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Best Corn Side Dish!

I've been assigned corn for our Thanksgiving potluck - all I've ever done with corn is heat up the frozen stuff with some butter, salt, and pepper, which I think is pretty tasty in its own right. Any ideas for making this extra delicious? I'm considering creamed corn, but I think we've got enough creamy, rich foods on the menu right now....

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  1. Polenta, with full kernels in it, parmesan, jalepenos - set it in a sheet pan, cut portions, reheat in oven.

    1. I've made this Barefoot Contessa confetti corn recipe all summer with fresh corn, but there's no reason you can't use frozen. Simple ingredients, holds well and nice and light.


      2 Replies
      1. re: BubblyOne

        Go with the confetti corn! Looks like a light recipe and it pulls in a little bell pepper and parsley too! Cornbread or corn pudding just adds more starchy carbs...and you probably already have that on the table with whatever stuffing or dressing is being offered.

        1. re: Val

          i love confetti corn salad, too.

      2. If you can get your hands on some fresh chanterelles (shitakes are also good), corn is absolutely delicious sauteed w/them in some butter (or olive oil, if you like), and some chopped shallot, maybe a bit of garlic, some fresh thyme if you have it, and then sprinkled w/chopped parsley or chives.

        2 Replies
        1. re: nomadchowwoman

          yes! i occasionally add a little crispy bacon as well :)

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            I can't imagine that would hurt --at all ; )

        2. Our family fixes Gulliver's Creamed Corn every Thanksgiving. A big hit every year.

          We basically follow this recipe, but substitute 1/2 and 1/2 for the whipping cream and milk, add Worcestershire sauce, then add parsley to the topping.


          1 Reply
          1. re: calpurnia

            LOL, I make that too, usually at Christmas! Heaven on earth-but I think OP wanted lighter.
            Just had it at the Newport location last month:)

          2. Chow's got a great corn salad recipe that works well with frozen corn--use a two-pound bag (thaw in the fridge) and you're golden. Very fresh-tasting!


            1. definitely sweet cornbread with lots of whole kernels mixed into the batter. gives you a good mix of cakey sweet cornbread with pops of fresh corn mixed in! mmmm

              1. You could do a maque-choux without it being too rich: corn sauteed with the tiniest smidge of bacon, bell peppers, celery, onion, pimiento, salt/pepper and diced tomatoes added at the last. Some people add a splash of cream, milk or broth at the end, just enough to mix with the corn's starch and round it out.

                1. Corn pudding is delicious and is a staple for many families at Thanksgiving, mine included. I use a custard type recipe that is so good, you can eat it by itself.

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: Cherylptw

                    I did this last year and it was amazing!!!

                    1. re: Cherylptw

                      there wold be an uprising is corn pudding wasnt on our table!
                      This is the one we use...


                      1. re: LaLa

                        That does look good. But how on earth do you stir it vigorously several times during the baking, yet disturbing the top as little as possible (as per the instructions)?

                        1. re: AmyH

                          a little bird told me that you need to use a long-pronged fork.

                          i want to get one of those stainless steel chopsticks tongs like ming tsai uses: http://www.amazon.com/MIU-France-Stai...
                          those would be perfect.

                          or just use a meat fork to stir that pudding. http://www.google.com/products/catalo...

                          1. re: alkapal

                            Yes, the instructions did suggest that. But it still seems like "vigorous stirring" and "undisturbed topping" would be mutually exclusive. Unless Bryan Pepperseed below can come up with a working model of his right angle bended coat hanger wire!

                              1. re: AmyH

                                It wasn't me, but apparently someone is working on something similar.

                                1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                                  This is EXACTLY what is needed to cook this recipe!

                            1. re: AmyH

                              Alton Brown would probably make a right angle bend in some kind of coat hanger wire and put it in a cordless drill..... even if an undisturbed top is a key element to the recipe, I'm not sure I'd risk the potential mess from "stirring blind" under the surface.

                          2. re: Cherylptw

                            I have to add my vote for corn pudding in here too- I use a recipe from a cook book I picked up in Utah- 4T butter. 1/2 c flour. 11/2 tsp salt. 3/4 tsp mustard. 1/2 tsp paprika. 11/2 c scalded milk. 2 can cream style corn. 1 egg slightly beaten. 2tsp worcestershire sauce . 1 cup buttered bread crumbs.
                            it is now a family favorite

                            1. re: poached

                              I add a dash of spiced rum and/or maple syrup, to make it New England style. Also cook in a water bath so it comes out like custard. No stirring involved.

