Even during summer when fresh corn is at its prime, I always keep my freezer stocked with a bag or two of the frozen stuff. Not only is it unbelievably convenient and available year-round, but it's also packed with flavor and can be used in all the same ways you'd use the fresh stuff.
Simple sides are a given, but a bag of frozen yellow or white kernels can serve as the foundation for an array of meals.
You know those corn salads you love making during the summer? Well, thawed frozen corn makes a mighty fine substitute, which means you can make them any time of year. Any kind of frozen corn will work, but I especially love when I find bags of sweet white or grilled kernels in the freezer section. Eat these salads as a make-ahead lunch or light dinner, or stuff them in a tortilla for a hand-held meal.
Grab a couple of bags of frozen corn (32 ounces is a good rule of thumb), a few pantry ingredients, and you are well on your way to making a totally satisfying corn soup. Simmer it on the stovetop or get out your slow cooker for a more hands-off version, then decide if you want to blend it until it's smooth as silk or stick with a chunky chowder.
A cheesy casserole is quite possibly the most comforting way to turn a bag of frozen corn into dinner. And like most casseroles, you can bank on this version being an easy, weeknight-friendly meal. A 20-ounce bag of corn is a good place to start and you'll want to plan to thaw the kernels before stirring together your casserole.
If you ask me, these crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside fritters are the most delicious reason to keep a bag of corn in the freezer at all times. Corn fritters are essentially quick corn cakes studded with kernels of corn, jalapeños, and chives that are gently fried in a slick of oil. They're easier than you think to pull together — just thaw the corn first.
Get a recipe: How To Make Crispy Corn Fritters
5. Orzo and Risotto
A bag of frozen corn is your ticket to turning a pot of orzo or risotto from side dish to a veggie-packed dinner that will remind you of summer all year long. These kernels are quick-cooking, so there's no need to thaw them ahead of time. Plan to stir them into the pot straight from the freezer in the last few minutes of cooking.
6. Rustic Savory Tarts
In addition to keeping a bag or two of corn stashed in the freezer at all times, I also make a point to keep a package of pie crust in there as well, and this is why. It's the basis for a simple galette that's easy enough to pull off any night of the week for dinner or an appetizer. There's a thin layer of cheese spread over the crust, which prevents the bottom from getting soggy. Thaw the corn completely before layering it onto the tart.
Get a recipe: Fresh Corn Galette with Zucchini, Thyme, and Goat Cheese
7. Scrambled Eggs, Omelets, and Frittatas
I learned from my husband that frozen corn is always a good addition to scrambled eggs, omelets, and frittatas. It's delicious and adds a nice toothsome bite, but it also makes this breakfast (and breakfast-for-dinner!) more filling.
As a rule of thumb, use about one cup of corn for every four eggs. If you have the forethought to thaw the corn, great — but you can also mix it into the eggs straight from the freezer.