Sonoran Street Corn Cups



Sonoran-Style roasted Mexican street corn in a creamy, cheesy sauce seasoned with chile and lime.

Mexican street corn roasted corn kernels in a cheesy, creamy sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Sonoran Mexican Street Corn Cups
Servings: 10 servings
Roasted corn kernels cut from the cob in a creamy, cheesy sauce seasoned with chile and lime and served in cups. This recipe is inspired by Elote en Vaso which are sold by local street vendors and snack shops.


  • Kernels from 8 ears of fresh corn about 4 cups
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 five-ounce can evaporated milk
  • juice from two large limes
  • 1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise like Dukes or Hellmann’s
  • 1/2 cup grated cotija cheese divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Serving

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh or freeze dried chives for garnish
  • Tajin or other chile-lime spice blend, for garnish


  • Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed skillet, such as cast-iron, over high heat. Sauté the corn kernels in the butter until they are soft and starting to brown, about 2-3 minutes. You might have to do this in two or three batches. Salt and pepper the corn to taste. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and let cool to room temperature.
  • Add the lime juice, mayonnaise, evaporated milk and half of the cotija cheese to corn. Stir to combine. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
  • Transfer to individual serving cups and top with a generous portion of cotija cheese. Garnish with chives, and a sprinkling of Tajin.
    Mexican street corn roasted corn kernels in a cheesy, creamy sauce


In a pinch you can use frozen corn kernels, preferably Trader Joe’s Roasted Corn. Just rinse them under cold water for a couple of minutes to defrost, then drain. Be sure to use evaporated milk and not sweetened condensed milk. The two are easy to confuse.
This dish is very rich, a little goes a long way. I served this in two-ounce plastic cups that I got at the dollar store
Here's how to cut corn from cob.
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Sonoran Style Mexican
Keyword elotes, Esquites, Mexican Street corn cups

Order Jackie's Cookbooks

The Unofficial Yellowstone Cookbook Cover
cover of The Unofficial Elf Cookbook by Jackie Alpers. Treat every day like Christmas with recipes inspired by the classic film "Elf".
The Unofficial Elf Cookbook by Jackie Alpers
About Jackie Alpers
Jackie Alpers International Photography Awards Honorable Mention
International color awards nominee medal