Chipotle Corn Ribs

Say goodbye to boring corn on the cob and hello to smoky, spicy, chipotle corn ribs! These crispy, air-fried delights are perfect for BBQs, parties, or whenever you need a snack that's bursting with flavor.
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A stack of vegan corn ribs.
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Ready to kick your snack game up a notch? Meet your new favorite party trick: corn ribs! These chipotle-spiced delights are not only a breeze to make but also pack a flavor punch that’s bound to impress. Perfect for backyard BBQs, casual get-togethers, or even just a cozy night in, these crispy corn ribs bring the smoky, savory goodness of grilled corn straight to your plate without ever firing up the grill.

So, what exactly are corn ribs? Imagine juicy corn on the cob, cut into rib-like slices, slathered in a mouthwatering blend of vegan butter, garlic, and chipotle seasoning, then crisped to perfection in the air fryer. These air fryer corn ribs are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and bursting with a chipotle kick that will have your taste buds dancing.

Whether you’re hosting a big bash or simply craving a delicious snack, these vegan corn ribs are your go-to. Trust us, your friends will be begging for the recipe!

Corn ribs drizzled with vegan chipotle sauce.

Why You Should Make This Recipe

Ever had a snack so fun and tasty that you can’t stop talking about it? Enter corn ribs. They’re your new go-to for easy, crowd-pleasing, air-fried deliciousness. Here are some reasons why you’ll be all ears for this wholesome treat!

  • Easy-Peasy: With just a handful of ingredients and an air fryer, these come together in no time. Minimal effort, maximum deliciousness!
  • Party Perfect: Their fun, rib-like shape makes them an instant hit at any gathering, from fun BBQs to casual get-togethers. Instant party upgrade!
  • Flavor Bomb: The combo of chipotle powder, garlic, and vegan butter is a one-way ticket to Flavortown. Smoky, spicy, and oh-so-yummy.
  • Healthy & Vegan: Enjoy all the deliciousness without any animal products—these are plant-based and packed with wholesome goodness.
  • Snack Attack: Great as a side dish, appetizer, or even a midday munchie. Versatile and tasty? Yes, please!

Key Ingredients And Substitutions

Let’s get to the juicy details of what makes these so darn irresistible. Each ingredient adds its own flair, turning simple corn into a flavor-packed delight. Here’s the lineup that makes this snack a true standout.

Ingredients for corn ribs with labels.
  • Corn on the Cob (Uncooked): The star of the show! Fresh corn on the cob brings that juicy, sweet crunch we all love. When cut into ribs and air-fried, it transforms into a fun and irresistible snack that’s perfect for any occasion.
  • Vegan Butter: This creamy, plant-based goodness is what gives them their luscious, buttery flavor. It helps the spices stick and makes every bite melt in your mouth.
  • Garlic Powder: A pinch of garlic powder adds a savory depth to the mix, making these even more addictive. It’s the secret ingredient that keeps you coming back for more.
  • Chipotle Powder: This is where the magic happens. Chipotle powder brings a smoky, spicy kick that elevates the flavor to a whole new level. It’s the perfect way to add some heat and make your taste buds dance.
  • Salt: Just a sprinkle of salt ties everything together, enhancing all the delicious flavors. It’s the simple touch that makes every bite pop and keeps you reaching for more.

Flavor Variations

Ready to mix it up and try new twists on your corn ribs? Here are some fun and creative ways to keep your taste buds excited!

  • Classic BBQ: Brush with your favorite BBQ sauce and grill or air fry for a smoky, sweet treat.
  • Parmesan Herb: Sprinkle with vegan Parmesan, garlic powder, and Italian herbs for a savory, dairy-free cheesy delight.
  • Spicy Sriracha Lime: Drizzle with sriracha and a squeeze of fresh lime juice for a zesty, fiery kick.
  • Coconut Curry: Coat with a blend of coconut milk, curry powder, and a touch of golden turmeric for a rich, creamy flavor.
  • Honey Mustard: Toss with a mix of vegan honey and Dijon mustard for a sweet and tangy twist.
  • Maple Cinnamon: For a sweet treat, glaze with maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon, then roast until caramelized.

