By Vanessa Greaves

Corn in the USA

Serving corn at Thanksgiving is a time-honored tradition that hearkens back to the 1621 feast that started it all. Although we also consider mashed potatoes, cranberries, and sweet potatoes our Thanksgiving must-haves, historians have determined that only corn, along with venison and wild fowl, were definitely on that first menu when the Pilgrims and Wampanoag shared their harvest celebration. To help you plan your own Thanksgiving feast this year, I've gathered 36 Thanksgiving corn side dishes, including corn casseroles, creamed corn, and corn muffins, plus fresh new twists on Thanksgiving corn in case you want to shake things up. Happy feasting!

1. Awesome and Easy Creamy Corn Casserole

Let's start with a Thanksgiving classic. This top-rated corn casserole takes only 6 easy ingredients, including canned corn, corn bread mix, and sour cream. Home cook Dielle says, "I first made it on Thanksgiving my WHOLE family loved it! Now they just keep on requesting it all the time!"

VIDEO: Awesome and Easy Creamy Corn Casserole

2. Chef John's Creamy Corn Pudding

"I made a 1/2 recipe for a side for 6 at Thanksgiving dinner," says home cook Katherine Redwine. "It was sweet and creamy. We ate every bite, and my son called me for the recipe. I added some corn kernels as in the Chef's notes and liked the addition. I made the pudding the day before and kept it in the refrigerator overnight. I baked with the other casseroles on Thanksgiving day."

Photo by Chef John

3. Fresh Corn and Zucchini Sauté

This quick and easy sauté is a good way to bring a taste of late summer harvest to your Thanksgiving table. Although the recipe calls for fresh corn, reviewer Scott Joschko says, "Frozen corn worked well, just add the corn a couple of minutes before the zucchini."

Photo by naples34102

4. Smoky Poblano Corn Pudding

"This dish transforms frozen corn into a decadent and richly flavored dish with just a bit more work than setting a pot of water to boil," says recipe creator Ashley Baron Rodriguez. Reviewer Susan Nelson Cerney used diced chiles and was very pleased with the results.

VIDEO: Smoky Poblano Corn Pudding

5. Chef John's Succotash

"This may be America's oldest vegetable recipe, coming from a Narragansett Indian word, 'msickquatash,' which, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, means 'boiled corn kernels.' When most of you hear the word succotash, you probably don't think of a delicious vegetable side dish, you probably think of the catchphrase, 'Sufferin' succotash!' But succotash really is a great and very underrated recipe." — Chef John

Photo by Chef John

6. Zucchini Corn Fritters

Home cook Plumtickled says, "My family and I loved these fritters! I had no fresh corn on hand and used a can of sweet corn which came out fine. Would have been unbelievable had I used fresh!" LinC adds, "My family loved these! I chose not to fry them but to cook them in a touch of olive oil like pancakes."

Photo by Doug

7. Creamy Cornbread Casserole

"This recipe is SO easy to make and delicious!" raves jcstics. "I made it for the first time 2 weeks ago and since then we've had it 4 times! I have requests to bring some to our holiday parties because it is such a crowd pleaser!"

VIDEO: Creamy Cornbread Casserole

8. Cream Corn Like No Other

This quick and easy Thanksgiving side dish is ready to eat in a speedy 15 minutes from start to finish. "We LOVE this dish!" raves home cook Rebecca. "It is now a staple on our holiday table. ALL of our holidays!"


9. Calabacitas con Elote (Zucchini with Corn)

If you're looking for a fresh take on traditional Thanksgiving corn side dishes, try this zesty combination of corn, zucchini, and tomatoes. The recipe calls for crumbled Mexican cotija cheese, but some reviewers recommend using feta cheese if you can't find cotija.

Photo by CookinBug

10. Creamy Polenta with Roasted Corn and Fresh Sage

You'll get a double dose of corn in this comfort food side dish when you add kernels of corn to cooked polenta. Home cook RACHEL335 offers these tips: "This was a great recipe that I tweaked a little. I used canned corn that I sautéed with the sage and a little butter until the corn was slightly browned, and grated in a pinch of fresh nutmeg then added it to the polenta. By sautéeing the sage, it softens the flavor This was super good!"

