If you’ve never had elote, you’re missing out! This zesty and creamy corn dish is a popular Mexican street food that’s often sold in food trucks and restaurants. Elote transforms your regular, boring corn on the cob into a delicious side dish with lime, chili and cheesy flavors.
Elote is typically grilled, and this recipe can be made with grilled corn on the cob or even corn cooked over an open fire. But for those who don’t have access to a grill or camping in an area that doesn’t allow campfires, you can still enjoy these flavors with instant pot corn.
This is another one of those super easy recipes that are simple to make at the campground. You can even make the sauce ahead of time and store it in a cooler or your RV’s refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. So instead of slathering your corn on the cob in butter, next time try this delicious topping full of sour cream, mayo, lime juice and salty cotija cheese.
Tips for Making Elote (Mexican Street Corn)
While this recipe calls for making the corn in an Instant Pot, you can easily grill the corn on the grill or roast it over the campfire. If you can’t find corn on the cob, you can also just make the sauce and use it as a topping for frozen or canned corn. If you still want that grilled flavor but don’t feel like standing over the grill the entire time, just make the corn in the Instant Pot and throw it on the grill for a few minutes afterward just to get the charred color and flavor.
This recipe calls for cotija cheese, which is a mild and salty Mexican cheese made from cow’s milk. If you can’t find cotija near you, swapping it with feta or parmesan cheese will also work, although the taste will be slightly different. Cotija can be purchased both as a block of cheese or already crumbled in a container.
Cotija is a fairly salty cheese, so we didn’t add any extra salt to this recipe. If you find it not salty enough for your taste, you can always add a bit to the sauce or as a topping.
Chili powder is a fun topping that adds both flavor and color to this dish, but if you don’t like chili powder, you can swap it out for paprika.
Elote can be a bit messy (but totally worth it) due to the delicious cream sauce, so sticking wooden skewers or corn skewers in the ends can help you keep hold of the cob. You can also cut the corn off the cob and serve it in a large bowl with the cream sauce either mixed in or served on the side.
One bite of this street corn and it’ll become your new favorite way of eating corn year-round!
Instant Pot Mexican Style Street Corn
1 cup water
4-5 cobs of sweet corn, shucked
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
Juice from 1/2 lime
1/4 cup of crumbled cotija or feta cheese
1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro (or 1/2 tablespoon of dried cilantro)
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
Instant Pot with a trivet or collapsible steamer basket
1. Place the trivet or collapsible steamer basket inside the Instant Pot and add the cup of water to the bottom of the pot. Shuck and rinse the corn cobs. Stack the corn on the trivet.
2. Cover the Instant Pot, making sure the lid is locked and the pressure release vent is set to sealed. Switch the mode to manual high pressure and set the timer for 3 minutes.
3. While the corn is cooking, mix the sour cream, mayo, and lime juice in a small bowl. Stir until well combined and set aside.
4. When the cooking time is finished and the pot beeps, carefully turn the valve to venting to allow for a quick release of the steam. Be careful of the hot steam escaping! Using tongs, remove the corn from the Instant Pot.
5. Optional: If you want to add some flavor, after the corn is done cooking, throw the corn on a hot grill for a minute or two and rotate the cobs to add grill marks.
6. Plate the corn and slather the cobs with the sour cream and mayo mixture. Top with the cheese, cilantro, and chili powder to taste.
Notes on the recipe: If you can’t find cotija cheese, feta and parmesan will also work. The sauce is also fantastic on grilled corn on the cob or even as a topping for frozen corn.