HomeRecipesA Simple Corn, Beans and Squash Recipe

A Simple Corn, Beans and Squash Recipe

If you’re a fan of corn, beans and squash, this recipe is for you. Enjoy the sweetness of the corn with the savory taste of beans.

This dish, originally from Mexico, has become a beloved staple throughout the Southwestern United States. What an ideal way to celebrate summer!


The Iroquois, who were the original farmers in North America, have long regarded corn, beans and squash as “sisters of life” that protect their crops from harm. This belief is still held today by many indigenous communities around the world.

Planting these three together is an efficient and sustainable way to provide healthy growth with essential proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, it improves soil fertility.

Growing corn, beans or squash together in your garden is an easy and economical way to increase crop production without adding more work to the plate. All three plants can be used together or separately as desired; each offers its own distinct flavor profile that makes them perfect for any dinner party.

Corn, beans and squash can be grown in a variety of climates – from hot desert to cool forests. While it’s essential to water them during the hottest part of summer, you can plant these sisters year-round in cooler areas as long as you adhere to some key guidelines.

* Plant corn after the ground has warmed up but before the first frost. This allows the seeds to germinate more quickly, increasing their strength and making corn plants less vulnerable to windstorms.

Once the corn has reached a height of 4 inches, it’s time to plant beans and squash. Be sure to weed the patch thoroughly prior to planting; in dry climates, go light on the beans as too many will overtake other plants and shade out weeds.

Beans and squash add nitrogen to the soil, increasing its fertility for corn plants. They also climb over cornstalks, making them less vulnerable to windy conditions. Furthermore, squash vines create living mulch by shading out weeds with their prickly leaves – keeping soil cool, moist and free of weeds.

Corn, beans and squash have much to teach us about farming and gardening. Although these Three Sisters can be grown in a variety of soil types, they all thrive best when grown in well-drained sandy soil with adequate moisture. Furthermore, these nutritiously complementary crops complement one another; carbohydrates from corn help balance proteins in beans while vitamins and minerals from squash provide us with a balanced diet.


Never cooked with acorn squash before? Well, this dish will certainly change your mind about this versatile veggie. The flavor is similar to pumpkin and when baked or roasted it has an attractive skin.

Acorn squash makes an excellent substitute for traditional winter squash and can be served as a side dish year-round. It can be roasted, air-fried, or mashed.

To begin preparing an acorn squash, first scrape away its seeds and stringy membranes inside. Do this by cutting through its stem or by cutting in half lengthwise; then carefully scoop out and discard any pockets of seeds or membranes inside.

Alternately, cut the squash into 1-inch chunks and cook them over medium-high heat in a skillet with some oil or melted butter until golden brown and caramelized. Set the pieces aside to cool completely.

While cooking, be sure to season the acorn squash as desired. You can add some olive oil, salt and pepper for flavor. Alternatively, sprinkle the squash with brown sugar or maple syrup before serving.

This recipe is ideal for a quick and effortless dinner! It’s packed with vegetables and plenty of fresh basil.

For extra flavor, sprinkle flaked parmesan cheese over your dish before serving. You could also experiment with herbs like fresh cilantro and crumbled queso fresco, or basil and feta cheese!

You can make this meal vegetarian-friendly by leaving out the bacon. Or, for an even higher level of protein, add some crumbled chicken, turkey or beef for extra flavor and protein.

If you don’t have access to acorn squash, yellow squash can also be used instead. Not only is this recipe delicious and healthy, it offers more nutrition than corn on the cob!

This refreshing side dish is the perfect complement to any summer meal. Packed with fresh veggies and flavored with chopped chilies, it’s low in calories, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly if you use coconut oil instead of regular oil.


One of the simplest and most delicious ways to add some flair and freshness to your dishes is garnishing. It can range from something as simple as fresh herbs to more elaborate touches such as cilantro-lime oil on charred corn or some toasted seeds! Add a unique touch that will really elevate this recipe!

Add extra spice and flavor by topping off with chili flakes or parsley. This works especially well when using summer squash; it keeps the soup bright and vibrant without overwhelming it with hot peppers.

Another way to add some zest is by roasting the veggies. Not only will this give the dish an enhanced flavor, but it helps stabilize squash so it holds better during cooking.

Prep the vegetables for this recipe by trimming squash in half lengthwise and then cutting each half into cubes about 1/2 inch thick. You may have to slice crooknecks into chunks as well.

Place the squash pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. Gently toss each piece with your hands to coat evenly in spices. You may wish to drizzle olive oil if desired, but I usually don’t.

Once the vegetables have roasted for 35-40 minutes, remove them from the oven and transfer to a large pot. You may add in some kernels of fresh corn as well. Bring this mixture to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer until squash and corn are tender (15-20 minutes).

You can serve the soup as is or top each serving off with a dollop of sour cream and garnish of cilantro or chiles. It’s an effortless way to create a nutritious yet visually stunning meal!

While your corn and squash are roasting, you can make your own quick stock by mixing together corn cobs, half an onion (no need to peel it), celery stalk, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes while you prepare the remaining soup ingredients.


This delicious summer squash and sweet corn dish makes an excellent accompaniment to tacos or burgers when served hot from the grill. It can also be enjoyed cold as a salad or slaw in summertime.

Squash and corn have long been associated in Native American cultures. Their connection is seen as spiritually significant, as each plant represents a gift from the Great Spirit to their people. They are commonly referred to as the Three Sisters in Iroquois mythology and seen as “sustainers of life”.

Many tribes considered corn, beans and squash an integral part of their diet – indeed these three plants are seen as essential to the health and well-being of their communities.

Additionally, they contain protein, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Furthermore, they provide plant-based fats which aid in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Quick and effortless, this recipe requires simply sauteing squash and corn on the stovetop. This process concentrates the sweetness of these summer vegetables, creating a dish that’s extra flavorful and moist.

On top of the squash and corn, add cheese and herbs for a hint of Mexican flavors, such as crumbled queso fresco with fresh cilantro or feta cheese with basil leaves. You can even top the skillet off with cooked bacon for an irresistibly smoky kick!

When grilling this dish, add a sprinkle of salt and pepper to the veggies before placing them on the hot part of the grill. You may also want to add fresh oregano, garlic, oregano oil and chili powder for additional flavorings.

This summertime side dish can be served hot or room temperature, making it the ideal dish to bring along to parties or picnics. Plus, the recipe is super-simple to prepare ahead of time!

You can serve this dish on its own or as the filling for vegetarian tacos if you opt not to include the cheese and herb topping. It would also go well with grilled chicken, pork or shrimp kebabs.

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