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Esquites is an off-the-cob version of elote--the sweet, smoky, Mexican corn served from street vendors. This is best made with fresh sweet corn, but frozen can work when you're looking for that perfect comfort dish in off-season months. The flavors of this dish are versatile--enjoy as a side with any Mexican or BBQ fare such as enchiladas, tacos, grilled/roasted chicken, BBQ pork, or burgers. This is best served at room temperature.


Recipe Summary test

10 mins
10 mins
20 mins
6 servings


Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn and epazote. Cook, stirring frequently, until cooked to your preference, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • Combine crema and lemon juice in a bowl; season with salt. Mix crema into the hot corn and transfer mixture to a serving dish. Let cool to room temperature.

  • Sprinkle Cotija cheese and chipotle powder on top of corn and serve with lime wedges.

Cook's Notes:

An easy tip to get corn off the cob - put a small plastic bowl upside-down inside a larger bowl. Put the corn vertically on top of the small bowl and cut off the corn with a knife. The corn will fall inside the bigger bowl, preventing corn from flying all over the kitchen. Best made with fresh corn, but you can use frozen corn when fresh isn't available.

Epazote is an herb or weed. It can be hard to find fresh; if you do, use 1 tablespoon chopped in this recipe. Dried is found in most grocery stores with other dried Mexican herbs. If you can't find it near you, you can omit it and the corn is still delicious.

Do-ahead tip - you can prepare corn through step 2. When ready to serve, bring to room temperature (not hot), in the microwave and proceed with finishing the dish.

Nutrition Facts

204 calories; protein 4.6g; carbohydrates 19.1g; fat 14.2g; cholesterol 39.7mg; sodium 159.7mg. Full Nutrition