Corn isn't often touted as being a super veggie like broccoli or kale. Yet, despite being labeled as a low-nutrient, starchy vegetable, corn is actually very nutritious and can be enjoyed in many more ways than just on the cob.
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In addition to being a solid source of fiber, corn contains several B vitamins, such as thiamin and folate, as well as minerals including magnesium and potassium, Kelly Jones, RD, tells LIVESTRONG.com. "It also has phytonutrients, like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are both known to promote healthy vision," says Maggie Michalczyk, RD.
And because it's both a vegetable and a whole grain, says May Zhu, RD, LDN of Nutrition Happens, it's a great addition to any meal. The best part is it's equally delicious fresh, canned or frozen, so you can enjoy this simple ingredient all year long.
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We asked registered dietitians to share easy-to-make recipes that include fresh, canned or frozen corn to fit into every lifestyle. Keep scrolling to see the best corn recipes to try, stat.
1. Grass-Fed Steak Tacos With Cowgirl Salsa
"This recipe uses corn two ways, as the starchy base with the tortilla and as a garnish with the kernels," Jone, says. Plus, grass-fed beef provides some omega-3 fatty acids, which you won't get from conventional beef, along with protein to build strong muscles and keep you full.
Get the Grass-Fed Steak Tacos With Cowgirl Salsa recipe and nutrition info here.
2. Hearty Gazpacho Bowl
This chilled soup is packed with chickpeas, corn and avocado to boost satiety with a balance of fat, protein and fiber. "This gazpacho bowl uses corn for texture, and its sweetness balances out the spice from the flavorful serrano," says Jones.
"If you aren't into cold soups, this can easily be used as a salsa to garnish other dishes or to dip tortilla chips into," she adds.
Get the Hearty Gazpacho Bowl recipe and nutrition info here.
3. 20-Minute Summer Squash and Corn Salad
"If you can handle the heat, double or triple the jalapeno for added vitamin C or add a finely-diced red bell pepper," Nicole Rodriguez, RDN, says. To make it a complete meal, add a cup of brown rice and lean beef.
Get the 20-Minute Summer Squash and Corn Salad recipe and nutrition info from Dishing Out Health.
4. Southwestern Salad With Black Beans
"Many salads are nourishing but too low in carbohydrates, leaving you feeling unsatisfied or hungry soon after — which can lead to constant grazing or overeating later," says Jones. Yet, the addition of corn as the whole grain in this salad gives you energy to power through the day, she tells us. And the chicken and beans both have protein to fill you up.
Get the Southwestern Salad With Black Beans recipe and nutrition info here.
5. Mexican-Inspired Street Corn With Avocado Dressing
"This dish is an amazing alternative to traditional elote, or Mexican street corn, which is usually heavy in mayo, crema and cheese," Maggie Michalczyk, RD says. "This lightened up version doesn't skimp on the flavor but features a number of veggies that really drive home the fiber and add antioxidants."
Get the Mexican-Inspired Street Corn With Avocado Dressing recipe and nutrition info here.
6. Colombian-Inspired Sweet Corn Arepas With Strawberry Salsa
"Pairing the arepa with the fresh strawberries, mango and pineapple juice make this dish a vitamin C powerhouse," says Michalczyk. Plus, the strawberry salsa helps satisfy that sweet craving in a healthy way.
Get the Colombian-Inspired Sweet Corn Arepas With Strawberry Salsa recipe and nutrition info here.
7. 5-Minute Spicy Vegetarian Mexican-Inspired Bake
"The corn served two ways in this dish (corn tortillas and fresh corn) is an excellent way to sneak in additional fiber as well as the vitamins and minerals corn offers," says Michalczyk. The black beans serve as a great source of protein and fiber to hold you over until your next meal. Garnish with cilantro, and add more salsa or spice if you want extra heat.
Get the 5-Minute Spicy Vegetarian Mexican-Inspired Bake recipe and nutrition info here.
