Fun to eat, loved by all ages, and quick and easy to cook, corn is one of the most versatile veggies on the planet. Boil it, grill it, or use it in salads, tacos, burgers, soups, pizza, baking, and more. Savor the following scrumptious plant-based corn recipes to the last kernel.
Combining tender, slightly charred corn and bell pepper with crunchy edamame and the smoky-sweet notes of grilled leek, this mouthwatering vegan side salad is guaranteed to get rave reviews. Fresh basil rounds out the flavor, while a light lime wash on the veggies before grilling adds just the right amount of pep.
These hearty summer toast toppers feature the sweet-smoky flavor of pan-fried corn alongside tender zucchini and tangy tomato, with garlic deepening the flavors all round. For a satisfying anytime meal, just add a generous slather of oil-free hummus to whole grain bread then pile on the veggies.
Masa harina flour, corn meal, and almond flour give these scrumptious waffles a crispy light texture. Top with a corn and black bean hash, salsa, and guacamole for a nourishing meal that’ll keep everyone satisfied for hours. “These tamale waffles are my favorite FOK waffle,” notes a reviewer, “They are consistently crunchy, light and have a wonderful taste …. They freeze beautifully and toast perfectly.”
Savor the melt-in-your-mouth yumminess of homemade corn tortillas. Just rehydrate masa harina flour then roll it into balls and squish flat using a rolling pin or tortilla press. Naturally gluten-free, these delectable homemade vegan corn tortillas are perfect for tacos, quesadilla, and corn chips. Pro tip: If your tortillas feel over-cooked, soften them up by sprinkling some water on the towel that they’re wrapped in, and add a touch more water to the dough for the next batch.
Looking for a quick meal to wow hungry mouths? How about a comforting hotel-friendly meal you can make in the microwave? These 20-minute vegan tacos are your new best friend. Heat up a can of black beans and corn, throw in taco seasoning, and serve in warmed corn tortillas with lettuce, salsa (or pico de gallo), and avocado. Voilà!
For a fun way to eat corn cobs this summer, skewer two-inch pieces of fresh corn with other veggies and throw them onto the grill. A tangy lime marinade perfectly complements the tender, smoky flavor of the veggies, while a drizzle of vegan queso adds just the right amount of creaminess to round out the meal perfectly. Serve with rice and beans.
Moist and tender, these corn and chickpea fritters come together quickly and make a wonderful brunch, lunch, or easy evening meal. No need to spend time batch-cooking them on the stovetop; just throw them in the oven for 15-20 minutes. While they’re cooking, you can whip up the sweet and fruity apple, corn, and tomato chutney to serve on top.
Bursting with the scent of summer, this colorful veggie hash features corn, zucchini, potato, and red bell pepper. Seasoned with chile powder and plenty of fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, thyme, or dill, this hearty hash is a great way to start the day. Shares a fan, “I really enjoyed this and it made a lot of food…. I will be making this again and will add different vegetables to experiment.”
Moist and magnificent, this perfectly sweet polenta-apple cake is a real crowd-pleaser. Dried polenta is the star ingredient, adding an earthy tender quality to the cake that perfectly pairs with the sweet flavor of sliced apple. Note: To make this gluten-free be sure to use certified gluten-free oats. One fan raves: “I love this polenta cake and make it all the time.” For more delicious polenta recipes, check out our Polenta 101 Guide.
Fresh corn does double duty in this festive pasta salad: first as the base of a delicious, subtly sweet dressing; and second, in the salad itself, nestled among vibrant vegetables such as bell pepper, grape tomatoes, and zucchini spirals.
Serve this hearty slaw as a side or main; either way, the combination of chewy wheat berries, earthy kale, fresh corn, and juicy oranges with a thyme-infused orange balsamic dressing make it the kind of salad you don’t forget in a hurry.
This stand out vegan 10-layer dip is worthy of any game-day feast or festive occasion. A tasty base of seasoned refried beans is topped with corn, lettuce, salsa, vegan sour cream, jalapeño (optional), and avocado, with a sprinkle of chopped olives and cilantro for extra flavor. Baked corn chips make the perfect dippers.
Chayote squash offers a light and creamy base to this delectable soup, while the spicy warmth and chewy texture of roasted hominy adds a pleasing pop of flavor to every mouthful. Hominy consists of dried maize kernels soaked in alkali and is a common ingredient in Mexican dishes such as pozole, a traditional Mexican stew.
Corn, carrot, and red bell pepper add sweetness and contrasting texture to this spicy, packed-with-beans chili. Ready in under an hour and featuring pantry staples, this is a useful recipe to keep around. Shares a reviewer: “Very good! Highly recommend this recipe.” Another easy vegan chili recipe that works well with corn is Vegan Tempeh Chili.
For a summer take on the classic leek and potato soup this Zucchini, Corn, and Black Bean Soup is a hit. The luscious almond milk-based broth is the perfect backdrop for potatoes, zucchini, and black beans, and fresh thyme gives an extra subtle lift.
The natural sweetness of corn makes it an ideal ingredient for baking. Here, corn kernels and cornmeal are combined with oat flour, flaxseeds, maple syrup, and applesauce to create these golden drops of goodness. Enjoy for breakfast, brunch, or lunch or as a snack any time of day.
These plant-based empanadas are great pass-around food. The casing is made from wheat flour, potato flour, and cashews and the filling is a mix of corn, mushroom, and spinach. Serve with Chimichurri, a parsley- and cilantro-based sauce.
Use fresh corn instead of frozen in these handsome lettuce cups for a fun-filled, no-fuss meal. The filling, which also features mango, black beans, tomato, roasted bell peppers, lime juice, and avocado, is tangy and just the right amount of spicy.
Let corn do the heavy lifting when it comes to adding a punch of sweetness and color to your favorite pizza. This gluten free, chickpea pizza is topped with corn, kale, zucchini, and marinara sauce for a meal that’s built to satisfy. (Tex-Mex Pita Pizzas are also great for showcasing summer-fresh corn).
Made with cornmeal and frozen corn, this light and moist vegan cornbread gets extra sweetness and color from a little chopped red bell pepper. Kid-friendly and quick to make, cornbread is a great way to bulk up a meal. Serve as a snack or alongside a stew or chili.
This article was originally published on August 9, 2019 and has been updated.
about the author
Lisa Esile, MS
Lisa Esile is an author, illustrator, blogger, vegetable gardener, and whole-food enthusiast with a special fondness for potatoes. She has a master’s degree in human nutrition and is passionate about showing people how to live happier, healthier lives. She is the author of Reach Your Big Calm and the co-author of Whose Mind Is It Anyway? Find her on Facebook.