Elote fries are an easy weeknight meal with tasty, simple, budget-friendly ingredients and big flavors. Load up your fries with Mexican street corn inspired toppings like lime-infused grilled corn, chili and lime seasoning, grated cheese and crumbled cheese, and a Mexican crema sauce. Top it with Charritos, spicy peanuts, pickled red onions, and more lime for tangy, cheesy, spiced, and delicious loaded fries.
What are elotes?
Elotes are a Mexican street food, sold at street carts throughout Mexico in parks, near markets, or at special events. Elote means corn on the cob and that's exactly what this is - corn on the cob, usually grilled, sometimes soaked in lime and coated in mayo, chili, lime, and a crumbly cheese like Cotija. It's creamy, sweet, tangy, and spiced - the perfect balance of delicious flavors.
What are Esquites?
Esquites are basically Elote - but in a cup. Elote is served on the cob and Esquites is corn served off the cob, in cups loaded up with all kinds of different toppings but at its base, it's lime-soaked grilled, boiled, or steamed corn, mixed with lime, chili, mayo, and crumbled cheese like Cotija.
Each cart varies in its topping selection but throughout my many months in Yucatan, Mexican, we spotted and ate toppings like spicy Doritos, Takis, corn chips, Cheetos, and candies like gummy bears. And most carts have a selection of spices and a large variety of hot sauces as self-serve condiments.
Ingredients vary throughout Mexico.
For my elote fries, I combine the idea of elotes and esquites to make up these decadent Mexican street corn fries.
I'm not Mexican, I just live there for part of the year.
See the recipe card for exact amounts. Note: I made these when I was in Mexico, so my grocery items were a bit different.
- french fries: use whichever fries you like. For this recipe, I made homemade fries with Yukon gold potatoes. Frozen fries work great too.
- fries seasoning: to season the fries I use Tajin which is a seasoning mix made with chile, lime, and salt.
- for the sauce: Esquites and elote usually have just mayonnaise on them but I felt that might be a bit too much for a plate of fries so I combine mayo with crema. You can use yogurt or sour cream instead of crema with a splash of water or milk to thin it out a bit.
- the corn: the corn and cheese are the basic toppings for this fries recipe. You can use fresh corn cut off the cob, canned corn, or frozen corn. If using frozen corn, let it thaw before pan-frying it. You'll dry fry the corn to char it and then season it with salt, pepper, and lime juice.
- the cheese: For the cheese, I used grated Oaxaca (a mild, stringy cheese) and Queso Panela (a mild, crumbly cheese). Check below for substitutions.
- for the toppings: this is where you can have fun! I used Charritos, a Mexican snack that's kind of like a puffed crispy cracker/chip, and I also used spicy peanuts. Check substitutions for more ideas. I also serve mine with lime wedges for squeezing on top, pickled red onions, and cilantro when I have it.
- Don't have Tajin? Use your favorite fries seasoning or use a mix of garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder. Season with salt and pepper.
- Crema not available? Try adding plain yogurt or sour cream instead. Use a splash of milk or water to thin it out. The sauce should be a consistency that can be drizzled.
- Don't have Oaxaca cheese? You can use mozzarella, gouda, havarti.
- Don't have Queso Panela? You can use Queso Fresco, Cotija, or finely crumbled feta cheese.
- Topping ideas: In Yucatan, the street carts serve up many different toppings such as Doritos, Hot Doritos, Takis, Cheetos, Peanuts, and even candies, as well as a variety of hot sauces.
- preheat the oven for baking the fries
Season the fries. I use Tajin, you can use chile powder and lime if you want to. Season and bake the fries.
Make the drizzling sauce by mixing the crema, mayo, and lime juice together.
While the fries bake prepare the toppings. Heat corn in a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Stir only occasionally, letting it char. Squeeze lime juice over top and season.
Once the fries are baked, plate a serving and drizzle with the sauce.
Add the grated cheese.
Next, add the grilled corn.
Add the crumbled cheese, green onions, and any other toppings you want. I added Charritos and spicy peanuts.
To finish, I add pickled red onions and a few lime wedges to squeeze even more lime over while you're eating.
RECIPE TIP: Prepare all the toppings while your fries are baking so you can serve everything hot.
What to serve with Loaded Elote Fries
Tips for Making Mexican Street Corn Fries
- Crispy Fries: Make your fries extra crispy when you're serving them with sauces in Poutine-style dishes. This way they won't get overly soggy.
- French Fry Bar: Serve elote fries at a party and bake enough fries for everyone. Set out bowls of toppings and let everyone top their own. Have each guest bring a topping!
- Prep work: Prep all the toppings while the fries bake so you can serve everything hot. If you're a slower cook, try frying the corn and making the mayo sauce while the oven preheats. While the fries bake you'll only need to grate and crumble cheese.
More Loaded Fries recipes
Explore my Loaded Fries Category for even more Poutine recipes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mexican street corn is grilled, boiled, or steamed corn topped with mayo, lime, cheese, and chili.
Elotes are Mexcian street corn served as a corn cob on a stick.
Esquites are Mexican street corn served off of the cob, in a cup.
Elote, Esquites, and Mexican street corn are all basically the same thing. Elote is corn on the cob and Esquites are the same thing but in a cup, no cob involved. Both Elote and Esquites are referred to as Mexican street corn because these are snacks served at street carts throughout Mexico.
For the Fries
- 1 kg fries (*see notes)
- 2 teaspoons Tajin Chile Lime Seasoning (*see notes)
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- salt and pepper (to taste)
For the Sauce
- ½ cup crema (*see notes)
- ½ cup mayo
- lime juice (from one whole lime)
For the Toppings
- 2 cups corn (fresh, frozen, or canned)
- 4 green onions (sliced )
- 1 cup oaxaca cheese (*see notes)
- 1 cup queso panela (*see notes)
For the Fries
- For store-bought frozen fries: Toss fries with 1 tablespoon of oil, 2 teaspoons of Tajin, or 1 teaspoon of chile powder, and season with salt and pepper. Bake to package instructions.
- For homemade fries: Peel or wash potatoes. Cut the potatoes into thin fries. Toss with a tablespoon of oil, 2 teaspoons of Tajin, or 1 teaspoon of chile powder, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway.
For the Sauce
- Mix together mayo, crema, and lime juice.*If substituting yogurt or sour cream, make sure to add a splash of water so the sauce can be drizzled. Crema is a thinner consistency than yogurt or sour cream.
For the Toppings
- Heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Add the corn, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until blackened, about 6-8 minutes. Add the juice of a lime. Set aside until needed.
- Plate the fries. Drizzle with most of the sauce. Add most of the cheese and then add the corn. Add the rest of the cheese. Sprinkle with Tajin.Top with green onions, spicy peanuts, and Charritos.Serve with extra lime wedges for squeezing.
- Fries: Use your favorite store-bought fries or 4-6 large Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes to make homemade fries.
- Tajin: Use 1 teaspoon of chile powder instead.
- Crema: Use yogurt or sour cream instead plus a splash of water to thin out the sauce.
- Oaxaca Cheese: Use mozzarella instead.
- Panela Cheese: Use cotija or finely crumbled feta instead.
Nutritional information is an estimate. Values vary based on products used.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you.
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