If you’re looking for an easy way to serve up this seasons corn, this authentic Esquites recipe is the perfect snack or accompaniment to your summer BBQ.

If you love authentic Mexican recipes as much I do, try my Charro Beans, Chiles Rellenos, and Horchata.

Esquites corn in a cup, with a spoon in the cup, topped with queso fresco.

I am a little obsessed with Mexican street corn and I love it cut from the cob even more than I love traditional elote (on the cob). You can use frozen corn for this recipe and enjoy esquites all year long!

What are Esquites?

Esquite, also called elote en vaso (corn in a cup), is a common snack sold from food carts in the streets of Mexico. It’s similar to elote but the corn is cut off the cob and served warm, in disposable cups with Mexican crema, chili powder and lime.

Labeled individual ingredients needed to make esquites Mexican street corn.

How to make Esquites:

1. Add butter to a skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add onion and pepper and saute until tender. Add water and corn. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is tender (about 5-8 minutes). Season with black pepper and a little salt and divide among 4 cups.

2. To each cup add 1 heaping teaspoon of mayonnaise and 1 heaping teaspoon of Mexican crema (or sour cream). Stir to combine. Sprinkle generously with grated cheese and chili powder, to taste. Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges to squeeze on top.

Two process photos for assembling esquites in a disposable cup.

MAKE AHEAD AND FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS:

To make-ahead: Saute and cook onion and corn mixture. Allow to cool and store covered in the fridge. Prepare the topping ingredients and store in the fridge. When ready to serve, rewarm corn mixture in a skillet before dividing into cups and adding topping.

To freeze corn: After cooking the corn, allow to cool and store in a freezer safe container for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, rewarm corn mixture in a skillet before dividing into cups and adding topping.

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Recipe

A cup with esquites Mexican street corn in it, and a spoon.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 20 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Video

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 Tablespoon salted butter , softened
  • 1/3 cup diced onion , (optional)
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper , seeded, diced, (optional)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 ears corn* , husked, cut from the cob (about 3 cups)
  • salt and pepper , to taste
  • 5 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 5 Tablespoons Mexican sour cream
  • 1/3 cup shredded cotija cheese or queso fresco*
  • Chili powder, Tajin, or hot sauce , to taste
  • 1 lime , quartered

Instructions
 

  • Add butter to a skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add onion and pepper and saute until tender. Add water and corn. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is tender (about 5-8 minutes).
  • Season with black pepper and a little salt and divide among 4 cups.
  • To each cup add 1 heaping teaspoon of mayonnaise and 1 heaping teaspoon of Mexican crema (or sour cream). Stir to combine.
  • Sprinkle generously with grated cheese and chili powder, to taste. Serve with lime wedges to squeeze on top. Enjoy immediately.

Notes

Corn: White corn is traditionally used in Mexico, but yellow corn can be substituted. You could also substitute 3 cups frozen corn. 
Cheese: Cotija cheese is traditional, but if you can’t find it, substitute finely grated parmesan cheese.
Make ahead Instructions: Saute and cook onion and corn mixture. Allow to cool and store covered in the fridge. Prepare the topping ingredients and store in the fridge. When ready to serve, rewarm corn mixture in a skillet before dividing into cups and adding topping. 
Freezing Instructions: After cooking the corn, allow to cool and store in a freezer safe container for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, rewarm corn mixture in a skillet before dividing into cups and adding topping. 

Nutrition

Calories: 217kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 5gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 322mgPotassium: 301mgFiber: 3gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 440IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 87mgIron: 1mg

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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