30 Best Ways To Use Canned Corn

Tariq the Corn Kid was definitely on to something when he said that it would be hard to imagine anything more beautiful than corn. While he was referring to corn on the cob, corn takes on many forms, and they're all pretty darn great. Plenty of us grew up with canned corn as a regular dinner staple, but it's not just the nostalgia — canned corn should always be in your pantry because its uses in the kitchen are near limitless.

At this point, you might feel like you've tried canned corn every which way, from cooking it in an air fryer to eating it in a sweet corn quiche. Still, considering the abundance of recipes that make use of this one ingredient, chances are that canned corn still has some uses that could surprise you, and there's no time like the present to reignite your corny love affair with this multi-purpose cupboard superstar.

Just add a little butter and salt and pepper

Canned corn is sweet and flavorful in and of itself, so you can get by with very little when it comes to preparation. Heating it up over the stove for a few minutes with a little butter, pepper, and salt will already make for a great side, even if it might not work as its own entrée in this state.

There are plenty of ingredients you can add to canned corn to take it from being just an ordinary side to taste explosion. Better yet, most of them you likely already have sitting in the cupboard.

Try canned corn in soufflé

Now that you've exhausted all the spices and ingredients you have in your cupboard, let's take it to the kingdom of France for a moment. Soufflé may have once been popular mostly among the aristocracy, but it's long since turned into something that anyone can make at home.

Cooking the perfect soufflé may be a little bit trickier than just opening a can and running with it, but, let's face it, life is all about setting and achieving goals that once seemed unattainable. Corn soufflé can be prepared to be savory or sweet, so this is a dish that's worth the time it takes to learn.

Add it to salsa

Canned corn and salsa go hand in hand, with endless recipes joining the two. Corn can be just another ingredient or the main character in salsas, with the spice of the dip and the sweetness of corn providing fantastic counterparts to one another. For everything from basic store-bought salsa to recipes for canning it yourself, corn is an ingredient that pops up again and again.

Accompanied by salsa mainstays like garlic, lime juice, and tomatoes, canned corn has likely enlivened many salsas you've tried in the past. When making it at home, make sure you have canned corn on hand to take it to the next level.

Make some corn fritters

Corn fritters are a classic comfort food, and it's easy to see why — the doughy mix of canned corn and flour, eggs, and milk is fried until it creates a crispy exterior, making for a treat that's unforgettable. With built-in sweetness, they can be served with or without maple dipping sauce and powdered sugar.

While they can be a bit of a mess to make from scratch, don't despair. You can always try cooking canned corn air fritters in the air fryer to save time and cut down on oil consumption.

It perfects a mac & cheese bake

Macaroni and cheese is one of those meals that just about everyone loves, and with so many different options for noodles and cheese on the shelves these days, vegans and gluten-free diets can also easily enjoy this iconic comfort food. Macaroni and cheese appears in many forms, but however you make it, consider adding a little canned corn to the mix for a more unique flavor. Be it a quick store-bought lunch item or a baked dinner-time entrée, corn, cheese, and noodles are a match made in culinary heaven.

Canned corn levels up succotash

Succotash is a vegetable mix that tends to rely pretty heavily on sweet corn, so if you're a succotash-lover who has managed to avoid this trick, that's a feat in and of itself. Not only does the mix of multiple veggies and grains (corn is maybe a grain? The jury is out) make for a flavor explosion in itself.

This is an incredibly healthy and filling food, so if you've never tried succotash, get to your nearest grocery store ASAP and give it a shot. You'll find canned corn at the top of the shopping list.

Mexican street corn is a classic

Esquites, or Mexican street corn, are served either right on the cob or out of a bowl as a salad. Naturally, there is something to be said for how delicious Mexican street corn is when served charred and fresh on the cob, but that doesn't mean that esquites made with canned corn are anything to scoff at.

In a pinch, this can be a fantastic snack or side and is prepared in much the same way as the cob version. With a little dressing drizzled over it, this can work as an appetizer, a side, a topping for potatoes and salads, and more.

Put canned corn in a salad

Speaking of corn on a salad, that brings us to a whole new chapter in our canned corn experience. There are as many salads in the world as you can imagine and then some, and canned corn is a component that you'll find popping up in seemingly countless recipes. From a simple green salad to more complex fare, canned corn can go a long way in adding a little life to your greens.

The possibilities are endless, so we'll leave it to your imagination to fill in the blanks on which salad recipes would benefit from canned corn. Our bet is that the answer is "all of them."

Tortilla soup is better with canned corn

If you're looking for the spicy treat of a burrito or taco plate in a slightly lighter form, tortilla soup could very well be your new best friend. Easy to make and features a taste profile that combines the best elements of nachos and chili, tortilla soup is just what the doctor ordered when you're craving a low-maintenance, filling (but not too heavy) meal. While the main character of tortilla soup is, well, tortillas, the tomato base, kidney beans, and, you guessed it, canned corn, all work together to make this the flavorful classic we know and love.

