It’s Corn! 40 Recipes For Corn Lovers Of All Ages

When a YouTube video of a boy named Tariq sharing all the wonderful things he loves about corn went viral in September 2022, it struck a chord with millions of corn fans. As Tariq puts it, “Corn is awesome!” Now that we’ve been reminded of how delicious this “big lump with knobs” is, don’t wait another minute: Make one of Mashed’s “corntastic” corn recipes.

If it’s corn season, you can pick up fresh ears to use in many of these recipes, like roasted corn salsa and Mexican street corn. Or, put together an old-fashioned crab boil that includes chunks of corn on the cob. Even if it isn’t fresh corn season, you’re in luck — plenty of these recipes also feature the convenience of canned and frozen corn. Use them to easily whip up dishes like southern fried corn, bowtie pasta salad, corn chowder, and corn fritters. Another way to enjoy the flavor and texture of corn is with cornmeal, which you can fold into batters for cornbread, homemade tortillas, South American arepas, and corn pudding. 

There are corn recipes in this roundup for every meal and every season. As Tariq, aka the Corn Kid, says: “I can’t imagine a more beautiful thing.” 

1. Roasted Corn Salsa

Even if there are no fresh ears of corn to be found, you can still enjoy the toasty flavors of roasted corn salsa with a little help from your oven. Inexpensive frozen or canned corn can be used: Simply spread the kernels on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven until they’re softened and lightly browned. Toss the corn with lime juice, diced veggies like red onion and jalapeño, cilantro, and salt. The salsa is irresistible with tortilla chips, and also great to add to tacos and burritos.

Recipe: Roasted Corn Salsa

2. Microwave Corn On The Cob

Corn on the cob is a favorite at backyard barbecues and summer potlucks, but it can also be an easy weeknight side dish. Your microwave can cook up the ears in less than 10 minutes! The trick is to use the corn husks to create steam that quickly cooks the kernels until they’re tender. Serve the corn with plenty of butter, or try flavored butters made with fresh herbs, minced garlic, or spice blends.  

Recipe: Microwave Corn On The Cob

3. Cornbread

The very best cornbread, the kind served as a side in our favorite Mexican restaurants, is sweet, tender, and most importantly, it’s moist. This cornbread from recipe developer Kate Shungu ticks all these boxes. It upgrades a standard box of corn muffin mix into something really special, with sour cream and creamed corn in the mixture to give it an unbelievably rich texture. Serve slices with bowls of meaty chili or alongside enchiladas and barbecued meats.

Recipe: Cornbread

4. Air Fryer Corn Ribs

Since 2021, TikTok videos about corn ribs have hauled in tens of millions of views. Ready to get in on the trend? Use your air fryer to make a batch at home. To make this trendy snack, just slice down through whole ears of corn to make strips of kernels held together by a sliver of cob. We seasoned our ribs with a paprika-garlic powder marinade, but you can experiment with other spice blends, too. Serve these curled, golden corn ribs with melted butter or your favorite dipping sauce. 

Recipe: Air Fryer Corn Ribs

5. Instant Pot Mexican Street Corn

Called elote in Mexico, street corn is full of flavor and texture: Crunchy kernels, creamy sauce, tangy cheese crumbles, and fresh herbs. Though the ears are traditionally grilled, we love this shortcut of making them in the Instant Pot, where they cook through in only two minutes. Thread them onto skewers for easy eating, and spread a sauce of feta cheese, cilantro, and mayonnaise over the corn. Add a sprinkle of chili powder, or for more heat try cayenne pepper. 

Recipe: Instant Pot Mexican Street Corn

6. Southern Fried Corn

Here’s another way to take advantage of the season’s best, fresh corn. Use a sharp knife to slice the kernels from the cob, then pan fry them until they’re tender and toasty. Bacon grease is the secret ingredient in this dish that gives the corn rich, smoky flavor. (Oil can be used instead, but it’s worth saving some leftover bacon grease for this recipe!) Stir in a little butter, sugar, and chopped chives and you’ll have an amazing side dish to serve with burgers, roast chicken, or Mexican food.

