Elote! Elote! Elote! If you’ve ever had true elote, you just got really excited. Grilled corn, slathered with sour cream (or mayo) and completely drenched in spices and cheese. It’s a thing of beauty, but also kind of a messy situation. I took the same flavors and made it a little more manageable for this Elote Cream Cheese Breakfast Spread!

There are a few tricks to making this spread. First, you gotta use fresh sweet corn. Frozen corn will just not work. You have to get some char on the corn and frozen corn just has too much water in it. (Okay. You can use it if you are really craving this recipe in January – just sautee the kernels in a skillet with some butter.)

Second, broil or grill your corn so the kernels get a bit crispy and charred in spots. True elote usually has a lot of texture from charred kernels on the cob. I like to use a broiler to get as close as possible to that without heating up the grill for one ear of corn.

Once you have the spread mixed up, you can slather it on any bread, bagel, or English muffin. One morning I even scooped some of it into my omelette and it was realllly good.

Elote Cream Cheese Spread

5 from 2 votes
Author: Nick Evans
Servings: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
All the classic flavors of the great Mexican street snack, Elote, but jammed into a delicious cream cheese spread! Perfect for a savory bagel or on toast! Charred corn, chili, and queso fresco! Spread it on thick!


  • 1 ear sweet corn, charred
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
  • Bagels or Toast, for serving


  • Preheat broiler to high heat. Shuck corn well. Wash and dry thoroughly.
  • Broil corn for 1-2 minutes per side until it’s nicely charred. (You can also grill the corn but I would only bother with heating up the grill if you were going to grill something else anyway.)
  • Remove corn from broiler and let cool. Then slice kernels off.
  • Add kernels to a bowl with cream cheese, spices, queso fresco, and salt. Mash together well.
  • Generously smear spread on toasted bagels or toast for a great summer breakfast!
  • Spread will keep well in the fridge for a week or so in an airtight container.


Serving: 1bagel | Calories: 303kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 983mg | Potassium: 255mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 463IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 255mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Breakfast & Brunch, Pantry Staples
Cuisine: American

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Elote Cream Cheese Spread

Fresh corn is how this whole situation starts.

Sweet corn - Elote Cream Cheese Spread

I recommend preheating your broiler to high and tossing the ear of corn under the broiler. One to two minutes per side will give you some nice char under the intense broiler heat. If you happen to have your grill on anyway (it is summer) you can toss the ear of corn over high heat.

Charred corn - Elote Corn Cream Cheese
Grill or broil it!

That will need to cool for a bit and then you can slice off the kernels and add it to a bowl with the other fixings.

Most important: queso fresco! It adds some nice texture to the spread and breaks up the cream cheese.

Elote Cream Cheese Spread
I love these flavors.

Mash mash mash. Mix mix mix.

Might look kind of sad and yellow but man is this spread delicious!

Mixed spread - Elote Cream Cheese Spread
This tastes much better than it looks.

Slather your Elote Cream Cheese Spread on a toasted bagel and sprinkle with a little extra chili powder and you are in business.

Sweet Corn Elote Cream Cheese Spread

Here are a few other great cream cheese spreads!