If you’re looking for a good corn side dish… stop your internet browsing right here. This corn sauté is gives a nod to your favorite traditional succotash recipe, but it’s embellished with hatch chiles, jalapeño and bacon. Succotash (or corn sauté) is a Thanksgiving tradition, but oftentimes makes it to our dinner table on any random Tuesday, because, it’s so good — and unlike most Thanksgiving dinner sides, it’s ready in minutes.
I adore sweet summer corn — right off the cob, no cooking required, and I have several fresh summer corn recipes, but this isn’t one of them. Nope. This corn sauté is one you can make all fall and winter long because frozen corn (and lima beans) are the basis for this corn side dish. What could be simpler?
Growing up, I always thought of a traditional succotash recipe as a 2/3 : 1/3 blend of corn and lima beans. Remember those blocks of succotash in the frozen foods aisle? You’d simmer in water, drain and add a pat of butter, salt and pepper. Bo-ring….
Lively Corn Sauté
Creating your own version of traditional succotash just takes a little inspiration and imagination. Embellishing it with flavor-bomb ingredients like bacon and chiles moves a simple corn sauté from occasional corn side dish to a regular in your weekly dinner rotation.
This corn sauté actually starts with bacon, chopped into bite sized bits and fried until crispy. Save a bit of the rendered fat from the bacon and sauté the vegetables in the same skillet. The vegetables will release some of their moisture and the bacon fond (yes, BACON FOND) will naturally be incorporated into the melange of vegetables. #doesntsuck.
The key to this corn sauté, is to cook the vegetables in a particular order. Onions and peppers first, sautéed until they’re just tender, followed by corn lima beans and chiles. Finally finish with tomatoes and scallions. The fresh veg will get warmed by the other hot components of the dish, but won’t get soft or mushy (always a bad thing where vegetables are concerned.)
An Extra Kick…
This corn sauté also benefits from a bit of acid – in this case, apple cider vinegar. The vinegar cuts a bit of the bacon fat and adds complexity. Trust me, a skosh of acid really wakes up this vegetable melange.
Last, but certainly not least — crumbled bacon and a bit of fresh parsley. This simple corn sauté is packed with flavor — and if you happen to have any leftover the next day… Heat it up and top it with a fried egg… I’m just sayin’…
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Fall Corn Saute - A Thanksgiving Tradition
- 1/2 pound bacon diced
- 2 large shallots sliced thin
- 1 medium sweet bell pepper orange, red, or yellow
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 jalapeno (optional) finely chopped (keep seeds and membranes for more heat, if desired)
- 2 cups frozen corn kernels
- 1 cup frozen lima beans I used Fordhook
- 1/2 cup fire roasted chilies diced (I used Hatch chiles) but you can substitute poblanos.
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 large tomato seeded and diced
- 3 scallions sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. When pan is hot, add the diced bacon. Fry the bacon, stirring occasionally, until it has rendered its fat and is crisp. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat.
- Add the shallots and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender. Add the bell pepper, onion and jalapeños and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Mix in the frozen corn and lima beans and stir until they're almost completely defrosted, then stir in the diced chiles and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
- Season the succotash with salt, pepper and apple cider vinegar. Taste for seasoning, adjusting as needed.
- Remove the succotash from the heat. Stir in the tomato, scallions, bacon and parsley. Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy!
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