How To Make Corn Ribs

Ready to turn corn on the cob into a crispy, snackable sensation? It’s easier than you think. With just a few simple steps, you’ll have crispy, chipotle-spiced corn ribs ready to steal the show at your next BBQ. Here’s what you’ll do:

Step 1: Prep the Corn – Shuck the corn, removing the husk and silky fibers. For this recipe, slow and steady wins the race. When making your cuts, take your time, and don’t strive for perfection. Even if the ribs are a little uneven, they’ll still be delicious.

A corn cob being cut with a knife.

First, cut the cob in half lengthwise to make two shorter sections. Stand each piece on its end and use a sharp knife with slow, sawing motions to cut through the center from top to bottom, creating semi-circular pieces. Repeat for both sections to get 4 pieces total.

Corn cobs being cut and prepped.

Take each semi-circular piece and cut it in half lengthwise to form spear-like shapes, similar to pickle spears but with corn. You should end up with 4 pieces from each cob section, making a total of 8 pieces.

Step 2: Season – Mix melted vegan butter, garlic powder, chipotle powder, and salt. Brush this flavorful blend all over the corn ribs.

Step 3: Air Fry – Place them in a single layer in your air fryer. Cook at 375ºF for 8 minutes, flip, and cook for another 4 minutes. Don’t have an air fryer? See the recipe card for oven instructions.

Easy peasy, right? For the full recipe, including tips and tricks, check out the recipe card below. Happy snacking!

A hand holding up a seasoned corn rib.

Serving Suggestions

These chipotle corn ribs are so versatile, you’ll want to serve them with everything. Here are some delicious and creative ideas to make them the star of any meal:

  • As an Appetizer: Serve with a tangy dipping sauce like vegan ranch or chipotle mayo at your next gathering for an irresistible starter.
  • Side Dish: Pair with your favorite vegan burgers (we love these chipotle veggie burgers), vegan hot dogs, or vegan BBQ dishes to add a spicy, smoky kick. They’re great alongside grilled vegetables or a hearty bean salad.
  • Taco Toppers: Chop them into bite-sized pieces and use them as a unique, flavorful topping for tacos (like these vegan fish tacos), or plant-based fajitas, adding a smoky crunch to each bite.
  • Salad Boost: Add them to a fresh vegan salad for a crunchy, spicy twist that elevates your greens. Try them in a Southwest salad with black beans, avocado, and a lime vinaigrette, or a buffalo cauliflower salad.
  • Snack Attack: Enjoy them on their own as a tasty, crispy, healthy vegan snack any time of day. Perfect for a midday pick-me-up or a movie night treat.
  • Corn Rib Bowls: Create a vibrant bowl with quinoa, roasted veggies, and avocado, topping it all off with these crispy morsels.
  • Vegan Street Corn Style: Drizzle with vegan mayo, sprinkle with cilantro, chili powder, and a squeeze of lime for a street corn-inspired treat.
  • Call Up The Chili Train – Corn and chili go well together! Make our two-bean chili recipe and top it off with these crunchy kernels on the side for maximum mealtime happiness.
Corn ribs on a wooden board.

FAQs

What are corn ribs made of?

They are made from fresh corn on the cob that’s cut into rib-like strips. They’re seasoned with a delicious blend of vegan butter, garlic powder, chipotle powder, and salt, then air-fried or oven-roasted to perfection.

How do you cut corn into ribs?

Cutting corn into ribs involves slicing the cob into quarters lengthwise. First, cut the cob in half, stand it on its end, and use a sharp knife to slowly saw through the core, creating rib-like spears.

Are corn ribs healthy?

Yes, they are a healthy snack option, especially when air-fried. They’re low in calories, plant-based, and packed with fiber and nutrients from fresh corn.

