Put down the boxed stuff and spice up your mac and cheese with this comforting elote mac and cheese dish!

This recipe draws in flavors from Mexican cuisine, and is heavily-inspired by elotes: a Mexican street food consisting of corn on the cob, dressed in toppings like butter, mayo, cotija cheese, and hot sauce. This mac and cheese dish more closely mimics “esquites” which is similar to elotes, but instead of corn on the cob, the corn is served off the cob.

Here, we take the traditional, cheesy mac and cheese we all know and love, lace it with sweet corn and dress it up with cotija cheese, chipotle mayo, and fresh cilantro to create a delicious twist on a classic comfort food. 

Elote Mac and Cheese

  • Prep Time:30 mins
  • Cook Time:40 mins
  • Total Time:1 hr 10 mins
  • Servings:4
  • Medium


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 cup neutral tasting oil
  • 6 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz cotija cheese plus more for serving
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese
  • 4 oz pasta
  • 6 oz corn
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt
Joseph Labrador
  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 375° Farenheit.

  • Step 2

    In a small bowl, make the chipotle mayo. Whisk together 2 egg yolks, 2 teaspoons of spicy brown mustard, 2 teaspoons of paprika, 2 teaspoons of chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and a pinch of salt to taste. Next, gradually mix in 1 cup of neutral oil, adding a little bit at a time, and making sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding more. Once the chipotle mayo is set, put it aside for later use.

  • Step 3

    Grate 6 ounces of sharp cheddar, 4 ounces of cotija cheese, and 4 ounces of mozzarella cheese. Set these aside for later use.

  • Step 4

    Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add salt to the pot as well as 4 ounces of pasta, and cook the pasta.

  • Step 5

    In a pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Once the butter is melted, immediately add in 2 tablespoons of flour and cook while whisking until the ingredients are incorporated and the raw flour smell is gone (about 2 minutes).

  • Step 6

    To the pan, add 4 ounces of the shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Whisk the mixture until the cheese is melted and incorporated.

  • Step 7

    Afterwards, add in the 4 ounces of cotija cheese, 4 ounces of the mozzarella cheese, and 1 tablespoon of the chipotle mayo made earlier. Mix everything together. (Note that the cotija cheese will soften but not melt so the cheese mixture will not be completely smooth.)

  • Step 8

    Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water out of the pot and add in the cheese sauce as well as 4 ounces of canned corn. Mix everything until all the pasta and corn are coated in the cheese sauce.

  • Step 9

    Transfer mixture into an oven safe container/casserole. Top it off with the remaining 2 ounces of shredded sharp cheddar and 2 ounces of canned corn.

  • Step 10

    Place in the oven and cook for around 40 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and brown spots have appeared on the top of the dish.

  • Step 11

    Once cooked, garnish the mac and cheese with chipotle mayo, cotija cheese, and cilantro. Enjoy!