Mexican Street Corn Casserole with Cottage Cheese

This is the best-tasting Mexican Street Corn Casserole recipe and a healthier twist on the popular street food in a convenient elote casserole. It gets a protein boost from cottage cheese and has a few hidden vegetables, including yellow zucchini and onions.

Mexican Street Corn Casserole in a dish.

This is the best-tasting Mexican Street Corn Casserole recipe and a healthier twist on the popular street food that brings the delicious flavors of Mexican street corn into a convenient casserole dish. It gets a protein boost from cottage cheese and has a few hidden vegetables, including yellow zucchini and onions. Combining the traditional essence of Mexican street corn with the creamy goodness of queso fresco, this recipe offers a ton of flavor in every bite. But it’s easy on the spice for gentle digestion. 

Perfect for Taco Tuesday or as a delicious side dish for any family dinner, this casserole is an easy recipe that fits seamlessly into your weeknight dinner rotation. Loved by fans of Mexican food and often seen in Mexican restaurants, this dish makes a perfect side dish to complement your meal. Whether you’re hosting a family dinner or just looking for a new addition to your list of easy recipes, this Mexican Street Corn Casserole is sure to become a favorite. 

Why is this Mexican Street Corn Casserole Recipe Healthy?

This elote casserole is healthier than other casseroles because it uses cottage cheese for a creamy texture with fewer calories and fat. Avocado oil, a healthier fat option, is used instead of less healthy fats. The recipe includes hidden veggies like grated yellow zucchini, onions, and garlic, which add fiber and vitamins. Using fresh or frozen corn reduces the sodium content, and the recipe avoids processed ingredients and artificial additives, focusing on natural foods. It also uses queso fresco, a less processed cheese. The casserole is designed to be easy on the spice for gentle digestion, making it suitable for those with sensitive stomachs. Additionally, the cottage cheese adds a protein boost, making the dish more filling and balanced.

YouTube video
Bring Your Own Spice Mild Recipe logo

BYOS: Flavor Without the Fire!

Love bold flavors but not the heat? Spice things up on your own terms with this BYOS recipe bursting with deliciousness. All the ingredients are prepped for easy digestion and a heartburn-free experience. Adjust the spice level to your preference—no more burnt tongues or tears here! Now, everyone can enjoy this recipe regardless of their spice tolerance!

Why You’ll Love This Mexican Street Corn Casserole Recipe

  • You only need a few simple ingredients.
  • It is super easy to make for an impressive result.
  • It is full of delicious flavor!
  • All the ingredients are easily digestible for a gentle tummy.
Mexican Street Corn Casserole in a dish.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Here is everything you need to make my easy elote casserole:

Corn: Fresh corn kernels, sweet corn, or grilled corn can replace canned or frozen corn.

Yellow Zucchini: You can also use green zucchini, summer squash, or shredded carrots.

White Onion: Red or yellow onion can be used instead of white onion.

Fresh Garlic: Garlic powder or minced garlic from a jar can replace fresh garlic cloves.

Avocado Oil: You can substitute with olive oil or vegetable oil.

Mayonnaise: Greek yogurt or sour cream can substitute for mayonnaise.

Cottage Cheese: You can also use sour cream or greek yogurt instead.

Paprika: Smoked paprika or chili powder can replace regular paprika.

Fresco Cheese: Feta cheese, cotija cheese, or a mix of shredded mozzarella and Parmesan can substitute Mexican cheese, which still tastes amazing!

Fresh Cilantro: Parsley or green onions can be used instead of cilantro.

Mexican Street Corn Casserole in a dish.

How to Make My Easy Mexican Corn Casserole Recipe

Here are easy, detailed, step-by-step skillet instructions for making the best healthy elote casserole. The simple ingredients are also repeated in the recipe card at the bottom of this blog post.

Step 1: Saute the Vegetables

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and lightly grease a baking dish with avocado oil or your preferred cooking spray.

​Finely dice the yellow zucchini and onion. Mince the garlic cloves. If using canned corn, drain and rinse the corn kernels. If using frozen corn, thaw and drain any excess water.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of avocado oil over medium heat. Add the corn, chopped onion, garlic, and sauté until soft, fragrant, and lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel and press out any excess moisture.

Sauteeing the corn and onion together.
Patting excess moisture from the sauteed vegetables.

Step 2: Combine and Bake

Add the cottage cheese and mayo to a chopper cup with an immersion blender, an upright blender, or food processor and blend until smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cottage cheese mixture, cooked vegetables, queso fresco, paprika, and salt, and stir until well combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly. Lightly dust the top with more paprika.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden and the casserole is bubbly. Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool slightly. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro and more crumbles of cheese over the top before serving.

Mixing the cheese into the casserole.
Paprika sprinkled on top of the casserole.
Mexican Street Corn Casserole in a dish.

Helpful Recipe Notes

Excess Liquid: Be sure to press the sauteed vegetables between paper towels to remove excess moisture. This will minimize any additional liquid in the bottom of the casserole after it’s baked.

Cottage Cheese Texture: I recommend blending the cottage cheese first to remove the curdled texture, but you do not have to. The casserole will still taste delicious!

