Maque Choux

published Feb 12, 2024
Maque Choux Recipe
Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Maque choux in skillet.
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Stylist: Micah Morton

For a taste of the South, a creamy bowl of grits, a basket of fluffy buttermilk biscuits, or crispy fried chicken may be the first foods to come to mind. But a Southern cook’s table is often filled with a colorful variety of vegetables like maque choux, a warm sauté of corn, peppers, and onion enriched with heavy cream and topped with crispy bacon that’s often served in Louisiana. Here’s how to make it.

Maque Choux History and Meaning

Maque choux may have evolved with the interaction between the Indigenous people of southern Louisiana and Acadian (later known as Cajun) settlers. While a close literal translation of the term maque choux means “hidden cabbage,” the dish’s name may be an adaptation of the term maigrchou or “thin child,” possibly in reference to the cream used to thin the dish.

Key Ingredients in Maque Choux

  • Corn kernels: Use fresh corn if it is sweet, tender, and in-season. At other times of the year, frozen kernels are the best bet.
  • Bell pepper: Dice a red or green bell pepper to about the size of corn kernels.
  • Sweet onion: Sweet onions may go by names like Vidalia, Walla Walla, Texas Sweets, and Maui.
  • Jalapeño pepper: Remove the white pith and seeds for a mild flavor, or leave them intact for more spice.
  • Bacon: Regular bacon, not thick-cut, is best here.
  • Creole or Cajun seasoning: Make this flavorful spice mix at home with paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, oregano, and cayenne pepper or buy a premade blend, such as Tony Chachere’s at the store.
  • Heavy cream: Just 1/2 cup of cream binds this dish together and needs just a minute on the heat to warm through.
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Stylist: Micah Morton

How to Make Maque Choux

  1. Cook bacon. You’ll use both the crispy bacon and the rendered fat to make maque choux.
  2. Sauté vegetables. Use the bacon grease instead of oil or butter to cook the onion, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and garlic for a smoky, salty flavor in every bite.
  3. Add corn. Add the corn — fresh or frozen both work here — at the end so that it retains its sweet, juicy texture.
  4. Finish with heavy cream and bacon. Cream brings the whole dish together and crispy bacon bits act as the perfect garnish.

Storage Tips

Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to four days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave with an extra splash of heavy cream.

What to Serve with Maque Choux

Maque Choux Recipe

If only all veggies could taste like this.

Prep time 10 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes

Makes 3 1/2 cups

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    medium green or red bell pepper

  • 1/2

    medium sweet onion

  • 1

    small jalapeño pepper

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 2 cups

    fresh or unthawed frozen corn kernels (from about 4 ears fresh, or 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen corn kernels)

  • 3 slices

    bacon (about 3 ounces)

  • 2 teaspoons

    Creole or Cajun seasoning, such as Tony Chachere’s (or 1 teaspoon salt-free Creole or Cajun seasoning plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt)

  • 1/2 cup

    heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Prepare the following, adding each to the same large bowl as it is completed: Dice 1 medium green or red bell pepper (about 1 1/4 cups) and 1/2 medium sweet onion (about 1 cup). Halve and finely chop 1 small jalapeño pepper (remove the seeds and ribs first for a less spicy flavor before chopping if desired). Finely chop 2 garlic cloves.

  2. If using fresh corn, remove the husks and cut the kernels from the cobs (about 2 cups) and place in a small bowl. Dice 3 bacon slices.

  3. Place the bacon in a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet and cook over medium-high heat until crisp and the fat renders out, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.

  4. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Add the onion mixture and 2 teaspoons Creole or Cajun seasoning (or 1 teaspoon salt-free Creole or Cajun seasoning plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt) to the bacon fat in the skillet and cook over medium heat until softened, 4 to 5 minutes.

  5. Add the corn and cook until tender and warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup heavy cream and cook until warmed through, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Top with the crisped bacon and serve warm.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.