Easy Tajín Corn

This quick and Easy Tajín Corn is a super flavorful Mexican side dish to pair with favorites like Mexican pulled pork and fish veracruz… With just a few simple ingredients – corn, tajín, cilantro, and cotija – you can have it ready in 10 to 20 minutes depending on whether you use fresh or frozen corn. If you really want a spectacular meal, try it with this Mexican-style pork belly. Delicioso!

A cast iron skillet with easy tajín corn, print cloth, cilantro, and bowl of tajín.

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – About Mexican Corn with Tajín

Corn is a quintessential food in Mexican cuisine. I’ve made a point of including it in my Mexican side dishes like elote and charred corn. Both recipes require more ingredients, and more time. For weeknight cooking, we need something really quick, but equally flavorful. This Mexican corn recipe succeeds on both counts. It’s super flavorful, and you can make it in 10-15 minutes!

Tajín is a spice mix I keep at-the-ready at all times for many healthy recipes. I keep it in a mason jar, and sprinkle it on melon, fruit salads, dehydrated mango, rub it in to chicken breasts, and more…

Did you notice the charred edges of the corn? The maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned food its distinctive flavor. You need a very hot pan to char the corn, and I highly recommend using a cast iron skillet for this task.

📋 Ingredients Notes

Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.

Ingredients for tajín corn: Fresh corn, lime wedges, tajín, cotija cheese, cilantro.
  • corn – This simple charred corn side dish is a fantastic way to use fresh corn off the cob! I highly recommend the extra step. However, you can make it with frozen corn, and still have a really good side dish. I would avoid canned corn as it doesn’t have the same slightly crisp texture.
  • oil – Use an oil with a high smoke point – vegetable, canola, refined coconut, etc. I use refined coconut oil, but the choice is yours.
  • tajín – Homemade tajín is so easy to make, and takes about 5 minutes of your time. I almost always have a jar in my pantry. You can find tajín in many markets, and on Amazon.
  • cotija – I really like the aged cotija that I get at my local HEB (Texas chain). Cotija is widely available in the US. Queso fresco or even feta are good substitutes.
  • fresh cilantro
  • lime wedges

🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1 - A hot cast iron skillet with oil before adding the corn.
  • Step 1 – You want to start with a really hot pan. I use my cast iron skillet with refined coconut oil on high heat. When it starts to smoke, add the prepared corn.
Step 2 - Fresh corn off the cob goes into the smoking hot cast iron skillet.
  • Step 2 – Add the prepared corn. Let it sit unmoved for a couple of minutes to get the char that we’re looking for. This will take 2-3 minutes. Give it a stir, and give it another couple of minutes (5 total).
Step 3 - Add tajín to the charred corn.
  • Step 3 – Sprinkle the tajín over the corn, and stir it to combine. If you’re not familiar with tajín, it can be spicy and salty. My tajín recipe has reduced sodium, and you can buy commercial reduced sodium tajín as well.
  • Step 4 – Finish the tajín corn with chopped cilantro, crumbled cotija, and a squeeze (or three) of fresh lime juice!
Step 4 - Mexican Tajín corn in a skillet with copper spoon, fresh cilantro, and tajín.
The tajín corn is finished with crumbled cotija and chopped cilantro… Don’t forget a squeeze of lime!


Do I have to use fresh corn off the cob?

I do highly recommend it. It gets that flavorful char, and it’s so sweet! However, you will still have a great dish if you use frozen kernels. I’m not a fan of canned corn in most recipes, but you could probably get away with it. 😉

💭 Tips

A screaming hot cast iron skillet is the best way to get that flavorful char on the corn.

When you make spice blends at home, they contain no preservatives. If your tajín clumps together, simply put it in a small blender or food processor, and pulse a few times.

This Mexican corn with tajín is a great summer side dish because it cooks so quickly, and won’t heat up your kitchen. It’s a great way to use summer’s fresh corn!

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.

Cast iron skillet with charred sweet corn and homemade tajín.

Easy Tajín Corn Recipe

Charred corn – either fresh or frozen – with tajín spice blend, crumbled cotija, and chopped cilantro.
5 from 1 vote

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Side Dishes
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 servings
Calories 124 kcal


  • 2 teaspoons oil - canola, vegetable, or refined coconut oil
  • 4 ears corn - cut off the cob
  • 1 teaspoon tajín +/- - homemade or store bought
  • 2 ounces cotija - crumbled
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves - chopped
  • 1 lime - cut in wedges


  • Heat the oil in a smoking hot pan. Add the prepared corn.
  • Let the corn sit unmoved for a couple of minutes to get the char that we're looking for. This will take 2-3 minutes. Give it a stir, and give it another couple of minutes (about 5 total).
  • Stir in the tajín. Stir fry an additional minute.
  • Finish the tajín corn with chopped cilantro, crumbled cotija, and a squeeze (or three) of fresh lime juice!


If using frozen corn kernels, use about 2 1/2 cups. 
This is a “charred” corn recipe that requires a very hot skillet. Use an oil with a high smoke point.


Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com

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