Recipe: Southern Fried Corn

7. Polenta

When you read this recipe you’ll see that making creamy polenta is really easy. In fact, it takes only 20 minutes. But you may be wondering, what you can do with polenta? The Spruce Eats shares that it can be used in place of rice or noodles to accompany rich meat sauces or roasted vegetables. It can also be layered into casseroles or used as a crust for pot pies. Polenta can also be flavored with endless combinations of spices and cheese, and it can even be sweet — add fruit, chopped nuts, and milk for a filling breakfast.

Recipe: Polenta

8. Mexican Street Corn Salad (Esquites)

A popular street food in Mexico, esquites get their name from an indigenous word meaning “toasted corn.” Corn kernels are sliced off the cob, roasted, and mixed with other ingredients like cotija cheese, cilantro, and chili powder — and it’s easy to mix up the ingredients to make an esquites dish that’s all your own. Our recipe includes Tajín chili seasoning, lime juice, and chopped cilantro. Serve esquites warm or chilled as a salad, side, or with tortilla chips as a dip.  

Recipe: Mexican Street Corn Salad (Esquites)

9. Cajun Crab Boil

It’s easier than you think to treat your family or friends to a Louisiana-style crab boil, with corn on the cob, crab legs, crawfish, and more. The cooking process goes quickly so have all your ingredients ready to go before you start boiling the water. A generous amount of Cajun seasoning flavors all the components as they cook. Serve the seafood boil family-style over sheets of newspaper with plenty of room for everyone to dig in. Coleslaw, cornbread, or salad are all great side dish choices. 

Recipe: Cajun Crab Boil

10. Corn Pone

Virginia Living says that corn pone is often confused with cornbread. When made in the traditional way, like in our recipe, corn pone is a very simple mixture of cornmeal, bacon grease, and water. The dough is shaped into little cakes that are then cooked in a hot skillet until golden brown. They’re easy to make, and are delicious served with butter and maple syrup, or served as a side with chili and hearty stews. 

Recipe: Corn Pone

11. Corn Chowder

There’s just nothing quite so delicious and comforting as a pot of home-cooked soup, especially a rich and creamy corn chowder. If you have an armload of fresh ears of corn, use them in this recipe — or, use easy-to-find canned or frozen corn. The chowder includes potatoes, onion, vegetable stock, and milk, and takes only 45 minutes from start to finish. You can puree the soup or enjoy it chunky. Top your bowls of chowder with crusty bread and garnish with diced scallions.

Recipe: Corn Chowder

12. Crock Pot Creamed Corn

If the only creamed corn you’ve ever experienced is that gloopy, bland stuff from a can, you’re in for a real treat with this recipe. Corn kernels are combined with sautéed shallots and Vidalia onions, then mixed with milk and honey. The mixture gets a long, slow simmer in your Crock Pot where the corn becomes tender and infused with creamy sweetness. Creamed corn is a versatile dish; it’s perfect as a Thanksgiving side, as a weeknight dinner accompaniment, or with barbecued meats in summer. 

Recipe: Crock Pot Creamed Corn

13. Texas Caviar

If you prefer your corn in a fresh, vibrant, chilled setting, try recipe developer Kristen Carli’s Texas Caviar dip. Use corn kernels sliced off the cob or canned shoepeg corn and toss them with ingredients like black-eyed peas (they’re not just for New Year’s), torn romaine lettuce, and diced tomatoes. The simple dressing of red wine vinegar and oil brings everything together for a zesty dip that’s so good with salty tortilla chips or served as a side dish. 

Recipe: Texas Caviar

14. Corn Fritters

The ways to prepare and enjoy corn seem almost endless; it can be baked, boiled, steamed, ground, grilled, and popped. And as this recipe shows, corn can also be fried. These fritters are made by stirring together a batter of corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned will all work) and then dropping spoonfuls into hot oil. The fritters fry up golden brown, with lightly crispy outside and tender insides. Make these as a snack or as a side dish, but either way, know that corn fritters taste the best when eaten immediately. 

Recipe: Corn Fritters

15. Cornbread Casserole

Bring this easy dish to your next potluck or brunch gathering, but be prepared: Everyone will want the recipe. It looks similar to ordinary cornbread but it’s creamy and cheesy, with a little texture from whole kernels of corn. Sliced jalapeños give each slice a little heat. It only takes 10 minutes to assemble, and while it bakes you can get other stuff done as your kitchen fills with the delectable and savory aroma. Cornbread casserole can be enjoyed as a side dish with dinner, but of course, it’s also tasty on its own. 

