How many calories is buttered corn on the cob?

Quick Answer

A medium ear of corn on the cob with 1 tablespoon of butter has around 178 calories. The exact calorie count can vary depending on the size of the ear of corn and how much butter is used. On average, a medium ear of corn has around 127 calories by itself. Adding 1 tablespoon of butter adds about 51 more calories. So the total calories for a medium buttered ear of corn on the cob is approximately 178 calories.

Detailed Answer

Corn on the cob is a classic summer vegetable that is enjoyed boiled, grilled, or roasted with butter. Knowing how many calories are in buttered corn on the cob can help with managing daily calorie intake. Here is a detailed look at the calorie counts for corn on the cob alone and with butter:

Calories in Corn on the Cob

Corn is a starchy vegetable that provides carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. There are 127 calories in a medium, 6-7 inch ear of boiled corn on the cob without any butter, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).[1]

The calorie count can vary depending on the size of the ear of corn:

– Small ear (5 inches or less): 72 calories
– Medium ear (6-7 inches): 127 calories
– Large ear (8 inches or more): 182 calories

So a medium ear of plain boiled corn has around 127 calories. This provides 26 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of sugar.

Corn also contains small amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals:

– Protein: 4 grams
– Fat: 2 grams
– Vitamin C: 9% DV
– Thiamin: 5% DV
– Folate: 7% DV
– Magnesium: 6% DV
– Phosphorus: 8% DV
– Potassium: 8% DV

As you can see, corn is low in fat and provides some important nutrients in addition to carbohydrates. Now let’s look at how the calories change when butter is added.

Calories in Butter

Butter is high in fat and provides calories from saturated fat. There are 102 calories in 1 tablespoon of salted butter.[2] The calorie count is slightly lower for unsalted butter, at 100 calories per tablespoon.

The calories in butter come entirely from fat. Here is the full nutrition breakdown for 1 tablespoon of butter:

– Fat: 11 grams
– Saturated Fat: 7 grams
– Cholesterol: 31 mg
– Sodium: 102 mg
– Carbs: 0 grams
– Protein: 0 grams

Butter does not provide any protein, carbs, fiber, vitamins or minerals. Its calorie content comes from the high level of saturated fat. When adding butter to vegetables like corn on the cob, it boosts the calorie and fat content significantly.

Calories in Buttered Corn on the Cob

When butter is spread over corn on the cob, it increases the total calories.

Here are the approximate calories for common serving sizes of buttered corn on the cob:

– Small ear (5 inches) with 1 tbsp butter: 174 calories
– Medium ear (6-7 inches) with 1 tbsp butter: 178 calories
– Large ear (8 inches) with 1 tbsp butter: 283 calories

As you can see, the medium ear with 1 tablespoon of butter is around 178 calories. The small ear is slightly lower in calories, while the large ear with butter is over 275 calories.

The calories in buttered corn on the cob can change based on:

– Size of the ear of corn
– Amount of butter used – 1 tbsp adds 51 calories
– Whether the butter is salted or unsalted
– How the corn is cooked – boiled, grilled, roasted etc.

So the exact calories can vary, but a medium boiled ear with 1 tbsp of butter averages about 178 calories.

Nutrition Facts for Buttered Corn

Here are the full nutrition facts for a 6-7 inch medium ear of corn on the cob with 1 tablespoon of butter added:[3]

Nutrition Facts Amount
Calories 178
Fat 13g
Saturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 31mg
Sodium 125mg
Carbohydrates 26g
Fiber 4g
Sugar 5g
Protein 4g

As you can see, butter significantly increases the fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol content compared to plain corn on the cob. But it still provides fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from the corn.

Factors That Affect Calories

There are a few factors that can alter the calorie content of buttered corn on the cob:

Size of the Ear of Corn

The larger the ear of corn, the more calories it will have. Small, medium, and large ears can range from 72 to 182 calories before butter is added.

Amount of Butter

The more butter that is spread over the corn, the higher the calories will be. One tablespoon of butter is 51 calories, but people may use more or less than this amount.

Type of Butter

Salted butter has slightly more calories than unsalted, with 102 calories per tablespoon compared to 100. Whipped butter also has slightly fewer calories than regular butter.

Cooking Method

Corn can be boiled, grilled, roasted or prepared in other ways. Grilling or roasting may add small amounts of additional fat and calories if oil or seasonings are used.

Additions and Condiments

Some people may add seasonings like salt, pepper, chili powder, or other condiments like cheese or mayo to their corn which modifies the calories.

So the specific characteristics of the corn and how it is prepared can alter the calorie total to some degree. But the baseline calories for a medium ear with 1 tbsp of butter is around 178 calories.

