9 Easy And Delicious Mexican Corn Recipes

Corn is a cornerstone of Mexican cooking, which isn't surprising, since the nation is one of the top 10 corn-producing countries in the world. The United States sits at the top of that list, so many Americans are familiar with delicious Mexican dishes that celebrate the golden yellow kernels. If you've been lucky enough to taste Mexican street corn, more commonly called elote (which just means "corn"), then you know that this nation's cuisine knows how to put some ears to use. But there's oh-so-much more to discover, as highlighted by this list of easy and delicious Mexican corn recipes.

With this collection of nine recipes, you can try your hand at creating a tantalizing array of dips, soups, salads, tacos, salsas, pasta, and more. Many call for Mexico's signature method of charring the corn before putting it to work. Get ready for see some surprise ingredients, as well as options for quick-fix dinners, fancy multi-layered entrees, and tips for grilling corn both outside and indoors. 

Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

This brilliantly colorful salad from recipe developer Miriam Hahn brings a combination of fresh, sweet, and spicy flavors to your table. It's basically an off-the-cob version of elote, which is called esquites when the corn is prepared this way. The key to this iconic Mexican salad recipe is roasting the corn until it's charred and slightly smoky. Fresh ingredients like jalapeños, red onions, red peppers, and cilantro are diced and tossed with the corn, then joined by cotija cheese and a zesty dressing made of mayo, lime, and Tajin seasoning.

Recipe: Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

Grilled Mexican Street Corn

Here we have a straightforward recipe for elotes. While the dish is called "street corn" because street vendors sell the cobs on a stick, you can make a great version in your own kitchen. Recipe developer Michelle McGlinn guides us through broiling the corn and slathering on toppings for delightfully messy eating. A zesty upgrade from buttered and salted American-style corn, the cobs feature lightly spicy crema, chili powder, Tajin seasoning, lime juice, and cotija. Feel free to use feta, queso fresco, or Parmesan cheese if you can't find cotija near you.

Recipe: Grilled Mexican Street Corn

Elote-Style Corn Dip

As with other Mexican elote or esquites recipes, this elotes-style corn dip from recipe developer Miriam Hahn puts the charred corn kernels front and center, accompanied by creamy, tangy, and spicy flavorings like jalapeños. But significant departures here include the addition of grape tomatoes for juicy textural intrigue, plus avocados for a more flavorful creamy quality. Hahn tosses out a tip for kicking things up a bit: Invite a spicier serrano pepper to the jalapeño party. No matter which chilis you use, don't skip the Tajin seasoning; it's a defining flavor of this preparation. Serve with tortilla chips or crisp leaves of lettuce.

Recipe: Elote-Style Corn Dip

Charred Corn And Poblano Soup

With this charred corn and poblano soup, you'll get a similar smoky taste to Mexican street corn, but in a belly-warming bowl of velvety, peppery soup. Smoked paprika pairs perfectly with grilled or skillet-charred corn, joined by other earthy spices, poblano peppers, and Yukon gold potatoes (which also happen to be the best ones to roast). Hahn gives some handy insights on how to blend hot liquids, as well as efficiently cutting charred corn off the cob. This soup goes from prep to blending, bubbling, and serving in about an hour. 

Recipe: Charred Corn And Poblano Soup

Charred Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

This esquites-inspired pasta salad is another refreshing recipe by Miriam Hahn, this time using a bow-tie pasta twist. The filling noodles turn the classic side dish or snack into an entree. You'll be cutting charred corn off the cob, then tossing it with homemade dressing and plenty of earthy spices. Hahn shares helpful ideas for personalizing this salad, including spicing it up or down, and adding things like guacamole, black beans, shrimp, or grilled chicken.

Recipe: Charred Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Black Bean And Corn Taco Pasta

Imagine your favorite carbs swimming harmoniously in a rich taco-flavored tomato sauce, topped with crunchy tortilla chips and grated cheese, then toasted under the broiler before serving. That's what you're getting with this gloriously simple black bean and corn taco pasta, from recipe developer Annabelle Randles. It all comes together in about 30 minutes, thanks to convenient canned black beans, frozen corn, store-bought marinara sauce, some taco seasoning, and easily chopped or grated veggies and cheese. It happens in a single pan, too, so cleanup is a breeze. 

Recipe: Black Bean And Corn Taco Pasta

Grilled Corn And Avocado Guacamole

Fans of guacamole, the creamy green goddess of dips, should get ready for some added sweet-corn texture with a smoky surprise. For this grilled corn and avocado guacamole, you'll be charring the corn once again, but it's not the only ingredient taking the heat. Its grill-mates include the avocados themselves, plus onions and jalapeños. The resulting caramelized veggies, tossed with diced fresh tomatoes, lime juice, and other guac components, come together for a tantalizing take on the classic creamy dip. You can also bring the grilling/charring process indoors, if you don't have an outdoor grill.

Recipe: Grilled Corn And Avocado Guacamole

Grilled Shrimp With Charred Corn And Mango Salsa

This grill-friendly dinner from Tasting Table recipe developer Michelle McGlinn features three summertime favorites: corn, mangoes, and grilled shrimp. However, if outdoor cooking isn't your thing, or summer has come and gone, an indoor grill pan works just fine. The shrimp marinate in a sweet, earthy mixture of olive oil, honey, minced garlic and chili powder. A charred corn and mango salsa pairs deliciously with the grilled seafood. Make it a full meal by serving with rice.

Recipe: Grilled Shrimp With Charred Corn And Mango Salsa

Shredded Brussels Sprouts Tacos With Charred Corn Salsa

Corn often lends its showy yellow color to meat or fish tacos, but in this recipe, the kernels meet an unexpected meal mate: super nutritious Brussels sprouts. The shredded sprouts are tidily tucked inside tortillas, joined by a homemade charred corn salsa. Black beans also jump into the mix, along with some of the best meatless taco-party cohorts: tomatoes, jalapeños, cilantro, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and more. The fillings are ready rumble in about 20 minutes.

Recipe: Shredded Brussels Sprouts Tacos With Charred Corn Salsa