The idea of this recipe round-up was to collate fairly simple recipes that a person could easily make from corn and corn products that have been stockpiled, or from fresh corn grown in a survival garden.
The recipes have been collected from around the world because many cultures have had to survive in difficult economic and agricultural conditions.
They manage to make a little go a long way using the most basic of ingredients, yet still feed their families nutritious food.
Corn is high in carbohydrates (76%), with some protein (13%) and fat (11%). It contains no cholesterol and is high in fiber – one serving supplies 44% of daily dietary fiber, and is rich in potassium (26% of RDA) and Vitamin C (34% of RDA).
It is the combination of spices and herbs that can transform corn from a Mexican to a Chinese, African, Chilean, or Brazilian dish. Who said a basic survival food like corn had to be boring?
1. Parched Corn
Corn must be dry to start making this, then it’s as easy as frying it in a skillet until the kernels plump up, adding some flavoring and you have a lightweight trail food.
It was popular with Native Americans and was soon adopted by pioneers who realized how useful it was. Here is the recipe.
2. South African Sweetcorn Bread
Using fresh corn kernels as well as corn meal, this bread developed when people were traveling in wagons exploring the interior, and is still a favorite accompaniment at barbeques today.
It is steamed rather than baked making for a tender, moist loaf. Here is the recipe.
3. Never Fail Corn Bread
When the recipe is printed on a cornmeal bag you know it’s been seriously tried and tested. This is an easy one to prepare to go with meat dishes and will mop up the gravy!
The batter can also be divided into little muffin tins and when baked split and a slice of bacon inserted or spread with butter and syrup. Here is the recipe.
4. Cattail Corn Bread
Collect cattail pollen from these reedy plants that are found growing near or in water. The pollen is bright yellow and is high in protein. Here is the recipe.
5. Hot Water Corn Bread
An easy recipe for survivalists, this one can be enhanced with the addition of other ingredients, like bacon, scallions, chili peppers – whatever you have available that would add some flavor.
Deep fried, these have a crisp crust outside but are soft in the middle – yummy! Here is the recipe.
6. Corn Fritters
Adapted from an Amish recipe these can be quickly made without sugar and served with stew or soup, or add a little sugar in the batter and finish with a sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar when serving with maple syrup or a fruit jam for a sweet treat. Here is the recipe.
7. Corn Dodgers
This recipe relooks at some of the older pioneer recipes and comes up with a variation that is less dense and gritty. It’s worth relooking at these staples. Here is the recipe.
8. Corn Hush Puppies
Cornmeal combined with fresh, or frozen corn kernels, flour, spring onions, and cayenne pepper deep-fried make for a tasty meal that originates in Mexico. Here is the recipe.
9. Corn Meal Mush
It tastes a lot better than it sounds! This is a perfect breakfast food served with whatever fresh fruit or berries are available and a little honey. Or serve with a succulent stew as a main course. Here is the recipe.
10. Pap Tert – Cornmeal Mush Tart with Savory Filling from South Africa
If you can make cornmeal mush you can make this. It’s a great recipe for a Dutch oven or in a conventional oven, consisting of layers of corn meal mush with bacon, onion, peppers, and cheese sandwiched in between to create a mouth-wateringly delicious accompaniment to braaivleis – barbequed meat.
It is served at game lodges for a truly authentic South African experience. Here is the recipe.
11. Corn Casserole
Although this creamy dish makes a good accompaniment to the Thanksgiving Turkey, it’s tasty enough to be eaten alone if you don’t have meat.
If sour cream isn’t available you can substitute it with Greek yogurt or even milk.
Make it go even further by borrowing an idea from the Pap Tert recipe above, including chopped-up onion and bacon, bell pepper pieces, and spring onions. Here is the recipe.
12. Corn Meal Pancakes
These are soft and fluffy. Try them, you won’t be disappointed. Although served with cream and fruit in this recipe, you can serve them with whatever you have available – just butter, or with a slice of cheese, maybe some berry jam or peanut butter.
Here is the recipe.
13. Homemade Corn Tortillas
To make these you need masa harina which is available online or from Walmart. Here is the recipe.
