Corn maque choux: Cajun Corn & Pepper Side Dish

corn maque choux
Corn maque choux is a well-loved Cajun dish that combines corn and peppers with various Cajun seasonings to create a flavor festival that goes with many traditional Cajun dishes from Louisiana.

What Is Corn maque choux?

While many outside Louisiana may never have heard of it, Corn maque choux is a side dish commonly served in Cajun cooking.

Its culinary roots can be traced back to Creole and Native American cooking. Most likely, corn maque choux is a Creole interpretation of a traditional Native American dish utilizing ingredients common to the Native American diet, like corn.

However it came about, the combination of fresh corn, peppers, onion, tomato, and Cajun spices is delightful and delicious.

How Do You Pronounce maque choux?

The correct pronunciation of maque choux is “mock shoe,” which seems an odd name for something so tasty!

There are several theories regarding the origin of the name maque choux. Some claim it’s a derivation of the Cajun French term, maigrchou, which translates to “thin child” and could reference the use of cream to thin the base of the dish. The direct translation of the French words maque choux is ‘cabbage mask.’

What Are The Ingredients In Corn maque choux?

Corn maque choux utilizes fresh ingredients that can be found in most areas. Although there are variations to Corn maque choux recipes, they all contain the essential ingredients below:


Corn is the primary ingredient in this dish, and a great way to use fresh corn when it’s in season. Fresh corn kernels cut directly off the cob have an unmatched crisp sweetness that deserves to be showcased. If fresh isn’t available, frozen sweet corn will work as well.

Traditional corn maque choux recipes call for you to ‘milk’ the corn. After cutting the kernels from the cob, you use the back of a knife to scrape the cob to express the liquid left behind from the kernels. This gives the dish an even deeper and sweeter corn flavor.


Green bell peppers are what’s typically used, but you can use any color bell pepper. For more heat, choose a spicier green pepper like a jalapeno.


If in season, the sweetness of fresh tomatoes can’t be beat.


White or yellow onion is best. If Vidalia sweet onions are available, they complement the sweetness of the corn and tomatoes.

A fat for sautéing

Traditional Cajun corn maque choux calls for bacon grease to be used. The smokiness of the bacon helps bring the dish together. Any other fat or oil can be used for those who are vegetarian or don’t like bacon.


The cream is mixed in to help create the “sauce,” but there are other, less heavy options like milk, chicken or vegetable stock, or coconut milk to make it non-dairy.

Creole seasoning

Creole seasoning can be found in the spice aisle of most grocers. If you can’t find it, you can make your own Creole seasoning with spices you probably already have in your pantry, like paprika, onion and garlic powder, cayenne powder, and dried herbs.

Other Ingredients

Some recipes add rice or other grains to the dish for a more filling side dish that stretches the ingredients – perfect for a picnic or potluck! You can also add a protein for a complete meal. If you like a fresh garnish, you can use parsley, green onions, chives, or even cilantro.

Corn maque choux with rice, red onion and cilantro for a Mexican twist.
Corn maque choux with rice, red onion and cilantro for a Mexican twist.

How Spicy Is Corn maque choux?

The heat level in Corn maque choux varies according to the pepper and amount of Creole seasoning used.

Most recipes call for green bell pepper or red bell pepper – sometimes both. Corn maque choux doesn’t have to be a spicy dish because these peppers have no heat.

But for those who enjoy a little heat, there are options to spice things up.

Some options for substitutions include:

  • Cajun belle pepper. These are similar flavor profiles and will add mild heat to the dish. The downside is that Cajun belle peppers can be hard to find.
  • Poblano pepper. Some recipes call for poblano peppers and the addition of chili powder or cumin to give a Mexican flare.
  • Jalapeno pepper. Slightly different flavor, but spicier. Adding jalapeno will create a dish with medium heat,
  • Serrano pepper. Spicier than the jalapeno but with a similar flavor. Serrano peppers will definitely up the spice ante.

There are hotter peppers available, but going too hot with this dish can compromise the flavor.

What To Serve With maque choux

There’s no right or wrong when it comes to serving maque choux. It can accompany any number of dishes or stand as a main dish.

Since the ingredients in maque choux are fresh during the summer, it’s often served alongside barbequed meat or chicken.

In areas of Louisiana, people often add andouille sausage or crawfish directly into the maque choux creating a hearty one-pot main dish.

Make it a complete meal by adding a side of cornbread.

Why Is The Dish Popular In New Orleans?

Although this dish can be made year-round in any locale, corn maque choux’s beauty is its ingredients’ freshness.

For many in New Orleans and throughout Louisiana, this dish is created straight out of the garden in the summer. There’s not much that beats gathering fresh garden produce and putting together a dish with such a rich history.

Does Corn maque choux Have Dairy?

Most recipes for corn maque choux call for heavy cream to create a type of sauce within the dish. The cream also adds a highly satisfying flavor and creamy consistency to this corn dish.

If you want to lighten things up or don’t care for dairy, you can substitute coconut milk, chicken stock or creamed corn.

How To Make Corn maque choux

Corn maque choux is a relatively simple dish to make.

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corn maque choux

Corn Maque Choux

  • Author: Lorin


Try this tasty Cajun side dish using fresh corn, peppers, and tomatoes.


Units Scale

2 tablespoons bacon grease (or butter or vegetable oil)
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper diced (may also use poblano, jalapeno, or serrano)
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cobs of fresh corn, kernels cut from cob

2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, milk, chicken stock, or coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning, to taste


  1. Add the bacon grease to a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion and peppers for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 2 minutes more.
  2. Add the corn, tomatoes and heavy cream. Season with salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning. Simmer for 10-15 minutes to desired doneness.
  3. Let rest to thicken for about 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Tips For Cutting Corn Off The Cob

Many corn recipes that use fresh corn require cutting the kernels off the cob. This may seem like a simple task, but if not done correctly, it can result in a mess or injury.

  • Choose a sharp knife. A dull one will mash the kernels and not remove them cleanly.
  • To avoid kernels going everywhere, have a large bowl handy. If you have a bunt pan, these can be very useful in place of a bowl.
  • Place one end of the cob in the bowl and hold it at an angle. If using a bunt pan, place one end of the cob on the center pinnacle – when cutting, the kernels will be caught in the base of the pan.
  • Cut from the top down at the base of the kernels trying not to cut into the cob.
  • Rotate the cob and cut until all kernels have been removed.


Lorin is a writer, editor, photographer, and loves a culinary adventure. She routinely climbs up the Scoville heat ladder using peppers and spice to update and create new recipes for friends. Over the years she's become a pepper aficionado, growing and cultivating several varieties in her home garden.

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