When I was a kid, I remember hopping into the car to go on rides to the local farm stand in the summertime, to pick up fresh corn for dinner.
Then, we’d sit outside back at home, spread out newspapers, and peel away the squeaky husks and shiny silk. After cracking off any long stems, the pale yellow ears were ready to go.
It was sweet, just picked, and perfect. You could eat it raw, but we liked to give it a quick boil. And I loved to eat mine slathered with butter and eight or nine shakes of lemon pepper.
Loudly exclaiming, “Time to get out our raincoats!” was a family ritual – as Grandpa bit into his, kernels would burst in every direction.
The perils of eating juicy corn!
If you ask me, it just wouldn’t be summer without it. And if you can get it at other times of year, well… lucky you!
If you’re looking forward to enjoying the season’s bounty in new ways, or you find yourself getting stuck in a rut, we have the recipe for you.
From pancakes to tacos, everyone is sure to find something they enjoy here featuring fresh summertime sweet corn in the most delicious applications.
Keep reading for 23 selections from our collection – I suggest you start husking now!
23 of the Best Summertime Sweet Corn Recipes
At summertime parties, picnics, and barbecues, serving some fun finger food or something to dip your chips into is practically a must.
This is the perfect ingredient to feature at this time of year, and homemade dips and other types of appetizers made with fresh produce tend to be healthier than the jarred or pre-made stuff – and they’ll taste more delicious, too!
1. Corn and Cheese Arepas
Have you ever tried arepas before?
A recipe with origins in Colombia, these delicious savory cakes can be prepared in different styles and sizes.
Corn and Cheese Arepas – Get the Recipe Now
Our homemade version calls for finely ground cornmeal combined with fresh kernels, plus shredded cheddar cheese, scallions, jalapenos, cilantro, and milk.
Just form them into small discs and sear them in a hot skillet until golden brown on both sides.
Top them with a colorful variety of vegetarian garnishes, such as sour cream, cilantro, salsa, beans, and guacamole.
2. Corn and Cream Cheese Dip with Cherry Tomatoes
Start off any outdoor summer party with a creamy chilled dip – the perfect way to cool off on a hot day!
Everyone will love the pops of raw, sweet kernels in the dreamy base of sour cream, cream cheese, and mayonnaise.
Corn and Cream Cheese Dip with Cherry Tomatoes – Get the Recipe Now
Shredded cheddar and pepper jack cheeses provide more flavor, while the chopped jalapenos bring some bold heat.
And to top it all off with the boldest colors, we use a very simple garnish of quartered cherry tomatoes – make sure they’re ripe and juicy!
Play with what you choose for dipping. If you want a completely made-from-scratch starter to your party, you can make your own homemade fried tortilla chips, buckwheat rosemary and cheese crackers, or these parmesan and rosemary crackers.
3. Potato Fritters with Roasted Zucchini and Tomato Cucumber Corn Salad
Determined to elevate your appetizer course for a more upscale dinner party that you’re hosting?
These bite-sized vegetarian potato fritters are the ideal light and healthy summer appetizer, with an impressive presentation.
Potato Fritters with Roasted Zucchini and Tomato Cucumber Corn Salad – Get the Recipe Now
And while they may look elaborate, we promise they’re easy to prep and assemble!
Bake the small potato fritter discs on a sheet pan until they’re crispy and crunchy around the edges.
A delightful dollop of a cumin and fresh dill yogurt sauce is the final touch!
4. Sweet Corn Fritters with a Spicy Kick
When you’re faced with a big bounty of golden ears this season, make these beautifully crispy fritters.
In this recipe, we fold four cups of fresh kernels into the batter with a little cayenne pepper for some kick – some people claim that sweating it out by eating spicy foods can help to keep you cool, after all!
Sweet Corn Fritters with a Spicy Kick – Get the Recipe Now
We then deep fry them in vegetable oil, creating a light and crispy exterior and a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth interior with mouthwatering bursts of sweet and tasty kernels.
