No-Guilt Grilled Corn with Chipotle-Lime Browned Butter ♥

Grilled Corn with Chipotle-Lime Browned Butter
Today's easy summer recipe for the grill: Grill sweet corn with the husks off to reveal corn's natural sweetness, then brush with just a touch of a bright and spicy butter. What a summer treat!

Sweet corn is one of the summer's most-anticipated vegetables, so worth waiting for, so worth savoring each and every kernel. But calorie-wise, corn gets a bad rap, one it doesn't deserve. Why?

FIRST An ear of corn has built-in portion control: one ear of corn yields about a half cup of corn kernels. Even for Weight Watchers, that's a small enough portion that it counts as, get this, 1 point (Old Points) or 2 points (PointsPlus).

SECOND Corn is often treated as a butter-to-mouth transfer vehicle – not that there's anything wrong with that, except that too much butter overwhelms the corn's own delicate deliciousness.

Grilling corn brings out the corn's own natural sweetness. We grilled corn without the husks twice last week. Subjected directly to the heat of the grill, some of the kernels get quite chewy, almost candy-like. (Toothpicks are useful, after!) Add just a touch of the spiced butter and oh my, what a treat.

It's about time we learn to love corn again, without feeling guilty, just for the few weeks in summer when it's fresh from the field.


Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes
Serves 12 (easily divided)

1 dozen ears sweet corn, silk and husks removed, corn-stalk "handles" left on

4 tablespoons butter
Juice of a lime (about 1 tablespoon)
Pinch of ground chipotle (chili powder would work too, so would pimentón, the smoked Spanish paprika)
Good salt to taste

Grill the corn, turning occasionally, until many of the kernels have turned dark and caramel-like.

Meanwhile, inside, melt the butter in a small saucepan, then let it sizzle, stirring occasionally, until the butter begins to brown. Add the lime, chipotle and salt, let gently sizzle a bit. Turn off the heat, if needed rewarm before serving. Transfer to a small dish.

To serve, stir the butter again (see TIPS), brush the hot grilled corn with a touch of the warm butter. Savor!

If you like, make the butter ahead of time and then reheat just before serving. Further, you can make the butter and then use just a bit of it at a time over a week's time, say.
After sitting just a minute, the butter does separate so it's important to give it a quick stir to get the "full flavor" of the lime-chipotle-salt.

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This recipe is so quick and easy that I'm adding it to a growing collection of easy summer recipes published all summer long in 2009 at Kitchen Parade, my food column, and now again in 2010. With a free Kitchen Parade e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2010
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I love roasted corn! And I really love the idea of combining the flavor of chipotle and lime!

  2. *drool*.. that is a winning flavor combination

  3. How did you know I have fresh sweet corn in the fridge ... sounds yummy! Going to try it as soon as Kim fixes the grill (which I hope will be today).

  4. I don't have a grill, but I've been wrapping it in foil and roasting it in the oven. Delicious!

  5. Butter to mouth transfer vehicle..LOL I love it! I am going to try this corn out!

  6. This looks fantastic!! I so have to try this! We usually grill ours in the husks but I'll have to try it this way, thanks!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna