Call me “corny,” but I’m making the most of this summer’s crop. We’ve rounded up some of our absolute favorite recipes that feature Fresh Corn. Savor the flavor while you can, but fear not – you can usually swap for frozen in the off-season.
Y’all know I love my LTO veggies (that’s limited time only, not lettuce-tomato-onion; though I love those too) and as long as we’re still in the thick (the literal, sweaty thick) of summer, I wanted to take stock of my corn collection. Of recipes, that is.
Soups, salads, and sides abound! (Plus a few dishes that masquerade as meals.) The summer ain’t over yet, and I may have a few more tricks up my sleeve for those last days of the corn harvest come fall, but these showstoppers have definitely made our summer more special.
Picking Fresh Corn
Picking the best cobs is actually super easy. Tight, bright green husks and light silks are the surest sign. When in doubt, you can peel ’em right there at the store (either fully, or just for a quick peek). Avoid dark, dried silks – those ears are older.
Bigger doesn’t always mean better, so check the kernels. They should be firm and well defined, and color doesn’t really matter – i.e. yellow or white is fine; obviously avoid brown or moldy – and they should be full and plump from end to end.
Fresh corn doesn’t have a long shelf life – it starts to lose its sweetness the moment it’s picked, converting the natural sugars to starches. When it doubt, purchase it the day of for immediate use (and keep your eyes open for local farm stands!).
How to Cut Corn off the Cobs
My favorite hack for kernel collection is a bundt pan – quick, easy, helpful, and no extra cuts.
- Place the narrow top end of your cob in the center hole of a bundt pan.
- Run the edge of sharp knife along the cob to release the kernels.
- Repeat on all sides until you’ve collected all your kernels.
Don’t have a bundt pan? Fear not – this no-fail method from Food and Wine also works like a charm – no mess, and all fingers intact. For added stability, slice one end off the ear for a level base.
Corn on the cob is one of summer’s hand-held edible treasures. It’s practically ready-to-eat, and requires little time and effort to yield pure suneshiney joy. Get picnic-perfect corn with any one of these six easy preparations.
Fresh Corn Soup Recipes
These thick, rich soups are creamy and decadent without being heavy thanks to bright, sweet summer corn. A cup makes an unexpected, comforting summertime side dish; a bowl makes a hearty, wholesome meal that won’t weigh you down.
Sweet Corn Soup: Summertime slurping isn’t just for sweets… unless you count sweet corn. Summer Sweet Corn Soup relies on just a handful of ingredients for super summery flavor – plus a bonus flavor bomb from a bright and fresh herb gremolata. This vegan-friendly pureed soup is creamy without the cream and decadent without being heavy.
Instant Pot Corn Chowder: This Instant Pot Corn Chowder recipe is everything! It’s thick, it’s rich, it’s gluten-free, and it’s chock full of the most decadent ingredients nature has to offer – fresh summer corn (right off the cob), potatoes, heavy cream, and *gasp* bacon. A meal unto itself, this hearty soup is a warm, welcome break from the summer corn norm.
Fresh Corn Salad Recipes
Looking for a little more salad substance without leafy greens? These robust corn salads are bursting with veggies and make a perfect light replacement for heavier grain-based summer sides like pasta or potato salad.
Grilled Corn Salad with Peppers and Basil: With sweet grilled corn, crunchy bell peppers, tons of fresh basil, and a tangy lime dressing, this 30-minute Grilled Corn Salad is bright, fresh, and flavorful. You’ll find endless uses for all summer long – perfect for a weeknight dinner side dish, crowd-pleasing party or picnic offering, or packed into individual containers for lunch prep.
Tomato Corn Salad: Savor summer’s best flavors in every bite of this Tomato Corn Salad. Fresh sweet corn straight off the cob is combined with ripe juicy tomatoes, creamy avocado, crunchy cucumbers, and peppery basil, then tossed with a tangy buttermilk dressing. This easy side dish is ready in just 30 minutes, and packed with healthy vitamins and nutrients.
Grilled Zucchini and Corn Salad: A little sweet, a little smoky, a little crunchy – Grilled Zucchini Salad with corn and marinated white beans is summer in a bowl. It’s substantial enough for lunch or dinner on its own, but also makes a great side dish for picnics, potlucks and parties.
Main Course Recipes Using Fresh Corn
Need a break from burgers this summer? Fresh corn steps into the spotlight in these wholesome main dishes. Featuring pastas, proteins, and all the fresh summer veggies, there’s something for everyone!
Ricotta Toast Two Ways: Ricotta Toast is my go-to anytime meal. It’s fast, easy, and seriously delicious. While just about anything works as a topping, my favorites in the summer time are burst tomatoes with basil and roasted corn with red onion and cilantro. Both versions are packed with bold, savory summer flavors and take just 15 minutes to make.
Grilled Mexican Street Corn Stuffed Peppers: These Grilled Mexican Street Corn Stuffed Peppers are a fast, easy, no-oven-required recipe. They are packed with veggies (and flavor!) and make for a delicious dinner, light lunch, or easy side dish. Stretch this dish even further by adding a few cups of cooked black beans.
Basil Chicken Salad with Peaches and Corn: This Basil Chicken Salad is seriously delicious and even more seriously nutritious – it’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and a punch of protein, plus it’s naturally gluten-free. It utilizes over a full cup of fresh basil, and is gorgeous to boot. All of the produce! All of the colors! And on the table in just under 40 minutes! Summer dining at its finest.
Zucchini and Corn Pasta: Late-summer Zucchini and Corn Pasta requires just ten whole foods ingredients and is so comforting and luxurious. Sweet and tender zucchini and corn are tossed with pasta in this heartier, veggie-laden riff on cacio e pepe. For best results, use the freshest produce you can find and good quality parmesan cheese. Ready in 30 minutes!
Fresh Corn Side Dishes with Big Flavor!
No matter the occasion, corn is the main event in these simple flavorful, crowd-pleasing sides. Whether you’re feeding a family or a festival, these recipes are perfect for sharing and scaling to order.
Sautéed Zucchini and Corn: This super simple side dish is a celebration of late-summer flavor. Tender zucchini and fresh sweet corn get sautéed, then finished with fresh herbs and nutty parmesan. No magic powers or special tools needed – just have your trustiest knife and skillet at the ready. Naturally gluten free and vegetarian, Sautéed Zucchini and Corn makes a great companion for grilled protein.
Roasted Corn Salsa: Roasted Corn Salsa is an epic taste of summer. Tender fresh corn kernels are pan roasted with poblano peppers, then tossed with tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro, and red onion and seasoned with lime juice. A simple but perfect balance of summer’s best bounty. Serve this healthy appetizer with tortilla chips, spoon over grilled chicken, or heck, do both – this recipe makes a generous amount!
Corn Fritters: A whole lotta savory and a little touch of sweet make my Corn Fritters with Bacon and Chives a total comfort food keeper. No deep frying means they’re healthy(ish), wholesome, and definitely cleanup-friendly. These hearty little guys boast big flavor from corn, bacon, and chives – not the grease you cook them in. Use fresh corn in the summer, or frozen to make off-season!
Air Fryer Corn on the Cob: Want to get backyard barbecue-worthy corn right in your kitchen? Air Fryer Corn on the Cob will get you as close as possible with only a few fresh cobs and a handful of seasonings – no charcoal needed. This quick and easy method is perfect for staying indoors or prepping for a crowd. It’s practically hands-off and we’ve included some bonus mouth-watering flavor suggestions.