This recipe uses few ingredients to create a surprisingly easy-to-make dish loaded with creamy, sweet, and spicy flavors. It’s a classic Creole side dish with the perfect combination of bacon, corn, peppers, onions, and tomatoes.
Many Cajuns refer to this dish as maque choux (pronounced mock-shoe), and there are endless recipe variations for it. And to tell the truth, I often change my recipe depending on what I have readily available in the pantry.
If I have extra celery on hand, I’ll throw that in. I may swap the bacon for andouille sausage. Or I just leave out the canned tomatoes when I don’t have any. If I was overzealous at the market that week, I may use up my fresh tomatoes before they go bad. I’ve even substituted the fresh bell pepper with a jar of red roasted peppers, which took the flavors in this dish to a whole new level.
Whether you follow this recipe to a tee or use substitutes, I hope you enjoy this Cajun corn as much as my family does. The few extra steps it takes to prepare it over simply opening a can of corn for dinner is beyond well worth it.
As my son said, “this is the best corn ever.”
- You can easily make this dish using a single pot. While a Dutch oven works well, I used my pre-seasoned cast iron skillet because it adds to the flavor and cooks evenly. If you don’t already have a skillet like this, I highly recommend you invest in one. It’ll last you a lifetime and it works wonders in the kitchen.
- I may be me old-fashioned because I still collect and store bacon grease for future use. Open my fridge and you’ll find one of these Stainless-Steel Bacon Strainer-Keepers in there. Works wonderfully.
- This is a super easy and flavorful side dish that pairs well with so many things. It’s especially good with barbeque, a grilled steak or chicken breast, and, of course, Cajun meals.
- Consider bringing this dish to your next tailgate or potluck dinner. It’s an ideal side dish that goes over well with everyone.
- While it’s typical to serve maque choux as a side dish, you can easily make it the main meal by serving it over white rice. If you want more protein, try adding some andouille sausage, shrimp, or crawfish.
- Always, and I mean always, have a bottle of Louisiana hot sauce on the table when serving this dish — or any Cajun dish for that matter. Us Cajuns really do put that %@*& on everything!
- Store leftover maque choux in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat in the microwave for about a minute. Just as good as the first day!
- Strangely enough, leftovers taste amazing when served atop a green leaf salad. Beats the heck out of chopping up all the typical salad toppings, and it tastes amazing with or without added salad dressing.
- Fresh corn is always best and there’s no need to preboil or cook. Shuck the corn using a very sharp knife to cut the kernels from the cobs. Be sure to scrape the cobs with the knife to extract all the corn’s milk. This adds lots of flavor to this dish. Add the milk to the shucked corn.
- You can make this a much easier-to-make dish using canned or frozen corn. Either option works well. Replace fresh corn with two cans whole kernel corn, drained. Or use 16 ounces of frozen corn (no need to thaw or cook; just throw it into the pot frozen).
- Using leftover corn on the cob from the weekend’s family barbeque is the perfect mustgoes ingredient. Shuck the cook and use as you would fresh. Since you’re using already cooked corn, you’ll want to reduce the cooking time after adding the corn to the onions and peppers.
- Turn up the Cajun flavors in this dish by adding some sliced okra, fresh or frozen. Amazingly good.
- Bacon is a family favorite, which is why I used it in this dish. Tasso ham or shrimp make good alternatives to bacon, both adding their own distinct Cajun flavors. If using these options, you’ll need to use about 2 tablespoons of butter or vegetable oil to fry them up (or bacon grease, of course, if you happen to have that on hand).
- Try using a jar of roasted red bell peppers instead of fresh. While fresh is always the better option, roasted peppers give this dish a wonderful taste that you simply can’t get with fresh.
- I use Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilis; however, any canned diced tomatoes will work. If you prefer, a cup of fresh diced tomatoes works well, too. Feel free to add more if you’re a fan of tomatoes like I am.
- There are many varieties of Cajun seasons out there, so use your favorite. I’m a huge fan of Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, which is what I used in this recipe. Perfection!
- A dollop or two of sour cream is an excellent substitute if you don’t have heavy cream on hand.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a comment and star rating below. It’s always refreshing to hear how others like a recipe, find success with it, or tweak to suit. I’d love to hear from you!