Recipe: Cornbread Casserole

16. Grilled Corn

Cooking corn on the grill is a fantastic way to enjoy it. The heat and smoke enhance the sweet flavor of the corn and give the ears those wonderful char marks. Plus, it’s easy to do, and the ears are ready in no time. Preparing the corn on a grill also means that you won’t heat up the kitchen with a pot of boiling water — perfect for the hot, humid days of summer. Serve grilled corn with plenty of butter and salt.

Recipe: Grilled Corn

17. Copycat Chipotle Corn Salsa

The secret behind the flavorful food at Chipotle lies in the simplicity of its ingredients. The chain proudly touts on its website that they need only 53 “real” ingredients to make all of its dishes and sides. The chain’s popular corn salsa uses only six of those ingredients, including lime juice and cilantro, which is exactly what makes it so tantalizing. Make a batch in only 5 minutes and serve it with plenty of crunchy tortilla chips. 

Recipe: Copycat Chipotle Corn Salsa

18. Corn Tortillas

It’s easy to find mass-produced corn tortillas at the store, but if you love playing in the kitchen you should definitely try making your own homemade tortillas — they’re so much more delicious. The recipe calls for just three ingredients, and the tortillas cook in just a minute apiece. Look for masa harina, which Mexican Please explains is made by dehydrating corn dough made from soaked kernels, at your local grocery store or online. You can form the tortillas using a tortilla press, or simply flatten the dough under a heavy skillet.

Recipe: Corn Tortillas

19. Elote

You don’t have to head to your favorite Mexican restaurant to enjoy crunchy, tangy elote: This recipe shows you how to make four servings in only 20 minutes. Give your ears of corn some char and caramelization by toasting them in a skillet. After that, make a simple creamy sauce with sour cream and Tajín seasoning. Finish your elote with crumbled cheese and lime juice. They make a tasty side dish, and can even be enjoyed as the main course for a light lunch or dinner. 

Recipe: Elote

20. Cornbread Muffins

Cornbread muffins are one of the very best muffins, in our humble opinion. They have a delectable, sweet flavor and a nice texture thanks to some cornmeal in the batter. They’re versatile, too — enjoy them at breakfast with butter and jam, alongside your lunchtime salad, or as a side dish with spicy chili, beef stew, or grilled meats. This from-scratch recipe comes together easily in 10 minutes, and the muffins bake up in just 20. Use cupcake liners for easy cleanup. 

Recipe: Cornbread Muffins

21. Bow Tie Pasta Salad

Corn doesn’t have to be the star of the dish. It’s just as delicious in a supporting role, like in this tangy, cold pasta salad. Farfalle, also known as bow tie or butterfly pasta, is cooked and tossed with corn, halved cherry tomatoes, and chickpeas. The punchy dressing for this salad includes red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard. The recipe makes six servings — perfect for a family meal. Or, double the recipe and you’ll have enough to bring to a party. 

Recipe: Bow Tie Pasta Salad

22. Sheet Pan Polenta

Recipe developer Kristen Carli shares her recipe for baked polenta, which you can slice up to make a savory base for roasted veggies like cherry tomatoes and mushrooms. You can also serve the polenta under rich sauces like pesto, topped with chicken or beef, or as a side with chili. Spread in a sheet pan, creamy polenta bakes up firm in just 18 minutes. And no hard-to-find ingredients here: Just cornmeal, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil.

Recipe: Sheet Pan Polenta

23. Slow Cooker Chicken Corn Soup

Make a big, beautiful batch of soup full of healthful ingredients like spinach, herbs, shredded chicken breast — and corn! Preparing this soup in your slow cooker means the ingredients cook together slowly to create a deep flavor, and you’re free to attend to other tasks. If summer corn is available, definitely use it, but canned or frozen corn will also work very well in this recipe. Serve bowls of chicken corn soup with breadsticks or soft rolls.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Corn Soup

24. Cornbread Pancakes

Making your pancakes with cornmeal in the batter gives them extra flavor, and are a nod to old-fashioned Johnnycakes and corn pone — except with a much lighter and fluffier texture. They’re just as easy to make as regular pancakes: whisk all of the ingredients together, then get your griddle or skillet good and hot. Cook each pancake for several minutes until lightly browned. Serve the pancakes for breakfast or as a breakfast-for-dinner dish, with butter, sliced fruit, and real maple syrup. 