8. High-Protein, Gluten-Free Cornbread
"This gluten-free cornbread recipe is great for anyone with gluten sensitivity and is packed with all of the benefits that come from corn in addition to a healthy dose of protein and healthy fats," Michalczyk says. "The added broccoli is also a source of vitamin C, potassium and folate." And it boasts under 150 calories per slice!
Get the High-Protein Gluten-Free Cornbread recipe and nutrition info here.
9. Sweet Curry Corn With Mango Chutney Butter
If you're looking for a delicious side dish to accompany your favorite meal, consider this corn full of curry and mango flavors. "Corn by itself contains key nutrients to support a healthy lifestyle like B vitamins for energy, potassium for heart health and carotenoids to support healthy vision," Zhu says.
Get the Sweet Curry Corn With Mango Chutney Butter recipe and nutrition info from The Endless Meal.
10. Roasted Corn Chicken Orzo Salad With Garlic Lime Vinaigrette
This light and healthy meal clocks in at 427 calories per serving and is the perfect recipe to pack for a picnic lunch in the park. "This salad is a very balanced way to incorporate corn into a meal along with protein from the chicken, fats from the dressing and additional fiber from the vegetables," Zhu says.
Get the Roasted Corn Chicken Orzo Salad With Garlic Lime Vinaigrette recipe and nutrition info from Little Spice Jar.
11. Zucchini and Roasted Corn Mason Jar Salad
"This recipe works for most lifestyles, as corn is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free," Zhu says. Customize with your favorite vegetables to add even more vitamins and minerals.
Get the Zucchini and Roasted Corn Mason Jar Salad recipe and nutrition info here.
12. Vegan Couscous Verde Bowl With Black Beans and Corn
Black beans provide a plant-based source of protein to this recipe, Zhu says. "And the addition of corn is an additional fiber boost by way or insoluble fiber, which can help keep our blood sugar balanced and help us stay full longer."
Get the Vegan and Couscous Verde Bowl With Black Beans and Corn recipe and nutrition info here.
13. Supper Veggie Fried Rice
This veggie-filled dish is a great start to a well-balanced meal. "To boost protein in this meal, try adding beans as a plant-based source or eggs to balance out the carbs and fat," Zhu recommends.
Get the Supper Veggie Fried Rice recipe and nutrition info here.
14. Chili Twice-Baked Sweet Potato
This recipe utilizes frozen corn, which is a great freezer staple. "Frozen corn is usually packed fresh and peak ripeness, which helps retain several of the nutrients that corn provides like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are particularly beneficial for eye health," Zhu says.
Get the Chili Twice-Baked Sweet Potato recipe and nutrition info here.
15. Tortellini Pasta Salad With Tomatoes, Basil and Fresh Corn
"Since corn is naturally sweet, it can be a great way to add sweetness to a salad like this without added sugars," Zhu says. And you can mix and match your favorite veggies and herbs to customize your flavor.
Get the Tortellini Pasta Salad With Tomatoes, Basil and Fresh Corn recipe and nutrition info from Five Heart Home.
16. Spicy Thai-Inspired Curry Corn Soup
"Corn-based soups can be a hydrating and filling way to eat corn and also consume a fiber-rich meal to help keep you full," Zhu says. And with over 17 grams of protein per serving, this soup is sure to keep midday snacking at bay.
Get the Spicy Thai-Inspired Curry Corn Soup recipe and nutrition info from The Simple Veganista.
17. Mexican-Inspired Tomato, Black Bean and Corn Pasta Soup
If you're looking to add more fiber into your diet, this soup is a great recipe as there are 20 grams per serving as well as 15 grams of protein, Rodriguez says. Plus, the gluten-free corn pasta in here is perfect for people who have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
Get the Mexican-Inspired Tomato, Black Bean and Corn Pasta Soup recipe and nutrition info here.
18. Corn Guacamole
It's no secret that avocados are rich in healthy fats that support heart health. But to make this side dish a bit more filling, consider swapping half the avocado for edamame, Rodriguez suggests. It adds extra protein, too.
