Vegan Mexican Street Corn (Esquites)

Esquites (vegan Mexican street corn) is perfect for a delicious appetizer, snack or side dish. Grilled corn with vegan butter, topped with vegan cotija cheese, lime juice, chili powder and vegan mayo. It’s delicious, affordable and fun to make!

Vegan Mexican Street Corn

What are Esquites (Vegan Mexican street corn)?

Savory corn kernels that are usually prepared by boiling in a savory broth/water and then topped with cotija cheese, mayonnaise, lime and chili powder. You can find them on the streets of Mexico being sold out of small carts or booths. Th vendors are typically at the plazas, outside of churches or super markets.

Esquites (Mexican street corn) recipe varies depending on the region of Mexico that you go to. Some regions of Mexico will add sour cream, different types of chili powder, chili sauce, etc.  That is the best part, you can make it your own! Feel free to add a bit of crunch on tope too, I’ve seen people crumble chips on top as well!

mexican street corn ingredients

Substitutes and Tips:

Corn: The corn in Mexico is not sweet and is a bit more “starchy” if you will. I highly recommend using white corn instead of sweet yellow corn for this recipe.

Vegan Mayo: You can definitely make your own but I like to use Follow Your Heart brand since they have several different types, including a reduced fat version. If you would like to make your own, check this recipe out.

Vegan Cotija Cheese:

  • 1/2 cup Cashew or Almond Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 tbsp Lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt or to taste
  1. Add Cashew or Almond flour into a medium bowl and mix in, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, and salt.
  2. Add lemon juice to the mix little by little to make sure it does not get soggy. You want clumps to form but overall have a dry texture.
  3. Let sit for a few hours to dry up a bit or serve right away.

Chil Powder: Avoid using Tajin is possible to give it a more authentic flavor. Use a chili powder from a local Mexican store that is just ground chilies.

Servings and Storing:

Serve your Vegan Mexican Street Corn in individual cups and let everyone choose their toppings. This allows for everyone to make their unique cup of Mexican street corn!

Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days but avoid freezing it.

vegan mexican street corn

More Authentic Mexican Dishes:

Mexican Brown Rice

Vegan Pollo Asado (Mexican-style grilled chicken)

7 Vegan Taco Recipes

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Vegan Mexican Street Corn

Vegan Mexican Street Corn (Esquites)

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  • Author: Anna Rios
  • Total Time: 20
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Esquites (vegan Mexican street corn) are perfect for a delicious appetizer, snack, or side dish. Grilled corn with vegan butter, topped with vegan cotija cheese, lime juice, chili powder, and vegan mayo.


  • 4 ears of corn
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 13 limes, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup vegan Cotija* (see above)
  • Chili powder to taste* (see above)

If boiling the corn:

  • 4 ears of corn
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 sprig of fresh epazote
  • Salt to taste


Stove or Grill:

  1. Turn a griddle on medium-high heat if using the stove.
  2. Peel the husks off the ears of corn. Brush with melted vegan butter.
  3. Grill for 10 minutes and then flip to the other side.
  4. Grill on all sides until it is slightly charred.
  5. Once cooled off a bit, use a knife to cut the corn kernels off.


  1. Turn pot on medium heat and add butter.
  2. Once melted, add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Next, add vegetable broth, epazote, salt, and corn.
  4. Simmer on low-medium heat for about 10 minutes or until corn is cooked.
  5. Drain corn and use a knife to cut the corn kernels off.

Dress it up:

  1. Add corn kernels to a cup or bowl.
  2. Add a small spoonful of vegan mayo and vegan cotija.
  3. Sprinkle with some Mexican chili powder, add lime juice, sprinkle cilantro on top, and enjoy!



*see above for storing tips

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Mexican

1 thoughts on “Vegan Mexican Street Corn (Esquites)

  1. Pingback: Enfrijoladas (Only 5 Main Ingredients)

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