Vegan Corn Fritters with Peppers

These vegan corn fritters are a testament to how simple ingredients can create something extraordinarily delicious. Spicy, zesty, and imbued with a fresh and summery vibe, they’re astonishingly easy to whip up and versatile enough to complement anything from creamy pastas to crisp salads.

Overhead close up photo of part of a long white plate piled high with easy vegan corn fritters with sliced spring onion on top

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I learned to make these poblano corn fritters when I was working as a line cook in a bustling Boulder-based microbrewery in the 90s.

I ate them for my shift meal alongside buttered pasta so often, I practically became known for it!

And when B and I went vegan, I told her how much I wanted to veganize them. She didn’t seem all that impressed, but I could not be deterred from this mission.

When I finally made them and handed her a plate, her eyes lit up. “I had no idea…the flavor…wow!” was all she could mutter while housing half a dozen of these fritters in one sitting. 

It was then I knew she got it. And I think once you try them, you will too.

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Why You’ll Love This Vegan Corn Fritters Recipe

Here are just a few reasons I think you’ll flip for these vegan poblano corn fritters:

  • They are oh so easy to make. That was another thing that surprised B!
  • The recipe is just so delicious with a fresh enticing flavor that really draws you in – spicy, zesty, fresh, summery, but also comforting!
  • Go with a wide variety of things like creamy or buttery pastas, potato sides, salads, or all on their own with all the dips!
  • These fritters are not only easy to make in large batches but they also freeze and reheat well, making them perfect for meal prep
  • They’re a great way to use up fresh summer corn, green onions, and peppers from your garden! But they have enough substitutions to make any time of year!
Ingredients photo with can of corn, cornmeal, flour, green onions, bag of vegan cheddar, spices, and poblano peppers

Ingredients in These Vegan Corn Cakes

Here, we’ll go over some ingredient notes to achieve the best results, but remember you can find the full recipe with ingredient amounts in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Here are the handful of ingredients you’ll need to make a batch of these fried corn cakes:

  • Neutral Oil: Ideal for frying, choose from refined coconut oil, sunflower, safflower, vegetable, or avocado oil.
  • Poblano Pepper: Small diced for a kick of flavor, though jalapeños are a great alternative.
  • Green Onions: Diced for a sharp, fresh taste.
  • Canned Yellow Corn: Don’t drain the liquid! The juice adds moisture and sweetness.
  • Yellow Cornmeal & All-Purpose Flour: The base that binds our fritters.
  • Nutritional Yeast & Flax Meal: For that cheesy flavor and binding, without the eggs.
  • Spice Cabinet: Onion powder, garlic powder, salt, coriander, cumin, black pepper for depth.
  • Shredded Vegan Cheddar: Optional, but adds a lovely cheesy flavor.

Zucchini Corn Fritters

Feel free to Incorporate shredded zucchini into the batter for an extra veggie boost. Just make sure you squeeze out the excess liquid in your zucchini before adding to the batter to maintain the fritters’ integrity. If adding zucchini, you probably won’t need the optional water in the batter.

A head on photo of a long white rectangular plate of vegan poblano corn cakes topped with sliced scallions

Substitution Options for Jalapeno Corn Cakes

Here, we’ll walk you through some substitution options for this recipe. This recipe serves as a fantastic base for experimentation!

For the canned corn: Fresh corn kernels bring a crunch and natural sweetness, especially during corn season! Just make sure you cook the ear of corn before you use it. For the liquid, just add about ¼ cup water to the food processor with the corn.

For the cornmeal: To make vegan corn fritters without cornmeal, you may be able to use chickpea flour, but we haven’t tried this.

For the all-purpose flour: Use gluten-free all-purpose flour to make gluten-free corn fritters!

For the green onion: Red onion, yellow onion, or white onion can work for a different flavor profile.

For the poblano peppers: Jalapeño peppers or your favorite pepper variety can vary the heat and flavor. Green bell peppers can offer a kid-friendly version. Red bell pepper can add a totally different vibe!

For the spices: Feel free to shake up the spices and experiment with different flavors!

A grid of 5 photos showing the process of sauteing the veggies, chopping the corn, mixing the batter, and frying the vegan fritters

How to Make Easy Vegan Corn Fritters

Now, we’ll walk you through the easy process of making these poblano corn cakes!

Step 1: Cook the peppers and onion.

Begin with cooking peppers and green onions in oil until they’re fragrant but firm.

Step 2: Make the corn fritter batter.

