This Instant Pot Mexican Street Corn Soup has all the delicious flavours of elotes but in a soup form. It’s loaded with tasty ingredients like sweet corn, bell peppers and potatoes, a few simple spices, heavy cream, cheese, and lime juice. Garnished with classic Mexican toppings and extra cheese for an easy dinner the whole family will love.
This Instant Pot street corn soup is not an authentic Mexican recipe but more of a riff on a corn chowder inspired by the delicious flavors of Elotes.
What are Elotes?
Elotes is also known as Mexican street corn. It’s corn on the cob covered in mayonnaise or Mexican cream, topped with Cotija cheese, chili and fresh cilantro. Lime juice is often drizzled over the top or served on the side. It’s a traditional street food in Mexico but can also be found on many Mexican restaurant menus.
The soup is loaded with sweet corn (fresh, canned or frozen can be used), peppers, potatoes and typical Mexican spices. It’s lightly spiced but not spicy. It’s finished with heavy cream and Cotija Cheese (or Parmesan, if you can’t get it) for that perfect velvety, rich, creamy finish.
Vegetables – onion, celery, green bell peppers or poblano peppers and white potatoes (e.g Yukon)
Seasoning – garlic, chili, cumin, smoked paprika, dried oregano
Corn – you can use frozen, canned and drained or fresh cut from corn cobs, you need about 6 cups of corn kernels for this recipe
Stock – vegetable or chicken stock
Once cooked – heavy cream, lime juice, dry/aged Cotija cheese or Parmesan, cilantro.
Toppings – extra cilantro, sour cream, crumbled Cotija cheese or mild feta, fried tortilla chips or corn chips, sliced jalapeno or any other favorite Mexican toppings.
You will find the full recipe with ingredients and nutritional breakdown in the recipe card below.
There are three stages to making this street corn soup in the pressure cooker. The first stage is to saute the vegetables. The second stage is to pressure cook the soup. The third stage is to puree some of the broth and corn for a thicker texture and to add cream, cheese, and lime juice.
Let’s break it down with step-by-step photos and video. You can use a 6-quart or 8-quart Instant Pot.
Step 1. Press Saute on the Instant Pot, Normal mode. Add olive oil and butter, onions, celery, green peppers and salt. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring a few times until softened.
Step 2. Add the garlic, all of the spices, oregano, and corn and stir for 30 seconds. Press Cancel to stop the Saute process.
Step 3. Add the chicken stock and diced potatoes and stir through, scraping the bottom with a spatula.
Step 4. Secure and lock the lid. Set to HIGH pressure for 3 minutes. Once the timer is done, quick-release the pressure and open the lid.
Step 5. Add heavy cream, lime juice, grated cheese and ¼ cup of chopped cilantro. Stir through.
Step 6. Scoop 1.5-2 cups of the soup out into a jug or a bowl and use an immersion stick blender to puree it until smooth. Return the puree to the soup and stir. It should get nice and thick.Taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasoning as needed.
Step 7. Serve in bowls topped with extra Cotija cheese (or feta), tortilla chips or corn chips, lime wedges, a few chili flakes, and a dollop of sour cream (optional).
This soup is quick and easy, under 30 minutes, but if you want to do some prep work earlier, you can dice onions, peppers, and garlic ahead of time. Store them in a Tupperware container for up to 3 days.
You can use fresh, frozen, or canned corn in this soup recipe so you can make it all year round. Leftover grilled corn will work as well.
You can adjust the amount of cream used. If you like it more brothy, use less and if you want it to be creamier, add more. It’s very forgiving and works with a variety of amounts.
Note that pureeing some of the broth and corn is important to achieve the right texture, plus you will have a sweeter flavor from the corn. Don’t skip this step if possible!
This soup is vegetarian-friendly but if you’re not veggo, it’s even tastier with chicken stock.
For a vegan version, use full-fat coconut milk (shake the can). It will have a similar texture but a more tropical coconut flavor.
What To Serve Street Corn Soup
Similar to other Mexican-inspired soups, this dish can be served on its own or with a side of bread, dinner rolls, cornbread, and so on.
The toppings are to your preference. We loved loaded soups with a variety of crunchy and fresh ingredients scattered over the top. You can choose as many as you like, see suggestions in the recipe ingredients.
Storing The Soup
Store this soup in the fridge for up to 5 days. It can be frozen, however, we recommend not adding cream or cheese. You can still do the pureeing part, then store the soup once it’s cooled down. Add cream and cheese to the soup once it’s been thawed out and reheated.
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Instant Pot Mexican Street Corn Soup
For cooking the soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 onion medium yellow, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
- 1 bell pepper green small size or poblano pepper, chopped into small cubes (about 1-1.5 cups)
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 garlic cloves, minced or chopped
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1.5 tsp cumin ground
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp oregano dried
- 6 cups corn kernels frozen, canned and drained or fresh cut from corn cobs
- 4 cups chicken stock can be vegetable
- 3 potatoes medium size, peeled and diced into small cubes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated (or dry/aged Cotija cheese if available)
- ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
- Extra salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup cheese crumbled cotija cheese or mild feta cheese (like Danish) or extra Parmesan
- Lime wedges (for serving)
- Fried tortilla strips or corn chips
- Slices jalapeno
- Sliced chili or chili flakes
Cooking the soup
- Press Saute on the Instant Pot, Normal mode. Add olive oil and butter, onions, celery, green peppers and salt. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring a few times until softened.
- Add the garlic, all of the spices, oregano and corn and stir for 30 seconds. Press Cancel to stop the Saute process.
- Add the chicken stock and diced potatoes and stir through, scraping the bottom with a spatula.
- Secure and lock the lid. Set to HIGH pressure for 3 minutes. Once the timer is done, quick-release the pressure and open the lid.
- Add heavy cream, lime juice, grated cheese and ¼ cup of chopped cilantro. Stir through.
- Scoop 1.5-2 cups of the soup out into a jug or a bowl and use an immersion stick blender to puree it until smooth. Return the puree to the soup and stir. It should get nice and thick.
- Taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Serve in bowls topped with extra Cotija cheese (or feta), tortilla chips or corn chips, lime wedges, a few chili flakes and a dollop of sour cream (optional).
MORE INSTANT POT CORN RECIPES
- Instant Pot Sweet Potato & Corn Soup
- Instant Pot Chowder With Potatoes, Sweet Corn & Dill Pickles
- Instant Pot Chicken & Corn Soup With Spinach
- Instant Pot Creamed Corn
- Instant Pot Recipes Using Corn