Rich and creamy, this Mexican corn recipe is made with Cotija cheese mixed with charred kernels of corn and incorporates the mild spice of a jalapeño. Add in seasoning and fresh squeezed lime juice and you are ready to dig into this irresistible dish! It can be eaten as a side dish, a topper, or as a dip!
✔️ Quick Recipe Overview
Why This Is The Best Mexican Corn Recipe Out There: Utterly delicious with remarkable flavor in each bite, this crispy corn is easy to make, pairs with just about anything, and always leaves people wanting more!
How Long It Takes: 30 minutes
Equipment You Will Need: skillet and large bowl
Over the top and full of flavor, that's what this recipe brings to the table! Sometimes you'll see Mexican street corn on the cob, like Grilled Corn with Cotija Cheese, or you'll see it in cut kernel form. Just like this Mexican rice made in the instant pot, this a great accompaniment to any Mexican based recipe, like this Mexican casserole, but you can also eat it as a side dish, place it on top of tacos, wrap it in a burrito, or eat it as a dip with chips! You can also eat this corn in a cup! The options are oh so good and truly endless!
ℹ️ Why This Recipe Works
1. Save time by using frozen kernels instead of fresh or frozen corn on the cob.
2. It's an inexpensive dish to make and works well as an appetizer (dip), a side dish, or as a topper to any Tex-Mex based recipe.
3. Made with simple ingredients, this recipe stores well and tastes just as amazing the next day!
🛒 Ingredients You'll Need
The ingredients you'll need to make this can be found at any local grocery store. I use frozen kernels because they sear extremely well when heated in a skillet on the stove-top. You also have the choice to grill several cobs of corn and cutting off the seared kernels.
Cotija cheese works best for this recipe because it easily crumbles and when it melts, it gets creamy. You can also use queso fresco or feta cheese. If you want to add more heat to this Mexican corn recipe, add in the jalapeño seeds. Since I like it mild, I chop the jalapeño and then discard all the seeds. The spices you need are ground cumin, chili powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
📋 Step-By-Step Recipe Instructions
Start by finely chopping the cilantro, jalapeño, red onion, and fresh garlic. Set aside. Next, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Once the oil becomes very hot (2-3 minutes), add the frozen kernels and allow it to cook until they start to sear, about 4-5 minutes. From there, use a spatula to flip the kernels so the other side can sear. The goal is to really sear the corn until seared on almost every kernel.
Expert Tip: The secret to this recipe is searing the corn. That's where a lot of flavor comes from! The goal is to sear the kernels to get that charred look and taste. Except it's not charred. What you're doing is triggering the Maillard reaction, which is a chemical reaction between amino acids and sugars. This can happen with all types of food. It starts at around 250°F and fully kicks in around 300°F and can only be attained with the right temperature, a certain acidity level, and proper moisture content.
While the kernels are searing, mix together the mayonnaise, Cotija cheese, fresh lime juice, jalapeño, chopped cilantro, red onion, garlic, cumin, garlic, chili powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.
When the corn is done, gently fold it into the bowl to combine well. The hot kernels will melt the cheese which results in a creamy layer. And from there, you are ready to serve!
It takes about 30 minutes from start to finish to make this street corn recipe. The searing is the most time consuming part. During the searing process, you need to let it sit and stir about every 4-5 minutes.
Regardless how you choose to eat this Mexican corn, you're guaranteed to love it! It pairs really well with tacos so try pairing it with these crockpot beef carnitas tacos and these crockpot salsa chicken tacos. Oh, and you're going to love it on these shredded chicken tacos!
🙋🏼 Frequently Asked Questions
A good street recipe consists of mayonnaise, a cream based cheese, lime juice, jalapeño, cilantro, seasonings, and spices all mixed together and slathered on top of or mixed in freshly charred sweet corn.
Canned corn doesn't sear as well, so I either use frozen kernels or I grill corn on the cob and cut off the kernels.
💭 Expert Tips
- While frozen corn works really well in this recipe, take advantage of fresh corn on the cob if it is in season.
- To make the corn really hot, add it back to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes until steaming hot.
- This Mexican street corn recipe is best served either hot or at room temperature.
- Store leftovers in a container with a lid in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
🌽 More Corn Recipes
I love adding corn to different dishes and if you love corn just as much as I do, make sure you check out these corn recipes! If you've ever wondered what to serve with flank steak, then you're going to love the Mexican corn salad I add to this dish! It's melt in your mouth delicious! And if you like corn in your chili and stew, make sure you try this easy crockpot southwest stew recipe. And corn has never tasted so good as it does in this deliciously tasty beef enchilada casserole.
If you tried this Mexican Corn Recipe or any other recipes on my website, please let me know how it turned out in the comments below. I love hearing from you! And, please leave a 🌟 rating while you're there!
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Quick & Easy Mexican Corn Recipe
- ⅓ cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons red onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon jalapeño pepper finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 16 oz bag frozen corn, (3-4 cups fresh corn)
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 oz Cotija cheese crumbled
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon smoked Paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Start by finely chopping the cilantro, red onion, jalapeño, and garlic. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
- Add the frozen corn and allow it to cook until the kernels start to sear, about 4-5 minutes. From there, use a spatula to flip the kernels so the other side can sear. The goal for this recipe is to really sear the corn until seared on almost every kernel.
- While it is charring, mix together the mayonnaise, Cotija cheese, fresh lime juice, jalapeño pepper, cilantro, red onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.
- When the corn is done, gently fold it into the bowl of cheese and seasonings and combine well.
- Serve immediately and store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
- Queso fresco or feta cheese is a great substitute for Cotija cheese.
- While frozen kernels works really well in this recipe, take advantage of fresh corn on the cob if it is in season.
- To make this dish really hot, add the mixture in the bowl back to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes until steaming hot.
- This recipe is best served either hot or at room temperature.
- Store leftovers in a container with a lid in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Awesome Recipe. Great for parties! Made a triple batch in a cast iron dutch oven and kept it on low heat during the parry.
So glad you loved it! Yes - it keeps warm so well in a duuch oven!!!
So delicious and full of flavor! I will definitely make this again, it's the perfect veggie side for our taco nights!
I'm so glad you loved my corn recipe!
Amy Liu Dong
I love corn so much and I love how delicious and easy to make this recipe is.
I enjoyed it!
I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed it so much!
This is such an amazing corn recipe! It looks absolutely delicious! It's a Mexican food that we can expect to be rich in flavor and taste! A perfect side dish for me! Loved it!
So glad you loved it, Jamie!
This Mexican corn recipe is super tasty! We used it on top of some chicken enchiladas. Excited to try it with other meals!
It pairs well with so many different recipes! You'll love it with everything!
This sounds so delicious! To be honest, I think I would end up serving it as a dip, but eating it all as a meal!
You can't go wrong either way!
Amazing dish. However - as I am not crazy about mayo, I used a mashed up avocado instead and was still delicious!
So glad you loved it!! Great substitution!!
I don’t have the ingredients to make Mexican street corn but I do have corn and a container of Mexican sweet corn dip can I use that and put it in fried corn
I have never tried it that way. Let me know how it turns out!
What do you do with the chopped onions and peppers?
Take a look at step 4, "While it is charring, mix together the mayonnaise, Cotija cheese, fresh lime juice, jalapeño pepper, cilantro, red onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Set aside"
This is such an incredibly flavorful dish! I agree with you that the charring of the corn was key to the aromas here. I served this street corn with quick chicken tacos, it was delicious!
So glad you loved it!!