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Simple Instant Pot Mexican Corn {Elote}

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This easy Instant Pot Mexican corn (elote) cooks in 2 minutes at high pressure. Top with cojita cheese and creamy sauce and it’s delish!

three ears of yellow sweet corn on a table
a delicious sweet corn appetizer sure to please

What is elote? 

Elote is corn. And, in some regions of Mexico, street corn are sold by “eloteros”—people who walk around with a cart selling elotes (street corn). Also, try our street corn casserole if you enjoy this recipe.

We love this recipe

This amazing side dish is the perfect recipe when you’re looking for a flavorful, Mexican-inspired side dish for summer cookouts, potlucks or outdoor gatherings. Serve it with a protein or alongside a quesadilla.

Mexican elote (street corn) ingredients on a table with a tablecloth
easy Mexican corn ingredients
  • Corn on the cob
  • Sour cream or crema (either one will work perfectly)
  • Cilantro
  • Mayonaise
  • Chili powder or ground red pepper
  • Lime juice
Mexican street corn elote with sauce and cilantro
the perfect blend of fresh and tangy

Lime juice + sour cream + cilantro

The combination of lime juice, cilantro and sour cream are where the real magic happens here. 

And, when you add in the chili powder…’s a fiesta in la boca (a party in your mouth)! 

Best corn for Mexican Street Corn

I tend to love sweet corn, but you can’t really go wrong with your corn on the cob choice here. 

I saved time by choosing pre-husked sweet corn from my local grocer. 

adding cojita cheese to corn
cojita cheese and corn are perfect together

What’s cojita cheese?

Cojita cheese is made with cows milk, is salty, and similar to parmesan cheese. 

Its round in shape (typically) and you won’t need a knife to cut it. 

Simply break a portion off and continue breaking the cheese apart until crumbles form. Cojita cheese makes the perfect topping for Mexican street corn.

adding sauce to Mexican street corn
the absolute best corn topping

Elote in 3 easy steps

  1. Pressure cook the corn
  2. Blend the sauce mixture
  3. Enjoy  

To begin, you’ll pressure cook your corn for only 2 minutes at hight pressure.

Wash your corn first to make sure there’s no pests or debris. 

adding corn to the pressure cooker
pressure cooking corn is too easy

Pressure cooking the corn

  1. Add a cup of water to your instant pot/ pressure cooker
  2. Place the grilling rack so the corn is not submerged in the water
  3. Add 3-4 ears of small corn or stack the corn vertically to evenly cook
  4. Vent (quick release) after pressure cooking for 2 minutes
elote sauce for Mexican street corn with a brush for spreading onto corn
the secret is in the sauce

Making the sauce

You’ll use a tiny wink or fork to blend the ingredients for the elote sauce.

I like to refrigerate my sauce for at least 2 hours, allowing time for flavors to combine.

special sauce for corn
use a brush for even coverage

Spreading on the sauce

Use a brush or spoon to get the yummy sauce onto the corn. Top with cojita cheese and you’re set!

What can I make with leftover elote sauce?

If I have leftover sauce, I use it with salsa for burgers, tacos, or for salad dressing.

cojita cheese and sauce over elote, Mexican corn
use a taco holder to keep your area mess-free


Frequently asked questions about Mexican street corn.

Can I make this recipe with other types of corn?

Yes, sweet corn or yellow corn work best, but any type of corn will do.

Can I make the elote sauce without mayo? 

If you don’t like mayo, you won’t even taste it in this recipe. However, you may omit it if you cannot have mayonnaise. Simply add extra crema or sour cream instead.

Substitutes for cojita cheese

Feta or queso fresco are great alternatives to feta and they crumble just as well

Cilantro substitutes

Parsley leaves make a decent substitute for cilantro. 

What to serve with elote?

Mexican street corn on table with ingredients
Street corn is the perfect make ahead side

How to make no-fail Mexican corn every time

  • Pressure cook for only 2 minutes and vent (release pressure quickly)
  • Corn will dry out if not buttered or kept moist after cooking
  • Pressure cooked corn is best consumed the day of cooking

Storing leftover pressure cooked corn

If you have leftovers, I recommend placing them in a moist paper towel in the refrigerator overnight. 

Simply remove and reheat in the microwave when ready to eat.

What to serve with elote

I like to enjoy my street corn as a side to bbq chicken drumsticks, steak or tacos.

Mexican street corn with sauce, cojita cheese, cilantro

Instant Pot Mexican Street Corn

Instant Pot Mexican Street Corn is so easy; make in your pressure cooker/Instant Pot in 2 minutes!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 331kcal
Author: Amber


  • Pressure cooker / instant pot


  • 4 ears corn
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup sour cream or crema
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic optional
  • ½ cup mayo
  • ½ lime juice only
  • cup cojita cheese



  • Add 1 cup water to pressure cooker. Place rack into pressure cooker.
  • Add corn and cook on high pressure for 2 minutes. Natural release.

Elote Sauce

  • Add all other ingredients to a bowl and whisk or stir with a fork. Top with cojita cheese.


Tips for pressure cooking corn

  • Cook for only 2 minutes and vent (release pressure quickly)
  • Corn will dry out if not buttered or kept moist after cooking
  • Best consumed day of 

Leftover corn

-place wrapped in a paper towel in the refrigerator


-refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving atop corn for best flavor


Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 250mg | Potassium: 337mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 963IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg


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