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Elote in a cup (Mexican Corn in a Cup)

You’re going to love this yummy recipe for elote in a cup with hot cheetos. It’s a delicious Mexican corn salad known as “esquites” that can be served as a snack or as a side dish. It goes really good alongside some carne asada. This amazing dish is sure to impress all your friends and family!

elote in a cup

What is corn in a cup made of?

Elote in a cup is an amazing flavor experience.

It’s salty, sweet, sour and spicy all at the same time.

Thankfully it’s a really easy recipe consisting of these ingredients:

  • super sweet frozen corn
  • salted butter
  • mayonnaise
  • chopped cilantro
  • fresh limes
  • Tajin or chili powder
  • grated parmesan (the kind in a bottle)
  • crushed hot cheetos

How can I crush hot cheetos?

I crushed mine in a sandwich bag.

Just add some cheetos to a sandwich bag and make sure most of the air is out of the bag before you close it.

Don’t fill the bag completely.

The cheetos will need room to spread out.

Then I used my heavy Yeti water bottle to crush them.

You could also use a rolling pin or a heavy pot.

Some people prefer to blend the cheetos.

Using the blender will result in a fine powder like consistency.

It’s also quicker than the bag method.

I chose to do the bag method because I don’t want to wash more dishes.

a bag of crushed hot cheetos

Do you eat elite hot or cold?

This dish is best eaten hot or warm. I don’t recommend you eat it cold, it wouldn’t be as good.

Looking for more delicious recipes? Try these:

How to prepare the cups of corn

This is the frozen corn I use.

For this recipe I use two bags.

It’s super convenient when sweet corn isn’t in season.

Just cook the corn as directed on the back of the bag.

Cook one bag at a time.

super sweet corn

Pour the corn into a bowl and add the butter.

Mix together with a spoon.

The heat from the corn will melt the butter.

corn and butter in a bowl

Add about 3/4 cup of the corn to a cup.

corn in a cup

Add some mayonnaise to the corn and stir.

The amount of mayonnaise will depend on your preference and how creamy you want it.

I like to use about 1 tbs of mayo in mine.

Add some chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime, and Tajin or chili powder.

Then mix well.

Next top with the parmesan and the crushed hot cheetos.

Now take a bite and savor the moment!

Now you can prepare more cups if needed.

This recipe make between 3-4 cups.

mexican corn salad in a cup.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use canned corn?

Yes, you can totally use canned corn if that’s what you have on hand.

I however prefer the taste of frozen corn to canned.

If using canned corn pour it into a microwave safe bowl and heat until hot.

You’ll want to drain most of the liquid from it before adding the butter.

Can’t I just mix all the ingredients together in a bowl then add to the cups?

You can totally do that as long as you know that it’s all going to be eaten right away or pretty soon.

This isn’t a dish you want to re-heat so it’s best to prepare the cups as they’re requested.

The corn as long it’s not mixed with the mayonnaise and other ingredients can always be reheated later on or even the next day.

Also not everyone likes their elote prepared the same way.

Some prefer it with more mayo.

Some don’t like cilantro.

This way everyone can prepare their elote en vaso the way they prefer.

What other ingredients can I add?

Some like to add sour cream or crema to their corn to add some tang.

You could also add some shakes of your favorite hot sauce such as Valentina or Tapatio.

For a more traditional elote you can use cotija cheese instead of parmesan.

Crumbled queso fresco is another option.

Elote en vaso recipe

This incredible elote in a cup recipe is going to become your new favorite food.

I sincerely hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

I’d love to know what you think of it in the comments below.

Thank you so much for visiting, see you soon!

elote en vaso
elote in a cup
4.5 from 2 votes

Elote in a cup

Elote in a cup is a flavorful recipe consisting of Mexican style corn.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword elote en vaso, elote in a cup, esquites
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Servings 3
Calories 444 kcal
Author Carissa


  • 20 oz super sweet frozen corn
  • 3 tbs salted butter
  • 3 tbs mayonnaise about 1 tbs per cup
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 limes cut into wedges
  • 1/2 tsp Tajin to taste
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 1/2 cup crushed hot cheetos


  1. Cook the corn as directed on the back of the bag. Cook one bag at a time.

  2. Pour the bags of cooked corn into a bowl and add the butter. Stir until the butter has melted.

  3. Add 3/4 cup of corn to a cup. Add 1 tbs of mayonnaise to the corn and stir.

  4. Add some of the chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime and couple shakes of Tajin. Stir well.

  5. Next top with the grated parmesan and crushed hot cheetos.

  6. Prepare the rest of the cups and enjoy.

Nutrition Facts
Elote in a cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 444 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 8g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 46mg15%
Sodium 376mg16%
Potassium 642mg18%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 764IU15%
Vitamin C 27mg33%
Calcium 153mg15%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating

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