These fritters feature both sweet and savory flavors. While the recipe recommends dusting them with a light coating of powdered sugar, you can just as easily serve them with a pungent garlic aioli or roasted red pepper dip. Totally up to you!
Summer might not be the ideal time for baking, but every once in a while when you wake up early on one of those nice, cool mornings the baking bug strikes – presenting the perfect opportunity to prep a hearty breakfast in advance, or get your side dishes going so they’ll be ready for later.
So fire up the oven and start slicing up those cobs!
5. Corn and Black Bean Empanadas
A casual crowd-pleaser, the perfect meal for an intimate family dinner, or a fun DIY activity to make with the kids, there’s a lot you can do with these easy baked empanadas!
Corn and Black Bean Empanadas – Get the Recipe Now
You’ll love the vegetarian filling of black beans, fresh corn, oregano, and grated cotija cheese.
Store bought enchilada sauce is an easy time-saver, unless you’d prefer to make your own. And for the pastry, there’s nothing easier than using a store-bought pie crust!
Though I have to say, nothing beats homemade, buttery, flaky pie dough.
Baked empanadas would also be an easy handheld option to bring along with you on a picnic after a hike through the woods or park – they’re easy to pack, and just as tasty to eat when at room temperature.
6. Fluffy and Spicy Jalapeno Skillet Cornbread
Swift to make and fun to serve, we bake our fluffy and spicy quick bread recipe directly in a cast iron skillet.
Fluffy and Spicy Jalapeno Skillet Cornbread – Get the Recipe Now
Not only does this baking technique make a perfectly round quick bread that’s easy to cut into hearty wedges, it also helps to create a crispy crust on the bottom. And the minced jalapeno and fresh kernels are like a tasty surprise in every bite.
7. Vegan Roasted Jalapeno Cornbread
Looking for a vegan version of your classic jalapeno cornbread? There’s nothing better than this spicy, feisty skillet bread!
Vegan Roasted Jalapeno Cornbread – Get the Recipe Now
Roasting the jalapeno before adding it to the batter adds another layer of flavor, a tasty distinction that sets this recipe apart from others you may have tried before.
And don’t forget the fun pops of fresh kernels scattered throughout every bite of the bread!
Breakfast and Brunch
From sugar-dusted fritters to spicy and savory quick bread baked in a cast iron pan, we’ve already covered a few options that would delight anyone sitting around your breakfast table, both sweet and savory. This summertime veggie is perfect for breakfast or brunch.
Here’s one more unique option to make for the whole family first thing in the morning.
8. Cornmeal Pancakes with Sweet Corn
Craving those tasty kernels as soon as the sun rises? It’s time to serve up some flapjacks!
Cornmeal pancakes studded with fresh kernels are golden, sweet, and delicious.
Cornmeal Pancakes with Sweet Corn – Get the Recipe Now
And they offer a fresh take on your typical store-bought pancake mix, when you have some time in the morning to make something special completely from scratch.
The beautiful yellow hue will certainly put a smile on everyone’s face soon after waking up.
Those golden cobs will prove to be a delicious ingredient in your favorite potluck recipes.
You can make these casseroles ahead of time to stock up as part of your meal prep, for busy weeknight meals to enjoy throughout your busiest summer weeks, or pack them for a party.
We hope you’ll customize these super flavorful recipes to make them your own. And maybe you’ll even be able to sneak in some extra veggies without anyone even knowing!
9. A Healthier Southern Corn Pudding
If you haven’t tried corn pudding before, it’s a bit like a cross between a hearty veggie casserole and fluffy quick bread.
A healthier version of the Southern classic that’s ideal for holidays and casual get-togethers, you don’t have to feel too guilty about loading this on your plate!
A Healthier Southern Corn Pudding – Get the Recipe Now
After baking for a little under an hour until set, serve it warm or at room temperature.
10. No-Fail Triple Corn Casserole
Corn may appear in three different formats in this casserole, but it’s one of the most simple recipes to make!
