How To Make Elote / Mexican Street Corn (Recipe)

Easy and everything you need at Trader Joe’s

If you’ve been in a Trader Joe’s you’ve probably seen that word – ELOTE – all over the store. TJ’s has a bit of an obsession with Elote. Just in case you don’t know what Elote is, “Elote corn” is a typical Mexican street food, being corn on the cob sprinkled with spices and cheese, served from street vendors carts. In Mexico City there are probably as many Elote carts as we have hot dog carts in NYC.

Elote corn is delicious, slathered with mayo, lime juice, dusted with chile powder and sprinkled with Mexican Cotija cheese. MEXICAN STREET CORN is not hard to make yourself, and conveniently, you can get everything you need at TJ’s. I just made some a few days ago with some really fresh corn and it was so yummy I thought I would share how to make it. You need: Fresh corn on the cob, Everything but the ELOTE SEASONING, CHILE LIME seasoning, some mayonnaise, fresh lime, and Cotija cheese (like a Mexican parmesan). As far as mayo, TJ’s Chile Lime Mayo might work great or Suzi’s Organic Mayo.

SHOPPING LIST: fresh corn, Everything But The ELOTE SEASONING blend, Mexican Cotija cheese (or Parmesan), Lime, Mayonnaise (Chile Lime Mayo?), optional, CHILE LIME seasoning


If you can grill the corn, great, but steamed corn is fine. Cook the corn. When done, hold it with tongs (or spear on a chopstick) or just put it on some foil. Slather some mayo all over with a spatula (mayo is authentic but if mayo turns you off, just use butter). Next sprinkle on a generous amount of Everything But The ELOTE Seasoning all over. Next sprinkle a good amount of grated TJ COTIJA cheese (or Parm or Asiago). A squeeze of fresh lime. OPTIONALLY; if you want even more spice add TJ’s CHILE LIME Seasoning blend an/or a little hot sauce of your choosing. Done! Enjoy!

Does Trader Joe’s have an ELOTE obsession?

Watch how fast this Elote vendor is !


TJ’s Organic Corn Chip Dippers


We know Trader Joe’s carries a ton of all kinds of chips. These are one of my favorites out of all of them. So why are these corn chips are so good? I think a big reason is they only have 3 ingredients! They list : organic yellow corn, organic sunflower oil, sea salt. That’s it. They must be using the best organic corn they can find, these chips have a super tasty corn flavor. These chips are both thick and a bit curved. They’re thick enough to stand up to any dip you put them in, such as guacamole, salsa or what have you. Even on their own with nothing on them, they still taste fantastic. They have been $1.99 (forever) but I bought them last week and I got yet another case of TJ inflation sticker shock to see TJ raised the price of these. They’re now $2.29.

Match the plain corn chips with CHIPOTLE BLACK BEAN DIP – an excellent combo

Beside this plain version, TJ has a spicy variation, the delicious “Organic Elote Corn Chip Dippers” (Elote aka Mexican street corn flavor) which is an amazing chip, those are loaded and I do mean loaded, with spices; these cost a little more than the plain version, Elote chips are now $2.69 (also up 20 cents). The Elote chips are excellent and pretty spicy. Personally I love them with, among other things, cottage cheese or Greek yogurt, in other words something plain as they bring plenty of spices on their own.

You can’t go wrong with either variety. Here’s what TJ has to say about them:


Need a recipe for GUACAMOLE?


“A zesty dip with hearty black beans and the smokey kick of chipotle peppers”

Trader Joe’s CHIPOTLE BLACK BEAN DIP is delicious. I buy it all the time to have in the panty. I find this matches especially well for one thing with tortilla chips and especially with TJ’s Organic Corn Chip Dippers. It’s got a nice spicy kick from chipotle chiles. This dip is also excellent used as an ingredient. When I make quesadillas or tacos I either spread a little on the tortilla before cooking them, or just serve some on top or on the side. It has a spicy and smokey back beat from two kinds of chiles, ancho and chipotle peppers, which also gives it a bit of mild/medium heat. Naturally as dips go, this is way healthier to put out for people as opposed to dips which have way more fat and calories like a sour cream or cheese dip. You can even mix a jar of this with a can of the refried black beans which will make a nice side dish or a less spicy but still tasty dip. If you try this, you will love it too.

Match these with the fantastic CORN CHIP DIPPERS

A jar is $1.99 (12 oz)

TJ’s Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Green Chiles

We start with vine ripened tomatoes, then we fire roast them to a subtle smokiness before adding organic green chiles… They’re ready to use in salsas, sauces, soups and stews….”

