That first bite of sweet corn every summer is like heaven, and there’s probably not a kernel left. As the summer wears on you’ll be looking for ways to use any leftover. Here are a few ideas.
With any leftover vegetable, think how it might be transformed into something marvelous. As a building block for recipes that rely on an already cooked ingredient; as a shortcut. All you need is an inspiration & maybe a recipe.
Think of the recipes you’ll use as “guides” not something set in stone, especially as the amounts of your leftovers might not exactly match an amount in a recipe. Once you have a leftover ingredient to start with, scale recipes up or down, substitute and make do.
Every ear of corn should be used the day of picking and barely cooked, but that’s not what we’re usually dealing with if we have leftover! You may even be dealing with overcooked corn or cooked canned or frozen corn. Here are a few ideas that will work for your leftover corn whether it’s beautifully cooked or corn “carnage!”
An average ear of corn yields about 3/4 cup of kernals. A can of corn has one and 7/8th cup, or almost two cups of corn.
Shortcut Recipes that Call for Cooked Corn
If you don’t have a lot of leftover corn look for recipes that use a small amount, cut back the recipe or cut back the amount of corn in the recipe. Think about adding your corn to cornbread or corn muffins for an easy makeover.
breakfast or brunch
1. breakfast bowl:
Add corn to your morning breakfast bowl. Lean towards the Southwest for this idea. Fresh corn, chopped tomatoes, avocados over a grain and/or beans. Add a fresh Creamy Lime Vinaigrette and top with a poached or fried egg if you’d like..
Summer Vegetable Quiche. It should be a thing here on my blog, but it’s not. Yet, anyway. Just saute corn with whatever odds and ends you have in the fridge and substitute for the broccoli in this Broccoli, Ham & Cheese Quiche. If veggies are wet after cooking, drain them for a few minutes.
Mexican Street Corn Breakfast Tostadas, to be exact. Check A Teaspoon of Spice for the recipe. It looks so good it might be a sin, but I’m all in!
4. huevos a la mexicana:
This is basically scrambled eggs with salsa, served with refried beans on the side, but a little corn will be marvelous! Just sayin’. If you’d like a recipe stop over to The Mexican Food Journal.
Migas is just a mish-mash Mexican skillet breakfast, and it’s amazing. What’s even more amazing is a little corn in the dish to add a bit of texture. This recipe by Isabelle Eats has my mouth watering!
6. corn & black bean salsa:
My Roasted Corn & Black Bean Salsa is excellent, but guess what? It is just about as good with plain old cooked corn!
Add leftover corn to your Nachos. Maybe with black beans. And lots of cheese.
8. cheesy corn bites:
Only have a little corn on hand? These Cheesy Corn Bites from Rachel Ray use items you might very well have on hand and just need 1/2 cup corn.
There are all kinds of ways to make little corn fritters, but if you just have a little corn, combine it with other veggies. How about Zucchini & Corn Fritters from Serious Eats.
10. hot corn dip:
If you just want a little corn dip for the family, you won’t need a lot of corn. Scale a recipe down. This one from Joy Love Food looks pretty mouthwatering.
11. cornbread salad:
Maybe you did it up and have both corn and cornbread leftover? Make Cornbread Salad! Scale the recipe up or down to make a lot or a little.
12. summer bean salad:
I love this fresh summer salad, Summer Bean Salad. It does have corn and lots of other veggies, but talk about great inspiration, even if you don’t have everything on hand, it’s still marvelous. It’s a bit of a play on a succotash.
13. grain salad:
This warm salad of corn and grains uses charred corn, so it’s ideal if you have leftover grilled corn. Make as is or use as an inspiration to come up with your own combo of corn and ancient grains.
14. mixed salad:
This Corn Tomato & Feta Salad is a fun mixture for a hot day, and measurements aren’t particular. Just dump what corn you have in it. We like it better w/o the mint.
15. street salad:
Mexican Street Corn Salad – yes, Mexican Street Corn is taking over the world! Here’ a Mario Batali Recipe, from the Chew. It takes six ears, but it’s so rich you could cut the recipe back.
16. cheesy bacon skillet:
A skillet side that has cheese, corn, bacon & poblano? Let me just pull up a chair and gimme a fork! Recipes like this can use a little or a lot of corn ‘coz they’re easy to scale up and down. If you don’t have enough corn, fill it out with diced and sauteed bell peppers. Recipe by Dad with a Pan.
I think I’m in love with this fancy succotash from Bon Appetit, but even a mix of corn and lima beans sauteed in a little butter is good.
18. creamed corn:
Even if you have no cream, you can make a simple creamed corn from a roux and milk. Check this recipe from Genius Kitchen.
19. corn pudding:
Any corn pudding is fantastic, but we love this Old Time Corn Pudding. The recipe is easy enough to cut in half, or use as an inspiration if you only have a bit of corn.
20. one-minute cheesy corn:
Microwave that corn with cheese – it sounds addictive. Get the full recipe from Spoon University.
21. skillet dinner:
This fun & easy Taco Skillet Dinner doesn’t call for corn but it is so versatile, tossing in a little would be marvelous.
22. tortilla soup:
Add corn to your favorite Tortilla Soup. You don’t have to have the full amount or you can use a little more.
23. corn chowder:
I love my very corny End of Summer Corn Chowder, but it does serve 8 and uses six ears. A recipe for a marvelous soup (or chowder) that lets you get by with a cup of corn is on The Bearded Hiker’s Blog, Corn & Potato Soup.
Corn can be added to all kinds of Mexican Casseroles, enchiladas, etc. ‘Maybe my Taco Night Casserole? It’s like hearty tacos layered with nachos.
25. rice dishes:
Corn is great in just about any dish where it’s combined with rice, so why not embrace that cup of leftover corn and make Sweet Corn Risotto. Recipe by Melissa Clark in Food & Wine.
I know I’ve only scratched the surface with ways to use leftover corn! What are your favorite trips, tips and ways to utilize any leftover? I’m always loving finding something out that’s new to me and would love it if you shared back!