June 29, 2020

12 Delicious, Healthier Toppings for Corn on the Cob

Dress your summer cobs with enticing flavor twists sure to become your new go-to recipes

corn on the cob with salsa

Corn on the cob may be a summer staple but all the salt and butter we slather on it can really do a number on our health. If you’re clamoring for corn on the cob this summer why not get creative and try these healthier, more mouthwatering recipes that are guaranteed to up your summer grill game.


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Dietitian Anna Taylor, RD, has created a dozen flavor sensations that convert plain old corn on the cob as a side dish into the main attraction. Plus, you can feel good about dressing up those golden kernels with ingredients that are more health-friendly for you and your whole family. (Sorry, butter and salt — you’ve been replaced!)

Corn is good for you

One plain ear of corn has only 100 calories and almost 3g of fiber — which is good for your digestive tract and can help you feel fuller longer. It also contains some very healthy phytonutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants that support eye health.

It’s what you top it with that makes it unhealthy. For example one tablespoon of butter also has 100 calories, not to mention 7g of saturated fat (which clogs arteries and can increase cholesterol levels). Also, excess salt intake can contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.


By switching up the traditional toppings of salt and butter to some more healthful (and exciting) flavor combinations, you can glean the nutritional benefits of this tasty vegetable while also keeping your taste buds happy. Try them on or off the cob!

Try these sweet, savory, tangy and spicy recipes

  1. Low-sugar fruit chutney cooked with diced strawberries, cherries or oranges with vinegar and chiles.
  2. Low sodium MSG-free teriyaki sauce.
  3. Powdered cinnamon, cumin, coriander, oregano, ginger, pepper, ground clove and olive oil.
  4. Basil-lemon pine nut pesto.
  5. Guacamole with mashed avocado and lime with small diced tomatoes and scallion.
  6. Olive oil, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and black pepper.
  7. Reduced-fat feta, chili powder and a squeeze of lime.
  8. Olive oil, oregano, basil, plain greek yogurt, feta and diced red onion.
  9. Salsa made with minced red onion, tomato, bell pepper and cilantro (add black beans for extra fiber).
  10. Olive oil, lime, oregano, chili powder, paprika, garlic, onion, black pepper and cumin.
  11. Creamy homemade soy or low-fat yogurt-based wasabi sauce.
  12. Cob curry made with natural peanut butter, canola oil, chickpea flour, greek yogurt, turmeric and red chile.

“It can be hard to kick those less-healthy, go-to recipes we’re more accustomed to,” Taylor says. “But each time you make small changes to explore healthier yet equally as satisfying options like this — you’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of better eating habits for you and your family.”

Related Articles

variety of food groups containing manganese and magnesium
November 30, 2023
Manganese vs. Magnesium: Two Important Minerals With Key Differences

They’re both essential minerals but do different jobs in your body

holy basil leaves, known as tulsi, on wooden spoon
November 30, 2023
The Benefits of Holy Basil (Tulsi)

This herb offers different potential benefits from the basil you find in pesto

cool tropical smoothie with straw
November 30, 2023
Recipe: Cool Tropical Smoothie

A zesty thirst-quencher that’s dairy-free and vegan

salmon and broccoli over rice
November 29, 2023
6 Foods To Eat for Healthy Joints

Fish, cruciferous veggies, turmeric, yogurt, ginger and green tea all reduce inflammation

skillet of ground turkey stroganoff
November 28, 2023
Recipe: Healthy Turkey Stroganoff

A hearty dish that’s easy to put together

Top view of a bowl of chili topped with sour cream and jalapeños with tortilla chips for dipping.
November 24, 2023
Recipe Adventure: How To Build a Better Bowl of Chili

From meat to beans, we’ve got some ideas to help you create the perfect-for-you chili recipe

Spearmint tea in a glass see through cup with spearmint leaves scattered on the saucer and background.
November 22, 2023
3 Health Benefits of Spearmint Tea

This subtly minty beverage can help balance hormones and loosen stiff joints

Overhead closeup of cauliflower pseudo mashed potatoes in a bowl on a wooden table.
November 21, 2023
Recipe: Cauliflower Mashed Pseudo Potatoes

A creamy mashed cauliflower that’s sure to please

Trending Topics

group of hands holding different beverages
November 14, 2023
10 Myths About Drinking Alcohol You Should Stop Repeating

Coffee won’t cure a hangover and you definitely shouldn’t mix your cocktail with an energy drink

Person applies moisturizer as part of their skin care routine after a shower.
November 10, 2023
Korean Skin Care Routines: What You Need To Know

Focus on the philosophy — replenishing and respecting your skin — not necessarily the steps

glass of cherry juice with cherries on table
November 8, 2023
Sleepy Girl Mocktail: What’s in It and Does It Really Make You Sleep Better?

This social media sleep hack with tart cherry juice and magnesium could be worth a try