Recipe: Cornbread Pancakes

25. 5-Ingredient Mexican Street Corn

Sometimes the most delicious and flavor-filled recipes are deceptively easy to make, like this recipe for Mexican street corn that comes together using only five ingredients. The recipe combines two cooking methods: microwaving the corn to steam-cook the kernels, followed by grilling (or broiling) the corn for those smoky char marks. Finish the ears with creamy and spicy toppings. The recipe calls for taco seasoning, but feel free to use a different Mexican spice blend like the tangy Tajín if you prefer. The recipe makes four servings.

Recipe: 5-Ingredient Mexican Street Corn

26. Corn Pudding

According to the Food Network, baked corn pudding is an ideal dish to serve during the holidays or bring to a potluck community dinner. It’s very easy to make, so you should also consider it as a delicious side for weeknight meals or Sunday roast. Corn pudding has natural sweetness from creamed corn in the batter as well as evaporated milk and a little sugar. A dash of nutmeg nicely complements this sweetness, but you can also add a little heat with sliced jalapeños or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.  

Recipe: Corn Pudding

27. Instant Pot Corn On The Cob

If you avoid buying corn on the cob because it feels like it’ll just take too long to cook, then you have to give this recipe a try. Seven minutes to steam tender ears of corn that are just begging for butter and salt? That’s totally doable, even on busy weeknights. Use your Instant Pot and the accompanying rack to hold your corn just above the water in the bottom. This is also a great way to quickly cook fresh corn that’s destined for corn salsas or corn salads. 

Recipe: Instant Pot Corn On The Cob

28. Corn Salad

While this salad is amazing with fresh summer corn sliced off the cob, it’s also tasty using canned or frozen corn — and that means you can make it any time of the year. Toss the corn with sliced cucumber, fresh herbs, diced pepper, and a simple vinaigrette dressing. Serve the salad with dinner or lunch. It can even work as a side dish during the holidays, when the fresh flavor and crunchy texture will be very much appreciated. 

Recipe: Corn Salad

29. Tomato And Corn Salad

Sweet corn pairs beautifully with juicy cherry tomatoes and feta cheese in this simple salad. Make it in summer when you can take advantage of fresh farmer’s market produce or even veggies grown in your own backyard. In the off-season, the salad can also be prepared with frozen corn and other ingredients from the grocery store. The recipe makes six servings — enjoy it all week with lunch or dinner, or bring the whole bowl to a barbecue to share. 

Recipe: Tomato And Corn Salad

30. Instant Pot Low Country Boil

When you and your friends are suddenly hit with the desire for an old-fashioned seafood boil, and want to find a way to make it happen fast, your Instant Pot has you covered. Instead of a traditionally longer cook time, this low country boil recipe is ready to eat in only 20 minutes. The potatoes, corn on the cob, and sausage get pressure-cooked first in a broth of beer and spices, and the shrimp take only one additional minute. Pile everything onto a sheet pan or large bowl to enjoy family style.

Recipe: Instant Pot Low Country Boil

31. Creamed Corn

There are two reasons this creamed corn from recipe developer Susan Olayinka is amazing. For one, it has taste and texture that are far superior to the canned version, and yet takes only 15 minutes to make. The second reason is that it’s a small-batch recipe that’s perfect when you’re cooking for one or two people. You can make this recipe using fresh corn sliced off the cob or your favorite brand of canned or frozen corn. Serve this sweet dish as a side with grilled meats or during the holidays. 

Recipe: Creamed Corn

32. Cowboy Ciao Salad

When it was on the menu at the Cowboy Ciao restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona, this popular dish was called the Stetson Chop Salad. After the restaurant closed, fans of the dish rushed to recreate it at home, dubbing it the Cowboy Ciao salad. It’s loaded with an intriguing blend of pepitas, smoked salmon, corn, and feta cheese, all laid out beautifully over a bed of romaine lettuce. The recipe makes enough salad to serve four for lunch, or so you can portion it as a make-ahead meal for work. 