No-Fail Triple Corn Casserole – Get the Recipe Now
It is the ideal savory complement to any main course when you’re craving a hearty meal with all the best comfort food vibes. An ideal weeknight companion to roasted chicken or pork roast glazed with maple syrup, there’s also a special place for this side dish during many holidays.
Whole kernels, a can of creamed corn, and a box of corn muffin mix make this dish a satisfyingly delicious triple threat.
How easy is that?
11. Stacked Vegetable Enchiladas (Enchiladas Montadas)
Stacked with bold flavors and fresh ingredients – plus lots of cheese – dinner will be a breeze when you make our stacked vegetable enchilada recipe.
Stacked Vegetable Enchiladas (Enchiladas Montadas) – Get the Recipe Now
By layering all of the components flat in a casserole dish, this vegetarian option offers a fast-pass alternative to traditional rolled enchiladas – which is a huge relief when you have a big family with hungry bellies to feed!
You’ll be excited to dig into every cheesy forkful of bell pepper and fresh kernels, spinach, and pinto beans, flavored with garlic and jalapeno, cumin, paprika, and chili powder, all layered between soft tortillas.
On the Cob, with a Twist
The classic mode of serving those gorgeous white and golden ears is, of course, on the cob.
Delicious grilled or boiled with pats of butter, take this opportunity to get out of your rut, and try some new cooking techniques and flavor combinations.
With these options, you’ll be looking at those cobs in a whole new way.
12. Electric Pressure Cooker Corn on the Cob
You don’t need to crowd your stovetop with a big pot of boiling water to make steamed vegetables – use your electric pressure cooker instead.
This speedy method is so simple, and you may never want to boil the cobs on the stove ever again!
How to Cook Corn on the Cob in an Electric Pressure Cooker – Read the Tutorial Now
You’ll be happy to pull out this foolproof method when the grill is already packed with food – and everyone will be pleased when they’re eating the tender, bright kernels.
Interested in learning this technique?
Our in-depth tutorial will give you all the details you need, with step-by-step instructions and seasoning ideas.
13. Elote Antojitos (Mexican Street Corn)
Also known as Mexican street corn, elote antojitos is the savory end result of a delectable recipe that starts with fresh cobs charred to perfection on the grill.
Elote Antojitos (Mexican Street Corn) – Get the Recipe Now
Each grilled cob is rolled in melted butter, then slathered in a thick spread of mayonnaise, Cotija cheese, and chili lime seasoning.
Serve with lime wedges, hot sauce, and freshly chopped cilantro.
Oh, and you are meant to make a mess with this handheld delight – have the moist towelettes on call nearby.
Salads are your typical refreshing summer fare, and we’re not complaining!
We love adding these to the rotation during the warmer months, featuring seasonal ingredients that are nutrient dense and big on flavor.
14. Chickpea and Black Bean Salad with Bell Peppers and Sweet Corn
This salad, made with a variety of legumes and veggies, is absolutely loaded with bold colors and even bigger flavors!
Chickpea and Black Bean Salad with Bell Peppers and Sweet Corn – Get the Recipe Now
Admire the vibrant combination of black beans, chickpeas, steamed fresh kernels, red onion, red bell pepper, celery, and carrots, plus pico de gallo and fresh herbs.
Everything is tossed with a fresh garlic-lime dressing that you can make in a flash – just whisk some olive oil into a mixture of minced garlic, lime juice, and freshly cracked salt and black pepper, and you’re done!
We recommend chilling this in the fridge for at least two hours before dressing and serving, for a cool and refreshing addition to your dinner lineup.
15. Peach and Corn Salad with Mint and Lime
Make the most of the best summer produce by serving our simple and sunny salad with juicy peach wedges, mint leaves, and lime.
Peach and Corn Salad with Mint and Lime – Get the Recipe Now
Each plate features a bed of leaf lettuce topped with gently cooked kernels and sliced ripe peaches. A drizzle of a simple lime juice and mint vinaigrette provides a bright finishing touch.
We envision serving this for a light lunch, or as the opener for a pretty patio dinner party – but we’re sure you’ll come up with your own brilliant ideas as well!
