This Mexican Street Corn Off The Cob using frozen corn kernels is an easy skillet variation of Mexican street corn topped with flavorful additions like pepitas, Cotija cheese, bacon, pickled jalapenos and cilantro.

Street corn skillet off the cob in a black iron skillet

Why We love This Recipe For Elotes Off The Cob

This Mexican Street corn saute is a result of my Mexican day dreams. Two years ago I made these Mexican Low Carb Stuffed Peppers. Last year it was these Cauliflower Patties. And now you have Mexican Street Corn made in a skillet! Basically, I wanted to recreate the flavors of Mexican street corn, but simplify the method for home, by using a skillet and frozen corn kernels. I am in love with the results.

If you love the flavors of elotes, or Mexican Street Corn, but aren’t a fan of the mess it makes, this street corn in a cup is so much easier and cleaner to eat! You can customize it with your favorite flavors!

Ingredients For This Recipe

the toppings on a board

Extra virgin olive oil:

To saute the veggies and corn, I used olive oil which is heart healthy. 


To add depth of flavor I started with the sauteed garlic in the oil. I recommend cutting yours from fresh garlic cloves. 

Green bell pepper

To the garlic I added in green bell pepper. Feel free to use another color, or for more spice add in a jalapeño or use poblano instead. 

Frozen sweet corn kernels

You’ll need two bags of frozen corn. Of course when corn is in season, using fresh would be wonderful. Cut the kernels off the ears and follow the instructions below. 

Chili powder and Salt

To season the saute before the toppings are added I used simply chili powder and salt. The toppings really add the rest of the dimension. 


  • minced red onion
  • crumbled cotija cheese
  • chopped cilantro
  • toasted pumpkin seeds
  • crumbled bacon
  • minced pickled jalapenos

How to Make Mexican Street Corn In A Cup

  • 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. You can use homemade Roasted Squash Seeds if you like, or buy purchased pepitas.
  • 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.
cup of street corn saute

More Corn Recipes and Mexican Inspired Recipes Like This

My Mexican Corn Salad with jalapeno and cilantro dressing is a colorful and delicious summertime side dish for cookouts and barbecues.

This Corn and Chickpea Salad is another favorite and I love the addition of goat’s milk feta cheese.

If you have fresh ears of corn, this Grilled Corn with Chipotle Lime Butter is so fantastic! 

Another fab side dish is this Mexican Bean Salad and my new recipe for Mexican Pasta Salad. Both would be a treat with a summertime cookout. 

This street corn and my Mexican Coleslaw would compliment a Mexican food dinner at any time of year.

This Mexican Chicken Casserole and my Easy Chicken Enchiladas both have corn added in for more veggies. 

For a fun weeknight dinner, serve this Mexican Street Corn in a Cup with these Chicken Taco Sloppy Joes.

Speaking of tacos, these Chicken Tacos, Cod Fish Tacos and Beef Barbacoa all would be great main courses for this side dish. Oh and I almost forgot my Veggie Tacos too! 

Don’t miss the Guide To Corn I created with dozens more recipe ideas!

Thanks so much for reading. If you make this recipe for Street Corn in a Cup let me know by leaving a star rating and review.

Happy Cooking!


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toppings for street corn on a board

Mexican Street Corn in a Cup

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5 from 3 reviews


This Mexican Street Corn off The Cob 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!


Units Scale
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 16ounce bags frozen sweet corn kernels, preferably organic
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Mexican


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 131
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 157 mg
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 17
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 3 g