You've heard of elote in a cup, but what about elote in a bowl? Adding quinoa, avocado and radishes to this popular Mexican corn side dish, turns this recipe into a healthy, vegetarian and gluten free meal.
Elote bowls are easy to make and perfect for meal prep!
What is elote?
Elote is a dish comprised of cooked corn (usually still on the cob) covered in a mixture of mayonnaise, chili powder and cotija cheese.
It's also known as "Mexican Street Corn" because it's typically sold by street cart vendors in Mexico and Los Angeles.
For this recipe, I lightened up the toppings a bit, swapping mayonnaise for sour cream and adding fresh lime juice, lime zest and cilantro.
How to make Elote
For this elote bowl, I cooked the corn off the cob with sliced jalapenos in a cast iron skillet over high heat. This gives the corn that charred, smokey flavor you usually get from grilling the corn.
- Quick Tip! I've made this recipe with fresh corn, taken off the cob, frozen corn out of the bag and canned corn, that has been drained and rinsed. While fresh corn is obviously my favorite, frozen corn or canned corn comes in at a very close second when fresh corn isn't in season.
To make the "elote sauce", combine sour cream, lime juice, lime zest, cayenne pepper and fresh cilantro.
After the corn is cooked, place it in in a bowl on top of cooked quinoa.
- Quick Tip! If you don't already have cooked quinoa on hand, check out my post on How To Cook Quinoa on the stove, in the Instant Pot or in the rice cooker. Begin preparing the quinoa before making the bowls.
Add sliced radishes and avocado, top with the elote sauce and crumbled cotija cheese.
Now the elote side dish we all know and love has officially become a bowl!
Easy Elote Bowl Modifications
Make it vegan!
- Use Vegan Sour Cream to make the elote sauce and omit the cotija cheese on top to create a vegan elote bowl.
Make it low carb!
- Corn has a significant amount of carbs, so this bowl is never going to be considered low carb. But if you want to lighten up the carbs in this recipe, serve the elote over cauliflower rice instead of quinoa. This will reduce the carbs in each bowl by 34 grams!
Meal prep it!
- For storage: cook the corn and quinoa according to the recipe instructions. Divide the cooked quinoa and corn between two plastic storage containers. Place the radishes and elote sauce in separate small containers. Wrap a quarter of an avocado in plastic wrap and place it in the large storage container with the corn and quinoa.
- To reheat and eat: remove the small containers of radishes and elote sauce, as well as the plastic wrapped avocado. Heat the corn and quinoa in the microwave for 2 minutes. Top with the radishes, avocado and elote sauce.
Add a protein!
- For a plant based protein addition to this bowl, add cooked soyrizo.
- For a meat based protein option, I recommend Chili Lime Garlic Grilled Shrimp or Grilled Chipotle Lime Chicken.
Looking for more deliciously healthy Mexican bowls to try? Check out these 5 recipes!
- Vegetarian Enchilada Bowls with Green Chili Enchilada Sauce
- Tex Mex Egg Roll In A Bowl
- Mexican Vegan Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl
- Vegan Burrito Bowl
- Veggie Fajita Rice Bowl
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp lime zest
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper divided
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped - divided
- 1 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
- 16 oz corn kernels canned (drained), frozen or fresh (removed from cob)
- 2 jalapeno peppers sliced
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- ¼ cup sliced radishes
- 1 avocado thinly sliced
- ¼ cup cotija cheese crumbled
- In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, lime juice, lime zest, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper and 1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro to create the elote sauce.
- Add the avocado oil to a large skillet over high heat.
- Add the corn kernels and sliced jalapenos, cook for 4-6 minutes or until the corn becomes slightly charred.
- Divide the cooked quinoa between two bowls.
- Top with the charred corn and jalapenos.
- Add the remaining fresh cilantro to the bowls, along with, sliced radishes and avocado.
- Drizzle the elote sauce over the bowls.
- Top with crumbled cotija cheese and a sprinkle of the remaining cayenne pepper.