Time to break out the dips

We've got the chips, and now we need the dip. Fortunately, canned corn is here for us once again. While we've already covered the benefits of using canned corn in salsa, that is far from the only dip that could benefit from these golden kernels. For instance, adding corn to hummus can give the creamy mixture an added sweetness.

Similarly, adding canned corn to guacamole can greatly compliment the taste of the avocado. Canned corn is easy to add to most dip recipes without creating too much of a shake-up, so don't be afraid to experiment a little.

Make cornbread from scratch

Cornbread is a pretty incredible food in and of itself, working as a savory side to meals from BBQ to Thanksgiving dinner and more. Yet, there are plenty of ingredient mix-ins that can take cornbread to the next level, and it's worth your time to give them a try.

Perhaps the most self-explanatory item on this list is canned corn, which can give the already dessert-like flavor of cornbread a whole new life. Serve it with a little buttery spread over the top, and this could be the perfect cornbread add-in that you've been waiting for.

You can make a chowder

When autumn comes around, you won't be alone if you find yourself naturally thinking of warm soups as part of the spirit of the season. Not at all regulated to the season, there is nonetheless a specific charm to chowder that comes out in colder weather.

While many will be familiar with clam and seafood chowders, corn chowder can be easily made vegan or vegetarian, and has a wide-ranging appeal for people of any kind of diet due to its heavy-hitting, creamy texture and sweet and saucy flavor. If you haven't tried corn chowder yet, you're in for a treat.

Serve canned corn with Southwest rice

Southwest-style rice is a wonderful thing to learn to make on your own as its low cost and high versatility make it an ideal recipe staple. Southwest rice is fairly flexible when it comes to how spicy it is and what ingredients you use.

We highly recommend adding some canned corn to the mix to get the perfect combination paired with items like tomato base and black beans. What kind of peppers you add might depend on how much spice you're looking to bring to the table, but any way you go, canned corn is one thing your Southwest rice needs.

Have corn pudding for dessert

Pudding is another one of those foods that seems to have infinite possible variations, and if you're willing to take a step into the pudding-verse, you're likely to find a fast favorite. In your journeys, be sure to give corn pudding a try. While it might not be the first pudding you think of, it's an underrated great.

There are different ways of preparing corn pudding, but try baking it in a casserole dish for an easy-to-make treat. Adding a bit of cinnamon or cardamom on top will make this an unforgettable dessert.

Put canned corn in chili

Chili can take many forms, but it has a few shared traits across the board, including its heartiness, its warmth, and its versatility. You can make a decent chili with little more than some tomatoes and beans, but finding the perfect chili recipe could well be a lifelong journey through different flavor combinations.

When it comes to the best chili recipes you'll ever try, chances are, corn is going to play a pretty big role. Whether you're making chicken chili, vegan chili, or a classic recipe from childhood, canned corn will likely be on the shopping list.

There are many ways to make corn pie

If you've never tried corn pie, this is your chance. This is a dish that changes drastically according to the region from which the specific recipe hails, so you could try anything from Caribbean-style corn pie to Pennsylvania Dutch corn pie. In fact, why not try them all?

One great method is to use canned cream corn as a base to mix with other ingredients like corn meal and eggs to create a pie filling, then to bake it in a traditional pie crust. Add sour cream, salsa, and pepper-jack cheese to the top, and you've got yourself the perfect corn pie.

Arroz con mais is a canned corn treat

This Latin American dish combines two of our favorite things; rice and corn, to make a spicy treat that works well as an entrée. Not only is this an easy recipe to learn, but it is versatile enough that it can work in just about any setting. For vegans, serve with stewed cabbage, while meat-eaters might prefer to have it with chicken or seafood.

Even simply eating it as is, arroz con mais takes the basic ingredients of corn and rice to create a unique flavor all its own. Served with fried plantains on the side, you can't go wrong with this Dominican dish.

Canned corn is great in fried rice

Fried rice is another food that can easily work as either a side or entree, and can be made vegan or not, depending on what you're going for. Regardless of direction, canned corn is a major recurring ingredient for fried rice recipes. Whether your fried rice is tofu, seafood, or chicken-based, canned corn will help balance out the many flavors at play.

This is another food that is simple to learn and which creates endless mealtime possibilities. Whatever road you choose, consider adding some canned corn to the mix.

Creamy corn soup is a treat

If you've already tried tortilla soup, corn chowder, and every chili you could dream up, you might feel that you've reached the end of your corn soup journey. Fear not, there is always creamy corn soup available to try.

Using a creamy base and adding many vegetables, first and foremost corn but including add-ins like carrots and peas as well, this is a flexible recipe that can go a long way when it comes to adding a little nutritional boost to your diet. Served as a side or as its own meal, creamy corn soup is an underrated delicacy.

Try canned corn in your next tamale or enchilada casserole

Few things pack the satisfying flavors of enchilada casserole. Casseroles have long been a dinner-time standby due to how easy they are to make as well as how versatile the recipes can be, with everything from tuna to tamales serving as an excellent main character for the dish.