Pulse the corn in a food processor, then mix it with the dry ingredients, sautéed veggies, and optional vegan cheese to form your batter.

Step 3: Cook the vegan fritters.

Shallow fry ¼ cup (4 Tablespoons) of batter in hot oil until each fritter is golden brown and cooked through, adding more oil as needed.

Transfer each batch to a paper towel-lined plate to drain as the next batch cooks.

Can you make vegan corn fritters in the air fryer?

I am not sure if you can make this particular recipe in the air fryer because of the batter consistency. It could work if you have a solid skillet or cake pan for your air fryer!

How to Serve Veggie Fritters

Serve these healthier corn fritters hot for dinner with sides, with your favorite dipping sauce for a light lunch, or even on their own for the perfect snack! 

Here are some of our best serving ideas:

Overhead photo of a pile of vegan jalapeno corn cakes on a long white rectangular plate surrounded by peppers, green onions, and a black and white linen cloth

How to Store Leftovers

One of the best things about these vegan corn fritters with poblano peppers is they make great leftovers! You can prep them ahead of time and leave the rest in the fridge or freezer for later!

Fridge: Store in an airtight container; they’ll last for up to 3 days.

Freezer: Freeze them on a baking sheet before transferring to a bag for up to a month.

Reheat: Warm them in a pan or oven until they’re warmed through and slightly crispy again.

Vegan Fritters FAQ

Here are some answers to common questions asked about making vegan fritters!

What can I use instead of egg for fritters?

Instead of egg for fritters, try ground flaxseed! Flax meal, when mixed with liquid to create a “flax egg“, acts as the perfect binder, mimicking the texture and consistency of eggs.

Why are my corn fritters falling apart?

If your corn fritters are falling apart, ensure your batter isn’t too dry and that you’re cooking them at the right temperature.

Why are my fritters not crispy?

To make sure your fritters are crispy, use a hot pan and sufficient oil. Frying at too low a temperature is a common mistake I see when making fritters!

Why are my corn fritters sticking?

A well-oiled surface and patience before flipping can mitigate your fritters sticking. A good rule of thumb is if the fritter is still sticking to the bottom of the pan, they’re not ready to be flipped.

A pile of vegan corn fritters on a long white rectangular plate topped with sliced green onions

More Vegan Recipes with Corn

Got lots of corn? Here are a few more ways to use it!


Tried this recipe? 

Don’t forget to leave a star rating and review below! Your feedback not only helps others discover these delicious vegan corn fritters but we also love hearing about your experience!

Can’t wait to hear what you think of this fresh and tasty recipe. Enjoy!

A pile of vegan corn fritters sprinkled with sliced green onions arranged on a long white plate

Vegan Veggie Fritters with Corn and Peppers

Terrence Roche
These vegan corn fritters are a testament to how simple ingredients can create something extraordinarily delicious. Spicy, zesty, and imbued with a fresh and summery vibe, they're astonishingly easy to whip up and versatile enough to complement anything from creamy pastas to crisp salads.
4.80 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Appetizer, Lunch, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, Pan fried
Servings 10 fritters
Calories 114 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Tbsp neutral oil plus more for frying
  • 1/2 cup poblano pepper small diced
  • 1/4 cup scallions diced
  • 1 15 oz can yellow corn undrained
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp flax meal
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp fine black pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded vegan cheddar optional
  • 2 Tbsp water if needed

Instructions
 

  • Heat 2 Tbsp oil on medium high heat in a large pan.
  • Add the peppers and green onions and saute for 2-3 minutes until fragrant but still firm.
  • Add the corn to a small food processor and pulse 3-5 times until chopped but not pureed.
  • Add the cornmeal, flour, nutritional yeast, flaxmeal, and spices to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  • To the mixing bowl, add the corn, optional vegan cheese, and sauteed peppers and green onions. Stir to combine ingredients well and create the batter. If needed, add the optional 2 Tbsp water.
  • To cook the vegan corn fritters, heat another 2 Tbsp oil over medium high heat.
  • Measure about 1/4 cup of the batter and add it to the heated pan. Depending on the size of your pan, you may be able to do 2-4 at a time.
  • Cook about 2-3 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through.
  • Add more oil as needed for the remainder of the veggie fritters.

Nutrition

Serving: 2frittersCalories: 114kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 2gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.01gSodium: 263mgPotassium: 94mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 55IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 10mgIron: 1mg
Keyword vegan corn fritters, vegan fritters, veggie fritters
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