We love to pop, char, boil, blend, fry, bake, and steam corn. There are more ways than we can count to prepare and serve this all-purpose vegetable. Curl up with a bowl corn soup on a chilly night or chow down on a sweet corn salad on a hot day. Whatever the occasion, corn is warmly welcomed to the table.

By Briana Riddock and Briana Riddock
Updated June 23, 2017

Corn is one of the most versatile crops that’s transformed the foods we eat today. It can be harvested to produce a wide range of products including alcohol (bourbon and whiskey), oil, corn syrup (AKA high fructose corn syrup) grits, flour, popcorn, and so on. And we're just talking about the kernels— the husks can even be used to make tamales. Since corn is completely ingrained (pun intended) in the foods that we eat everyday, we want to celebrate this sweet, golden vegetable in all the ways that we possibly can this summer. Whether we're gnawing it straight from the cob, adding it to salads and dips, or baking it into cheesy muffins, there's no limit on all the ways we can get our corn fix.

Summer Garden Chili Bowls image
| Credit: Daniel Agee; Food Styling: Karen Rankin; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Summer Garden Chili Bowls image Photo: Daniel Agee; Food Styling: Karen Rankin; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

There are a lot of family chili recipes out there, but this shortcut version is worth a try. Dress up canned chili with a fresh ear of corn, avocado, bell peppers, and zucchini.

Credit: Sara Tane

We wrapped the classic lobster and corn chowder in tortilla packed up and Gruyere cheese and griddled for a crispy golden crust.

Mexican Street Corn with Crema image
| Credit: Time Inc. Video Studio

Mexican Street Corn with Crema image Time Inc. Video Studio

You have to use both hands get a hearty bite out of this totally-worth-the-mess street corn. Charred on the grill and finished with a punchy chile powder mixture and light crema, this corn is a showstopper.

Make a vegetable hodgepodge with corn, edamame, and plump cherry tomatoes. Toss in a generous scoop of crumbly feta (because, cheese...DUH), some fresh herbs, and serve this effortless salad as a side at your next summer get-together.

Credit: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Linda Hirst

A refreshing bowl of chilly corn gazpacho is what you need at the end of a sticky, humid day. The crab meat keeps the soup light and adds a hearty dose of fresh seafood flavor.

Credit: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

With the addition of sour cream, these muffins are ultra-rich and super moist. This amped up version has fiery jalapenos and cheddar cheese.

Credit: Thomas J. Story; Styling: Bianca Sotelo

Chill out with this smooth and creamy corn soup spiced slightly with cumin. The seared scallops add a meaty texture while the crisp onions give you a little crunch.

Credit: Greg DuPree

Greg DuPree

This one-pot, summer dish is what dreams are made of (ahem—there is bacon involved). It’s light and bright with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a sprinkle of cilantro.

A mix of sweet and savory, these corn cakes are fried in bacon fat and topped with a creamy turmeric-spiced yogurt. Now, let's get dunkin'.

Beef Milanesa with Summer Relish image
| Credit: Daniel Agee; Food Styling: Mary Claire-Britton; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Beef Milanesa with Summer Relish image Photo: Daniel Agee; Food Styling: Mary Claire-Britton; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Milanesa de Res is a thin piece of pounded beef with panko for a ultra crispy crust. We paired it with a corn relish adorned with corn, avocado, and cherry tomatoes.

Create smoky, gently-blackened corn by broiling it close to the heat racks. Tossed in a mayo-based dressing with blazing serrano chiles, this salad definitely brings the heat.

Credit: Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

On the rare and impressive occasion that you have leftover cornbread, stuff them in zucchini for easy-to-eat boats. Go ahead and top 'em with cheese onions, and corn, because life's too short to eat food absent of fixin's.