Get the Corn Guacamole recipe and nutrition info from Natasha's Kitchen.
19. Grilled Corn and Zucchini Salad
"Zucchini has become a go-to stand-in for pasta," Rodriguez says. To make it a complete meal, consider adding a can of black beans, chicken, eggs or tofu for added protein.
Get the Grilled Corn and Zucchini Salad recipe and nutrition info from Salt and Lavender.
20. Pork Medallions With Corn, Tomatoes and Bacon
"Since the pork medallions are so lean, resist the urge to cut out the bacon and butter in this recipe," Rodriguez says. "Even though they're both sources of saturated fat, omitting them isn't worth sacrificing the flavor."
Get the Pork Medallions With Corn, Tomatoes and Bacon recipe and nutrition info from The Seasoned Mom.
21. Grilled Chicken Thighs With Pineapple, Corn and Bell Pepper Relish
There are so many shortcuts you can take with this recipe: "Sub in canned pineapple tidbits packed in their own juice, if you don't have fresh," Rodriguez says. And subbing cooking spray for oil helps to save on excess calories.
Get the Grilled Chicken Thighs With Pineapple, Corn and Bell Pepper Relish recipe and nutrition info from Eat Yourself Skinny.
22. Sweet Potato Corn Cakes With Garlic Dipping Sauce
Even though the texture may not be quite as crispy, consider swapping the vegetable oil for cooking spray to lower the fat content. "And you can choose non-fat plain Greek yogurt when preparing dips since it's as rich as sour cream but high in protein," Rodriguez says.
Get the Sweet Potato Corn Cakes With Garlic Dipping Sauce recipe and nutrition info from Budget Bytes.
23. Bacon Corn Chowder
Chowders tend to be heavy, so consider subbing in skin milk for the half-and-half to reduce the saturated fat content without sacrificing flavor, Rodriguez says.
Get the Bacon Corn Chowder recipe and nutrition info from The Cookie Rookie.
24. Vegetarian Mexican-Inspired Personal Pizzas
"Between the corn and the black bean spread, you're getting plenty of plant protein and fiber for satiety," Jones says. Add a dollop of non-fat Greek Yogurt for creaminess and even more protein.
Get the Vegetarian Mexican-Inspired Personal Pizza recipe and nutrition info here.
25. Chickpea, Corn and Red Pepper Salad With Honey-Lime Vinaigrette
The chickpeas in this colorful salad offer great staying power. "Not only are canned beans an easy, budget-friendly source of fiber and protein, they can also help control blood sugar, lower cholesterol and aid in weight loss," Rodriguez says. To bulk up on protein, try adding shredded rotisserie chicken.
Get the Chickpea, Corn and Red Pepper Salad With Honey-Lime Vinaigrette recipe and nutrition info from Once Upon A Chef.
26. Leek Mushroom Fettuccine With Corn and Feta
One way to bulk up pasta dishes without tons of extra calories is by adding vegetables. This recipe calls for mushrooms, leeks and corn.
Get the Leek Mushroom Fettuccine With Corn and Feta recipe and nutrition info from Diethood.
27. Cilantro Crab and Sweet Corn Mini Peppers
These mini peppers work perfectly as a light bight at a dinner party. "The options are limited," Rodriguez says. "Try cottage cheese topped with chives and dried onion flakes, hummus with bagel seasoning or black bean salsa as a filling."
Get the Cilantro Crab and Sweet Corn Mini Peppers recipe and nutrition info from The Creative Bite.
28. Cajun Chicken With Avocado Corn Salsa
This dish is heart-healthy, as it boasts nearly four times the potassium as it does sodium, making it a smart choice for reduced-sodium diets. "While reducing sodium is key [to a healthy heart], balancing it out with electrolyte potassium is another helpful strategy," Rodriguez says.
Get the Cajun Chicken With Avocado Corn Salsa recipe and nutrition info from Cooking Classy.