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Corn, Zucchini and Red Pepper Cakes

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Corn, Zucchini and Red Pepper Cakes are savory with a touch of sweet. Fresh summer corn, paired with zucchini and red bell peppers form a delicious patty that is pan-fried to golden perfection.

This post and recipe card updated July 13, 2019
close up shot of 4 corn cakes in a stack on a black platter

Corn is one of my favorite vegetables. When I was a kid, we ate simple boiled corn on the cob…of course, slathered in butter. Pretty sure I doubled–or tripled–the calorie count, but I didn’t care.

The best time to find fresh corn is always in the summer, though in Oklahoma I can usually find delicious corn until mid-October. I can’t tell you the last time I used canned corn, but I do always have frozen corn on hand to use in the winter.

Years ago, I found a recipe online for corn cakes. I really liked them, but only made them occasionally. I don’t even know where the original recipe is anymore, but I went by memory and made some adaptions to create Corn, Zucchini and Red Pepper Cakes

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
  • It’s a great way to get your kids to eat their veggies
  • You can adapt the recipe to your preferences
  • It’s very easy to make
shot of 4 corn cakes stacked on top of each other on a black platter, garnished with cheese and spring onions

INGREDIENT TIPS FOR CORN, ZUCCHINI AND RED PEPPER CAKES

Char the corn kernels, because that adds great flavor. I cut the kernels off the cob and then saute them. The other option is to grill the corn and then cut off the kernels.

Dice all of the vegetables small, so they’re all about the same size as the corn. Keep the skin on the zucchini, as that’s where the nutrients are.

I use a Nonstick Skillet to saute the vegetables and use Avocado Oil. Sauteeing the vegetables softens them slightly.

I use fresh onion and garlic, plus onion powder and garlic powder. You don’t need to use both the fresh and the powders, but I feel like the powders add an extra punch of flavor because I add them right at the end.

Let the vegetables cool for a few minutes before adding the egg to form the patties. Otherwise, the egg will begin to cook

I use Cornmeal to help hold the patties together. I prefer the texture that the fine ground cornmeal adds, but you could certainly substitute Panko Bread Crumbs or regular Bread Crumbs.

I use canola oil to pan fry the patties, and add enough oil for a depth of about 1/2″.

Garnish with goat cheese and spring onions. The goat cheese adds a creamy, savory bite.

Shot of corn cakes. 3 stacked on top of each other, one in front, cut in half
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

Cut the corn kernels off the cob. Dice the zucchini, bell peppers, and red onions small, about the same size as the corn.

overhead shot of diced vegetables on a wood board

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute corn for about 5 minutes until slightly charred. Reduce heat to medium, add onion and garlic, and saute for 2-3 minutes.

overhead shot of corn, onion and garlic sauteed in a skillet

Add zucchini and bell peppers, and saute for another 2 minutes. Season with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

overhead shot of zucchini and peppers added to skillet

Transfer to a bowl, and cool for 2-3 minutes. Add cornmeal and egg, and mix to fully combine. Scoop 1/4 cup patties and pan fry in avocado oil for about 3 minutes per side, until golden

overhead shot of patties frying in a pan
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I use canned corn? I don’t recommend it, as I don’t think that canned corn has the same flavor. I recommend using frozen corn if fresh isn’t available.

Will the vegetables get mushy? No, because you only sautee them for a few minutes. And when you pan fry the patties, they won’t cook long enough to get soft.

What grade of cornmeal should I use? I recommend fine ground or medium ground. To me, coarse ground is too mealy.

How far ahead can I make Corn, Zucchini and Red Pepper Cakes? I recommend making them right before eating, as they are best fresh out of the skillet.

How long should I pan fry the patties? Only about 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.

What about leftovers? I’m not a fan of doing these as leftovers, because you will lose the crunch, and it’s very easy for the vegetables to get hard when reheated. So I prefer to make a fresh batch each time.

overhead shot of finished corn cakes on a black platter, garnished with cheese and spring onions
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Corn, Zucchini and Bell Pepper Cakes - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Corn, Zucchini and Red Pepper Cakes Recipe

Yield: 4 cakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Corn, Zucchini and Red Pepper Cakes are savory with a touch of sweet. Fresh summer corn, paired with zucchini and red bell peppers form a delicious patty that is pan-fried to golden perfection

Ingredients

  • 1 large ear of corn (yields about 1 1/4 cups of kernels)
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, diced small
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Canola oil, for pan frying
  • chopped scallions, for garnish
  • goat cheese, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In large skillet over medium-high heat, saute corn for about 5 minutes, until lightly charred
  2. Add onions and garlic, and saute for 3 minutes
  3. Add zucchini and red bell pepper, and saute for 2 minutes
  4. Remove skillet from heat and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes
  5. Add cornmeal, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in large bowl. Add vegetables and combine. Add eggs and combine well.
  6. In large, heavy bottomed pan add enough oil to cover the bottom. Heat oil over high heat. Test for readiness with a corn kernel. When it sizzles immediately, oil is ready
  7. Reduce heat slightly. Fill 1/4 cup scoop with mixture and carefully add to pan. Press lightly down to get round cake. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until bottom is golden brown. Turn carefully with spatula, and cook other side until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels
  8. Garnish with scallions (green onions) and goat cheese. Enjoy!

Notes

Dice all of the vegetables small, so they’re all about the same size as the corn

Let the vegetables cool for about 5 minutes before adding the egg to form the patties. Otherwise the egg will begin to cook

I use Cornmeal to help hold the patties together. I prefer the texture that the fine ground cornmeal adds, but you could certainly substitute Panko or regular bread crumbs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I use canned corn? I don’t recommend it, as I don’t think that canned corn has the same flavor. Use frozen corn if fresh isn’t available.

Will the vegetables get mushy? No, because you are only sauteeing them for a few minutes. And when you pan fry the patties, they won’t cook long enough to get soft.

What grade of cornmeal should I use? I recommend fine ground or medium ground.

How far ahead can I make Corn, Zucchini and Red Pepper Cakes? I recommend making them right before eating, as they are best fresh out of the skillet.

How long should I pan fry the patties? Only about 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.

What about leftovers? I’m not a fan of doing these as leftovers, because you will lose the crunch, and it’s very easy for the vegetables to get hard when reheated. So I prefer to make a fresh batch each time.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 146Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 395mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients, etc

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