Photo by LynnInHK

11. Sweet Corn Cake

"Very ,very good," says home cook hazelnut. "The star of the dinner party. I had a bag of super sweet baby white corn in the freezer to use so I added just 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. This stuff was beautiful with a sexy texture and smelled like heaven. Way better than I expected."

Photo by sopenia

12. Chef John's Creamy Corn Custard

"Corn custard is a wonderful side dish for all kinds of meats," says Chef John. Home cook K.DeLong adds, "Smelled and tasted like corn bread with texture like a souffle. Some of my family members are 'foodies' & even they loved it. I will definitely make this again!"

VIDEO: Chef John's Creamy Corn Custard

13. Fresh Corn Spoon Bread

Recipe creator Bob Cody says, "This a great custard-like corn bread that can take the place of a stuffing." "With the exception of my mom's, this is one of the best I've had," says home cook ali1031. "I did add sugar because we like it sweet but overall it's great and fairly easy to make."

Photo by Rachel Ford

14. Slow Cooker Creamed Corn

Free up your stove top and let your slow cooker handle this easy, creamy corn side dish. Home cook smcswain says, "This was great. Everyone loved it at my Thanksgiving dinner. I did use two packages of frozen corn. I also took the advice of other users and melted the cream cheese and butter together then added to the crock pot. This was very easy and good."

Photo by Molly

15. Spicy and Cheesy Creamed Corn

Looking for creamed corn with a kick? Give this recipe a try. "Delicious, ever so creamy, slightly spicy. I got this recipe from my girlfriend who made this for a Thanksgiving dinner. I found this side dish super YUMMY! For a super, mild, creamed corn dish, omit the jalapeños." — Lisa Flores Hall

Photo by lutzflcat

16. Grandma's Corn Pudding

Grandma earned 500+ 5-star reviews with this winner. Many reviewers say they've made this again and again for Thanksgiving; here's just one example: "11 years later and this is STILL a favorite Thanksgiving dish! I've started using 4 eggs and SOMETIMES adding some crushed buttery crackers. It always turns out great, it all gets eaten, and I love it so much!" — Melissa Boos

Photo by Debi Clark Bickmore

17. Baked Corn

"This old Southern recipe goes well with all kinds of meals. Especially at the holidays. It is always requested at all the holiday meals, and there is never any left! This is a very easy recipe to prepare." — Rhonda Mellet

Photo by Cindy Rodgers Devlin

18. Basic Corn Muffins

This easy corn muffin recipe is ready in minutes and can be made sweeter, spicier, or more savory according to your own taste. Ideas for add-ins include honey, jalapeños, Cheddar cheese, or creamed corn, and substituting buttermilk for regular milk.

Photo by Dianne

19. Vegan Polenta

Creamy polenta made with plant-based milk, butter, and cheese will satisfy vegans and non-vegans alike. Stir in minced parsley at the end for a touch of color. Any Thanksgiving dish with a bit of sauce to it will go beautifully with this comfort food side dish.

Photo by Buckwheat Queen

20. Scalloped Corn

"I really loved this," says home cook nikkimw7667. "I didn't have enough sour cream so I had to substitute some ricotta and it turned out fine. It was actually a perfect replacement for any type of side bread on Thanksgiving. I was thinking it'd be more soupy but it was firm and easily cut into squares."

Photo by Lisa B

21. Daddy's Fried Corn and Onions

This easy corn side dish is already quick to prepare, but using frozen corn instead of fresh gets it to the table even faster. If you want to caramelize the onions to deepen the flavor, you can do that the day before and finish the dish in minutes on Thanksgiving.

Photo by lutzflcat

22. Quick Creamed Curried Corn

"This is my new favorite corn side dish," says Chef John. "You're going to be so shocked that without butter, without heavy cream, you're going to have a delicious corn side dish that's every bit as rich and decadent, and it's going to be significantly lower in calories."

VIDEO: Quick Creamed Curried Corn

23. Corn Casserole I

"I added a finely chopped jalapeño from my garden and sautéed it along with the onions before adding them to the recipe. It was fantastic and my Thanksgiving guests asked for the recipe." — sonofsimp

Photo by Starr R

24. Mexican Corn

"This recipe was given to me by my aunt in Texas, where they like everything hot! Now, my family wants it for holidays, barbeques, or just by itself," says KBALDRIDGE. Home cook Sam Martin adds, "I made this as a side for Thanksgiving this past year and everyone love it. I seeded the jalapeños so this was not spicy to us."