                            1. assuming you're having a pretty traditional Thanksgiving menu, i vote for nomadchowwoman's suggestion of sauteed corn with chanterelles, or a variation of corn pudding or polenta. all would work nicely with the standard Turkey Day fare.

                              1. Spoonbread recipes will liven up plain old frozen or canned corn.

                                1. Michael Ruhlman has a wonderful recipe for Baked Buttered Corn that I have made several times. Simply delicious...! The recipe is imbedded in his post here:


                                  4th & 5th paragraphs.

                                  Basically it's corn kernels and butter, baked till bubbly. That's it.

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: Gio

                                    And this magnificent dish will be on my T-Day table. I bought 24 ears of corn, stripped them and they are waiting in the freezer. I will mix in some frozen corn to have some whole kernals. So easy.... just drop the corn into a dish, add some butter, salt and pepper and bake. It is even good reheated, as we discovered several weeks ago.

                                    1. re: smtucker

                                      So the Ruhlman recipe does not get covered at all in the oven? That one poster on his blog said she used some mascarpone in there too....<swoon>...must try this soon!

                                      1. re: Val

                                        I have not covered. Sometimes I do the corn in ramekins, sometimes in a larger casserole. No matter how you make it, it is really delicious.

                                    2. re: Gio

                                      I have one of those wooden corn cutters he mentions... it is totally worthless and slated for the trash or thrift store bin on my next kitchen cleanout.

                                      I bought it in the hope it would speed up my annual corn freezing marathon. Not.

                                      I will say it is good for a bit of enterainment value, if you enjoy watching corn kernels fly about your kitchen!

                                      1. re: onrushpam

                                        Best tool I EVER found for this was a good old fashioned electric carving knife and a deep, wide bowl in a deep, wide sink. With a scarf, and goggles.

                                        1. re: mamachef

                                          this ain't you, mamachef! http://brandname101.com/wp-content/up...

                                          that made me laugh real good, i tell ya!

                                          1. re: alkapal

                                            OMG, you've discovered my true identity!! On a seriously bad morning, I look JUST like this, only with more shadow...

                                        2. re: onrushpam

                                          I recently read a good tip, to take an ear of corn and stick it into the hole of a bundt pan, then slice the corn off into the pan. Worked pretty decently.

                                        1. re: thew

                                          Thew, if you're referring to the Ruhlman recipe... originally I used corn kernels that I cut off the cob. Now that corn season is virtually over here north of Boston, I'll use frozen.

                                          ETA: now that I think about it there are juices from cutting the kernels off the cob, so maybe a can of kernels would be good to add to the frozen.

                                          1. re: Gio

                                            i think thew was asking the OP whether s/he was planning to use fresh or frozen.

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              I wanted to ask too, so you use some fresh corn and a can of corn with the liquid? That's what it sounds like. I might try this someday when I'm in a rush.

                                          1. re: ipsedixit


                                            Cornbread with bacon and/or cracklin' added to the mix .

                                            Just make sure you don't add any sugar to the recipe.

                                            1. re: deet13

                                              exactly. no sugar! it ain't no cake -- it is cornbread, people.

                                              now, some people do make corn cakes, and they have their place. ;-).

                                              and these http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... will have a place in my repertoire. fried + corn = real darn good.

                                          2. not really what you think of at Thanksgiving.....but I just love corn, mixed with red bell pepper, jalepenos, onion, garlic.......simmered in some butter....really nice colors.....

                                            1. This is usually a mainstay on our summer table, but if you're looking to break up the creamy, rich, Lipitor-chaser dishes, it's a great one! :)

                                              In a big bowl, combine:

                                              - 1 bag frozen Birdseye sweet corn (it's not as good or sweet with off-brand), cooked
                                              - 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
                                              - 1 package green onions, chopped

                                              Then add:

                                              - 1/4 C - 1/3 C garlic oil (if you prefer canola/olive/vegetable oil, simply add several mashed garlic cloves)
                                              - 1/4 C apple cider vinegar
                                              - 1 Tbls brown sugar
                                              - 1 tsp salt
                                              - lots o'fresh cracked pepper
                                              - your favorite "green" herbs - I use chives, thyme, tarragon, and a dash of dill

                                              Stir it all up and let it sit for several hours before serving. You can tweak the oil/vinegar measures to taste.

