Sheet Pan Street Corn Nachos (Esquites Nachos)
Street corn nachos are loaded with seasoned fire-roasted corn, melty Oaxaca cheese, a drizzle of crema, tangy Cotija cheese, a squeeze of lime juice, and fresh cilantro! Truly a party for your mouth!
Hold the phone – it’s street corn nachos!
All the things I love about my homemade street corn dip put together on nachos! I loaded these up with all the toppings I like on my cup of esquites hot from the food truck and turned these regular old nachos into esquites nachos!
It all starts with a bed of restaurant-style corn tortilla chips, top with melted cheese, butter-sautéed fire-roasted corn that’s seasoned with Tajin, garlic powder, and lime juice. And to finish it off, more cheese and a punch of bright cilantro!
These street corn nachos are perfect for making for the big game, a lazy Sunday afternoon on the patio, in the middle of summer for a pool party, and of course, who can forget Cinco de Mayo!
What do you need to make street corn nachos:
- Fire-roasted corn: I used defrosted fire-roasted corn from the freezer section of my grocery store. If you can’t find it, you can use regular corn, or I’d suggest purchasing a few ears of corn and grilling them on the grill in the summertime or popping them under the broiler until they char just a bit!
- Butter: Butter gives the corn a delicious flavor when we saute it.
- Minced jalapeños: fresh minced jalapeños add a kick of spice to these nachos. Feel free to omit them from the recipe if little ones are going to eat this too.
- Seasonings: I use Tajin seasoning and garlic powder for this recipe. Tajin is sold in the produce section of most grocery stores. You may also be able to find it in the baking aisle with other seasonings. In Texas, it’s usually right next to the watermelon and mangos! You can also make your own Tajin seasoning if you can’t find any. Just a google search should pop up plenty of suggestions for a DIY version.
- Lime juice: after the corn is sauteed, freshly squeezed lime juice helps freshen up all the other flavors in this recipe.
- Tortilla chips: I like to use restaurant-style tortilla chips from the grocery store. My grocery store actually sells bags of freshly made tortilla chips in the deli section. If yours does, I highly recommend trying with those! When you reheat them in the oven for a bit, they taste just like the stuff they bring to your table at Mexican restaurants!
- Cheese: I use a couple of different types of cheeses for this recipe. The first is queso Oaxaca. I shred it in my food processor and pop it on the chips, and let it melt in the oven. You can also use queso Asadero or Monterey Jack cheese if you can’t find either of the first two kinds. If you happen to use Monterey Jack cheese, I highly suggest buying a block of cheese and shredding it yourself. Store-bought shredded cheese has a starchy coating which keeps the cheese from sticking together. This won’t allow the cheese to melt as beautifully as it would with freshly grated cheese.
- Crema: Mexican crema is similar to sour cream, but it’s way creamier and less tangy! If you can’t find Mexican crema, feel free to use sour cream (thinned with a small splash of milk) instead.
- Cilantro: We’ll add a pop of color and freshness to the street corn nachos with a punch of cilantro right at the end!
How to make easy street corn nachos at home:
- Make the street corn. Start by heating a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until it’s nice and hot. Then, add the corn to the skillet and push it around to heat it through. Throw in the knob of butter and let it melt. Season the corn with minced jalapeños, garlic powder, and Tajin seasoning. Once the corn soaks in all that flavor, remove it from the heat and squeeze the fresh lime juice over the top.
- Melt the cheese. Arrange the tortilla chips on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Top with the shredded Oaxaca cheese and then pop this in the oven just long enough for the cheese to melt and the chips to heat through a bit.
- Serve the nachos. When the chips are warm out of the oven, top them with the prepared corn mixture, crumbled cotija cheese, sprinkle with more Tajin (if you’d like,) and drizzle with crema. Finish with fresh cilantro on top and serve lime wedges on the side so that you can squeeze a bit more! Serve with an ice-cold drink!
FAQs about esquites nachos:
- I can’t find Cotija cheese; what else can I use? You can swap the cotija for crumbled feta cheese if you can’t find it. It’s definitely not the same thing, but it does give you a similar flavor.
- Can I add queso to these nachos? YES! Homemade queso or even store-bought nacho cheese would be delicious on these nachos for a more delicious cheesy flavor!
- Can I use your creamy elotes dip on these instead of the buttered corn? You can! You can skip through to step #1 and then top the chips with the elotes dip. Feel free to omit the crema and the extra cilantro too!
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
- Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos
- Mexican Street Corn (Elotes)
- Mexican Street Corn Salad
- Creamy Elotes Dip
- Street Corn Chicken Tacos
- Street Corn Rice Salad
- 1 pound frozen roasted corn, defrosted (canned corn works too!)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced finely
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons tajin seasoning (plus more for more heat!)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 (13-16 ounce) bag tortilla chips
- 1 ½ cup shredded Oaxaca (or queso Asadero or Monterrey Jack)
- ⅓ cup crumbled Cotija cheese
- ¼ cup Mexican Crema (or sour cream)
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Lime wedges, for serving
- PREP: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside for now. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the corn to the skillet and push it around until warm, about 1 minute. Add the butter and allow it to melt into the corn slowly. Then, add the minced jalapeños, garlic powder, tajin seasoning, continue to sauté the corn for roughly 1 minute. Remove the corn from the heat, add lime juice, and allow the corn to cool to room temperature.
- ARRANGE: Arrange the tortilla chips on the prepared sheet pan. Evenly distribute the shredded Oaxaca cheese over the chips. Bake the chips for 4-7 minutes or until the cheese melts.
- SERVE: Remove the sheet pan from the oven and top with the prepared corn, Cotija cheese, Mexican crema, chopped cilantro, and sprinkle with another pinch of tajin seasoning. Serve with lime wedges alongside an ice-cold drink!