Benefits of Frozen | Menu Planning

11 Mouthwatering Ways to Serve Roasted Corn in Foodservice

Dec 04, 2023

11 Mouthwatering Ways to Serve Roasted Corn in Foodservice

Corn isn’t about to make any lists of new, trendy vegetables. But with more than 12 billion bushels consumed in the U.S. last year, corn is an enduring favorite of American consumers. That goes doubly for roasted corn, whose menu incidence is projected to grow +12% over the next four years.1,2

“Roasted corn is a lot more compelling on menus,” says Michael Zeller, Corporate Executive Chef at Simplot. “The roasting process caramelizes some of the sugar in the kernels, which adds depth and dimension to the flavor. And that rich color and char on roasted corn looks great.”

And the extra appeal of roasted corn doesn’t go unnoticed. Elote corn (roasted Mexican street corn), for example, has exploded in popularity, with menu incidence up +90% over the last four years and +27% over the previous year alone.

The versatility of roasted corn can’t be beat

Roasted corn is also incredibly versatile. It can be used in a wide range of dishes, from soups and salads to main courses, desserts, and even pizza and baked items. Its natural sweetness and texture make it a valuable ingredient in both savory and sweet recipes.

The smoky-sweet flavor of roasted corn pairs well with a multitude of ingredients, including herbs, spices, smoked paprika, meats, vegetables, and cheeses. Flavors like smoked paprika, garlic powder, garlic butter, and plain old salt and pepper are only the beginning. This compatibility allows it to be used in many culinary styles, from Mexican and Southwestern to Mediterranean and Asian.

This adaptability to global flavors is becoming ever more important to restaurants. Nearly half of younger generations (47%) say they’re more likely to dine at eateries that feature novel or inventive flavors.3

Here are 11 delicious ways to serve roasted cut corn throughout the day, courtesy of the Simplot Culinary Team:


Street Corn Avocado Toast Grab-n-Go Kit
Want to offer a tasty snack option that will appeal to just about everyone? How about this handy kit with crispy crostini bread, creamy avocado, zesty jalapeño corn and Cotija cheese all packaged up to go?
View Recipe »

Avocado Toast
This dressed-up avocado toast wins new fans with the color and crunch of perfectly roasted corn—a tasty snack any time of day, featuring Simplot Harvest Fresh® Avocado Halves.
View Recipe »


Elote-Style Roasted Corn Salad
The rich flavors of roasted cherry tomatoes and roasted corn on the cob are enhanced with salty parmesan cheese and creamy chile-lime dressing. This salad is delicious on its own or with add-ons like a grilled shrimp skewer or thinly sliced, grilled chicken breast.
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Middle Eastern Corn Salad
Bright, crunchy and versatile, this vegan salad features flame-roasted corn, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and fresh mint. Don’t skimp on the housemade lemon tahini dressing—it’s delicious.
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Street Corn and Avocado Salad
This salad brings all the freshest flavors of Mexican street food into one bowl. Roasted corn and jalapeño, diced avocado, grape tomatoes, red radish and queso fresco tossed in a light mayo dressing and sprinkled with sumac.
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Street Corn Nachos
We all know that street food can be innovative, delicious and packed with flavor. These nachos featuring our flame-roasted corn are no exception.
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Dippin' Trio of Corn Salsa, Guacamole and Queso
Combine our flame-roasted sweet corn and peppers with traditional tomato salsa and pair it up with zesty guacamole and creamy queso dip. Serve it on a platter with a whole bunch of crispy tortilla chips for dippin’, of course.
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Korean Cheese Corn
An ever-popular Korean side dish that usually accompanies Korean BBQ—this one can be featured as an appetizer or as a tasty side.
View Recipe »


Roasted Corn and Summer Squash Pizza
If you ever wanted to put the flavors of the late summer harvest on a pizza—even in the dead of winter—this is the way to do it. And it tastes even more delicious than it looks.
View Recipe »


Mexican Elote-Style Street Corn Soup
Inspired by the ever-popular Mexican street corn dish, this creamy, satisfying soup is loaded with roasted corn, a touch of jalapeño, fresh cilantro, and Cotija cheese. It’s the perfect lunch on a chilly day.
View Recipe »

Roasted Jalapeño & Corn Chowder
A flavorful update on a time-tested favorite featuring the roasted goodness of Simplot RoastWorks® Flame-Roasted Corn & Jalapeño Blend.
View Recipe »

Should you roast your own or use frozen roasted corn?

According to Chef Zeller, making oven-roasted corn from fresh ears doesn’t make much sense in busy commercial kitchens.

“I don’t know a lot of operators who can dedicate the time to shuck a case of corn a day, cut it off the cob and roast it in-house,” explains Chef Zeller. “First of all, that’s a ton of labor. It’s hard to get consistency day after day. And it can tie up your ovens for hours. When there’s a great frozen roasted corn out there like RoastWorks®, roasting it yourself doesn’t pencil out.”

Simplot RoastWorks® Flame-Roasted Simply Sweet Cut Corn is one of the most popular products in the company’s roasted lineup. Grown in Eastern Washington’s Columbia River Basin, this corn is cut, flame-roasted and frozen fresh from the field—some in as little as an hour after harvest—at the peak of its flavor and tenderness.

The unique advantages of ready-to-eat (RTE) frozen roasted corn

Prepared in our high-care processing environment, Simplot RoastWorks® Ready-to-Eat Flame-Roasted Simply Sweet Cut Corn can be thawed and served straight from the bag with no additional cooking required (unless you want it hot, of course). For cold applications, this lets you skip the cooking and cooling steps to make items like salsas, salads and more. And it’s six-day, unopened shelf life in the refrigerator reduces waste.

With a product like this, the difference in quality between fresh ears of corn and frozen is negligible. And with its operational benefits, it’s never been easier to elevate your menu with the versatility, color and flavor of perfectly roasted corn.

1. Consumption of corn worldwide in 2022/2023, by country

2. Datassential, MenuTrends, 2023

3. Technomic, Flavor Consumer Trend Report, 2023