                                              1. are you open to doing soup? i have a great (creamless) creamy chipotle corn soup... if you're interested...

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Emme

                                                  I am interested in your recipe, Emme. ;)

                                                  1. re: mcel215


                                                    i shuck 11 ears of corn, put the cobs in a vat of water, and simmer to make corn broth/stock.

                                                    i saute 9 chopped scallions in 3 tbsp o butter. then add in about 1/2 - 3/4 tsp chipotle in adobo; also season with s & p. simmer til scallions are soft. add corn kernels, 2 1/2 cup almond milk (unsweetened) and 2 1/4 cups corn stock. simmer til corn is cooked. then puree in blender or with hand blender. adjust seasonings. finally, run through a food mill to produce the most velvety thing ever.

                                                    for garnish, shuck one more ear of corn and roast the kernels at 375 for 15-20 min stirring every so often so they don't burn. sprinkle on soup with more scallions if desired.

                                                2. Not sure if it will really suit a Thanksgiving meal, but I like to saute a finely chopped onion in olive oil, add the corn, and cilantro and black pepper. I leave the corn in there awhile until it's a little brown.

                                                  1. Thanks to all replying with recipes in this thread. Just so you know it doesnt go unnoticed when you do that!!

                                                    I picked up a couple new ideas/dishes for what is always such a simple enjoyable food. Thanks again!

                                                    1. I love Andrew Carmellini's spicy corn. It's going to be very similar to a traditional corn side, except the flavor is raised to the 10th power. If you are eating with traditional folks, I think this will be very well received.


                                                      1. This is my special occasion, decadently rich, corn fave. Embarrassingly easy (thanks to the Jiffy mix!) and I ALWAYS have to give out the recipe.

                                                        SWEET CORN SPOONBREAD (very rich - do it as a little on the side, like in good Mexican restaurants)

                                                        1/4 pound salted butter, melted
                                                        1 (15 ounce) (fresh, canned, or frozen and thawed) whole kernel corn drained
                                                        1 (15 ounce) can creamed corn
                                                        1 (8.5 ounce) package Jiffy corn muffin mix
                                                        8 ounce sour cream
                                                        2 eggs
                                                        1/2 to 1tsp sugar (optional depending on how sweet you like it)


                                                        Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

                                                        Combine butter, whole corn, creamed corn, eggs, sugar and sour cream. Add corn muffin mix and stir until just blended. Pour into *sprayed or buttered 2 quart casserole dish.

                                                        Bake for 1 hour.

                                                        *I use ceramic bakeware, so I can mix all the ingredients right in the casserole dish and then put it in the oven without having to spray or butter the dish. (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this bakeware - available on QVC.)

                                                        -For Mexican style = add chopped green chilis and red bell pepper, top with cheddar last 10 mins
                                                        -For even sweeter increase sugar to 1-2Tbs.

                                                        There are endless ways to add to this; chopped onions, bacon, cheese, etc., and so many people seem to have a similar recipe. I would love to hear other versions!

                                                        PS. I prefer it with the fresh or frozen corn over the canned.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: ski_gpsy

                                                          Hi ski gypsy,

                                                          This looks nice and easy. Can this be prepared a day ahead and reheated at serving time?

                                                          1. re: junescook

                                                            Here's an alternative that used cornmeal instead of mix and is just a little different, but no harder. I love it and make it often for brunch.

                                                            1. re: junescook

                                                              Hi junescook, I haven't yet made it in advance but I have reheated leftovers, and also microwaved them, and both methods worked well. The basic recipe itself made without cheese or bacon etc. is also fine served at room temp.

                                                          2. This recipe from Alton Brown is outstanding - http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...

                                                            Probably one of the best corn dishes I've eaten in a long time. Super simply, super tasty

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                                              I agree DiningDiva! Alton's recipe is delicious, and special occasion recommended.

                                                            2. I know Thanksgiving is gone by now but I made johnnycakes as an X-mas side dish and it got some rave reviews. See Joy of Cooking recipe, works great with fat instead of butter.

                                                              1. I just made cooking.com's Mac & Cheese With Corn last nite and it was great. And EASY!
                                                                It even uses dry pasta. Pour everything in a casserole dish and bake it. Easy and de-lish! (But NOT non-rich, although some cooks halved the butter and subbed in lowfat milk.)