Elote in a Bowl (Esquites)


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You’ve likely heard of Elotes before, but have you heard of Esquites? Well, they’re almost the same thing! Elotes is the name for Mexican street corn on the cob which are grilled, and then dipped in mayo, cotija cheese and other delicious toppings. Esquites is the name used for the same corn and toppings, but served in a bowl, off the cob. Basically, the salad version of Elotes.

You can use frozen corn for this recipe if that’s what is available to you, but it’s much better with fresh, summer corn. That’s why I love making this recipe in the summer!

I like using avocado oil for this recipe, but you can use any other neutral oil that has a high smoke point. Don’t use olive oil for this one! To get the best char on the corn, I prefer to use my cast iron pan.


This makes the best side (or burger topping!!) for a barbecue and it’s so easy to make! After you’ve cooked the corn, all you have to do is mix the corn with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Can’t get much easier than that! You can also easily this recipe to your liking. If you want it more limey, add more lime! Spicier? add some jalapeño and more chili powder! One thing I always like to do before serving is garnish the bowl with a little more cheese, chili powder and some green onions. It looks so pretty!

This recipe was inspired by traditional Mexican street corn, but with my spin. I hope you love it!

Recipe Summary

  • Elote in a Bowl (Esquites)
  • Prep Time
    5 Minutes
    Cook Time
    10 Minutes
    Total Time
    15 Minutes
  • Level: Easy
  • Servings: 4
  • Ingredients:
    • 3 Cups fresh corn kernels (from about 4 ears of corn)
    • 1 Tablespoon avocado oil
    • Kosher salt, to taste
    • 1/2 Cup mayonnaise
    • 1 (4 ounce) Can green chiles
    • 3 Tablespoons Cotija cheese
    • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
    • 1/4 Teaspoon Ancho chili powder
    • 2 Green onions, green parts only, thinly sliced
    • Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (optional)
    • Jalapeño, finely minced (optional)
  • Instructions:
    1. Heat the avocado oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the corn, season with salt, and cook until softened and well charred; about 10 minutes. 
    2. Transfer the corn to a large mixing bowl and add the mayo, green chiles, cheese, lime juice, green onions and chili powder. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
    3. Serve right away and enjoy!

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