Recipe: Cowboy Ciao Salad

33. Calabacitas

Though calabacitas translates to “little squash” in Spanish, there’s much more to this dish than just one veggie. It’s a traditional Mexican side dish made by simmering or sautéing sliced zucchini and summer squash with corn, onion, and peppers. Chopped tomatoes can also be added. This recipe for calabacitas is ready in only 10 minutes and served garnished with chopped cilantro and crumbled queso fresco. Serve it like this, or spoon the mixture over rice, cauliflower rice, or black beans. 

Recipe: Calabacitas

34. 15-Minute Mexican Quinoa Salad

Make this healthy salad as a light dinner in the summertime or serve it as a side for grilled and roasted meat dishes. It includes cooked quinoa, black beans, corn, and diced avocado, all mixed together with a cilantro dressing. Though the composed salad should be enjoyed right away, you can do some steps in advance to save time. The quinoa can be precooked and stored in the fridge, while the dressing can be blended a couple days ahead of time. 

Recipe: 15-Minute Mexican Quinoa Salad

35. Arepas

Instead of a pita pocket or sliced bread for your sandwich fillings, try using homemade arepas. Popular in Venezuela and Columbia, arepas are cornmeal cakes that can either be split open or served flat to hold fillings like cooked eggs, meats like ropa vieja, or fresh fillings like veggies, avocado, and cheese. The recipe calls for only a brief rest of five minutes for the dough — no lengthy rising time needed. Then, cook them in a little oil in a skillet. This recipe makes six arepas. 

Recipe: Arepas

36. Chilled Sweet Corn Soup

Cold soups are a welcome option on hot days in summer, but only if they’re really flavorful and satisfying. Gazpacho is a well-known cold soup, but here’s another one to add to the recipe box. Take kernels from fresh ears of summer corn and blend them with veggies like cherry tomatoes, peppers, and onion. Jalapeño adds some heat to the creamy soup, and chopped cilantro makes a colorful garnish. A generous batch of six servings is ready in only 15 minutes. 

Recipe: Chilled Sweet Corn Soup

37. Air Fryer Corn Fritters

Are you dying to try some corn fritters but really don’t want to deal with the frying oil? Here comes your air fryer to the rescue! It’s easy to use this kitchen helper turn out a tasty batch of golden corn fritters for a snack or as a side with dinner. The fritter batter includes sweet corn, Parmesan cheese, and eggs, and mixes up fast in your blender or by hand. Once in the air fryer, the fritters take only 12 minutes total to cook through. 

Recipe: Air Fryer Corn Fritters

38. Avocado Tomato Salad

Our round-up of delicious corn recipes includes several fresh and vibrant salads, including this one from recipe developer Susan Olayinka. Sweet kernels of corn intermingle with red onion, tomatoes, sliced avocado, and parsley. The salad features a balsamic dressing, but you could also experiment with other homemade (or bottled) dressings. For a more filling dish to serve at lunch or for a light dinner, add proteins like sliced, cooked chicken breast, black beans, thinly sliced steak, or cubes of baked tofu. 

Recipe: Avocado Tomato Salad

39. Corn Polenta With Baked Eggs

This recipe by Kristen Carli perfectly demonstrates how truly versatile polenta is. Tomatoes and cheese are added to smooth, cooked polenta to boost the flavor and texture. The final step is to crack eggs on top of the polenta, then bake the dish until the eggs are set, a la shakshuka. The recipe makes six servings, and is delicious served for dinner or as a filling breakfast/brunch dish.  

Recipe: Polenta With Baked Eggs

40. Air Fryer Tortilla Chips

Air fryers excel at making our favorite crispy and crunchy foods while using significantly less oil than other methods like deep frying. That includes making homemade chips! Grab a stack of corn tortillas and slice them into triangles or strips. They get a little oil before going into the air fryer basket to crisp up in only seven minutes. Season them any way you wish: with a sprinkle of salt, with spicy Tajín, or even add cinnamon and sugar to make a sweet version of this classic snack. 

Recipe: Air Fryer Tortilla Chips

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