Regardless of what kind of casserole you're making, canned corn can be an ideal add-in. Particularly with enchilada casserole, the sweet and spicy mix that corn brings has undeniable charm, so try adding some in on your next foray into casserole cooking.

Corn biscuits could be a new breakfast staple

No breakfast feels complete without some kind of bread on the side, be it a piece of toast, a croissant, or, you guessed it, a biscuit. While there are plenty of ways to go about making the perfect biscuit, adding some canned corn to the mix could be the key to unlocking your new breakfast staple.

Corn biscuits can be served on the side, but they can also be topped with cheese or butter to make a compelling main breakfast item in and of themselves. If you love breakfast foods, give this one a shot.

Serve baked cream corn as a side or entrée

You can buy canned cream corn right off the shelves, or you can easily make your own. Either way, baking it in a skillet will create an ideal dish, bursting with flavor and calling back to childhood memories of dinners gone by.

You can also pull out the crockpot for an easy cream corn recipe that will hit all of your comfort food buttons and then some. Butter and seasoning will help this meal be all that it can be, but consider adding fresh chives or parsley to the top for an extra kick.

There are lots of burrito bowls that go great with canned corn

Burrito bowls are another almost unbelievably versatile food. With a simple bean, meat, or rice base, you can build a burrito bowl however you like, so this is the kind of menu item that often relies on a willingness to experiment so that you can find the recipe that is best suited to your unique tastes.

Because you can add anything, canned corn might not be the first thing you think of. However, canned corn is just as flexible as burritos themselves, and it can add a lot to any bowl.

Corn is a requirement for great shepherd's pie

There are a lot of different ways of making shepherd's pie, including a lot of vegan recipes, but the general basis is that you take ground meat or substitute it with some veggies added in and bake it into a flaky crust. Not only is this tasty, but it also makes for a very filling food, which is why it's long been a favorite of the working class.

However you make it, chances are, you're going to need some veggies to fill it out. Along with onions, peas, and carrots, canned corn can be the ideal addition to the perfect shepherd's pie.

Sautée with zucchini for stir-fried magic

You can't go wrong with sautéed or stir-fried veggies. Whether you fry in oil, soy sauce, or even just a little water for steaming, and whatever vegetables you use, sautéed veggies will not only taste incredible, but they'll leave your kitchen smelling great.

One underrated fried veggie combination is zucchini and canned corn, with the milder taste of zucchini working very well with the sweet pop of corn. Add some green and red onion and a little seasoning to this mix and this makes for an easy-to-prepare side that tastes incredible.

Corn and potato pancakes can be served any time of day

Potato pancakes and latkes have some subtle differences in their recipes, but either recipe makes for a tasty treat. Lightly fried and full of that starchy goodness potatoes are known for, this is the kind of food that can fill you up fast.

Filling out your potato pancakes recipe with some other vegetables will only boost the health benefits, and ingredients like black beans, red peppers, and cilantro work great. For our money, putting some canned corn into the mix makes for a great flavor combination.

Try stuffed peppers with canned corn

Stuffed peppers are one of those foods that might take a little time and patience to master, but once you've got it on lock, you'll be glad you figured it out. Though they are perhaps not destined to be a fast food, the combination of flavors and the slow-baked savoriness of the peppers make them nonetheless a tried and true favorite in many households. Black beans and rice generally make up the bulk of the filling, but adding a bit of canned corn to the mix can make a huge difference to the taste, counteracting the spice and delivering a totally different end result.

Corn and chickpea wraps make for a healthy meal

Chickpea wraps are a lunchtime favorite among many vegans due to how quick and easy they are to make as well as how satisfying they are to eat. That doesn't mean vegans get all the fun, this is a good treat for anyone looking to expand beyond the standard soup and salad a healthy but filling meal.

You can go in a lot of directions when it comes to making chickpea wraps, with elements like red pepper, onion, mustard, and lettuce all being great choices. But don't forget to try adding a little bit of canned corn to your recipe.

You can add canned corn to skillets

Breakfast skillets are so tasty that they feel like they should be a lot more complicated to make than they are. While the specifics change from recipe to recipe, the core conceit of simply adding a handful of foods to a skillet and letting them bake to golden brown perfection remains a flawless concept.

When you're assembling your next morning skillet, be sure to add in some canned corn with your eggs and cheese. Not only will you get a little nutritional boost from the corn, the added sweetness will take your breakfast in a whole new direction.

Corn can be made into plenty of desserts

We already covered corn pudding, but that's just one of many ways that the sweetness of corn can lends itself to any number of desserts. Indeed, baking with corn can be a great way to get in touch with its true versatility.

Canned corn can easily make top-notch breakfast muffins, pastel de elote, cookies, and even ice cream. There are plenty of ways to turn canned corn into a sweet dessert, including leaning into the sweet rather than the savory with corn fritters by dusting them with powdered sugar rather than paprika.