16. Roasted Sweet Potato, Corn, and Black Bean Salad with Spicy Miso Dressing
With fun taco salad vibes, this vegan salad will fill you up when you’re hungry for a tasty dinner!
It’s a great example of how even meatless meals can pack in hearty bites of bold flavors and satisfying ingredients.
Roasted Sweet Potato, Corn, and Black Bean Salad with Spicy Miso Dressing – Get the Recipe Now
There’s a little bit of everything in this salad, made with a mix of fresh kernels, black beans, roasted sweet potatoes, and tomatoes served on a bed of fresh spinach.
For the dressing, we use white miso as the main ingredient, which provides a subtly sweet-and-salty base flavor that perfectly complements the other ingredients.
And crumbled tortilla chips provide a crunchy topping!
17. Summer Corn Salad with Gorgonzola Cheese and Balsamic Vinegar
When blue cheese is your bestie, there is nothing stopping you from adding it to all of your salads.
And, lucky for you this season, corn and blue cheese go so well together!
Summer Corn Salad with Gorgonzola Cheese and Balsamic Vinegar – Get the Recipe Now
This summery salad features gently boiled kernels, fresh basil, and cherry tomatoes – an ideal trifecta of seasonal produce.
And for lip-smacking punches of flavor, crumbled gorgonzola cheese and tangy balsamic vinegar make for a dynamic duo to add to the mix.
Whether kissed on the grill to accompany burgers and hot dogs at a barbecue shindig, or served alongside perfectly cooked chicken or fish, corn provides nearly endless opportunities to make fresh and simple side dishes.
You’ll find that you can pair these sides with so many different main dishes, offering the best celebration of summer’s bounty!
18. Cilantro Lime Grilled Corn
Here it is: the ultimate side dish for the season.
Simple and standing proud, it doesn’t take too many ingredients to whip up this super fresh salad flavored with bold additions like cilantro and lime.
Cilantro Lime Grilled Corn – Get the Recipe Now
But what’s really essential is the cooking technique you use to make each element of the short ingredient list truly sing.
Grilling the ears alongside the poblano and jalapeno pepper incorporates a beautifully charred taste that goes above and beyond the taste sensation of any raw preparation.
After chopping the peppers, simply stir everything together with butter, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper.
Whether served with steak, chicken, pork, or seafood, you’ll find that it goes well with so many different main dishes that you’re thinking of making this summer.
19. Fresh Corn Pasta Salad
Pasta salad is quick and easy to make ahead, with so many opportunities for variation. And quickly blanched kernels combine so nicely with red onion, scallions, and fresh herbs. Don’t you think?
Fresh Corn Pasta Salad – Get the Recipe Now
This recipe makes an excellent side, paired with all of your favorite cookout mains.
Not only is it super simple to make, it’s easy to customize with even more of your favorite seasonal veggies!
Maybe you’re ready to grow your own? Pop on over to our sister site, Gardener’s Path, for tips and suggestions.
Okay, so this might not be the top category that comes to mind in the summertime.
We hear ya.
And though there are tons of chilled options in the soup category, none of our favorites include our star ingredient!
But stick with us on this. Soup is easy to make ahead for a quick weeknight dinner, and a bowlful makes a delightful light meal that won’t leave you feeling too full to move afterwards.Healither
Why not slurp down a delicious serving inside in the A/C, and then head out to the patio to enjoy a homemade peach popsicle for dessert?
20. Curried Corn and Cabbage Soup
What a perfect way to bridge the gap between the end of chilly spring and the start of warm, sunny summer!
Curried Corn and Cabbage Soup – Get the Recipe Now
Our curried cabbage soup is made with fresh veggies and protein-rich beans – a comforting dish to make when the nights are still a little on the cooler side, or when the chill starts to creep back in late in the season.
Warming curry powder, fresh kernels, tender green cabbage, and russet potatoes all meld together so nicely to create a hearty and filling soup in a light vegetable broth.
