It's a great addition to your Taco Tuesday lineup, or any other day of the week! This grilled Mexican street corn casserole recipe combines charred corn in a creamy, cheesy casserole with savory spices and zesty lime. It's the perfect side dish to your favorite tacos, tostadas and Mexican salads.
This easy recipe is the perfect potluck dish. It's delicious served hot or room temperature. The flavors are bold and memorable and it's a great side dish to serve when feeding kids and adults. It will be the first to disappear!
Here's what you'll need to make this Mexican corn casserole recipe:
Corn (fresh, or frozen and thawed) - during sweet corn season, I love making this recipe with corn cut fresh off the cob. But for the rest of the year, frozen and thawed whole kernel corn works perfectly.
Mayonnaise - in traditional Mexican street corn, the entire cob of corn is grilled, then slathered with mayo, lime juice, spices and cheese. In this recipe, you can't taste the mayo, but it adds a lovely creaminess to the sweet and savory dish.
Sour cream - the richness of the sour cream adds even more creaminess to the dish. The mixture of sour cream and mayonnaise with the lime, cheese and spices adds the perfect texture to this great recipe.
Cotija cheese, queso fresco or feta cheese - you're looking for a crumbly, slightly sharp cheese to boost the bold flavors and creaminess of this corn casserole. If you can't find a Mexican cheese like cotija or queso fresco, feta will work as a substitute in this delicious casserole.
Green onions - the flavor and freshness from scallions are a lovely balance to the richness of this dish.
Fresh cilantro - cilantro takes this dish over the top in flavor. If you're not a fan, substitute more scallions or parsley.
Fresh lime juice, plus slices for serving - the bright flavors of Mexican street corn wouldn't be the same without citrus. Fresh lime juice is a necessity. You can substitute lemon juice in a pinch, but lime juice is a far better flavor profile.
Chili powder - this ingredient is the dark red and smoky chili powder widely available in the US, not the bright red hot pepper powder found in Europe and the rest of the world. If you can't find regular chili powder, ancho chili powder is a good substitute.
Smoked paprika - just a pinch of smoked paprika dials up the smokiness and charred corn flavor perfectly.
Full measurements and directions included in the printable recipe card below.
Step-by-step instructions for this popular street food casserole:
Preheat the oven to 400℉. Lightly grease a 2-quart casserole dish and set aside. If using fresh corn, cut corn off of the cob while the corn is still raw. If using frozen corn, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and drain. Heat a large skillet over high heat until hot. Add 2 tablespoons neutral oil to the pan, along with the corn kernels. Spread the kernels out in the pan and leave untouched until they have browned deeply, about 5 minutes.
Toss in the pan and leave untouched again until they are browned. Remove from heat. While the corn is roasting, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, grated garlic, ¾ cup of cheese, scallions, cilantro, lime juice and 1 ¼ teaspoons chile powder in a large bowl. Stir well to combine into a thick, pink stew.
Add charred corn to the mixture and stir well to combine.
Pour the corn mixture into the greased casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining ¼ teaspoon of chili powder and remaining ¼ cup of crumbled cheese.
Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and top with cilantro and lime slices.
FAQ's Serving Suggestions and Variations:
Adding a diced jalapeno pepper or two, a can of roasted (drained)green chilies, or a ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes will increase the spiciness of this dish. Since the ingredient list doesn't include raw eggs or flour, feel free to taste the casserole before baking to determine if more spice should be added. Since a bottle of hot sauce is always on my table, heat can be added to individual servings, as well.
My whole family used to love a dish we called confetti corn, where you add diced green and red bell pepper and red onion to the corn when charring. You could add those veggies into this recipe and then mix them in with your creamy cheese mixture before baking.
To store, transfer corn casserole to an airtight container or wrap casserole dish tightly in plastic wrap and then foil. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, Add a few tablespoons of milk to a pan along with the corn casserole and heat over medium until warmed through. Alternately, warm a single serving on a microwave-safe plate for about 30 seconds.Print