Ways to Reduce Calories in Buttered Corn

If you want to lighten the calorie count for buttered corn on the cob, here are some tips:

– Use a smaller ear of corn. The small ear only has 72 calories before butter.
– Measure the butter and use exactly 1 tablespoon or less.
– Use low-fat butters or butter spreads.
– Substitute olive oil or oil-based cooking spray for a portion of the butter.
– Use just a thin spread of butter rather than coating the corn.
– Avoid adding extra salt, cheese, mayo or other condiments.
– Remove any excess butter after cooking by dabbing with a napkin.

Making just small reductions in portion sizes of the corn and butter can make a significant difference in the calories per serving.

Health Benefits of Corn

Despite the calorie and fat content with butter added, corn still provides beneficial nutrients:

– Fiber – helps lower cholesterol and promotes healthy digestion.
– Vitamin C – antioxidants support immunity.
– Thiamin and Folate – B vitamins help convert food into energy.
– Potassium – important electrolyte for hydration and muscle function.
– Magnesium and Phosphorus – support bone health.
– Lutein and Zeaxanthin – antioxidants help eye health and reduce risk of macular degeneration.

Corn also contains plant compounds that act as antioxidants and may help reduce inflammation.

So when consumed in moderation and balanced with other healthy foods, buttered corn on the cob can be part of a healthy diet. It provides a source of carbohydrates along with some beneficial vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and plant compounds.

Butter Corn Calories Compared to Other Foods

To put the 178 calories in buttered corn into context, here is how it compares to some other common foods:[4]

– Apple: 95 calories
– Banana: 105 calories
– Orange: 62 calories
– Baked potato: 161 calories
– Sweet potato with butter: 183 calories
– Burger patty: 254 calories
– Chicken breast: 165 calories
– Salmon fillet: 206 calories

As you can see, a medium buttered ear of corn has less calories than a burger, salmon, or chicken breast. It has a similar amount of calories as a baked potato or sweet potato with butter.

So while corn and butter does add more calories than plain fruit or vegetables, it is still relatively low in calories compared to many other popular foods. Moderating your portion sizes can help keep buttered corn as part of a healthy diet.

Calorie Count for Buttered Corn Recipes

In addition to eating corn on the cob, people also enjoy corn incorporated into recipes like soups, salads, casseroles and more. Here are the approximate calorie counts for some common recipes with buttered corn:

– Corn and tomato salad (1 cup): 148 calories
– Corn chowder (1 bowl): 210 calories
– Corn casserole (1 cup): 312 calories
– Cornbread with corn (1 piece): 158 calories
– Corn pancakes (2 small pancakes): 132 calories

The calorie content increases when corn is combined with other ingredients like cream, eggs, cheese and grains. But there are still lower calorie options like salads and pancakes using fresh corn.

Should You Eat the Corn Cob?

Some people like to eat every last bit of corn off the cob, while others avoid eating the actual cob itself. The corn cob is entirely edible and safe to eat. However, it is very low in nutrients and is mostly made up of cellulose that provides fiber but is not digested.

Each corn cob contains only 20-40 calories, depending on the size. So eating the cob will add a small amount of calories from the cellulose and fiber it provides. It will also add extra filling fiber to make you feel full with very few calories.

There is no harm in eating the cobs, but they do not offer much nutritional benefit beyond some fiber. It’s a personal preference whether you want to consume the cob along with the corn kernels or just enjoy the corn itself off the cob instead.

Tips for Cooking and Serving Buttered Corn

– Boil corn in a pot of water for 5-7 minutes until tender.
– Grill shucked corn over medium heat, turning occasionally for 10-15 minutes.
– Roast corn in the oven at 400°F for 15-20 minutes.
– Microwave corn in the husk for 3-4 minutes.
– Spread butter over hot corn to allow it to melt. Use a brush to distribute evenly.
– Add any extra seasonings like salt, pepper and spices after buttering.
– Serve grilled corn with a lime wedge to squeeze over the top.
– Pair corn with tomato salad, potato salad or baked beans.
– Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours and use within 3-5 days.

Enjoying corn on the cob at its peak seasonality in the summer provides the sweetest, most tender and flavorful corn. Follow these cooking tips to highlight corn’s natural sweetness.


A medium ear of corn on the cob with 1 tablespoon of butter contains approximately 178 calories. This includes 127 calories from the corn and 51 calories from the butter. Exact amounts can vary based on size of the ear and how much butter is added. Smaller corn portions and less butter can reduce the total calories. While butter does add more fat and calories, corn still provides beneficial nutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants when consumed in moderation.

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