It’s a cozy and satisfying meal to make at home, bundled up in a few extra layers that you’re not ready to shed just yet, or with the A/C cranked while you’re daydreaming about chillier nights ahead.
21. Summer Corn Chowder with Herb Garlic Bread
Corn is the headliner in this delicious soup, and it’s lovely with a few pieces of homemade herb garlic bread on the side.
Summer Corn Chowder with Herb Garlic Bread – Get the Recipe Now
You can serve it as a starter, or make it a vegetarian meal to comfort you on a chilly or rainy summer evening.
Enriched with cream and butter, instructions to prepare a vegan option are also included.
Everybody is going to enjoy this!
Casual, quick, and fun, there’s a lot of happiness surrounding one of our favorite weeknight meal concepts:
Add some sunny flavors and textures to your typical spicy fare with these colorful versions.
22. Spicy Pork Tacos with Peach and Corn Salsa
Apologies, ground beef. We’re replacing you with pork for our next Taco Tuesday meal!
Spicy Pork Tacos with Peach and Corn Salsa – Get the Recipe Now
Marinated in a mixture of yogurt, chipotle pepper, cumin, and coriander for a couple of hours, pork chops become so tender and flavorful the longer they sit in the marinade.
And while they’re marinating, this is the perfect time to make your fruity salsa.
With a combination of juicy kernels, diced peaches, fresh herbs, and a little honey, this unique topping will pair perfectly with the pork chops.
After the pork has finished cooking on the grill, slice it into thin strips and serve on your choice of soft tortillas topped with the salsa. What a meal!
23. Vegetarian Grilled Corn and Green Bean Tacos with Cilantro Goat Cheese Crema
If you don’t consume meat, you don’t have to limit yourself to eating only side dishes at a barbecue.
Here’s a flavor-packed main meal for you to enjoy when the grill is hot and ready to go – you’ll love these unique vegetarian tacos!
Vegetarian Grilled Corn and Green Bean Tacos with Cilantro Goat Cheese Crema – Get the Recipe Now
This fun and fresh take is made with grilled corn and green beans, and a tangy cilantro goat cheese crema.
We love serving the veggie mixture in tortillas with steamed white rice for a little extra heartiness, some sliced radishes for crunch, and chopped cilantro for a final herbaceous bite.
Corny Enough for You?
Never! It’s time to get cooking with fresh sweet corn!
Whether you’re firing up the grill, turning on the oven, lighting the stove, or eschewing any time spent near a heat source altogether, it looks like you have a lot of husking to do!
Though many of these recipes can be made with frozen kernels to save you some precious prep time, or even canned in a pinch, there’s something special about the sweetness and satisfyingly juicy bite of farmstand fresh produce, picked at the peak of the season.
What’s your favorite recipe that features summer corn? Let us know in the comments.
For other summertime favorites to make when the sun is shining, the gardens are in full swing, and the pools are open, savor even more of our tasty roundups to celebrate the season:
- Top 10 Easy S’mores Makeovers for Fun Summer Bonfires
- Recharge with 5 Cold Coffee Cocktails
- 7 Fast and Tasty Summer Meal Ideas for Every Day of the Week
Photos by Meghan Yager, Fanny Slater, Raquel Smith, Nikki Cervone, Felicia Lim, and Kendall Vanderslice, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on July 28, 2017. Last updated on July 15, 2023. With additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone.
About Allison Sidhu
Allison M. Sidhu is a culinary enthusiast from southeastern Pennsylvania who has returned to Philly after a seven-year sojourn to sunny LA. She loves exploring the local restaurant and bar scene with her best buds. She holds a BA in English literature from Swarthmore College and an MA in gastronomy from Boston University. When she’s not in the kitchen whipping up something tasty (or listening to the latest food podcasts while she does the dishes!) you’ll probably find Allison tapping away at her keyboard, chilling in the garden, curled up with a good book (or ready to dominate with controller in hand in front of the latest video game) on the couch, or devouring a dollar dog and crab fries at the Phillies game.