14. Mexican Corn on the Cob
When the corn is ripening in the field then it’s time to try this recipe that takes advantage of the fresh ears of corn roasted on a grid with cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, lime juice, and some parmesan cheese. Here is the recipe.
15. Mexican Corn Salad
Simmered corn, lime juice, cilantro, chili, mayonnaise, and cojita cheese make for a delicious summer salad. Here is the recipe.
16. Brazilian Corn Chowder
This easy soup combines potato and corn, with onions and garlic, and some chicken or vegetable broth.
It is finally blended to a smooth finish with milk, yogurt, or cream. Serve with fresh chopped chives and a sprinkle of smoked paprika powder. Here is the recipe.
17. Corn Magic Custard Cake
Prepared in a blender and then baked in a Bundt tin, this mildly sweet coffee cake incorporates whole kernel corn, coconut milk, condensed milk, eggs, and sugar. Here is the recipe.
18. Somali Corn in Coconut Turmeric Sauce
There is no reason corn should only be served with butter and salt every time, although this is delicious.
Cans of coconut milk and some powdered turmeric could be easily incorporated into your stockpile, plus some fresh tomatoes from the garden for this fragrant dish. Here is the recipe.
19. Corn Bread with Basil
Italian immigrants to Brazil brought this recipe with them and it has become a Brazilian favorite.
The incorporation of two types of cheese – provolone and parmesan, as well as fresh basil to add to the fragrance of the corn. Here is the recipe.
20. Russian Sweetcorn, Rice and Tuna Salad
Easily rustled up from standard supplies this Russian salad is nutritious. Russians may swap out the tuna for crab meat sticks, or you could add shredded venison, ground beef, or pulled pork. Here is the recipe.
21. Corn Muffins with Guava Paste
These corn muffins benefit from the addition of the sweet guava paste, making them a teatime snack.
Guava paste can be obtained at Latin markets, or in the Latin aisle in large supermarkets.
It’s worth adding guava paste to your stockpile as it can give a sweet boost to many recipes. Here is the recipe.
22. Chinese Chicken Sweet Corn Soup
A chicken breast fillet, a can of sweet corn, and chicken stock form the basis of this soup. The surprise addition is two eggs. The spring onions are optional. Here is the recipe.
23. Summer Corn Soup
Corn, chicken broth, onion, and fresh herbs deliver a light soup ideal for summer days. Here is the recipe.
24. Creamy Corn Gratin
Creamy corn, eggs, and cheese combine to make an elegant dish despite its humble ingredients. Here is the recipe.
25. Mexican Street Corn in Foil
This recipe keeps the corn moist and warm in the foil. Fresh ears of corn are smothered in lime, cojita cheese, chili, cayenne pepper, mayonnaise, and lime. Here is the recipe.
26. Maize Meal with Corn Recipe
This recipe from South Africa adds some fresh or canned corn kernels to a thick porridge traditionally served with barbequed meat.
The porridge is smothered in a sauce traditionally made with tomato, onion, and peppers. Here is the recipe.
27. Corn Pulao from India
Corn and rice form the basis of this recipe that is enhanced with the flavor of ginger, garlic, fresh coriander, and mint as well as some chilies for a bite – but if you aren’t into hot food the chilies can be reduced or skipped altogether. Here is the recipe.
28. Argentine Corn Pudding
It may have the consistency of pudding, but there the resemblance ends, as this version of humita is savory with a bit of a bite to it thanks to the jalapeno peppers. Here is the recipe.
29. Stir Fried Corn with Pine Nuts
This Northern Chinese dish combines corn with pine nuts, but if these are not available you can substitute walnuts, pecans, or cashews.
Carrot and cucumber spring onions are added for color. Salt and a little sugar are the only added seasonings. Here is the recipe.
30. Crispy Chinese Corn
With fresh corn as the basis, it’s the spices that add that special touch to this corn that is fried to crisp perfection. Here is the recipe.
31. Sichuan Messy Corn Stir Fry
This easy recipe doesn’t even need you to cut the corn off the cob – just section the ears of corn and stir fry with garlic, chili, soy sauce, and ginger for a burst of flavor. Here is the recipe.
32. Chilean Corn Pie
In this version of a shepherd’s pie, the mashed potato on top is exchanged for a cornmeal mix to provide a tasty meal. Here is the recipe.
