The vibrant colors of summer in a bowl of sweet summer corn succotash with bacon. A sure to please delicious side dish for dinner. With fresh ears of corn on the cob, red sweet bell peppers, and edamame you can make it in 30 minutes. In winter, use frozen corn kernels. Skip the bacon for a vegan succotash. There's no sufferin’ succotash with this recipe!
Sweet corn succotash has deep history. Originally, 17th century Native Americans shared this mixed vegetable side dish with pilgrims. It was also popular recipe during the great depression for it's readily available and inexpensive ingredients and eventually became a Southern staple.
Generally made with corn, sweet peppers and lima beans, I swap limas for edamame and add fresh herbs and savory salty bacon for my own spin. A little jalapeño is good too.
Why You'll Like This Recipe
- The perfect side dish for summer.
- Pairs with many main dishes.
- Make it with bacon or without.
- Use either lima beans or edamame (frozen is fine).
- Corn: Use fresh sweet corn on the cob in summer months or frozen corn kernels in winter.
- Beans: Either edamame (soybeans) or lima beans for corn succotash. Frozen is fine if fresh is not available and easy to keep on hand. For prepping ease, choose shelled edamame, otherwise buy the pods and shell them yourself. It's a little more work but not bad.
- Bell pepper: Sweet red bell pepper adds beautiful color and flavor.
- Jalapeno pepper: For a little flavor boost, adds good color too. If you like things hot, use a hotter pepper, or skip. It's optional.
- Shallot: A mild sweet member of the onion family, or use red onion.
- Cooking fat: Use olive oil or avocado oil, or bacon drippings.
- Garlic: Use fresh garlic cloves for the best flavor.
- Thyme: Use fresh thyme leaves or ⅓ the amount of dried thyme.
- Bacon: Adds savory, salty flavor that pairs great with corn succotash (optional).
Please see quantities on the recipe card with detailed instructions.
Substitutions and Variations
A good thing about this sweet corn succotash recipe is it's flexible, and the combination of vegetables can't be beat.
- If you are heat sensitive, use a mild green pepper such as a green bell pepper or an Anaheim chili pepper.
- For herb variations, use fresh chopped cilantro at the end, fresh chopped Italian parsley. Fresh basil is nice too or a little chopped fresh oregano.
- If you are soy-allergic or sensitive, use lima beans or fava beans. Even cooked chopped French green beans work well.
- Make corn succotash more substantial by adding cooked quinoa, it makes a great lunch.
- Make this corn succotash, make grilled corn on the cob instead of boiling.
Chef's Tip: Choosing produce. Go organic if possible or look for a non-GMO label. Conventionally grown soybeans and corn are usually genetically engineered (now called bioengineered). Red bell peppers are on the Dirty Dozen list for produce with high levels of pesticides. For corn and soybeans or limas, frozen bags are handy to stock in the freezer if fresh is not available.
Fill a large 5-6 quart pot ¾ full of water, add salt, and bring to a boil.
Chef's Tip: Soy dietary controversy. This corn succotash recipe uses whole soybeans. As with most foods, the whole form is healthy. It's the processed forms of soy that are a big problem health wise. Processed forms like soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein are best avoided. And be sure it's organic or labeled as non-GMO. Avoid mass market soy “vegetable” oil that is GMO and processed with high heat and chemical solvents. So edamame? It's good and high protein (unless your soy-sensitive).
The perfect summer side dish, serve corn succotash either warm, room temperature, or chilled. Chilled, it kind of a corn salad. It pairs well with many main course options. Try it with:
- Sliced grilled chicken breast or bbq chicken.
- Grilled, or baked shrimp. Try this easy grilled shrimp recipe and omit the prosciutto.
- Make this easy steamed salmon recipe and serve it chilled atop the corn succotash.
- Slices of marinated grilled flank steak.
- Roasted or grilled pork tenderloin.
Corn succotash keep up to 4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Of 17th century origin, succotash is a Narragansett Indian word "msickquatash" meaning boiled corn kernels or broken corn kernels. It's traditionally a mix of shell beans, such as lima beans, and corn.
Enjoy succotash year round. In summer when corn on the cob is best, and it's also a nice transition dish from summer into fall. Frozen corn kernels and edamame or lima beans make it delicious and enjoyable year round today.
Succotash is a versatile side dish. Enjoy it with roast or grilled chicken, seafood, even steaks. It's even good at the Thanksgiving table with roast turkey.
It's an exclamation of dismay or frustration by famous Disney Looney Toons character, Sylvester the cat.
More Easy Summer Side Dish Recipes
For more easy summer side dishes, try these recipes.
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Sweet Corn Succotash with Bacon
- 4 ears corn on the cob, cleaned sub frozen thawed kernels, 2 cups
- 4 ounces bacon (optional) chopped into strips crosswise
- 1 pound frozen edamame in shell sub frozen shelled edamame, 6-8 ounces
- 1 large red bell pepper chopped small
- 1 medium jalapeño pepper chopped small (optional)
- ½ small red onion or 1 large shallot, chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or use bacon fat
- 2 large garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped sub 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Boil water, cook bacon
- While a large pot of salted water is coming to a boil, cook the bacon in fry pan until brown and crisp. Strain onto layers of paper towels. Save a little bacon fat to cook veggies or use olive oil. Do not wash the pan; use it to cook shallot and garlic.
Cook corn and edamame
- Lower the corn into boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Remove corn cobs with tongs and drain on a kitchen towel. When cool enough to handle, cut kernels from cob and place in a medium bowl. Cutting the cobs crosswise in half and standing them on end to slice kernels off makes it easier.In same pot with water still boiling, cook frozen edamame for 4 minutes and strain, run cold water over them, and shell. Add to the corn.
Cook veggies and finish succotash
- Cook the onion in the fry pan until soft, then add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Add the red and green peppers and thyme and cook until soft, 2-3 minutes, then add the corn and edamame and stir everything together. Add any additional herbs if desired and succotash is ready to serve.Leftover succotash holds in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 4 days and is good warmed, room temperature, or cold.