Esquites, also known as Elote en Vaso (corn in a cup) are the delicious cousin to elotes. This version is made with spicy Hatch chiles and delicious cotija cheese.
Esquites are a perfect side for a crowd. They are super quick and easy to make, and everyone loves them. When I’m serving a large group I prefer them to elotes on the cob since it is easier for guests to get the exact amount they want. But be prepared, everyone gets seconds (or thirds)!
Ingredients for Esquites | Elote en Vaso
- Fresh Corn: Fresh corn is the centerpiece of this recipe! I’ve made this recipe with with fresh corn, canned corn, and frozen corn. The canned corn and frozen corn were still tasty, but the fresh corn tasted amazing in the esquites. If you are trying to use up some canned or frozen corn, go ahead, but fresh is the best if you can get it.
- Hatch Chiles: Spicy and smoky hatch chiles taste delicious in creamy esquites. If they aren’t in season, you can use the canned version.
- Lime: Citrusy lime brightens up the flavors in this corn in a cup recipe!
- Cotija Cheese: Salty cotija cheese adds a punch of flavor. If you haven’t had it, it’s similar to parmigiano reggiano.
- Mayonnaise & Sour Cream: Traditional elote en vaso recipes usually only use mayonnaise, but I really like the extra flavor that comes from using both mayonnaise and sour cream.
- Hot Sauce: Pick your favorite! I usually use something with a more medium heat here since the hatch chiles can really pack a punch.
- Seasonings: Salt, Smoked Paprika, and Annatto combine to amplify the tasty flavors in this corn in a cup!
How to make Esquites | Elote en Vaso
- Char the corn and chiles under the broiler. If you prefer, you can char them on the grill. I usually do this if we already have the grill going for something else; the corn and hatch chiles get extra smoky that way.
- After the peppers have cooled enough to handle, remove the papery skin, seeds, and stem. Then dice the flesh of the pepper. After you are done dicing the hatch chiles, cut the corn off the cob.
- Stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, half of the cheese, the juice from one lime wedge, and the salt to make the sauce for your esquites.
- Stir the sauce, corn, and diced peppers together.
- Sprinkle with annatto, paprika, and the remaining cheese. Serve with lime wedges and hot sauce.
Techniques for delicious Esquites | Elote en Vaso
- Let your taste buds be your guide. Hatch chiles are usually pretty spicy. My family likes heat, so we love these as the recipe is written. If you aren’t a spice lover, swap out some (or all) of the Hatch chiles for Anaheim peppers which are much milder.
- Let the corn and peppers cool before mixing with the sauce, this keeps the sauce nice and creamy.
Looking for an “On the Cobb” version? Try our Easy Elotes.
- 5 ears of corn, remove husks and ends
- 3 Hatch chiles
- 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
- 1/4 cup shredded cotija cheese
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon annatto
- Hot sauce
- Adjust rack to the second to the top position, then preheat the oven broiler
- Char: Place corn and chiles on a baking sheet and broil under lightly charred, turning every few minutes. The chiles will most likely be done before the corn. About 5 minutes for the chiles, and 10 minutes for the corn. Once charred, remove the chiles from the oven and carefully place in a sealed container, like a lidded bowl, to steam and cool. Let the corn sit on the counter to cool.
- Cut the vegetables: Once the peppers have cooled enough to handle, remove the skin, seeds, and stem. Then dice the flesh of the pepper. After that, cut the corn off the cob.
- Sauce: Stir together, the mayonnaise, sour cream, half of the cheese, and the juice from one lime wedge, and the salt.
- Mix it up: Stir the sauce, corn, and diced peppers together.
- To serve: Sprinkle with annatto, paprika, and the remaining cheese. Serve with lime wedges and hot sauce.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 130Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 300mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.