It's a more versatile ingredient than you might realize.

By Margaret Eby
July 05, 2019
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

The day after a big cookout, you might be stuck with a bunch of tricky leftovers. You can heat up hamburgers and hot dogs, sure, but what about leftover hot dog buns? How about all that potato salad? Or how about that big stack of leftover corn on the cob that the crowd didn't get through? 

Don't worry. Leftover corn on the cob is a surprisingly versatile ingredient because, at the heart of it, it's just cooked corn that you can put into anything you're making. Cut it off the cob and suddenly it's easier to store and use. Try some of these ways to give your corn on the cob a whole new life.

Corn Risotto

Replace some of the rice in traditional risotto with leftover sweet corn from your cookout for a seasonal twist on the Italian classic. Just strip the kernels off the cobs and give them a quick simmer in milk and butter and then cook them slowly with the rice and seasonings for this Creamy Corn Risotto.

Make Salsa

Corn is great in salsa. It gives a pop of sweetness to an otherwise spicy or savory salsa, and having corn that you've charred on the grill gives the mixture that extra bit of smokiness to it too. Try this Avocado-Corn Salsa.

Put It In Cornbread 

Whole kernels of corn, particulaly when they've been cooked over the grill, give an extra bit of texture to your favorite cornbread recipe. If you don't have one already, try this Whole Kernel Corn Cornbread

Make Esquites

If you already know and love elote—the Mexican street corn that's served with lime, cotija, and a drizzle of crema—then esquites are going to be your next obsession. It's basically the same as elote but off the cob and in a bowl, eaten like a salad. Take your leftover corn on the cob, cut the kernels off, and voila: Grilled Mexican Corn Salad

Fry It

To make fried corn, remove the kernels from the cob and mix them with a pinch of sugar and salt. Then just heat up oil in the bottom of a large pan and fry the corn for eight to ten minutes for corn that has the sweet and salty taste of caramel corn, but in fresh corn form. 

Put It In Grits

It's not orthodoox but if you think about it, grits are corn anyway—why wouldn't they go well with fresh kernels of corn. Make this Fresh Corn and Chèvre grits dish and change your mind about what cheese belongs in grits. 

Cream it

Creamed corn is especially easy when fresh corn is at its peak, particularly when you have some leftover corn right in front of you. It only takes a little bit of cream and butter and a whirl in the blender to make this comforting, classic side. 

Advertisement