Corn, Zucchini and Red Pepper Cakes are savory with a touch of sweet that your family will love! This is a great way to get your kids to eat vegetables.
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Corn is one of my favorite vegetables. When I was a kid, we usually ate simple boiled corn on the cob. And then of course I slathered it with butter. Pretty sure I doubled–or tripled–the calorie count, but I didn’t care. The length of corn season depends on where you live; here in Oklahoma, I can find good corn from April until about Octovber. The best time is always in the summer, when corn is at its peak sweetness. I used canned corn when I needed just the kernels for recipes, or in the winter when I couldn’t find fresh corn. Then I learned how easy it is to cut the kernels from the cob.
I only live about 4 miles from my office, so I go home every day for lunch. I’m not a fan of leftovers so I make lunch every day, and focus on quick and easy meals. A couple of my favorite lunch dishes are:
- Tuna Pasta Salad
- Fettucini with Ground Turkey & Vegetables
- Open Faced Blackened Salmon Sandwich
- Pesto Chicken Penne Pasta
Years ago, I found a recipe online for corn cakes. I really liked them, but only made them occasionally. I have a bad habit with recipes, where I forget about them for months at a time. The funny thing is, that tends to happen with dishes I really love. Then the next time I make them, I vow not to forget about them…and then do it again. I recently had a couple of ears of corn that I needed to use, plus I had just bought zucchini. This was the perfect opportunity to make the corn cakes again, and make a couple changes, to create Corn, Zucchini and Red Pepper Cakes
In the beginning, I made these Corn, Zucchini and Red Pepper Cakes with only corn and zucchini. They were delicious, but quite savory. The red peppers add another layer of sweetness to the cakes. To soften the vegetables slightly, I saute them first. I cook the corn the longest and over the highest heat, to get that beautiful char on the kernels. I cut the zucchini and bell peppers in a very small dice, and add them in for just a couple of minutes. I can’t make anything without fresh onion and garlic, even though I also add onion powder and garlic powder.
I used to make these Corn, Zucchini and Red Pepper Cakes as a side dish for dinner, but it was too much for just me. I now always make them as a lunch entree. I use a whole ear of corn for just me, because I really love corn! One ear of corn makes 4 generous-sized cakes.
One of my favorite things about Corn, Zucchini and Red Pepper Cakes is that the vegetables retain their texture, shape and integrity. You taste every aspect in every bite, and I love the pop of the corn kernels in my mouth as I eat.
KEYS TO THE PERFECT CORN, ZUCCHINI AND RED PEPPER CAKES
- Fresh corn. There’s nothing quite like fresh, sweet summer corn. In a pinch you could substitute frozen corn, and thaw it before cooking. To me, canned corn just doesn’t taste the same
- I keep the skin on the zucchini, and then finely dice it. Zucchini has a lot of water, but you don’t have to squeeze out any water before tossing it in the skillet
- Cornmeal: I love the texture of cornmeal, and the crunch it adds to dishes. I use either fine or medium ground; to me, coarse ground is a little too coarse. It’s really personal preference
- Avocado Oil: I recently discovered avocado oil, and am a huge fan. It has a light, silky flavor, and a very high smoke point so it’s perfect for all kinds of cooking
- Goat Cheese: this cheese has a nice, mild bite and it works really well with the Corn, Zucchini and Red Pepper Cakes. If you don’t have goat cheese, then feta cheese is a good substitute
I am not going to let Corn, Zucchini and Red Pepper Cakes sit on the back burner anymore…no more out of sight, out of mind. They are delicious and easy to make, and perfect for Meatless Monday or any day of the week.
SHOP THIS RECIPE
- 2 ears corn
- 1 cup zucchini, diced small
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Avocado oil, or other oil with high smoke point
- chopped scallions, for garnish
- goat cheese, for garnish
- In large skillet over medium-high heat, saute corn for about 5 minutes, until lightly charred.
- Add onions and garlic, and saute for 3 minutes
- Add zucchini and red bell pepper, and saute for 2 minutes
- Remove skillet from heat and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes
- Add cornmeal, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in large bowl. Add vegetables and combine. Add eggs and combine well.
- 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
- Reduce heat slightly. Fill 1/4 cup scoop with mixture and carefully add to pan. Press lightly down to get round cake. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, until bottom is golden brown. Turn carefully with spatula, and cook other side until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels
- Garnish with scallions (green onions) and goat cheese. Enjoy!