Southwest Spiced Corn

OMG you guys! My favorite holiday is almost here! Cinco de Mayo is just one week away, so I am officially giving myself permission to start celebrating with as many southwest inspired dishes as I can eat. It’s gonna be chips, salsa, and guac from here ’till next Tuesday!

Oh, and corn. Roasted corn! I slathered this corn with butter and a mix of southwest spices, including cumin, chili powder, garlic, lime zest, and cilantro. It’s beyond good and super easy. I roasted my corn in the oven, but if you’re already out cooking on the grill, you can pop these on there with the rest of the food.

I was never much of a corn person until I tried this oven roasted corn a couple years ago. Keeping the corn tightly wrapped in the husks as it roasts keeps it super moist and helps it achieve an incredibly sweet flavor. I wanted to do a seasoned version, so I had to come up with a plan. I tried making this last week by peeling back the husks, spreading the seasoning on, then wrapping the husks back up, but it didn’t work. The husks were too loose after unwrapping and rewrapping, and they didn’t hold in the heat and moisture. SO, I tried an artificial husk the second time around–aluminum foil. It worked! I have a feeling I’ll be making this corn more than a few times this summer. ;)

Southwest Spiced Corn

Southwest Spiced Corn

Southwest Spiced Corn - Budget Bytes
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5 from 3 votes

Southwest Spiced Corn

This super moist and flavorful corn is seasoned with southwest flavors and then roasted in the oven until it's sweet and tender. 
Total Cost: $3.21 recipe / $0.80 serving
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 4


  • 4 ears fresh corn ($1.20)
  • 3 Tbsp butter, room temperature ($0.37)
  • 1 tsp cumin ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder* ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.03)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1 medium lime, zested (about 1 tsp zest) ($0.75)
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, optional ($0.20)


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the room temperature butter, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt in a bowl. Use a microplane or a fine holed cheese grater to scrape the thin, green zest from half of the lime and add it to the bowl. Use a fork to whip the butter and spices together. Roughly chop the cilantro and stir it into the butter mixture.
  • Remove the husks and silk from each ear of corn. Tear off four pieces of foil, making sure that each is big enough to tightly wrap around the corn. Smear the butter and spice mixture over the surface of each ear of corn, then wrap tightly in the foil.
  • Place the seasoned and wrapped ears of corn on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. Allow the corn to sit a few minutes, or until it is cool enough to handle. Squeeze lime juice over the corn before eating, if desired.


*Chili powder is a mild blend of spices and is different from cayenne pepper, which is very hot. To make a spicy version of this recipe, add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper.

Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclosure here.
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Southwest Spiced Corn

Step by Step Photos

Butter and Spices

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place 3 Tbsp of butter, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp of salt in a bowl. Make sure the butter is room temperature, or else you won’t be able to mix it with the rest of the ingredients. Use a microplane or a fine holed cheese grater to zest half of the lime. Add the zest to the bowl.

Whipped Spiced Butter

Stir those ingredients until they’re all whipped together (a fork works best).


Roughly chop about 1/4 bunch of cilantro and stir it into the butter mixture.

Seasoned Corn

Remove the husks and silk from each ear of corn. Spread the spiced butter mixture liberally over the surface of the corn, making sure to smear it down between the kernels. Tear off a piece of aluminum foil for each ear of corn and wrap it tightly around the ear.

Wrapped Corn

I didn’t know how much of that butter would melt and leak out of the nice little packets, so I placed them on a baking sheet AND covered it with parchment, but the parchment was probably overkill. The baking sheet at least makes it easy to transport the hot corn out of the oven. Bake the corn in the preheated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Southwest Spiced Corn

After baking, make sure to let it cool for a few minutes, so that you don’t burn yourself trying to unwrap it. You can use the left over lime to squeeze some juice over the corn, if you want.

Southwest Spiced Corn

It’s SO juicy!