Make Canned Corn More Exciting With Your Favorite Cheese

The ingredient that'll take your canned corn to the next level is one that's likely already in your fridge. For more flavorful canned corn, it's time to break out the cheese. Canned corn is naturally sweet and starchy — a bright, dimensional richness that's complemented by the savory-umami depth of your favorite cheeses. Plus, canned corn and cheese both tote relatively hefty shelf lives, so you can keep 'em on hand for future recipes whenever the moment strikes.

In general, any cheese that you would normally enjoy eating is probably going to pair well with canned corn. Just steer clear of especially pungent varieties like Roquefort (which will dominate the corn flavor) or any harder cheese (Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, etc.) that won't melt well. A little moisture is necessary to keep the mixture silky. For even melting, work with cheese that's been shredded or grated off the block to stir into your delicate kernels without needing to overmix and wreck the texture into mush. 

If you're preparing a warm dish, the shredded or grated cheese can be melted directly in with the canned corn on the stovetop or in the oven. If you're preparing a cold dish, either melt your cheese separately before incorporating into the corn or simply mix in the unmelted shredded cheese. A creamy binding agent like sour cream or full-fat milk might be necessary to achieve a pleasant mouthfeel. To combine, start with ½ cup of cheese per can of corn, adjusting to taste from there.

Shredded cheese, please (It's not corny to ask -- you totally CAN)

Nothing hits on a chilly day like a warming loaf of homemade cornbread with pepper jack cheese baked in. Or, you could use canned corn and shredded cheddar to make this Beefy Cheesy Mexican Casserole – perfect for getting a flavorful, crowd-pleasing dinner on the table during a busy weeknight, or rocking the tailgate on the weekend. For a filling, fast-prep meal, bring canned corn and cheese together in spicy taco soup topped with shredded pepper jack cheese, or ooey-gooey Korean Corn Cheese, which can be made in a single skillet (see ya next time, sink-full of dirty dishes).

You could make comforting cheesy corn casserole — a terrific side dish to meaty entrees or as an addition to any holiday table spread. All it takes is Jiffy corn muffin mix, canned corn, shredded sharp cheddar, and sour cream baked in a casserole dish until it achieves a crispy golden top and pudding-like interior. You could even depart from the shredded cheese arena altogether and stir your next batch of luscious creamed corn with tangy cream cheese (8-ounce brick of softened cream cheese per 4 ½ cups of canned corn). Pairing cheese and canned corn doesn't just work for hot dishes, either. Canned corn and crumbled cotija cheese come together for the perfect summer lunch in this Charred Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad.