Crispy, crunchy corn nuggets are going to be your new favourite snack! They’ve got the sweetness of corn, they’re perfect for dipping, and they’re guaranteed to disappear fast.

Basket of crispy fried corn nuggets

Corn nuggets are small, bite-sized morsels of deliciousness. (I mean, who doesn’t like corn?!)

These corn nuggets are a little bit like fritters in that they pair a light batter with corn kernels, then they’re fried to crispy perfection. These little nuggets are crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and all-around irresistible.

Serve corn nuggets as a side dish, an appetizer, or even a main dish—I don’t know about you, but I could totally make a meal out of them. Be sure to pair them with your favourite dipping sauces too!

(If you’ve got a weakness for corn, you’ll also love my Corn Succotash, Mexican Street Corn Burrito Bowls, and Vegan Creamed Corn.)

Basket of fried corn nuggets

Why You’ll Love This Corn Nuggets Recipe

Here’s what makes these corn nuggets a guaranteed winner:

  • Vegan. Unlike other recipes for corn nuggets, this one is completely plant-based, making it a great option for vegans, but also one that everyone will enjoy.
  • Easy to make. With just a few ingredients and minimal prep work, you can have these corn nuggets ready in no time.
  • Customizable. There’s lots of room experiment with different seasonings, herbs, and spices to make these corn nuggets your own. Don’t be afraid to put your own spin on this recipe!
Overhead view of ingredients for corn nuggets with labels

Notes on Ingredients

Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.

  • All-purpose flour – Be sure to lightly spoon this into the measuring cup, rather than scooping it.
  • Baking powder
  • Granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • Black pepper – Freshly cracked is best.
  • Almond milk – Or another unsweetened, unflavoured plant milk.
  • Aquafaba
  • Vegan butter – Use store-bought or homemade vegan butter.
  • Corn kernels – I used canned, but fresh or frozen and thawed would work too.
  • Vegetable oil – Or your preferred oil for deep-frying.

What Is Aquafaba?

Aquafaba is the liquid from cooked chickpeas. While you might be used to pouring it down the drain, aquafaba can actually be whipped into peaks like egg whites and used to bind ingredients together, like in this corn nugget recipe. I also use aquafaba in my vegan marshmallow and sweet potato soufflé recipes.

How to Make Corn Nuggets

There are some times when you just can’t beat deep-frying—like when making homemade falafel or vegan donuts. This is one of those times! You just can’t get the same results in the oven.

Mix the dry ingredients. Whisk the all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl.

Mix the wet ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together the almond milk, aquafaba, and vegan butter.

Finish the batter. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold in the corn.

Prepare. Heat the oil in a deep skillet or pot over set medium heat until it reaches 365ºF.

Overhead view of corn nuggets cooking in oil

Cook the nuggets. Drop spoonfuls of the corn batter into the oil. Fry the corn nuggets for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Drain. Remove the nuggets from the oil and transfer them to a paper-towel-lined plate. 

Repeat. Continue with the remaining batter until it’s all used.

Overhead view of crispy fried corn nuggets in basket

Tips for Success

These simple tips will help you make perfect corn nuggets:

  • Use a thermometer. It’s important to make sure the oil is hot enough before adding the corn nugget batter; if the temperature is too low, your nuggets will end up greasy. The best way to do this is to use a thermometer. 
  • Don’t crowd the pan. Fry the nuggets in batches, so they don’t overcrowd the pan. 
  • Use a slotted spoon or skimmer. This allows you to remove the corn nuggets from the oil without also removing oil from the pan. Another option is to pluck them out with chopsticks.
  • Serve immediately. Enjoy your corn nuggets right away for optimal crunchiness and flavour.

Variations

You can experiment with different herbs and spices to give your corn nuggets an extra flavour boost. Try adding a pinch of smoked paprika, cayenne for a kick, chili powder for some Tex-Mex flair, or your favourite fresh or dried herbs.

For a gluten-free version, substitute a measure-for-measure all-purpose flour blend.

Basket of vegan corn nuggets

Serving Suggestions

Corn nuggets are great on their own as an appetizer or snack, but they’re especially delicious when paired with your favourite sauces and dips. Try serving them with hot sauce, tartar sauce, vegan mayo, vegan sour cream, or vegan ranch dressing.

How to Store Leftovers

Leftover corn nuggets can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat them, place them on a baking sheet and bake at 400ºF until they’re heated through and crispy. You can also microwave them, but they’ll be softer that way. An air fryer works well too!

Can I Freeze This Recipe?

Yes, you can definitely freeze this corn nugget recipe. After frying the nuggets, let them cool completely and transfer them to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months; to reheat them, place them on a baking sheet and bake at 400ºF until they’re heated through and crispy.

Basket of vegan corn nuggets, with one bitten into

More Vegan Appetizer Ideas

Enjoy friends! If you make this corn nuggets recipe, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!

Pile of corn nuggets, with one bitten to show corn kernels inside

Corn Nuggets

Crispy corn nuggets are going to be your new favourite snack! They're easy to make, loaded with sweet corn, and totally irresistible.
5 (from 5 ratings)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, 125 grams
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder, 3.5 grams
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, 5 grams
  • ½ teaspoon salt, 2.5 grams
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, 1 gram
  • ½ cup almond milk, 120 grams
  • ¼ cup aquafaba, 60 grams
  • 1 tablespoon melted vegan butter, 13 grams
  • 1 can corn kernels, drained (12 oz or 340 grams can; 270 grams of corn when drained)
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions 

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk, aquafaba, and melted vegan butter.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
  • Gently fold in the drained corn kernels.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a deep skillet or pot over medium heat, enough to cover the nuggets, until it reaches 365F (185C) temperature.
  • Using a spoon, drop spoonfuls of the corn batter into the hot oil.
  • Fry the corn nuggets for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
  • Remove the nuggets from the oil and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
  • Repeat with the remaining batter until all the corn nuggets are fried.

Notes

To store: Leftover corn nuggets can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat them, place them on a baking sheet and bake at 400ºF until they’re heated through and crispy. You can also microwave them, but they’ll be softer that way. An air fryer works well too!
To freeze: After frying the nuggets, let them cool completely and transfer them to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months; to reheat them, place them on a baking sheet and bake at 400ºF until they’re heated through and crispy.
Calories: 37kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Sodium: 74mg, Potassium: 36mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 36IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 17mg, Iron: 0.3mg

Disclaimer: Although jessicainthekitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Jessicainthekitchen.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.