Try These Trader Joe's Corn Recipe Contest Winning Dishes

We loved these new takes on corn and you will too! Perfect for your summer menus.

Trader Joe's Cheesy Jalapeno Corn Dip
Photo: Connie Conway/Trader Joe's

Every so often Trader Joe's hosts recipe contests for its customers to showcase their best recipes using TJ's products. This month, the contest was all about a summertime favorite: corn.

The rules were simple: the recipe had to be corn-based and feature a Trader Joe's corn product (it didn't have to be strictly corn itself), all the ingredients had to be sold at Trader Joe's, and the recipe couldn't be more than five ingredients — however, salt, sugar, butter, and cooking oils were "freebies" so they didn't count toward the five ingredients.

After hundreds of entries, Trader Joe's recently announced the grand-prize winning recipe, alongside the two runners-up — and we knew they were worth a try. We went for a sweet and savory duo by trying the top-winning recipe for Corn & Hatch Chile Cupcakes with Honey Buttercream and the first runner-up recipe for Cheesy Jalapeño Corn Dip. Here's how they went.

The Winning Trader Joe's Corn Recipes

Trader Joe's Corn & Hatch Chile Cupcakes with Honey Buttercream
Van Fulton/Trader Joe's

Corn & Hatch Chile Cupcakes with Honey Buttercream

You've heard of cornbread muffins, but what about cornbread cupcakes? Sure, cornbread with frosting may sound strange, but if you've ever made TJ's cornbread before, then you know that it's pretty sweet. This recipe takes it up a notch by adding a doubly sweet honey buttercream frosting.

The cornbread cupcakes consist of Trader Joe's Cornbread Mix, their Hatch Valley Salsa, egg, whole milk, canola oil, unsalted butter, and cane sugar. The four-ingredient frosting is made from unsalted butter, powdered sugar, honey, and sea salt.

The cupcakes and buttercream are fairly easy to make. The hardest part might be frosting the cupcakes, but, hey, they don't have to look professional as long as they taste good, right?

In terms of taste, the cornbread cupcakes are not as weird as you may think. The only ingredient that seemed off was the salsa, which is a shame because we were excited about the addition of a savory, spicy salsa.

The sweetness of the honey buttercream is just so overpowering that the salsa doesn't come through at all. If we made these again, we would add more salsa to them to get more of a savory and sweet flavor balance.

However, if you're simply looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, then these cupcakes are perfect as-is.

Trader Joe's Cheesy Jalapeno Corn Dip
Connie Conway/Trader Joe's

Cheesy Jalapeño Corn Dip

This Cheesy Jalapeño Corn Dip may just be our new summer go-to for any potluck, party, or, truthfully, a middle-of-the-day snack. It is so quick and easy to make, the only real prep is dicing a jalapeño. The best part is it only takes about 15 minutes to throw together in a single skillet — and you could totally modify it for how spicy you want it.

The dip consists of TJ's Frozen Roasted Corn, TJ's Crunchy Chili Onion chili crisp, sour cream, Mexican cheese, a jalapeño, and olive oil (to coat the pan before sautéing).

It's a great one-pot dip that's creamy, cheesy, and has just a little bit of a bite to it. We didn't keep the jalapeño seeds, but if you want it spicier you can, or you can add another jalapeño.

We dug in straight from the skillet with our favorite tortilla chips. However, we think this dip is better served at room temperature. That way all the flavors can meld together more.

Overall, this recipe is certainly making an appearance in our summer rotation.

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