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20 Creative and Delicious Sweet Corn Recipes You Need To Try

While supermarkets and supply chains have made it possible for us to eat nearly any food we want at any time of the year, there remains one delicious treat that truly is seasonal – sweet corn. Specifically corn on the cob.

Nothing says summertime like a plate stacked with steaming hot corn on the cob dripping in butter.

As a child, I remember one particular summer when I had lost both front teeth and was relegated to eating corn off the cob while I waited for my permanent teeth to come back in.

My grandfather, who had unreliable dentures, was an old hand at slicing long rows of corn “caterpillars” from the bright yellow cobs. It was fun to watch him slice corn off of each cob for the two of us, but I was happy when I had both teeth the following summer to enjoy corn on the cob again.

Sweet corn is as much a part of an American summer as the 4th of July and barbecues. And it’s something many of us look forward to each year.

But aside from eating sweet corn straight from the cob, many of us struggle to come up with other ways to enjoy it. And what do you do with it if you want to save some of it? I’ve got some great ways for you to eat corn on the cob this summer.  

Grab your ears, and let’s get shucking!

I thought we would start with the traditional favorite – corn on the cob. But not your everyday corn on the cob. These recipes take this summertime favorite to new heights.

1. Mexican Street Corn

A plate of Mexican street corn

Oh, boy, if you’ve never had Mexican street corn, you’ve got to give it a try. Known as elote in Mexico, sweet corn is grilled until the kernels just begin to blacken; this imparts an incredible smoky flavor to the corn. Right before you serve it, the corn is slathered with a tangy sauce made from mayonnaise, lime juice and chili powder. Then crumbled cotija cheese and chopped cilantro are sprinkled over the top. This recipe from Cookie + Kate is pretty close to authentic without an ingredient list as long as your arm.

I could eat this alone as a meal; it’s just that good.

Hint – if cotija is hard to come by in your area, you can easily substitute feta cheese.

2. Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob

Roasted sweet corn

For the easiest corn on the cob you’ll ever eat, just turn on your oven. When you roast sweet corn in the oven, you don’t even need to husk it first. The husk retains the moisture and helps steam the kernels resulting in easy and delicious corn on the cob.

3. Grilled Parmesan Pesto Corn on the Cob

Pesto sweet corn on a plate

With all the great pesto recipes out there, you’ve got to make a batch of this super tasty pesto corn on the cob. I highly recommend using garlic mustard pesto if you can. The spicy kick of wild-foraged garlic mustard makes a great pair with fresh sweet corn.

4. Corn on the Cob with Old Bay and Lemon

Old Bay seasoned corn on the cob

If you’ve ever had a crab boil, then you’ve probably enjoyed corn on the cob seasoned with this classic seafood seasoning. This time, let’s make the corn the main focus instead of an afterthought added to the stockpot. Give your grilled or roasted corn on the cob a serious kick with a healthy sprinkling of Old Bay.

5. Crack Corn

Glazed corn on the cob

You’ve never tasted corn on the cob like this before. With a sweet glaze, one ear is never enough; you’ll be reaching for just one more every time you finish one. Hence the name of the recipe. Be careful; this corn on the cob is addictive!

Once you’ve eaten all the corn on the cob you can, it’s time to start getting creative with sweet corn.

You can always use a sharp paring knife to slice kernels from the cooked ear. I find cutting the end of the corn cob off helps make the ear level and less likely to slip while you’re cutting.

Another great tool for cutting corn kernels from corn is a corn peeler. These work in much the same way as a vegetable peeler, except the blade is curved like an ear of corn.

6. Corn Waffles with Strawberry Syrup

Corn waffles with strawberry syrup

You’re going to want to give this one a try. I know what you’re probably thinking, “Corn? In Waffles?” I was thinking the same thing until I remembered how delicious cornbread is.

You could even take these in a more savory direction by skipping out on the strawberry syrup and topping the waffles with sauteed veggies.

7. Grilled Corn Salad

Roasted corn salad

Gather all the flavors of summer together in one tasty dish. This corn salad starts with smoky, grilled corn and tosses it with all the fresh produce available this time of year. Make up a double batch of salad and take it to your next barbecue or potluck. Macaroni salad? What macaroni salad?

8. Quick and Easy Corn Fritters

Corn fritters with bacon

Corn fritters have to be one of my favorite ways to eat sweet corn other than on the cob. I’m a huge fan of food that doesn’t require utensils to eat it, and fritters fit the bill. Make up a plate of these delicious corn pancakes for dinner and serve them with all types of dipping sauces – barbecue, honey mustard, ranch, garlic aioli, lime crema. You name it—even good ol’ maple syrup pairs well with these tasty, crunchy little corn cakes.

9. Chicken Corn Soup

Chicken corn soup in a bowl

As a Pennsylvanian, I would be remiss if I didn’t include a Pennsylvania favorite on this list – chicken corn soup. I remember when I moved here, I saw this soup pop up at every restaurant in town. Chicken corn soup is a Pennsylvania Dutch staple, and after one bowl, I learned why. This simple soup became a favorite wintertime dinner in our house.

Make several batches while sweet corn is in season and freeze it for a quick weeknight dinner when the snow is flying.

