Authentic Mexican Corn Cups

If you are looking for a fun side dish during the Summer months or even to accompany your main meals on Taco Tuesday’s, then try these Authentic Mexican Corn Cups! Corn is mixed with lime juice, mayo, cotija cheese and chile pequin for this tasty side dish.

Mexican Corn Cups or “Esquites” is a Mexican treat I grew up with and a recipe that I want to share since Hispanic Heritage month celebrations start today, September 15. Preparing Mexican corn cups could be a nice treat to offer if you are planning a Latino heritage party at home or if celebrating Mexico’s independence, as both are celebrated in the same day.

Key Ingredients for these Authentic Mexican Corn Cups

  • Corn
  • Limes
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cotija cheese

My kids love corn so these corn cups were easy, tasty, and a hit with the whole family. You can use fresh corn during the Summer months when the corn if in season or to simplify- you can you use frozen corn. We love corn not only for its taste but it is also loaded with dietary fiber, minerals such as iron and copper, and Vitamins that are great for our vision.

What are esquites?

The term “esquites or “ezquites” comes from the nahuatl word “ízquitl’ which means to toast. Originally esquites were made on the grilled with direct flame.

However, in Mexico City where I was raised, esquites are made by boiling the corn in water seasoned with Mexican spices like epazote and salt. Then the corn is taken out of the water hot and the kernels are cut with a sharp knife and served in a small cup.

The cooked corn kernels are garnished with some of the cooking water, lime juice, mayo, cotija cheese and chile pequin.

Mexican Corn Cups

The Mexican Corn Cups are enjoyed warm and each of the garnishes melts in your mouth. In my Mexican culture, we love esquites. We eat them at night before dinner for la “merienda.”

And since I love them so much I have brought that tradition to my family here in the United States.

How To Make Mexican Corn Cups

As you probably know, I love to cook but I don’t like to spend too much time in the kitchen as I also like to enjoy and bond with my family.

So when making traditional recipes like this esquites I look for ways to simplify the process and I want to share with you my easy recipe for Mexican Corn Cups so that you can prepare at home following the ingredients list and the simple steps below.

Best Mexican Corn Cups

Note: Use frozen corn kernels, preferably those that are not sweet. Go for the corn that is white. The esquites recipe requires the corn not to be sweet to have the authentic Mexican flavor.

How to make these Mexican Corn Cups

If using frozen corn, cook it in the microwave, according to package directions.

Spoon the corn into bowls or mason jars. Add in the lime juice, mayo and cotija cheese. Sprinkle with chile pequin or paprika. Pair with a lime wedge for extra lime flavor.

Serve warm and enjoy!

Make sure to PIN IT!

Mexican side dish

Mexican Corn Cups

Adriana Martin
This Mexican Corn Cups are perfect for parties or to take along. Cheers with this creamy and delicious esquites made with lots of love.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Gluten Free, Side Dish, Sides
Cuisine Mexican, tex-mex
Servings 4 servings
Calories 205 kcal


  • 4 cups frozen white corn kernels
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 4 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons cotija cheese
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 lime quartered


  • Cook corn in microwave, according to package directions.
  • Spoon corn into bowls or mason jars. Add lime juice, mayo and cotija cheese. Sprinkle with chile pequin or paprika. Pair with a lime wedge for extra lime flavor.
  • Serve warm and enjoy!



Calories: 205kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 6gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 87mgPotassium: 446mgFiber: 6gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 90IUVitamin C: 26mgCalcium: 44mgIron: 1mg
Keyword corn, mexican, side dishes, sides
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More recipes to try:

Mix & Match Corn on the Cob

Air Fryer Mexican Cauliflower Rice Taquitos

Easy Mexican Stuffed Potatoes