Photo by 5Foot3

25. Corn and Porcini Mushroom Cornbread Dressing

"I was trying to do a simple, wild mushroom-studded sweet corn casserole to reinforce our holiday side dish repertoire, and before I knew it, I was eating the best, most flavorful cornbread dressing I'd ever tasted. Not only that, but we completely eliminated the step of having to make cornbread first!" — Chef John

VIDEO: Corn and Porcini Mushroom Cornbread Dressing

26. Sweet Corn Tomalito

Recipe creator THEKIRKLANDS describes this as "Steamed corn pudding made on the stove top. This is a traditional Tex-Mex side dish that is a great side to any meal." Lindabyb adds, "This has become a staple for Thanksgiving dinner. High honor as the only change in the menu for over 20 years."

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

27. Macaroni Corn Casserole

"I have been making this for several years. It is a Thanksgiving and Christmas staple, and my kids request it often," says home cook MrsPolk. Melissa adds, "My family loves this! I make it for Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas and it is always gone. Very easy to make and it's a meal in itself."

Photo by Scotdog

28. Savory Corn Muffins

"These got rave reviews at my daughter's kindergarten Thanksgiving Feast. I wanted to bring muffins that were going to be moist and delicious even though they wouldn't be straight out of the oven. These delivered!" — Java Mama

Photo by NancyLou

29. Scalloped Corn and Broccoli

"This was a wonderful veggie casserole that I made for Thanksgiving this year and it was very quick and easy and had a great blend of flavors." — LADYGUIN

Photo by Chiefers

30. Yum-Yum Corn

"Corn baked with an irresistible combination of butter, cream cheese, and garlic," says recipe creator Sharon Durham. "Every time I make this for other people, they ask for the recipe. Just one taste and everyone says 'YUM!' Especially a favorite with my kids!"

Photo by lutzflcat

31. Mexican Style Cornbread

Recipe creator Lynn Gibson calls this "A new spicy twist on cornbread. Very rich and flavorful with a crisp topping of cheese." Momof2Geex adds, "This was great and everyone in the family commented on it. I made it like I usually make my cornbread in an iron skillet, but used these ingredients. Family is still raving about it!"

Photo by mommyluvs2cook

32. Yellow Squash and Corn Sauté

"Yellow Squash and Corn Sauté, Where have you been all my life? I have NEVER thought to put these two vegetables together in the same dish, and I have been cooking for over 40 years. WOW! Such a simple, yet DELICIOUS recipe!" — Tracy Ferrari Posner

Photo by France C

33. Melody's Corn Maque Choux

Pronounced fairly close to "mock shoe," this Southern corn dish isn't shy about the bold flavor it brings to your Thanksgiving feast. A pinch of Creole seasoning and a generous helping of bacon, along with the "holy trinity" of onion, celery, and bell pepper make this a stand-out.

Photo by naples34102

34. Basil, Roasted Peppers and Monterey Jack Cornbread

Recipe creator Stephanie says, "I just started adding my favorite things to basic cornbread and I came up with something great!" "I love this cornbread!" raves Ambo. "I've been making it for several years, and it never fails. I've used different kinds of cheese, fresh off the cob and frozen corn, fresh and jarred peppers,and it always turn out great. It even reheats nicely in the oven."

Photo by Doug Matthews

35. Irresistible Italian Corn

It doesn't much faster and easier than this 10-minute, 3-ingredient corn side dish. "Served these at Thanksgiving and they were a huge hit! I would absolutely make this dish again!" says The Cook of the House.

Photo by Molly

36. Jalapeno Creamed Corn

"A new family favorite," says home cook Kenny L. "Made this for Thanksgiving after searching for something new to break up the stale, decade old Thanksgiving menu. I tossed this into a small crock and set it aside. Super simple to make. The family loved it. Had 4 people request it for Christmas dinner."

Photo by bd.weld

Related: Browse our entire collection of corn recipes.

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