corn ribs featured image
This quick and easy Corn Ribs recipe is similar to the viral TikTok version using only 6 ingredients, these baked corn curls are full of garlic butter flavor and perfectly seasoned and spiced.
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Table of Contents
  1. Corn Ribs (Viral TikTok Recipe With A Tweak)
  2. Why We Love This Corn Ribs Recipe
  3. Ingredients / Shopping List
  4. Substitutions and Additions
  5. Recommended Tools
  6. How to Make Corn Ribs
  7. Tips
  8. Storage Tips
  9. Frequently Asked Questions
  10. Other Easy Side Dish Recipes
  11. Corn Ribs Recipe

This easy homemade Corn Ribs recipe has a simple tweak to TikTok’s latest trend, made with only 6 ingredients and ready in 20 minutes. Long strips of corn on the cob (riblets) are coated in garlic butter, sprinkled with seasoning (elote) before baking, air frying, or grilling, then topped with cheese, herbs, and spicy mayo and served with an extra side of sauce.

corn ribs hero image

Corn Ribs (Viral TikTok Recipe With A Tweak)

Corn Ribs are a fun-to-eat fusion of my favorite grilled Mexican street corn with an elote make-over. These riblets are baked in the oven and made with far fewer ingredients.

Just like the viral version, my recipe will liven up the most basic slice of corn, with a simple seasoned spread that tastes deliciously sweet and spicy. But instead of brushing my “riblets” with an olive oil and chili powder mixture, mine has a simple TikTok twist: I coat my corn with a garlic butter and taco seasoning and bake it rather than air fry it. 

These Corn Ribs can be served as a vegetarian side and make the perfect accompaniment to any meatless main meal, like my Chili Cornbread Casserole and Pizza Quesadillas (just make them without the meat). Or cut the corn off the riblets and add the kernels to any recipe that calls for corn, like my Corn Salsa and Mexican Corn Salad.

Why We Love This Corn Ribs Recipe

  • Quick and easy to make in under 25 minutes.
  • Only uses 6 simple ingredients.
  • Vegetarian recipe is gluten-free, low-carb, and can be made dairy-free and/or vegan with a few swaps.
  • Versatile side dish that you can season and spice the way you like.
  • Delicious alternative to meat ribs for the vegetarians in the crowd.
  • A TikTok-inspired recipe that can be cooked in the air frier, on the grill, or bake in the oven.
  • Serve it as a snack, part of a picnic, potluck, or BBQ, or as an appetizer or side dish.
corn ribs dip into sauce

Ingredients / Shopping List

  • Corn on the cob: I prefer getting a package of pre-shucked ears of corn for this recipe but you can get fresh corn in the husk and shuck it yourself if you prefer. If you do go that route, you will need to trim the ends of the corn about an inch before cutting it.
  • Garlic butter spread: I used a container of garlic and herb butter from the market, but you can use your favorite garlic butter spread. You can even make your own spread with salted butter, garlic powder, and dried parsley.
  • Taco seasoning: You can use more or less seasoning depending on how spicy you want your ribs to be. You probably won’t need more than 1 (1 ounce) packet. Or try our Homemade Taco Seasoning.
  • Cotija cheese
  • Cilantro
  • Spicy mayo: I used sriracha mayo but feel free to use your favorite flavor or make your own by combining mayonnaise and hot sauce until it is as spicy as you want it. 

Substitutions and Additions

  • Swap The Seasoning: Instead of taco seasoning, feel free to sprinkle your corn ribs with smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, ground coriander, or oregano.
  • Serve With Sauce: I love to use spicy mayo as a side for dipping, but you can also serve your corn with ketchup, garlic aioli, BBQ sauce, flavored mayo (like lime mayo, chili mayo, garlic mayo), or any of your other favorite sauces.
  • Herbs: Herbs add a nice freshness to the corn ribs. In addition to cilantro, you can try parsley and dill, or use any others you like.
  • Change The Cheese: Instead of cotija cheese, you can substitute Queso Fresco cheese or parmesan cheese for a slightly different final flavor.
corn ribs on a white plate
  • Large sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Large baking sheet
  • Aluminum foil
  • Butter knife, optional

SEE FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD BELOW

How to Make Corn Ribs

This Corn Ribs recipe is quick and easy to make using 6 simple ingredients that bake into the best bite-sized pieces of buttery seasoned corn curls. Serve them as a side or a snack, these strips of corn on the cob are full of flavorful spices with a delicious aromatic taste.

