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Mexican Street Corn Quesadillas

Because nothing says summer like cheesy corn.

Mexican street corn quesadillas on a plate with lime crema.

Elote is king of summer sides, but now it’s teaming up with quesadillas to conquer the lunchtime realm. Tortillas are stuffed with spiced corn and cotija, griddled until golden, and served with a lime crema for a delightful spin on the OG street food classic.

Mexican street corn salad in a bowl.

If you’ve never had elote, it’s a traditional Mexican street food that features grilled corn slathered with a mix of mayo and Mexican crema, rolled in cotija cheese, and then showered with chili powder and lime juice. Esquites, or Mexican street corn salad, has similar vibes, but usually contains a few more ingredients such as garlic, scallion, and cilantro. I’ve taken inspiration from those additional esquites flavors to make the corn filling in these quesadillas extra vibrant.

Charring the corn in a pan brings a smokiness to the filling that really evokes those street food vibes. Make sure to taste the completed filling before assembling the quesadillas: depending on the sweetness of the corn and the spiciness of the jalapeno, you may need to add more salt, chili powder, or lime juice.

Mexican street corn quesadillas in a pan.

The secret to a perfectly cooked quesadilla is a moderate amount of oil (shoot for about 1 teaspoon per quesadilla) and a moderate temperature under the pan. You want the cheese inside the quesadillas to be perfectly melty right just as the tortilla reaches that perfect golden brown on both. It only takes a few minutes, but don’t try to rush it.

Also, please note: while corn tortillas would have really doubled down on that corn flavor, flour tortillas are essential here for their flexible, forgiving texture and browning capabilities. Their slight chewiness also plays really nicely with the pull of the cheese and the pop of the corn. Stick with flour—I promise you won’t be disappointed.



Mexican Street Corn Quesadillas

(Makes 8)

Mexican street corn quesadillas on a plate with lime wedges and a bowl of lime crema.

2 tbsp. plus 8 tsp. neutral oil, divided

2 cup corn kernels, fresh or thawed from frozen and patted dry

1 ½ tsp. Diamond Crystal kosher salt, divided

1 scallion, thinly sliced, white and light green and dark green parts separated

1 small garlic clove, finely chopped

½ jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

½ tsp. chili powder

¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped

4 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice, divided

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup cotija cheese

½ cup mayonnaise

½ cup sour cream

8 small flour tortillas, warmed

Equipment: large pan



Mexican street corn salad in a pan.

In a large pan over medium-high heat, heat two tablespoons oil. Add corn and cook, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned and beginning to pop, 4-5 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, then stir in white and light green scallion parts, jalapeno, garlic, and chili powder.

Remove from heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl, then stir in 2 tablespoons lime juice, cilantro and light green scallion parts. Set aside. Wipe out pan.

In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sour cream, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Taste and season with remaining tablespoon lime juice to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Tortilla layered with mozzarella cheese and mexican street corn filling on a cutting board.

Arrange tortillas on work surface. Sprinkle one half of each with 2 tbsp. mozzarella cheese, then top with ¼ cup corn mixture and 1 tbsp. cotija cheese. Fold tortillas over to enclose filling.

Return large pan to medium heat and add 2 tsp. oil. Add two quesadillas and cook until golden brown on the bottom, 1-2 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side until golden brown and the cheese is melted, 1-2 minutes more. Remove to a serving plate and repeat with remaining 6 teaspoons oil and 6 quesadillas.

Serve immediately with dipping sauce.

Mexican street corn quesadillas on parchment paper with a bowl of lime crema.

Originally posted June 30, 2024.

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