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Smoky Sweetcorn Pepper Fritters

Smoky Sweetcorn Pepper Fritters

Sweetcorn fritters are always a treat. But have you tried smoky sweetcorn pepper fritters? They make a really cool side to any number of dishes, but they also stand up to being the star of the show and can be served as a delicious lunch with salad. The fritters are egg and dairy free, so suitable for vegans as well as vegetarians.

I got the idea for cooking fritters inside a ring of pepper from John Whaite’s recent book, A Flash in the Pan. You can find out about the book in my recent review and recipe for apricot whisky honey cheesecake. The recipe I’ve used for the fritters, however, is inspired by Mexican ingredients and flavours.

Mexican Flavours

Mexican inspired food is one of my favourites. There’s so much vibrancy in the colours and ingredients and the flavours are bold. These smoky sweetcorn pepper fritters are made with sweetcorn, polenta, cumin and smoked chipotle chillies. We ate our smoky sweetcorn pepper fritters for lunch with lime pickled cucumbers and avocado to accentuate those Mexican flavours. They would also be perfect served as part of a celebratory Mexican vegetarian or vegan feast.

Lime Pickled Cucumbers

Smoky Sweetcorn Pepper Fritters

This recipe for smoky sweetcorn pepper fritters may look as though it’s a bit fiddly. But it really isn’t. It’s actually quite quick to make. I’ve used corn cobs in this recipe, just because they’re in season now and I happened to have a couple of them in need of using up. You can, however, use a can of drained sweetcorn instead. In my recipe for courgette sweetcorn fritters, I blended half of the sweetcorn to make the batter. But for this recipe chunky is best.

Orange Pepper Rings

Think corn fritters with bells on. Bell peppers to be precise. Cut the peppers into rings. You should get five from each one. Pile the sweetcorn batter into the rings and shallow fry. You get a big sweet and smoky hit from the sweetcorn but it’s tempered a little by the pepper. The peppers help to hold the fritters together and it looks kind of cool too. They only take about four minutes to cook on either side.

Raw smoky sweetcorn pepper fritters in the frying pan.

The corn batter is very easy to make. You just need to stir the milk into the dry ingredients and then add the garlic, onion and sweetcorn.

Smoky sweetcorn peppers fritters cooking in the pan.

Pack the batter into the pepper rings and fry. Flip the fritters over and cook on the other side. Don’t worry if the fritters get a little charred, it just adds to the smoky notes. When done, the sweetcorn batter should be cooked through and the peppers soft, although still holding their shape.

Hints, Tips & Substitutions

  • The number of people served really depends on what sort of meal you’re intending. You could have 2 ½ each for a lunch for four, two each as a side or starter for five or one each for ten if it’s part of a larger feast.
  • If you’re not vegan or trying to cut out dairy, you could add some feta cheese to the fritters. Alternatively, crumble some over the top once they’re cooked.
  • The sweetcorn is already quite sweet, so it might be nice to use green peppers rather than red or orange ones. This would create a nice colour contrast too.
  • Use a can of sweetcorn or cut the corn off two boiled cobs. For an extra smoky flavour, you can grill or barbecue the corn cobs in their husks.
  • Fine polenta is best for this recipe. If you can’t get hold of any, however, you can substitute flour instead. If you do this, reduce the milk to 125ml and add it gradually. You’re looking for a thick spoonable batter, so you may not need all of it. Polenta is a lot more absorbent than flour.
  • If you prefer your fritters to be less chunky, you can blitz the batter in a food processor or blender. I use a Froothie blender* for this as they are just fabulous.
  • Enjoy the fritters on their own with salad. Or have them as part of a magnificent Mexican feast. Serve with any or all of the following: lettuce, guacamole, pickled cucumbers, tomato salsa, lime wedges, tortillas, marinaded and fried tofu, feta cheese, sour cream or refried beans.
  • When you cut the peppers into rings, there will be some leftover bits. Either fry these alongside the fritters or add them to a salad to serve alongside. Alternatively, store in the fridge in a covered container to use for something else. They will keep for a couple of days.

Smoky Sweetcorn Pepper Fritter

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Smoky Sweetcorn Pepper Fritter.

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Smoky Sweetcorn Pepper Fritters
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5 from 9 votes

Smoky Sweetcorn Pepper Fritters

Think corn fritters with bells on. Bell peppers to be precise. They make for a special but easy to prepare lunch or they can contribute to a Mexican inspired feast. The fritters are egg and dairy free, so suitable for vegans as well as vegetarians.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Lunch, Side Dish, Starter, Supper
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chillies, fritters, peppers, sweetcorn, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 274kcal


  • 30 g wholemeal flour
  • 50 g fine polenta
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¾ tsp chipotle chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 150 ml milk of your choice - (I used kefir)
  • 1 clove garlic - finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions or a handful of chives - sliced
  • 2 large corn on the cobs or a 340g tin sweetcorn - drained
  • 2 large bell peppers - colour of your choice
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil


  • If using corn cobs, cook them in boiling water for ten minutes. Remove from the water and allow to cool and dry off a bit. Shuck the kernels off the cob with a knife.
  • Whilst the cobs are cooking. Place all of the dry ingredients into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour the milk into the middle. Mix well, stirring from the inside out. Add the garlic and onions. Leave for a few minutes so that the polenta can soak up the liquid.
  • Cut the peppers into rings - about 1 cm thick. You should get ten. Remove any seeds.
  • Stir the sweetcorn into the batter.
  • Heat a large non-stick frying pan to a medium heat. Add a little of the oil. Place as many of the peppers rings as can fit into the pan. Spoon a tenth of the batter into each ring, packing it in as tight as you can. Fry for four minutes. Flip the fritters over and fry for a further four minutes.
  • Add more oil if necessary and repeat the process until all of the rings and batter are used up. You might not need to use all of the oil, it rather depends on how non-stick your frying pan is.
  • Serve warm with any or all of the following: salad, guacamole, pickled cucumbers, tomato salsa, lime wedges, tortillas, marinaded and fried tofu, feta cheese, sour cream or refried beans.