How to Make Mild Mexican Street Corn Casserole Spicier

  • For a spicier kick, add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the mixture before baking.
  • Incorporate diced bell peppers to add a mild heat and extra flavor.
  • Substitute fresco cheese with shredded pepper jack cheese for a spicy, creamy alternative.
  • Sprinkle some ancho chili powder into the casserole for a smoky, spicier taste.
  • Mix in a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce to increase the heat.
  • Serve the casserole with lime slices on the side to complement the spicy flavors.

Serving Suggestions for Mexican Street Corn Casserole with Cottage Cheese

  • Main Dish: Serve the casserole as a main dish with a side of fresh green salad dressed with a light vinaigrette.
  • Side Dish: Pair the casserole with grilled chicken, steak, or fish for a balanced meal.
  • Toppings: Add a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of extra cilantro, or a squeeze of fresh lime juice on top before serving.
  • Garnishes: Enhance the presentation and flavor by garnishing with chopped green onions, sliced jalapeños, or a dusting of smoked paprika.
  • Taco Filling: Use the casserole as a filling for tacos or burritos, topped with shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes.
  • Mexican Feast: Include the casserole in a larger Mexican-themed spread with dishes like guacamole, salsa, and tortilla chips.
  • Cornbread Companion: Serve alongside warm cornbread for a comforting and hearty meal.
  • Party Platter: Cut the casserole into small squares and serve as a flavorful appetizer or side dish at parties and gatherings.

Refrigeration: Allow the casserole to cool to room temperature before storing leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Freezing: Cool the casserole completely, use a freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to 3 months.

Reheating: To reheat from the refrigerator, bake at 350°F (175°C) for 20-25 minutes until heated through; to reheat from frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 45-60 minutes until hot.

Can I use fresh corn instead of canned or frozen corn in this Mexican street corn recipe?
Yes, you can use fresh corn. Simply cut the kernels off the cob and use the same amount as the recipe calls for.

What can I use instead of yellow zucchini?
You can use green zucchini or any type of summer squash as a substitute. Shredded carrots also work well for a different flavor and texture.

Can I make this casserole spicier?
Absolutely! Add finely chopped jalapeño or a dash of chili powder to the mixture for extra heat.

Can I make this recipe dairy-free Mexican corn casserole?
Yes, use dairy-free cheese alternatives and replace the cottage cheese with a plant-based option.

How can I lighten up this elote casserole recipe?
You can use Greek yogurt or sour cream instead of mayonnaise for a lighter option. These substitutes still provide creaminess without the extra calories.

Can I prepare this healthy Mexican corn casserole ahead of time?
Yes, you can assemble the casserole a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Bake it when you are ready to serve.

Mexican Street Corn Casserole in a dish.

Mexican Street Corn Casserole with Cottage Cheese

Gluten-Free diet-friendly recipe
This is the best-tasting Mexican Street Corn Casserole recipe and a healthier twist on the popular street food in a convenient elote casserole. It gets a protein boost from cottage cheese and has a few hidden vegetables, including yellow zucchini and onions.
5 from 5 votes
Servings 10
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 30 ounces canned or frozen corn (2 cans)
  • 1 yellow zucchini (diced)
  • 1/4 cup white onion (diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces fresco cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and lightly grease a baking dish with avocado oil or your preferred cooking spray.
    ​Finely dice the yellow zucchini and onion. Mince the garlic cloves. If using canned corn, drain and rinse the corn kernels. If using frozen corn, thaw and drain any excess water.
    In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of avocado oil over medium heat. Add the corn, chopped onion, garlic, and sauté until soft, fragrant, and lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel and press out any excess moisture.
  • Add the cottage cheese and mayo to a chopper cup with an immersion blender, an upright blender, or food processor and blend until smooth.
    In a large mixing bowl, combine the cottage cheese mixture, cooked vegetables, queso fresco, paprika, and salt, and stir until well combined.
    Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly. Lightly dust the top with more paprika.
    Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden and the casserole is bubbly. Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool slightly. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro and more crumbles of cheese over the top before serving.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Excess Liquid: Be sure to press the sauteed vegetables between paper towels to remove excess moisture. This will minimize any additional liquid in the bottom of the casserole after it’s baked.
Cottage Cheese Texture: I recommend blending the cottage cheese first to remove the curdled texture, but you do not have to. The casserole will still taste delicious!

Nutrition

Calories: 141kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 6gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 360mgPotassium: 109mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 265IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 120mgIron: 0.2mg
Keyword air fryer, almond flour, fries, gluten free, healthy, parmesan, zucchini, casserole, cottage cheese, elote, Mexican street corn, yellow zucchini
Did you make this recipe and love it?Please let me know in the comments below how it turned out 🙂

8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My super picky 12-year-old asked if we had leftovers! That is a huge win for anything with vegetables. The cheese is sooo good in this and she had no idea she was eating cottage cheese!

  2. 5 stars
    This is seriously delicious!!! I hadn’t thought of using cottage cheese. Love the healthier option!

  3. 5 stars
    I’m so excited to share this recipe! Our family is obsessed with this cheesy, creamy, healthy corn recipe 🙂

5 from 5 votes

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