Ingredients: Organic fire roasted tomatoes, organic tomato juice, organic green chili peppers, organic vinegar, sea salt, citric acid, calcium chloride”

These excellent organic diced tomatoes are a great pantry item, and in fact I always keep a few cans ready as they’re so useful to have on hand. They are indeed “fire roasted”, you can even see little bits of char. You can use this just as-is on your tacos and quesadillas as a simple salsa or make a slightly improved one quickly in seconds by just adding a few things (ie, chopped onions, garlic, cilantro).

Use these as an ingredient in sauces, stews or soup as you would any canned tomatoes, but these will be tastier than plain ones. These make the base of terrific rices dishes, say cooking some Mexican rice or what have you, mixed in for some of the stock or water. And other cuisines too… I made a delicious Italian Ariabiatta / Puttanesca style pasta with a can of this, olive oil, a spoon of tomato paste, lots of garlic, capers, olives, a spoon of Bomba and some grated Pecorino over the finished pasta (or try this with Gnocchi). It only took about 5 minutes to come together and the finished pasta dish with Gnocchi was delicious. We devoured it.

$1.69 for a 14.5 oz can. There is a plain just tomato version too for $1.49 if you don’t want them with green chiles.


I buy Trader Joe’s ground chicken in the fresh meats section pretty regularly, however I came across these Chile Lime Chicken burgers (in the frozen section) which I had not seen before and thought I would get them to see if they were any good. I saw on the internet these are a bit popular. Ingredients are: “ground chicken, onions, bell peppers, garlic, cilantro, natural flavor, salt, lime juice concentrate and red pepper flakes”. Well that sounds OK, right? Inside you find four burgers (1/4 lb each) so they are not very thick, quarter pounder size. I took two out and left them to defrost overnight in the fridge. As they are pretty thin I think they probably just need a few hours to defrost in the fridge so one could probably even take them out in the morning and have them ready for dinner.

I put them into a hot cast iron pan with a spoon of EVOO to grill them up, and cooked them for 3-4 minutes a side. To serve them, I put them on toasted buns spread with a nice amount of TJ’s CHILE LIME MAYO (tasty!) which was perfect for these as they are not juicy like beef burgers of course. They were actually pretty tasty served this way as burgers with lettuce and tomato, that chile lime MAYO and a few extras. If you make them like the picture on the box, with a bit of guacamole, I am sure that would be really tasty.

Would I buy them again? Well to be honest I prefer the softer texture of the fresh ground chicken in a burger over these. These were just a little tough texture wise, and frankly I can easily add a few ingredients to ground chicken myself each coating it with maybe AJIKA or CUBAN SPICE, and form a bit thicker patty of maybe a 1/3 lb. Therefore I probably would not buy these again. However you might like the obvious convenience of having these in your freezer.

These cost $3.49 for the package (16 oz containing 4 burgers). They are no doubt lower in fat than beef burgers having only 6g fat each.


Trader Joe’s HABANERO LIME FLOUR TORTILLAS ($2.69, 17 oz package of 10)

There are some traditional regional food divides in some countries. Traditionally in Mexico in the North they lean towards using flour tortillas (Tortillas de Harina) while Southern Mexico traditionally prefers tortillas made from corn (Tortillas de maiz). I generally prefer corn tortillas as they’re more flavorful and have a chewier texture when cooked. However sometimes I do buy flour tortillas as they have certain qualities that make them useful for some things. For one thing, flour tortillas are softer and more pliable so easier to fold. They are usually bigger too so can hold more ingredients inside. They can be used for Quesadillas and Burritos. They can also be used for “wrap type” sandwiches, etc. If you want flour tortillas, I think the Trader Joe’s HABANERO LIME FLOUR TORTILLAS are an interesting choice as they bring a bit of flavor to the party. These tortillas have a little bit of heat in them from habanero chiles, plus a bit of lime flavor. They have a lovely color, tinted reddish orange from anatto seed (a natural food coloring). Package says “MEDIUM HOT” but remember when you add fillings that moderates the spicy level.

Last night, I made Quesadillas (vegetarian actually) for dinner with these Habanero/Lime tortillas. Filling was: Pepper Jack Cheese, Soy Chorizo and TJ’s Refried Salsa Pinto Beans (which I gussied up*). Topping of avocado, tomato, more cheese and Green Dragon SauceMore Refritos on the side…. They were really tasty!

Need a recipe for Quesadillas? Here’s one…

  • TIP – Out of the can, TJ’s Salsa Pinto Refried Beans are really boring. They need a little work if you want them to have some taste. I add olive oil, oregano, cumin, chile powder and a little Green Dragon or Zhoug. Cuban Style Spice Blend works great with these or any beans. Warm frijole refritos over low heat, stirring often so the bottom doesnt burn. Some cheese on top is nice!