Corn & Basil Cakes with Lemon Yogurt Sauce

July 27, 2020

Savory corn & basil cakes speak summer. They’re great as a side dish or the main attraction, and especially delicious when cooked on the grill.

Corn & Basil Cakes Topped with Sauce

*Originally posted September 2013. Updated July 2020.* This page contains affiliate links. See below for full disclosure statement

Reasons to Love Corn

I love corn, especially during the summer when it’s fresh off the cob. Despite some people’s concerns about it being too high in carbs, debates about GMOs, and it’s overall use in our food supply, corn is actually a nutrient-rich and delicious addition to the table – especially in the summer. Corn is a good source of fiber and antioxidants including vitamin C, lutein, and zeaxanthin, and it provides the B vitamins folate and thiamin.

Fresh corn is a vegetable, but did you know that dried corn – including popcorn – is a whole grain?! Farm-fresh corn is at it’s peak from mid-August to mid-September, but depending on the climate, you may still find fresh, local corn until mid-October. In fact, corn is the Whole Grain Council’s October Grain of the Month.

overhead picture of Corn & Basil Cakes on serving plate with ramekin of yogurt sauce

So Many Ways to Enjoy Fresh Corn

My family and I enjoy farm-fresh corn throughout the summer and when the summer’s over I switch over to frozen corn so I can enjoy this nutritious and delicious veggie all year long. In addition to basic grilled corn on the cob, I make a variety of dishes including my Corn & Black Bean Quinoa Salad, Grilled Avocados Stuffed with Corn & Black Bean Salsa, Nectarine Corn Salsa, Mexican Corn Salad, a classic  Corn, Basil, and Tomato Salad, Corn Tortilla Soup, and these Corn & Basil Cakes.

Corn & Basil Cakes Stacked on Plate

These corn and basil cakes were inspired by and adapted from this recipe at Eating Well, but I doctored them up a bit to add some more vegetables and flavor. And, to top it off, in the spirit of summer I grilled the cakes too. The end result was a nutritious and delicious recipe that has become a staple of our summer meal repertoire.

Although you can make these corn & basil cakes with frozen corn (which is just as nutritious as fresh), grab some ears while they’re still in season and make a batch before the summer feeling is completely gone!

Corn & Basil Cakes on Tray with Sauce

Looking for another savory summer pancake recipe? Try my Zucchini Pancakes with Feta

Savory corn & basil cakes are a great vegetarian side dish or main dish. Serve with a light and tangy Lemon Yogurt Sauce. Grill them during the summer or make them inside all year round! Get the vegetarian recipe @jlevinsonrd.

Corn & Basil Cakes with Lemon Yogurt Sauce

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

These savory corn & basil cakes with light and tangy lemon yogurt sauce are a great vegetarian side dish or main dish. Corn cakes can be made in a nonstick or cast iron skillet or on the grill during the summer. 

Vegetarian, Gluten-free friendly, Nut-Free, Kosher


For the Corn & Basil Cakes:

  • 1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour or chickpea flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup nonfat or low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 clove)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (if making in skillet, use another tbsp oil to coat the pan)
  • 2 cups corn kernels (~ 2 large ears if using fresh)
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Lemon Yogurt Sauce:

  • 6 ounces nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


To Make Corn & Basil Cakes:

  1. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add milk, whisked eggs, ricotta cheese, garlic, and 1 tablespoon oil to bowl of flour and whisk until smooth. Stir in corn, onions, sun dried tomatoes, and basil. 
  2. If cooking on grill: Heat grill to about 400 degrees. Coat a large piece of aluminum foil with non-stick cooking spray and set on grill grates to heat.
  3. If cooking on stove top: Heat oil in nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
  4. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, spoon the batter onto the foil/into skillet and cook until the edges are dry and the middle starts to bubble, about 2 to 3 minutes. Make as many cakes at a time as fit on the foil/in the skillet with each at least 2-inches apart. 
  5. Flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining batter, making 10 to 12 cakes total. Reduce the heat as necessary to prevent burning.

To Make Lemon Yogurt Sauce:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Serve with the Corn & Basil Cakes.


If using fresh corn, grill or sauté corn.

To grill corn, place cobs on heated grill grates, turning every 5 minutes until corn kernels begin to brown on all sides. To cut kernels, wait for corn to cool. Stand ears of corn on one end and slice kernels off with a sharp knife.

To sauté, cut kernels off the cub before cooking. Heat a small amount of oil in a nonstick or cast-iron skillet and add onions, followed by corn and sun dried tomatoes, and sauté until onions are translucent and mixture is fragrant. 

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: ~3 corn cakes
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 384Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 459mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 7gSugar: 12gProtein: 23g

Nutrition information was calculated by Nutritionix. It may not be 100% accurate.

Corn & Basil Cakes with Text Overlay

Are you a corn lover?

Do you have a favorite corn recipe? 

Share with me in the comments below!
Disclosure: This page contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you purchase products through these link, your cost will be the same but I will receive a small commission to help with operating costs of this blog. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own and I only recommend products I truly believe in. Thanks for your support!

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    1. Thanks Marisa! You can easily make them on a griddle or in a frying pan like you would make regular pancakes. Hope you enjoy them!

    1. Thanks Emily! Making them on the grill is great, but you they taste almost as good on a griddle too! Sweet potato quinoa cakes sound yummy!

  1. I love to make corn cakes for light summer lunches atop a bowl of mixed greens and fresh herbs. The lemony yogurt sauce and sun-dried tomatoes are a nice addition. I could even see a few avocado slices finding their way on top… Very nice, Jessica!

  2. These corn cakes look incredible! There’s truly nothing better than fresh corn on the cob in the summer. I have been enjoying our local corn as well. Love that you grilled these. I have to try!!!

    1. Thanks Alanna! Hope you try them while corn is at it’s prime! You can make them w frozen corn too, so don’t fret!

  3. […] salad, added to salsa or grain salads, stuffed into avocados, pureed into soup, used to make savory pancakes. I’ll even add corn kernels to stir fries and my summer shakshuka for more color, flavor, and […]

  4. Sweet corn is finally starting to pop up in my local farmers markets and I couldn’t be more excited! This looks like an amazing way to make use of an abundance of both corn and basil.. definitely keeping this recipe in mind!

  5. 5 stars
    There’s nothing like fresh corn in the summer. I love it just raw, off the stalk – it’s so sweet and tasty. I often will make fritters like these and add a sweet potato for a little different taste. Your version sounds so good!

    1. I absolutely agree Chrissy! I often make my corn and tomato salad with raw, fresh off the cob corn! I love the idea of adding sweet potato. Will have to try that too!

  6. Drool! These look delicious. I would never think to put these ingredients together. Thanks for the idea 🙂

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