Wondering what goes with corn? Learn the best ingredient pairings, meal ideas, popular flavor combinations, and other helpful tips.
Knowing what goes well with corn gives you a starting point for putting meals together using the ingredients you already have on hand.
Whether you want to reduce food waste, get more creative in the kitchen, or improve your cooking skills, it starts with understanding what flavors pair well together.
What is Corn?
Corn can be classified as a fruit, a grain, or a vegetable. Botanically, it's a fruit. However, it's commonly eaten in both grain and vegetable forms.
When To Buy
Corn is in season from May through September. Look at the seasonal produce guide to see what's in season right now.
What To Look For
Look for silk that's pale in color, a little sticky, and brown at the very tips with a fresh cut at the top that still feels moist, and the tops of the ears should be filled in with the kernels right to the end, not dried up.
How To Store
Corn is best eaten the same day you buy it. If that's not an option, store loosely in the refrigerator (not in a plastic bag) for no more than 2 days for the best flavor.
What Goes Well With Corn?
Bell peppers, carrots, celery, chile peppers, fennel, garlic, ginger, leeks, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, scallions, shallots, summer squash, and zucchini.
Lemons, limes, and tomatoes.
Star anise, bay leaf, caraway seed, cayenne, chili powder, cumin, curry powder, nutmeg, paprika, black and white pepper, saffron, and kosher salt.
Basil, chives, cilantro, dill, lemon thyme, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, shiso, tarragon, and thyme.
Bechamel sauce, butter, buttermilk, cheese: cheddar, cotija, feta, Monterey jack, cream: use coconut cream or cashew cream for dairy-free, creme fraiche, mascarpone, and milk.
Bacon, beef, clams, crab, eggs, fish, ham, lobster, pancetta, poultry, salmon, and scallops.
Apple cider vinegar, lima beans, chili sauce, cornmeal, fava beans, maple syrup, mustard, olive oil, pasta, dry sherry, stocks: chicken and vegetable, sugar, vermouth, vinaigrettes, white wine vinegar, and white wine.
Popular Corn Pairings
- bell pepper + jalapeño + cilantro + tarragon
- butter + salt
- cayenne + lime + salt
- cilantro + shrimp
What To Make With Corn
Corn can be boiled, grilled, roasted, sautéed, or steamed and is popular in Mexican, Chinese, New England, Southern, and Southwestern cuisines.
It's used to make tortillas, chips, arepas, Elote (Mexican street corn), polenta, popcorn, and more! Although it's more commonly used for savory dishes, it can be used to make desserts as well.
Similarly to tomato salsa, you can make salsa with corn as the main ingredient, corn fritters, cornbread or corn muffins, dairy free chicken corn chowder, or make pasta with sautéed corn, onion, jalapeños, and cashew cream.