Sautéed Corn and Tomatoes

$2.27 recipe / $0.57 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.75 from 12 votes
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I used to really dislike corn, but I think that’s because I never had it prepared in a decent way. Ever since learning to roast corn in my oven, I’ve kind of fallen in love. I don’t always have time to roast it, but frozen corn makes a great quick fix alternative. It still has all the sweetness and juicy snap of fresh corn, but with only a fraction of the prep needed.

These Sautéed Corn and Tomatoes are fast and full of flavor. The acidic tomatoes, rich butter, savory garlic, and sweet corn all balance perfectly to create a side dish that is has summer written all over it. You can eat it plain as a side, or scoop it over grilled chicken, or baked fish. This recipe makes four small side dish sized servings, but can easily be doubled or tripled, if needed.

Sautéed Corn and Tomatoes

Top view of Sautéed Corn and Tomatoes in white dish

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Sautéed Corn and Tomatoes

4.75 from 12 votes
These Sautéed Corn and Tomatoes are the perfect quick fix side dish for summer. Savory, sweet, and full of flavor, they pair perfectly with grilled meat.
Servings 4
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 25 minutes


  • 1 Tbsp butter ($0.15)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes ($0.89)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper (15-20 cranks of a pepper mill) ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp sugar ($0.02)
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels ($0.93)
  • 1 handful fresh parsley (optional) ($0.10)


  • Mince the garlic and sauté it with butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat for one to two minutes, or just until softened.
  • Add the diced tomatoes (with juices) to the skillet, along with the basil, salt, pepper, and sugar. Stir to combine and turn the heat up to medium. Allow the skillet to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until most of the juices have evaporated and the mixture has thickened.
  • Add the frozen corn to the skillet (no thawing needed). Stir to combine and heat through (3-5 minutes). Taste and adjust the salt if needed. Sprinkle with a handful of fresh chopped parsley if desired.

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Serving: 1ServingCalories: 119.5kcalCarbohydrates: 21.78gProtein: 3.6gFat: 3.8gSodium: 356.78mgFiber: 4.6g
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Top view of Sautéed Corn and Tomatoes in skillet

Step by Step Photos

Garlic and butter in skillet

Mince two cloves of garlic and then sauté with 1 Tbsp butter over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic has softened.

Can of Diced Tomatoes

Add one 15-oz. can of diced tomatoes. I used plain diced tomatoes, but you could use fire roasted, or tomatoes that are already seasoned with garlic and basil for more flavor.

Tomatoes and seasoning added to skillet

Also add 1/2 tsp dried basil, some freshly cracked pepper (about 15-20 cranks of a pepper mill), 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp sugar. Stir the ingredients to combine, turn the heat up to medium, and let it simmer for about ten minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Simmering tomatoes in skillet with wooden spoon

You want it to simmer long enough so that the juices are no longer watery. There is still some sauciness that will coat the corn with flavor, but it’s not really “juicy”. As you can see, when I drag the spoon through the mixture, it doesn’t run back into the empty space. It has reduced and thickened.

Frozen corn added to skillet

Add 2 cups of frozen corn kernels (no thawing necessary), stir to combine, and heat through (3-5 minutes). Taste the mixture and adjust the salt if needed.

Sautéed Corn and Tomatoes with parsley sprinkled on top

I added a small sprinkle of fresh parsley on top, but that’s optional.

Close up of a dish of Sautéed Corn and Tomatoes

Sweet, savory, and Oh So Good!

Top view of a plate of fish with Sautéed Corn and Tomatoes on top

It’s great on its own, but it’s also fabulous spooned over some grilled chicken or fish! I put mine on top of my Blackened Tilapia. SO GOOD.

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  1. I made this as suggested but substituted fresh corn and tomatoes. This recipe is delicious and easy.

  2. Don’t need to be fancy with garlic and all that. I tried green onions, tomatoes (fresh, 3 Roma), salt, cumin powder and that’s it. Tasted delicious, on its own, Not necessary to have with meat.

    Am wondering about fiber and all that? Perhaps someone can shed some light on this.

  3. I want to leave 5 stars, but it won’t let me do higher than 3 for some reason. I added jalapeños to this, and it was delicious! Hubby agreed!

  4. Corn naturally has sugar so didn’t add it. Can’t wait till summer to use tomatoes fresh out the garden. Toss over some fresh garden grown oven roasted Okra and you’re in Southern Heaven. This was a great side item to oven roasted or oven fried chicken

  5. This was excellent! I had two fresh ears of corn and some grape tomatoes that needed to be used, so I went with those. I was concerned that maybe there would not be enough liquid with the tomatoes, but it worked out just fine. Healthy and delicious! I’ll be fresh basil would work well here. Nice recipe to keep in mind for the upcoming warmer weather. Thanks, and I’m glad I found your website!

  6. Just found your site – yippee! Moving, eating down our larder, slim pickings – couple slices of frozen pork loin, frozen corn, can of tomatoes. Voila – sliced pan seared pork over a bed of spicy seared corn and tomato seasoned with butter, cayenne and a dash of chenin Blanc, served with a side salad.

    I’ve made something similar to this in summer with fresh corn, tomatoes and shrimp/lobster/whatever firm fresh white fish we have.

    Can’t wait to try more of your recipes. Love to cook, support my CSA, eat locally and seasonally. I was a locavore LONG before locavore was a word. Better for you healthwise and cheaper.

    Keep up the great work! My bank account and I thank you.

  7. Can this be put in the fridge for a few days and heated up ? Sort of like a meal prep recipe

  8. Made this using the recipe but added green peper. Also I used fresh basil, didn’t have dried. Turned out very tasty. And it was easy so I will be making it again. Thanks

  9. This was delicious! I have a large crop of tomatoes this year and was looking for something different to do with them. This dish hit the spot… plus the butter makes it extra tasty.

  10. I made this tonight, very easy and delicious. I’m looking forward to having leftovers cold with my lunch tomorrow. Another veggie dish to add to my rotation!

  11. I made this with canned corn, italian seasoned tomatoes, left out the salt, and added a bit of balsamic vinegar while it was cooking. It was delicious!

    1. I meant to say left out the sugar. The corn was already sweet enough for us.

    2. How many cans of corn did you use? I only have 1 and am trying to do something different until grocery day….

  12. Loved this! Made it for a pre-work meal and had it over pan-fried tilapia with baby spinach on the side. It was so delicious and very filling, I can’t wait to make it again!