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Skillet Elote (Mexican Street Corn): Easy Home Recipe

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Skillet Elote (Mexican Street Corn)

Skillet Elote, also known as Mexican Street Corn, brings the flavors of the street fair straight to your kitchen. This easy recipe combines sweet corn, creamy mayonnaise, and zesty lime juice, all cooked to perfection in a skillet.

When your corn starts to char in the hot skillet, that’s when the magic happens. The smoky flavor pairs perfectly with a sprinkle of chili powder and a generous helping of cotija cheese.

Whether you use fresh, frozen, or even canned corn, this dish is versatile and simple. Plus, the whole family will love the bright and bold flavors. Enjoy the taste of summer anytime with this crave-worthy recipe.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Here are the key ingredients you’ll need to make Skillet Elote:

  • Corn: Fresh or frozen. Frozen corn should be thawed and dried.
  • Mayonnaise: Adds creaminess. Substitute: Greek yogurt for a lighter option.
  • Sour Cream: Enhances tangy flavor. Substitute: More Greek yogurt or crème fraîche.
  • Lime Juice: Provides freshness and zest. No substitute for this one!
  • Chili Powder: Adds a slight kick. Substitute: Paprika or a mix of paprika and cayenne.
  • Butter or Olive Oil: For cooking the corn. No substitute needed!
  • Cotija Cheese: Crumbly and salty. Substitute: Feta or grated Parmesan.
  • Cumin: Adds earthiness. Substitute: Coriander or leave it out.
  • Garlic Powder: For extra flavor. Substitute: Minced fresh garlic.
  • Paprika: Optional for a bit of smoky flavor. Substitute: Smoked paprika.

Note: Be sure to taste and adjust seasonings as you go. Skillet Elote is flexible, so feel free to tweak based on what you like and what you have on hand.


  1. Prepare the Corn:

    • If using fresh corn, shuck and rinse it.
    • If using frozen corn, ensure it is well-drained.
  2. Heat the Skillet:

    • Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Cook the Corn:

    • Add butter or olive oil to the skillet.
    • Pour in the corn and cook without stirring for about 5 minutes.
    • Stir the corn and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, until slightly charred.
  4. Make the Sauce:

    • In a bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, cumin, and chili powder.
    • Optionally, you can add cilantro, garlic powder, or paprika.
  5. Combine:

    • Add the cooked corn to the sauce mixture.
    • Stir well to coat the corn evenly.
  6. Add Cheese:

    • Mix in half of the cotija cheese until melted.
    • Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top before serving.
  7. Garnish:

    • Sprinkle with additional cilantro and lime wedges if desired.
  8. Serve Warm:

    • Serve immediately and enjoy your Skillet Elote!

Feel free to get creative with your toppings and enjoy!

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

You can try many variations of skillet elote to suit your taste. Here are some ideas:

Add Extra Veggies:

  • Mix in chopped bell peppers or onions for extra crunch.
  • Add black beans for more protein and fiber.

Switch Up the Cheese:

  • Use feta if you can’t find cotija cheese.
  • Cheddar or Parmesan can also work in a pinch.

Spice It Up:

  • Add extra chili powder for more heat.
  • Sprinkle with hot sauce or serve with a side of jalapeños.

Creamy Twists:

  • Mix in a bit of cream cheese for a richer texture.
  • Swap sour cream with Greek yogurt for a healthier option.

Herbs and Garnishes:

  • Fresh cilantro adds brightness.
  • Chopped green onions can offer a mild onion flavor.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve as a side dish for tacos, grilled meats, or barbecue.
  • Spoon it over nachos or add to burrito bowls.
  • Use it as a topping for baked potatoes for a flavorful twist.

Combining these ingredient variations and serving ideas will make your skillet elote exciting every time. Mix and match to find your favorite combination!

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.