Number of people served really depends on what sort of meal you're having. You could have 2 ½ each for a lunch of four, two each as a side for five or one each for ten if it's part of a larger feast.
You can substitute wholemeal flour for the polenta, but you may not need to use as much milk. Polenta is more absorbent than flour.
Either fry any leftover bits of pepper alongside the fritters or add them to a salad to serve alongside.
Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on serving size and exact ingredients used.


Calories: 274kcal | Carbohydrates: 47.3g | Protein: 7.9g | Fat: 8.4g | Saturated Fat: 1.4g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 217mg | Potassium: 585mg | Fiber: 5.9g | Sugar: 9.1g | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 3mg


I’m sharing this recipe for smoky sweetcorn pepper fritters with Easy Peasy Foodie for #CookBlogShare.

This post contains affiliate links to Froothie Optimum products*. Links are marked with an *. If you buy through a link it won’t cost you any more, but I’ll get a small commission. Thanks to my readers for supporting the brands and organisations that help to keep Tin and Thyme blithe and blogging. 


  1. pricklyone

    27th August 2019 at 12:40 pm

    Oh, I can’t wait to try these! Looks delicious.
    However, I’m going to come over all school-teacher-y and suggest you mean accentuate and not extenuate. Extenuate means to lessen the reason for a crime, and these little patties are certainly not a crime!

    • Choclette

      27th August 2019 at 2:17 pm

      Hahaha, thanks so much for spotting that typo. It doesn’t matter how many times I proofread, something always slips through. Off to amend now. Hope you enjoy the fritters.

  2. angiesrecipes

    27th August 2019 at 4:01 pm

    I like to make sunny side up with the pepper rings…so these fritters are definitely right up my alley.

    • Choclette

      27th August 2019 at 4:44 pm

      Ooh now there’s another fabulous idea that’s never occurred to me Angie. I’m going to have to try that.

  3. Claire Thomas

    27th August 2019 at 8:40 pm

    I love the rings – I always have wonky fritters and pancakes so this could be a great solution! I got cobs for 35p last week and they were so week – may have to go and find more!

    • Choclette

      29th August 2019 at 8:43 am

      Sounds like an absolute bargain Claire. The rings neatened up my fritters no end.

  4. Helen @

    29th August 2019 at 10:41 am

    These look amazing! What a brilliant idea to use the pepper ‘rings’ around the outside. I’ll definitely be making these.

    • Choclette

      29th August 2019 at 1:48 pm

      It is such a good idea. I just don’t understand how I haven’t seen it done before.

  5. johanna @ green gourmet giraffe

    29th August 2019 at 12:43 pm

    This is such a brilliant idea – I don’t like eggs so when I have seen eggs fried in pepper rings I feel sad but now I am going to hunt out some fritter recipes to try in a capsicum – I love this sounds of this one as I have some polenta to use up and it does got fantastically with corn!

    • Choclette

      29th August 2019 at 1:44 pm

      Isn’t it amazing how many fab ideas there are out there that we’ve never thought of? Even after all these years of being “creative”. I love this one too.

  6. Kat (The Baking Explorer)

    30th August 2019 at 7:47 am

    This is such a clever idea! I’m now thinking of all the different combinations I could fill the pepper rings with!

    • Choclette

      30th August 2019 at 8:55 am

      Haha, yes, I’ve been mulling that one over too 😀

  7. Zee

    2nd September 2019 at 1:08 pm

    I love how you served the sweetcorn pepper fritters with avocado. I can see my picky eater daughter gobbling these down.

    • Choclette

      2nd September 2019 at 5:01 pm

      Thanks. If you make these for your daughter, you might want to tone down the smoky chilli bit.

  8. Kavita Favelle

    4th September 2019 at 6:15 pm

    Really like the idea of using the ring of pepper as a cooking ring, which helps keep the fritter all of an even thickness from centre to edge, not to mention another flavour! Great combination.

    • Choclette

      5th September 2019 at 3:23 pm

      It’s a fab idea and for all the reasons you’ve given.

  9. Sisley White

    5th September 2019 at 7:10 pm

    I’ve never made sweetcorn fritters but I am obsessed with them. They are fantastic. Another of your recipes to add to the list!

    • Choclette

      6th September 2019 at 8:29 am

      Sounds like you’e a true sweetcorn fritter expert Sisley. Any tips?

  10. Janice

    11th September 2019 at 4:40 pm

    These look like fun! I’ve never tried a fritter inside a pepper, but I like the sound of it and I love Mexican flavours.

    • Choclette

      11th September 2019 at 7:22 pm

      I think these might be quite fun for kids, especially if you used lots of different coloured peppers. Although the chilli might need to be toned down a bit!


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