Make Ahead

Elote Off the Cob (Mexican Street Corn)

June 14, 2021
3 Ratings
Photo by the.beet.generation
Author Notes

I wanted to make an elote that was a little bit more eater-friendly. This dish can be eaten as a side or makes a nice dip with tortilla chips. —the.beet.generation

Test Kitchen Notes

Elote, the very popular grilled Mexican street corn, can usually only be made when fresh corn on the cob is in season. Which makes sense, considering it's the star ingredient! And grilling the corn over high heat gives you this charred, unforgettably deep flavor that's beautifully balanced out with creamy Cotija cheese and a kick of ancho chile powder. But here's a version that takes the corn off the cob, which is traditionally known in Mexico as esquites. The best part is that the corn doesn't have to be in season, and you don't have to use the grill, so you can make this simple yet supremely satisfying recipe any time of the year.

The best way to mimic that charred sweet street corn is to turn on your broiler and cook the corn on the highest heat setting possible. You could also get the same results if you cook the corn in a super-hot wok if you don't want to use the broiler. You should definitely try to track down Cotija cheese to get the best results possible, but feel free to add finely chopped scallions or jalape├▒os if you have some on hand. Since you can serve this salad warm or at room temperature, it'd be great for a picnic or barbecue. Not a fan of spice? Just add the chile powder to taste, or omit it entirely if you have spice-sensitive eaters. With just a handful of ingredients that results in tons of flavor, you'll find yourself making this over and over again. —The Editors

  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
  • 2 pounds frozen corn kernels (or fresh if corn is in season)
  • 3/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat the broiler. Defrost the corn and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil, stirring once halfway through, for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the cheese, cilantro, mayonnaise, sour cream, lime zest, lime juice, and ancho chile powder; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the roasted corn to the cheese mixture and stir to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

1 Review

Kimberly J. January 5, 2021
It has a name. It is esquites