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Corn Maque Choux is a classic Cajun side dish from Louisiana, a colorful blend of sweet, spicy, and savory flavors where fresh corn kernels cut from the cob are the star. Traditionally corn, bell pepper, and onion were braised in bacon grease until tender, then finished with salt and both black and cayenne pepper. But you’ll find endless variations of this recipe. Some add tomato, garlic, and/or celery, others swap in butter, oil, or heavy cream for braising.

Corn Maque Choux served in a gray ceramic bowl

We prefer this Maque Choux recipe because it’s lighter and less soupy / milky than some. Here the fresh corn kernels are cooked just long enough to retain their sweetness and pop. (Cook them longer if you prefer your corn very tender.) It has all of the traditional flavors with just enough richness to make them shine from a bit of bacon and a butter finish.

Corn Maque Choux Ingredients

Corn Maque Choux Ingredients on a white marble board
  • Fresh Corn on the Cob: You’ll need 3 cups of kernels cut from about 4 ears of sweet corn. (You can also use frozen corn – see recipe notes for instructions.)
  • Bacon: Two strips of bacon, ideally thick cut, add just the right amount of fat and smoky flavor.
  • Olive Oil: A couple of teaspoons for crisping the bacon.
  • Bell Peppers: One small green bell pepper and one small red bell pepper. Look for vibrantly colored peppers with firm, smooth skins.
  • Green Onions: Milder than white or yellow onion, green onions add a pop of color and hint of oniony flavor that doesn’t overpower the dish.
  • Garlic: Just one clove to add an extra depth of flavor.
  • Black Pepper and Cayenne Pepper: Just enough to add a slight kick. Add more cayenne if you prefer a spicier version.
  • Butter: Two tablespoons of salted or unsalted butter for the perfect rich finish.
  • Kosher Salt: For seasoning just before serving.
Cutting corn off the cob

How do you say maque choux?

Maque choux is pronounced, “mock shoe.” The origin and meaning of the name is generally thought to come from a blend of Creole and Native American influence.

5 Recipe Tips

  1. Use Fresh Corn: The best flavor comes from fresh corn on the cob when in season, enhancing the dish’s sweetness and texture.
  2. Adjust the Heat: Begin with a pinch of cayenne pepper, then adjust to find the right balance with the corn’s sweetness.
  3. Don’t Overcook: Aim for tender yet crisp corn to maintain its natural flavor and texture.
  4. Experiment with Add-Ins: Traditional Maque Choux is simple, but tomatoes and celery can add extra flavor dimensions.
  5. Essential Butter Finish: A final addition of butter enriches the dish, offering a silky texture and well-rounded flavor.
Corn Maque Choux served in a gray ceramic bowl photo from above

More Delicious Southern Recipes

How to Make Corn Maque Choux

Step 1: Add diced bacon to hot olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir until bacon is crisp.

crisping diced bacon in skillet

Step 2: Add bell peppers, onion, and garlic; cook and stir until nearly tender. Add fresh corn kernels; cook and stir until crisp-tender.

cooking peppers and onion with bacon
stirring corn kernels into bell pepper mixture

Step 3: Stir in butter, and cayenne and black pepper. Season to taste with salt; serve.

finishing Corn Maque Choux with butter

Recipe Video

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Corn Maque Choux

5 from 4 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Calories: 201
Servings: 4 people
A delicious, lightened up version of the classic Cajun side dish from Louisiana.


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 strips bacon diced small
  • 1 small red bell pepper diced small
  • 1 small green bell pepper diced small
  • 4 green onions thinly sliced
  • 1 large clove garlic minced
  • 3 cups corn kernels cut from about 4 ears fresh corn on the cob, or frozen corn (see recipe note)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper or more
  • kosher salt to taste


  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet, cast iron or other non-stick, over medium heat until hot. Add bacon; cook and stir until crispy, 2-3 minutes. Add bell peppers, green onions, and garlic; cook and stir until softened, about 3 minutes. Add corn; cook and stir until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add butter, black pepper, and cayenne to skillet; stir to combine. Season to taste with kosher salt and serve hot.


  1. This dish is best with fresh corn cut from the cob, but you can also use frozen corn. Add it to the recipe frozen and cook and stir until warmed through before adding remaining ingredients.


Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 330mg | Potassium: 296mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 910IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Ann says:

    Can I make this the day before?

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Hi, Ann! Yes, you can make and refrigerate it 1 day ahead. When I make it ahead, I like to leave out half of the green onions and add them in when I reheat before serving.

  2. Elizabeth Holmes says:

    I cooked this recipe and ate corn Maque Choux for the first time in my life of 87 years. I added a can of Rotel and a cup of heavy cream at the end of the recipe. It was delicious.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      So glad you enjoyed this and added your own twist, Elizabeth!

  3. Geordie says:

    Hello Marissa
    I am a vegetarian so I would like to use this recipe because it really looks delicious.
    Can you recommend an alternative to the bacon.

    Thank you.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Hi there, Geordie! To replace bacon’s smoky flavor, you could add some smoked paprika or replace the cayenne with chipotle chile powder. Or use coconut bacon, which you can buy or make your own. Hope that helps!

  4. mimi rippee says:

    Love this. I’ve made corn broth before, it just makes sense to use those leftover corn cobs. I don’t think I’ve purposefully made broth for a specific recipe before, though, and it’s a great idea! Thanks!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      My pleasure! Thanks, Mimi. 🙂