This Loaded Mexican Street Corn Sauté is an easy skillet variation of Mexican street corn made with frozen corn and topped with flavorful additions like pepitas, Cotija cheese, bacon, pickled jalapenos and cilantro.
Here it is, it’s spring. And I am making Mexican food. Are you surprised at this point?
I guess we shouldn’t be and just accept that apparently this is going to be a thing…When I get obsessed with Mexican food for a stint in early spring. I’m three years going, and it looks like as long as I am dreaming of warmer climates, you guys get Mexican food. Sorry not sorry.
This will be the third year in a row that I am going to be parking my blindingly white rear end on a beach chair in Mexico. It’s less than a month away and I cannot get there soon enough.
In the meantime, we’ll just have to imagine strolling through a Mexican market, street corn in hand, the warm Gulf breeze in the air.
In reality, here in Vermont it isn’t so much breezy as it is crazy windy and sideways raining and we are still nearly a month from May flowers.
This Mexican Street corn is a result of my annual Mexican day dreams. I wanted to recreate the flavors of Mexican street corn, but simplify the method for home, and this time of year, by using a skillet and frozen corn kernels. I am in love with the results.
How to Make Healthy Loaded Mexican Street Corn Sauté
- Usually Mexican Street corn is served on the cob with some sort of crema, sour cream or mayonnaise to make all the spices and cheese stick. I decided to save our indulgence for the toppings since they add so much flavor.
- I quickly sautéed garlic and chopped green bell pepper in extra-virgin olive oil. Initially I used a blend of butter and oil, but I felt that the flavor didn’t come through enough to justify using the butter.
- Next I added in the frozen corn, straight out of the bag- still completely frozen! I dusted on some salt and chili powder and let the corn thaw as I stirred it into the vegetables and seasoning. The whole skillet is done in less than 10 minutes!
- Next I piled on the flavor. I used all of my favorite Mexican toppings like toasted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) and cilantro.
- Plus Mexican street corn typically has Cotija cheese on it, so I knew I would have to include that. Then I went a little wild and added pickled jalapenos and bacon to make this dish utterly irresistible!
- Note this recipe serves 8, it can easily be cut in half, just use a medium skillet instead. If you want to use fresh corn cut off the cob, cook in step 1 only until the corn is just heated through, about 3 minutes.
This Loaded Mexican Street Corn Sauté is an easy skillet variation of Mexican street corn made with frozen corn and topped with flavorful additions like pepitas, Cotija cheese, bacon, pickled jalapenos and cilantro. It's a healthy and delicious side dish that's ready in less than 10 minutes!
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
- 2 16-ounce bags frozen sweet corn kernels, preferably organic
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Optional mix-ins, 2 to 4 tablespoons each: minced red onion, crumbled cotija cheese*, chopped cilantro, toasted pumpkin seeds, crumbled bacon, minced pickled jalapenos
- Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant but not brown, 30 to 90 seconds. Add bell pepper and cook, stirring often until starting to soften, about 3 minutes.
- Add frozen corn, chili powder and salt and cook, stirring often until steaming hot all the way through and the pepper is crisp tender, 4 to 6 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in optional mix ins. Add additional salt if desired. Serve in cups.
*Cotija is a crumbly white Mexican cheese similar to feta cheese. Cotija cheese, bacon and pickled jalapeno are high in sodium so if using these ingredients you probably won’t need to add extra salt in step 3.