the cobs. The husk and silk had already been removed, next hold an ear of corn with the tip side down in a large bowl, and with a knife, remove the corn by slicing from the stem end down.
  • After that, cook, drain, and chop the bacon.
  • Prepare the other ingredients, chopping, and slicing as needed.
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes adds some heat, but you can also add garlic or chopped herbs of your choice.
  • To cook, heat the butter in a skillet, cook the minced shallot until tender, then add the corn, peppers, and seasonings.
  • Mix in the bacon and scallions before adding half the spinach and stirring until it’s wilted, then the other half. Voila, it’s done!
Skillet corn in a small white bowl with a red handle fork.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Cook Fresh Corn?

There are many ways to cook corn on the cob, including steaming, boiling, grilling, and microwaving. Steaming is my preferred method, and with fresh corn, it only takes about 3-5 minutes in a covered pot. Freshly picked sweet corn can cook in as little as 2 minutes. Timing for the other methods can be found on this post for a delicious compound butter for corn.

According to the University of Illinois, adding salt to the cooking water can toughen the corn, so plain water is best. Just pass salt along with butter to serve.

Can Frozen Corn Be Used Instead of Fresh?

Absolutely. Frozen corn is preserved at its peak of freshness, so it is a wonderful substitution when fresh corn is unavailable.

How Can You Tell When Fresh Corn Is Done?

Pierce a few kernels with a sharp knife to see if they’re tender. If the knife inserts easily, that indicates that the corn is done. Older corn will take a bit longer to cook than very fresh corn.

Can You Make This Skillet Corn Vegetarian?

This skillet corn is easily adaptable. Feel free to leave out the bacon for a vegetarian version. You may need to add a touch more butter to compensate, just a teaspoon or so.

Overhead view of skillet corn with bacon in a white serving bowl.

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Skillet corn recipe in a white serving dish with a red handle spoon

Skillet Corn with Spinach and Peppers

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 4

A flavorful side dish made with fresh summer sweet corn, spinach, peppers and bacon!


  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 3 scallions, sliced
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves


  1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until brown.
  2. Remove and drain on paper towels. Pour off the excess oil.
  3. Add the butter to the skillet and melt. Add shallot and saute until soft.
  4. Add corn, bell pepper, and red pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until the corn is tender, 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add the bacon, scallions, and half the spinach. Stir until the spinach has wilted, then add the rest of the spinach.
  6. Give the mixture a final stir and serve warm.


Adapted from The Mom 100 Cookbook.

Leave out the bacon for a vegetarian version.

Replace the butter (and omit bacon) for a vegan version. Use olive oil instead.

Toss in whatever vegetables sound good to you. Make sure they're cut into bite-sized pieces.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 245Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 492mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 8gSugar: 8gProtein: 14g

Thatskinnychickcanbake.com occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although thatskinnychickcanbake.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on thatskinnychickcanbake.com recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.


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