8 Sweet Corn Recipes for Your Next Outdoor Gathering

Celebrate sweet corn with everything from grilled corn on the cob slathered with butter to corn and veggie grilled quesadillas.

Corn Recipes Perfect for You Next Outdoor Gathering

Simply Recipes

Though it’s hard to pick favorites when it comes to summer produce, corn ranks high on my list.

The sweet, juicy, golden-hued kernels are the ultimate taste of the season. Once ears of corn start appearing at farmers markets and farm stands, it’s almost impossible not to cart them home by the bundle to enjoy straight off the cob, or to toss the kernels into salads and other summer sides.

Here are a few tips on how to pick fresh corn and the best way to store:

  • Look for green husks and brown silks sticking out the top that feel moist.
  • Once corn is picked, its natural sugars quickly start turning into starch, so ideally store the ears wrapped tightly in a plastic bag in the fridge.
  • You want to cook the fresh corn the same day you buy them for the best flavor. Otherwise, use it within two days.

These are our very favorite seasonal recipes that celebrate sweet corn. Each and every one of them are the ideal complement to whatever you might be serving al fresco, be it burgers, grilled fish, chicken or simply more summer veggies.

  • Caprese Corn Salad

    caprese corn salad
    Elise Bauer

    Take all the elements of caprese salad—tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella—add juicy corn kernels, and the result is a colorful salad that practically screams “summer.” If your corn is extra fresh, try tossing the kernels into the salad raw, which lends extra crunch and brightness.

  • Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elote)

    Mexican Street Corn topped with crema and cilantro on a plate
    Megan Keno

    If you aren’t able to find Mexican crema for this delicious recipe, you can use sour cream, which is a little thicker but is your best substitute. To substitute the cotija cheese, try grated Parmesan or crumbled feta, which while not traditional, are tasty in their own right.

  • Pasta Salad with Corn, Bacon and Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

    Pasta Salad with Corn and Bacon
    Elise Bauer

    You can use any short pasta to make this salad, such as fusilli or penne, but we especially love it with orecchiette. The pasta is the perfect cup-like shape for catching the corn, crispy bacon bits, and diced bell peppers.

  • Guacamole with Charred Sweet Corn, Bacon and Tomato

    Guacamole Dip
    Marta Rivera

    Dress up your guacamole with charred sweet corn, ruby red tomatoes, and crispy bacon and you won’t be disappointed. When paired with tortilla chips, this is a winning starter for just about any outdoor gathering.

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  • Farro Salad with Green Beans, Corn and Cherry Tomatoes

    Farro Salad with Corn, Green Beans, and Tomatoes
    Sheryl Julian

    Farro’s chewy texture and nutty flavor is a great counterpart to juicy, sweet corn kernels. This hearty salad can easily become a main dish, if you prefer, by bolstering it with some grilled chicken or even hard boiled eggs.

  • Sweet Corn and Goat Cheese Quesadillas

    Goat cheese quesadilla
    Alison Conklin

    If you’re in need for an easy dinner recipe on a hot summer night look no further. Zucchini, goat cheese, sweet corn, and herbs are loaded into flour tortillas, assembled and grilled to make a satisfying quick meal.

  • Grilled Corn on the Cob

    Grilled corn on the cob served on an oval platter
    Elise Bauer

    You can never go wrong with classic corn on the cob, slathered with butter, and served hot off the grill. The secret to success? Keep the husks on while you grill the corn, which helps protect the kernels from getting dried out.

  • Grilled Corn Salad

    Grilled Corn Salad
    Elise Bauer

    If you don't have a grill, you can easily prepare the corn and zucchini for this salad on the stovetop, searing them in a hot skillet until lightly browned. This is also a great make-ahead salad. If it seems dry when you're ready to serve it, just add a little more olive oil and vinegar.