Mexican Blackened Corn, full of sweet, smoky corn, crispy bacon, veggies, and cheese, will have everyone racing to the table on taco night!
Make Taco Tuesday even more exciting with a wildly flavorful side dish of Mexican Blackened Corn! The pops of smoky charred sweet corn and veggies, mixed with delicious seasonings and topped with crunchy bacon, cilantro, and salty cotija cheese, is one dish the family will make disappear in a flash!
Crazy for Corn
Corn is a staple in our house, and we have it often throughout the summer when we can get it fresh at the store or farmer’s markets. There are so many tasty ways to prepare corn, but I was not prepared for how unbelievably delicious it was when we charred it! Goodness folks, the added smoky flavor knocked our socks off, and we almost didn’t need the bacon, but come on, who can turn down crispy bacon?!? I thought taco night couldn’t get any better until we made this Mexican Blackened Corn and now every taco night is way more delicious!
Other Recipes to Serve with Mexican Blackened Corn
- What’s the perfect side dish without an amazing main dish? Carne Asada Tacos will make your taco night unforgettable!
- A Classic Tequila Sunrise is the beautiful and sweet drink your taco party deserves and it’s easy to make for a crowd!
Veggies: To make this corn dish, you can use fresh corn cut from the cob, frozen corn, or even canned corn. You will also need an onion, red bell pepper, and garlic.
Seasoning: Cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper will all be used in this recipe.
Toppings: Chopped cilantro, crumbled cotija cheese, and crumbled bacon are all needed to top the corn. The bacon is optional but we all know bacon makes everything better.
Beer: A small amount of beer is needed to de-glaze the pan when charring the corn. Use whatever beer you have on hand or purchase any kind of beer you like.
How to Make Mexican Blackened Corn
STEP ONE: Cook the bacon in a deep skillet until crispy and then let the bacon drain and cool on a paper towel. Once cool, crumble the bacon.
STEP TWO: In a large skillet or cast iron pan, cook the corn kernels on high heat. Sprinkle the salt, cumin, and cayenne over the corn and continue to cook.
STEP THREE: Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic, and stir the corn mix every few minutes.
STEP FOUR: Once the corn begins to stick to the pan, add the beer to loosen the corn from the pan and continue to cook, allowing the corn to darken and char. When the corn is nice and dark, and the veggies are soft, remove the pan from the heat, top with bacon, cilantro, and cotija cheese and serve.
Tips for Success
- Fresh corn cut from the cob is great in this dish and using frozen corn is a great option, but canned corn can also be used.
- Only stir the corn while cooking every few minutes. This will give the corn time to darken and char, where a lot of that great smoky flavor comes from.
- The bacon is optional so kick it out of you want to make this dish vegetarian or don’t have time to cook the bacon.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Leftovers can be easily reheated in the microwave for 30-60 seconds until hot.
How do you char corn without using a grill?
Achieving a wonderfully tasty char without burning corn all comes down to the pan you use. Cast iron skillets are perfect for this job because you don’t need to oil the pan, which allows the corn to stick to the pan and char while the corn cooks at high heat. Using a non-stick skillet also works and if you find that you must use an oil while cooking, choose an oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil, and skip the olive oil. The other key to charring is not to stir the corn often. Instead, let it stick to the pan a little and deglaze the pan with the beer, scraping all of the delicious corn bits from the pan.
What is Mexican corn made of?
Mexican corn tends to fall into one of two camps, either with or without mayo! Mexican street corn is a wildly popular dish that mixes corn with mayo, spices, and cheese, and when prepared on the cob, it is called Elote. Creamy, sweet, and spicy, Mexican street corn has amazing flavors. When prepared without mayo, Mexican corn can be made either cold or hot and is typically a mix of roasted corn and veggies, like the recipe here, or covered with a vinegarette. Both really let the corn shine and are terrific ways to enjoy summer corn!
Get even crazier for corn with these recipes!
- Mexican Street Corn Dip
- Blue Cheese Corn Salad
- Parmesan Cilantro Corn
- Greek Corn Dip
- Grilled Corn on the Cob
*This post was originally posted on 08/28/2012.
- 4 slices bacon (see note)
- 4 ears fresh sweet corn kernels cut from the cob
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 small yellow onion peeled and chopped
- ½ red bell pepper cored and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup Mexican lager
- ¼ cup cotija cheese crumbled
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- Place the bacon in a large deep-sided skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, flipping occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Once cooled, crumble the bacon.
- Wipe out the skillet and then add the corn kernels to the pan. Cook over high heat in the dry pan. Sprinkle the cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper over the corn and stir to coat. Stir occasionally so the corn starts to char a bit.
- Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the corn and mix everything together. Stir the corn mixture every few minutes until it begins to stick in the pan.
- Pour the beer into the pan to deglaze. Stir in the beer and cook until the corn has darkened and has char spots on the kernels, about 20 minutes
- Remove the skillet from the heat. Sprinkle with the chopped bacon, cotija cheese, and cilantro. Serve warm.
- You can skip the bacon to make this a vegetarian side dish.
- To save on pre-prep time, I usually chop the veggies while the bacon is cooking.