33. Zimbabwean Sadza (corn meal porridge)
Sadza is the local name for Zimbabwean cornmeal porridge.
The consistency depends on how much water you add, so it can be a thinnish breakfast porridge, a thicker mix to be shaped with the hand and used to mop up gravy, or made very thick so it becomes crumbly and is served with a spicy sauce.
Here is the recipe.
34. Corn Soup Recipe (Vegan)
The herbs and spices simply enhance the corn in the soup – one has to be careful not to overshadow the delicate flavor of the corn. Here is the recipe.
35. Mexican Corn Fritters
These delightful little fritters use fresh or canned corn kernels. The use of chickpea flour and cornflour makes them gluten-free – or you can substitute wheat flour.
Lime, spring onion, lots of cilantro, and some optional jalapeno make them pop. Here is the recipe.
36. Sweet Mexican Corn Cake
Not to be confused with cornbread, this cake has the sweetness of the corn emphasized by the addition of condensed milk and is a great treat with coffee. Here is the recipe.
37. Russian Crab and Corn Salad
If you are in an area where you can catch your own fresh crabs then you are halfway there – otherwise you’ll have to rely on crab meat sticks. Eggs, mayonnaise, carrots, peas, and corn complete the dish.
Here is the recipe.
38. Summer Corn Relish
Can this corn relish that has apple cider, onion, celery, peppercorns, and chilies, when you have an excess of fresh sweet corn?
Its color in the bottles is attractive and it gives a piquant finish to a slice of home-baked bread.
It can be added to ham, cheese, or tomato sandwiches, or eaten alone with the bread or with barbequed meat. Here is the recipe.
39. Corn Dogs
Make your own corn dogs at home using a yellow maize meal. You don’t have to fill them with frankfurters – you can substitute any meat you have available – shredded chicken, pulled pork, a bit of leftover venison stew, etc. Here is the recipe.
40. Sweet Corn and Black Bean Tacos
For this, you’ll need corn tortillas (see the recipe below) and can use fresh produce from your garden like radishes, cilantro, and limes as well as fresh corn.
For this recipe, you don’t even need to cook the corn – simply marinate it in lime juice, although you can cook it if you prefer.
You’ll need a can of black beans too for a scrunchy tasty taco brimming with flavor. Here is the recipe.
41. Corn Tortillas
You will need masa harina for this – it’s a specially processed corn flour made of corn and lime.
Do not try to substitute it with ordinary corn flour – there is a difference in the whole process of making masa harina and you can find it alongside the wheat flour in the baking section of your grocer, otherwise try the gluten-free section or the ethnic food aisle of your grocery store.
Here is the recipe.
Polenta is the Italian version of cornmeal. It can be served the same way you do cornmeal mush with some butter and honey at breakfast time or if made to a certain consistency and left to cool so it can later be sliced into pieces and then fried.
It can be made from white or yellow cornmeal, but do use the medium or coarsely ground meal for the right texture.
If you use cornflour or fine ground corn meal it will not work and come out mushy. Here is the recipe.
43. Polenta Chips
Basically, you make your cornmeal into a porridge and leave it to cool overnight, then slice it into rectangular pieces which are deep fried until golden and crispy then served with fresh rosemary, black pepper, and sea salt flakes. Here is the recipe.
44. Creamed Corn Chicken
This dish is one of those skillet wonders that will be ready in around 50 minutes. It starts with bacon to give flavor, then the chicken is seared, and the corn is browned a little with butter and garlic.
Lastly, everything is returned to the pan with some liquid – the recipe calls for white wine but this isn’t necessary for survivalists and finished off with a little cream. Here is the recipe.
These recipes should give you a great start in taking fresh ears of corn, or even canned corn, to new culinary levels. You should also check out our other bread recipes.
Canned corn and corn meal should be part of any survivalist’s stockpile. Most of the recipes incorporate ingredients that can be grown virtually anywhere.
Cilantro, rosemary, radishes, carrots, basil, and spring onions can all be grown in limited space, and everyone should have a lime or lemon tree – even if it’s grown in a pot and protected during the winter.
Jeanie is an avid camper and a cook. She likes to do pioneer recipe sin particular, and any other type of survival food that our great-grandfathers loved.