10. Summer Corn Chowder

Creamy corn chowder with bacon

Of course, we can’t let the broth-based soups have all the fun. Who doesn’t love a good creamy soup? This classic corn chowder delivers the goods. Creamy, sweet and savory. This soup is another great option to make in large batches and freeze or pressure can for cooler nights.

11. Ham and Sweet Corn Pizza

pizza with ham corn and mushrooms

I know there’s a whole debate out there about whether or not it’s okay to put pineapple on pizza. (It’s not.) Let’s just skip that nonsense and change things up a bit. How about sweet corn on pizza instead? Make up a ham and sweet corn pizza to eat while you sit back and watch the ham and pineapple pizza debate.

12. Sweet Corn Ice Cream

A bowl of sweet corn ice cream

Yeah. I don’t know. I threw it in here for the adventurous. If you make it let me know what you think by emailing me at [email protected]

I get the impression that it would be really creamy and might be a good base for a berry syrup of some sort. Or perhaps you could top it with caramel for a caramel popcorn flavor combo.

13. Cheesy Corn-Stuffed Tomatoes

Corn stuffed baked tomatoes

If you’ve got plenty of tomatoes and sweet corn from your garden, this is a great way to make a delicious and healthy side dish. These warm and savory tomatoes would also make an excellent entrée for a vegetarian dinner.

14. Grilled Baja Corn Zucchini Boats

corn-stuffed zucchini boats

And if you’re looking to use up some corn from the garden, you most likely have more zucchini than you know what to do with as well. Kill two birds with one stone with these easy and mouth-watering zucchini boats stuffed with grilled corn.

15. Blueberry and Corn Crisp

Blueberry corn crisp

Okay, this one is pretty great. You get that nice chewy, nutty burst from the corn kernels mixed in with the crunch of the crisp topping, all surrounded by the gooey sweet tang of the blueberries. This flavor combo, as odd as it might sound, just works! It’s like cornflakes with blueberries fancier cousin.

16. The Best Corn Salsa

A bowl of corn and black bean salsa

Who doesn’t love a good salsa? Mix things up a bit and give this corn salsa a try. Between the fresh corn, black beans and the lime juice, your taco night just got so much better. This is definitely a great recipe to take to a picnic or barbecue too.

17. Spicy Corn Carbonara

Frying pan with creamy corn carbonara

Because of corn’s inherent creaminess, it lends itself well to dishes with a creamy texture. So when it comes to carbonara, adding fresh sweet corn is a no-brainer. Add in crispy, salty bacon, and you’ve got an easy and inexpensive dinner that will wow.

18. Simple Sweet Corn Succotash

Sweet corn succotash

You can’t go wrong with a classic. If you’ve never tried succotash, I highly recommend you give it a taste. The beans and corn pair so well together. This is another easy and inexpensive dish to round out a meal. And once you taste it, it’s sure to be a part of your regular summer recipes.

19. 5 Ingredient Corn Casserole

A sweet corn casserole with a helping missing from the dish

If you’re looking for an incredibly easy and comforting dish to go with dinner, look no further than this 5-ingredient casserole. If you want to turn it into a full meal, all on its own, add some chopped scallions and cubed ham.

20. Roasted Corn Quesadillas

Corn quesadillas sliced on parchment paper

Want a quick and easy lunch or dinner that won’t heat up the kitchen a lot? Give these roasted corn quesadillas a try. You can easily skip roasting the corn in the oven and toss it on the grill instead. You’ll get the added benefit of smokier-tasting corn in your quesadillas.

And that’s that. We hope you enjoy this season’s bounty of delicious gold!

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Tracey Besemer

Hey there, my name is Tracey. I’m the editor-in-chief here at Rural Sprout.

Many of our readers already know me from our popular Sunday newsletters. (You are signed up for our newsletters, right?) Each Sunday, I send a friendly missive from my neck of the woods in Pennsylvania. It’s a bit like sitting on the front porch with a friend, discussing our gardens over a cup of tea.

Originally from upstate NY, I’m now an honorary Pennsylvanian, having lived here for the past 18 years.

I grew up spending weekends on my dad’s off-the-grid homestead, where I spent much of my childhood roaming the woods and getting my hands dirty.

I learned how to do things most little kids haven’t done in over a century.

Whether it was pressing apples in the fall for homemade cider, trudging through the early spring snows of upstate NY to tap trees for maple syrup, or canning everything that grew in the garden in the summer - there were always new adventures with each season.

As an adult, I continue to draw on the skills I learned as a kid. I love my Wi-Fi and knowing pizza is only a phone call away. And I’m okay with never revisiting the adventure that is using an outhouse in the middle of January.

These days, I tend to be almost a homesteader.

I take an eclectic approach to homesteading, utilizing modern convenience where I want and choosing the rustic ways of my childhood as they suit me.

I’m a firm believer in self-sufficiency, no matter where you live, and the power and pride that comes from doing something for yourself.

I’ve always had a garden, even when the only space available was the roof of my apartment building. I’ve been knitting since age seven, and I spin and dye my own wool as well. If you can ferment it, it’s probably in my pantry or on my kitchen counter. And I can’t go more than a few days without a trip into the woods looking for mushrooms, edible plants, or the sound of the wind in the trees.

You can follow my personal (crazy) homesteading adventures on Almost a Homesteader and Instagram as @aahomesteader.

Peace, love, and dirt under your nails,