This creamy and delicious Mexican Street Corn Casserole is a great side dish for Taco Tuesday. It’s an easy-to-make twist on traditional elote, and less messy too! It’s an easy recipe for busy weeknights.
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Mexican Street Corn Casserole
There’s not much more heavenly than tacos and a side of elote, AKA Mexican street corn.
Grilled corn smothered in a creamy sauce and topped with flavorful seasonings, cheese, and cilantro? Mmm!
If you’ve never had it, I highly recommend trying it! You can find it on the menu of many Mexican restaurants.
At home, it’s a little trickier to make. Husking corn cobs is labor intensive! Instead, this delicious corn dish can be made in casserole form. All of the same flavor with way less mess.
I love serving this street corn casserole alongside tacos and refried beans or black beans.
Why you’ll love this Mexican street corn casserole recipe
You’re going to love this easy casserole inspired by Mexican street corn for a few reasons:
- This casserole is a fabulous side dish for Taco Tuesday or anytime you’re making Mexican food at home.
- With only a handful of simple ingredients, it’s easy to make in one dish.
- It’s creamy, full of flavor, and a totally delicious casserole.
- It’s a fun way to have your favorite street food at home with the whole family!
What is elote?
Also known as traditional Mexican street corn, elote is a popular street food. It typically consists of charred, grilled corn on the cob that’s covered in a creamy and sometimes a little bit of spicy hot sauce, and sprinkled with herbs and spices.
Meaning “corn cob” in Spanish, elote is served still on the cob. When taken off the cob, mixed with the other ingredients, and served in a cup, it’s called esquites.
As such, you could also call this corn casserole Esquites Casserole!
Mexican street corn bake
Want an easier way to make Mexican street corn? Try baking it up into a casserole.
This casserole takes the bright flavors of Mexican street corn and turns it into a casserole.
Even better is that you can serve a lot of people at once and don’t have to spend any time removing corn husks!
Not to be confused with Mexican cornbread casserole (that is equally delicious), this version does not include cornbread batter or jiffy cornbread mix.
This casserole is a mixture of sour cream, mayonnaise, and spices with fresh corn.
Ingredients for this Mexican street corn recipe
Here’s what you’ll need to stock up on to make this easy Mexican corn casserole:
- mayonnaise – I suggest using regular mayonnaise instead of light, but use what you have on hand.
- sour cream – Like mayonnaise, it’s better to use full fat instead of light sour cream.
- chili powder
- garlic powder
- ground cumin
- frozen corn – Yellow corn and white corn will both work. You can also use fresh or canned corn. If using canned corn, be sure to drain it completely to avoid a soggy casserole. While cream style corn is delicious, I would pass on adding that in here.
- cotija cheese – Use queso fresco cheese for a more traditional substitute. Feta cheese could also work in a pinch.
- fresh cilantro
- limes –You’ll need the zest and the juice, so I don’t recommend using bottled lime juice.
Mexican street corn seasoning
Elote typically contains a spice mix of chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and salt.
Tajín, which is chili lime seasoning, is another popular topping for elote.
The grocery chain Trader Joe’s sells its own Everything but the Elote Seasoning, which includes cane sugar, salt, corn flour, parmesan cheese, chipotle powder, dried cilantro, and cumin, plus other flavorings and preservatives.
The Spice Lab also makes a great blend.
How to Make Elote Corn Casserole
To make this Elote Casserole, here’s what to do, step by step:
The first thing to do is thaw the corn. This is an important step or your casserole might be soggy! Here’s a tutorial on thawing frozen corn if you are in a hurry. Be sure to drain any extra water that might come off.
Then, preheat the oven to 350°F. Get out a 9×13-inch baking dish and set it aside.
In a large bowl, combine the mayo, sour cream, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, lime zest, and lime juice. Stir until everything is well mixed.
Next, fold in the corn and cotija cheese until evenly coated and distributed.
Then pour the corn mixture into the baking dish and pop it in the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
Before serving, you can top it with additional seasonings, cotija cheese, and chopped fresh cilantro if desired.
How to make this recipe work for the whole family
For picky eaters, leave the cilantro on the side if anyone in your family has the cilantro soap gene!
Tips and tricks for this Mexican corn casserole recipe
It’s important that the corn is fully thawed before you cook with it. If not, it can cause the casserole to be watery.
Make sure your spices aren’t expired. It’s a good idea to check them at least once a year!
If you want to make this into a one-dish meal, you can add some cooked lean ground beef that’s been seasoned with taco seasoning for a full meal.
Mexican street corn off the cob
If eating Mexican corn on the cob isn’t your thing, you can mix it into a casserole and bake it.
It’s much easier to eat with a fork and it’s a lot less messy than eating it on the cob. Great for kids, especially!
How to store leftover street corn casserole
To store leftover street corn casserole, allow it to first come to room temperature. Once it has cooled completely, place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for 3-4 days.
Substitutions and alterations for street corn casserole
This casserole can be customized any way you like. While not exactly the traditional elote, a few fun ways to change it up include:
- Sprinkling green onions on top
- Adding in jalapeno pepper
- Make it even creamier with some cream cheese in the sour cream/mayo mix
- Use ancho chili powder in place of standard chili powder
- Add in cheddar cheese or Mexican blend cheese to make it extra cheesy
- Sprinkle in some black pepper
- Add in red pepper flakes for extra spice
- Add in roasted green chiles or extra chili powder to add a little heat
FAQs about Mexican Corn Casserole
Elote is a traditional Mexican street food that comes from the Spanish word for “corn cob.” Also known as Mexican street corn, it typically consists of charred, grilled corn on the cob that’s covered in a creamy and sometimes spicy sauce and sprinkled with herbs and spices.
If you made a corn casserole with frozen corn or undrained canned corn, you should have thawed the corn first. Skipping this step will result in a watery casserole.
Mexican street corn can be enjoyed with other Mexican foods like tacos, enchiladas
The seasoning for elote typically contains a spice mix of chili powder, garlic powder, cumin and salt. Chili lime seasoning is another popular topping for elote. You can also sometimes find pre-mixed elote seasoning at specialty grocery stores.
“Street corn” is the English name for the Mexican corn-on-the-cob dish known as “elote.”
Because of the water content of corn, corn casserole does have a wet quality. However, corn casserole shouldn’t be watery and soggy. Using unthawed frozen corn or undrained canned corn can cause this.
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Mexican Street Corn Casserole Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the mayo, sour cream, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, lime zest, and lime juice. Mix to combine well.
- Add the corn and cotija cheese to the mix and stir to combine.
- Pour the corn mixture into a 9×13 baking dish.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Top with additional seasonings, cotija cheese, and cilantro if desired.
- It’s important that the corn is fully thawed. If not, it can cause the casserole to be watery.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy. It should only be used for estimation purposes and is not a guarantee of any kind. Nutritional information varies widely between brands and types of ingredients used. It is recommended that you calculate the nutritional information based on your own ingredients and brands used. Sweetly Splendid, LLC makes no guarantees as to the exact nutrition information.