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Street-Style Nachos with Sweet Corn

5 from 6 community reviews

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Inspired by delicious street-style elotes, these spiced corn nachos are topped with a blend of cheeses and jalapeño crema. This recipe is perfect to make for a fun appetizer or casual snacking.

Tortilla chips topped with cheese, roasted corn kernels, sour cream and onions in a baking tray.

The classic Mexican street snack of smoky corn-on-the-cob slathered with creamy cheese and condiments — or elotes — is absolutely delicious. Elotes are incredibly crave-able, and for good reason.

Next to straight-up chips and salsa, this snack has flavor, crunch and gooey cheese, times ten!

Whenever I’m loaded up on summer sweet corn, this is a good way to use them up. Enter corn nachos!

Three ears of Grilled corn on the cob on a baking sheet
Grilled corn slathered with spices

What could be a better topping for warm, cheesy corn tortilla chips than more corn, in grilled, spicy form?

If you happen to be firing up the grill for dinner, it’s easy to throw some corn on too.On a hot grill, the ears reach perfect char pretty quickly.

And if they’re not devoured right away, slice off the corn kernels and use them to make these nachos a day or two later.

Grilling the corn adds an authentic smoky flavor, but you can also get great flavor by roasting frozen corn in a hot oven.

Mexican Corn Nachos with cheese and crema with glasses of beer on the side.

If you’ve ever tried traditional esquites from a street vendor or food truck, you know they’re covered with a good amount of mayonnaise along with cheese.

I was going for simplicity with this recipe, so I seasoned the nachos to focus on the spices and melted cheese and less on a heavier sauce (which makes the nachos kind of soggy).

Instead of mayo, these nachos are drizzled with a tangy crema, a simple combo of sour cream, green chilies and lime juice. The layers of seasoned spiced corn, cheese and tangy crema make these nachos crazy good!

How to make the best cheesy corn nachos:

Here’s how to make perfectly crunchy and totally delicious nachos:

  • Get a bag of tortilla chips that are on the thicker side  — they’ll hold up better with toppings.
  • Make sure the bag has more whole chips than crushed, broken ones!
  • Layer the chips in one layer in your pan. That way each chip will stay crisp and cheesy at the same time.
  • For easy clean-up, line your baking pan with a piece of foil or parchment paper.
  • If it’s not corn on the cob season and you want to make these nachos, use a bag of frozen corn instead: Toss with the oil and spices and roast at 450 degrees until the corn browns, about 12 minutes.

Street Corn Nachos with Jalapeno Crema

Karen Tedesco
The nachos we're going crazy about! Get the delicious flavor of street-style Mexican corn with these easy to make grilled corn nachos. Perfect for a fun party appetizer or casual dinner. Make it anytime with oven-roasted frozen sweet corn.
Print Pin
5 from 6 community reviews
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizers
Cuisine tex-mex
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 ears shucked sweet corn, or one pound frozen corn
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (45 g) each ground cumin, oregano and smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 10-ounce bag (280 g) tortilla chips
  • 2 cups (225 g) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup crumbled Cotija cheese or feta cheese
  • 3 green onions, white and light green parts sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

Jalapeño Crema:

  • ½ cup (115 g) sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lime juice
  • 1 chopped jalapeño pepper
  • Salt to taste

Optional Garnishes:

  • Sliced jalapeño
  • Prepared salsa
  • Chili powder or paprika

Instructions 

  • Prepare a charcoal grill or gas grill for medium-high heat grilling. Alternatively, to roast frozen corn, heat oven to 450 (225C) degrees.
  • Combine the cumin, oregano, paprika, cayenne in a small bowl. Brush the corn with olive oil and sprinkle the spice blend over the corn, rolling the ears around to coat. For frozen corn, toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the spices on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  • Grill the corn until charred on all sides (about 5 minutes total) or place the sheet pan in the oven and roast until golden brown, 12-15 minutes. If using whole corn on the cob, slice the kernels from the cob when they're cool enough to handle.
  • Put the chips in a large rimmed baking dish or sheet in one layer. Sprinkle the cheeses, corn and green onions over the chips. Place the pan on the grill and close the top, or place in the oven and bake until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir the crema ingredients together. Drizzle over the nachos along with the cilantro and serve warm with optional garnishes.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

  • Choose tortilla chips that are made for scooping — their thicker texture will hold up better with the toppings.
  • Make sure the bag has more whole chips than crushed, broken ones!
  • Layer the chips in one layer in your pan. That way each chip will stay crisp and cheesy at the same time.
  • For easy clean-up, line your baking pan with a piece of foil or parchment paper.
Inspired by a recipe in Any Night Grilling.

Nutrition

Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Sodium: 684mg | Potassium: 329mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1338IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 506mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.

Did you make this recipe? Search @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Pinterest

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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