  1. Cut each cob of corn in half lengthwise and then cut each half into 2 equal pieces lengthwise.
    Pro Tip: You will need a very sharp knife to cut the corn. I found that a serrated knife worked best. 
    cut corn in chopping board
  2. Spread garlic butter over the kernels of each piece of corn.
    Pro Tip: You can use a butter knife or do as I did and use your fingers to get a thick, even layer over the corn.
  3. Sprinkle taco seasoning all over each rib of corn.
    sprinkle taco seasoning
  4. Place the seasoned corn in an even, single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
    Pro Tip: Make sure to keep a little space between each piece. 
    place in baking sheet
  5. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes, until the corn kernels change color and the “ribs” begin to curl into a “C” shape.
    Pro Tip: The cook time will depend on how thick your corn ribs are. See below for air fryer instructions.
    baked corn ribs
  6. Sprinkle the cooked corn ribs with with cotija cheese and minced cilantro, optional. 
  7. Drizzle the ribs with ¼ cup of spicy mayo and serve them with the remainder of the spicy mayo as a side for dipping.
    corn ribs on a plate with lemon wedges
  8. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Tips

  • For the best flavor, buy fresh in season corn. If you buy frozen cobs, make sure to fully thaw them before cutting them into ribs.
  • Make sure to use a very sharp knife, cutting corn into quarters is not easy! A sharp, serrated knife will make the job easier.
  • Feel free to experiment with your seasoning. Mix seasoning with spices and herbs to create your own custom riblets.
  • I do not recommend substituting oil for butter. Using butter is ideal because it will stick to the corn longer for better flavor.
  • These oven baked Corn Ribs taste best hot out of the oven.

Storage Tips

  • To Store: wrapped in plastic or stored in an airtight container. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
  • To Freeze: This recipe does not freeze well.
hand holding corn ribs

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use frozen corn on the cob for this recipe?

If corn on the cob is not in season, you can try using frozen cobs. Just make sure they are fully defrosted first and pat them dry with a towel before beginning the recipe.

What are other ways to season my corn?

This recipe is a great basis for whatever type of corn you want to make! If you aren’t a fan of the elote type flavors you can simply butter and salt the corn.
You can also make it with just the garlic spread for a nice, simple but flavorful side. Feel free to play around with the butter spread or make your own using your favorite herbs and flavors.
You can also change up the cheese and fresh herbs that you sprinkle over the corn after it is cooked. Try fresh basil for Italian night or chili flakes when you are in the mood for something spicy. This recipe is so easy you can’t go wrong!

How do I cut my corn into ribs?

Raw corn has a very hard center. Here are a few tips that I found helped me when I was sawing my way through the cobs:
1. Begin at what would be the base of the corn, the thickest part. I worked at the top half and then turned the cob over and worked on the other half until I got through and could push the knife all the way through the cob.
2. Use a sharp, serrated knife. I did find that a sawing motion seemed to work best at first. Once I got a little way in I could push the knife down, facing away from me towards the end that was cut, and cut through the cob that way. 
3. Depending on the size of your cobs you may want to cut each half in thirds instead of just halves. Don’t try to make the ribs too small though. 3 or 4 rows of kernels is a fine amount for each “rib”. If you make them smaller than that they will cook faster so check them early. 
4. If part of the corn breaks off while you are cutting it, don’t worry! Just butter it and cook it with the rest of the ribs. I recommend checking it early though as it will likely cook faster than the ribs. 

Can I make my Corn Ribs in the air fryer instead of the oven?

If you prefer to make these in the air fryer you will definitely need to do more than one batch. Cover the bottom of your basket with aluminum foil to help with cleanup. You will want to preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook the corn for 10-15 minutes.

Can I make my Corn Ribs on the grill?

You can absolutely cook these ribs on the grill. Place them on a hot grill for 8 minutes on each side.

corn ribs

Other Easy Side Dish Recipes

5 from 3 votes
corn ribs featured image

Corn Ribs

Serves — 3
This quick and easy Corn Ribs recipe is similar to the viral TikTok version using only 6 ingredients, these baked corn curls are full of garlic butter flavor and perfectly seasoned and spiced.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 4 medium sized cobs of corn husked
  • 3 ounce container garlic butter spread softened
  • 1-2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • ¼ cup cotija cheese crumbled
  • ¼ cup cilantro minced
  • ½ cup spicy mayo divided (I used sriracha mayo)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper, optional.
  • Carefully cut each cob of corn in half lengthwise and then cut each half into 2 equal pieces lengthwise. You will need a very sharp knife to cut the corn. I found that a serrated knife worked better for me.
  • Spread garlic butter spread all over the kernels of each piece. You can use a butter knife or do as I did and use your fingers to get a thick, even layer over the corn.
  • Sprinkle taco seasoning all over each rib of corn.
  • Place the prepared corn in an even, single layer on the baking sheet. You want a little space between each piece.
  • Cook for 20-30 minutes, until the kernels change color and the “ribs” begin to curl into a “C” shape. The cook time will depend on how thick your corn ribs are.
  • Remove the corn from the oven and sprinkle it with cotija cheese and minced cilantro, optional.
  • Drizzle the ribs with ¼ cup of spicy mayo and serve with the remainder of the spicy mayo as a side for dipping. Serve hot.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage:
  • To Store: wrapped in plastic or stored in an airtight container. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
  • To Freeze: This recipe does not freeze well.
Tips:
  • For the best flavor, buy fresh in season corn. If you buy frozen cobs, make sure to fully thaw them before cutting them into ribs.
  • Make sure to use a very sharp knife–cutting corn into quarters is not easy! A sharp, serrated knife will make the job easier.
  • Feel free to experiment with your seasoning. Mix seasoning with spices and herbs to create your own custom riblets.
  • I do not recommend substituting oil for butter. Using butter is ideal because it will stick to the corn longer for better flavor.
  • These Corn Ribs taste best hot out of the oven.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 595kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 665mg | Potassium: 353mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1178IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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