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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.
This Maque Choux recipe is lighter and less soupy / milky than some with the fresh corn kernels 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.
Ingredients You Need to Make Corn Maque Choux
- Fresh Corn on the Cob: 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.
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.
What to Serve Alongside
- Grilled Shrimp (A perfect pairing for this dish. Serve it on top or even mixed in to make it a one dish meal.)
- Crab Cakes (Simple and delicious, a recipe that is all about celebrating the flavor of real lump crab!)
- Grilled Chicken Thighs (5 minutes of prep and 3 ingredients to make tender, juicy chicken thighs with the crispiest skin!)
More Delicious Southern Recipes
- Skillet Cornbread (Crip and buttery outside, soft and tender inside, heavenly!)
- Fried Green Tomatoes (Wonderful on their own or stacked into a BLT!)
- Shrimp Creole (A super simple recipe for this Southern classic.)
- Cajun Potato Salad (A creamy, spicy potato salad that everyone loves.)
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.
Step 2: Add bell peppers, onion, and garlic; cook and stir until nearly tender. Add fresh corn kernels; cook and stir until crisp-tender.
Step 3: Stir in butter, and cayenne and black pepper. Season to taste with salt; serve.
Corn Maque Choux
- 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
- ½ 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.
- 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.