How do you make corn ribs?

Making corn ribs is simple and fun! First, shuck the corn and cut it into rib-like spears. Then, season them with a blend of vegan butter, garlic powder, chipotle powder, and salt. Finally, air fry them at 375ºF for about 12 minutes until they’re crispy and delicious.

Can I make these without an air fryer?

Though your ribs will be crispier and a little bit crunchier in the air fryer, you can certainly use your oven to make these. If you have a convection option, even better. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place your ribs on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cook for about 10 minutes on one side, flip, and then 8-10 minutes on the other side.

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Chipotle Corn Ribs (in the Air Fryer)

5 from 7 votes
Ready to shake up your snack game? These chipotle corn ribs are the crispy, spicy snack you didn’t know you needed. Perfect for BBQs, parties, or just because—they’re so easy, you’ll be munching on air-fried corn ribs in no time!
A stack of vegan corn ribs.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 8 corn ribs

Ingredients

  • 1 corn on the cob, uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle powder
  • teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Note: the hardest part about this recipe is cutting the corn cob. Please be safe about this! It requires a very sharp large knife and a lot of muscle strength. 
  • Shuck the corn by removing the husk and all the stringy fibers (which can be discarded or added to your compost).
  • Cut the corn cob in half and then into quarters creating 8 spears that will be your "corn ribs." Here's how: Using a sharp knife, lots of muscle, and steady hands, slice the corn in half crosswise creating two much shorter cob (this is the easiest cut). Then, take one half, steady it on the cutting board, and cut it in half lengthwise. This is tough to do, and will require a see-saw motion with your knife as you slowly work your way through the core of the rind. Once cut, place each piece with thee flat side down, and cut in half lengthwise again, so you have four spears. Take your remaining half-cob and do the same, so you have a total of 8 spears.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the melted vegan butter, garlic powder, chipotle powder, and salt until well combined.
  • Using a basting brush, brush the buttery mixture evenly over all the corn ribs until they are fully coated.
  • Place the seasoned corn ribs into an air fryer, forming a single layer. Air fry at 375ºF for 8 minutes, flip, and cook for another 4 minutes.

Video

Notes

Safety First!
  • Slow and steady wins the race! Use a sharp knife and take your time cutting the corn to avoid any accidents.
No Air Fryer? No Problem!
  • Oven Magic: Though your ribs will be crispier and a little bit crunchier in the air fryer, you can certainly use your oven to make these. If you have a convection option, even better. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place your ribs on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cook for about 10 minutes on one side, flip, and then 8-10 minutes on the other side.
Storage
  • Fridge Fresh: In the fridge, any remaining pieces will be good for about 3-4 days.
  • Freeze for Later: You can freeze any leftover pieces in a sealed plastic container or freezer-safe bag for up to a year. Though once they’re seasoned, cooked, and frozen, they will slowly degrade in both flavor and texture.
Reheating
  • Warm-Up Tips: Either use a skillet on medium heat, the microwave, or add back to the air fryer for a few minutes. All methods will warm up your ribs, though the air fryer will get them back almost to their original texture. 

Nutrition

Calories: 23kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 51mg | Potassium: 33mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Course — Sides
Cuisine — American
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Recipe Rating




7 comments
  1. 5 stars
    this one definitely never crossed my mind! air fryer corn I’m super excited to try

  2. Andrea White says:

    5 stars
    Love these air fryer recipes! This looks amazing!

  3. Beatriz Buono-Core says:

    5 stars
    Corn is my absolute favorite! I’m trying these TODAY!

  4. 5 stars
    So, so good!!! I made this recipe this weekend and it was a huge hit. The air fryer gives it such a great final texture. The corn ribs were super yummy!

  5. 5 stars
    These are my new favorite trendy food of the year. SO GOOD!! And so quick and easy to make! Thank you, air fryers.

  6. 5 stars
    This must be one of the most exciting ways to eat corn that there ever was!

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