Creamy Corn Casserole with Lime, Chiles & Cilantro

If you like the Mexican corn dish known as esquites, you'll love this creamy corn casserole. Sweet corn and tangy lime brighten up this easy casserole, while serrano chiles and cotija cheese add spice and a salty note to keep everything balanced.

Creamy Corn Casserole with Lime, Chiles & Cilantro
Photo: Greg DuPree
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • ½ medium white onion, chopped

  • 2 serrano peppers, seeded and chopped

  • 6 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 12 ears) or thawed frozen corn kernels

  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper

  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • ½ cup whole milk

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish

  • 1 cup sour cream, divided

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup fine yellow cornmeal

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

  • ¾ teaspoon salt

  • ¾ teaspoon ancho chile powder, divided

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • cup crumbled cotija cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 7-by-11-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and serranos; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and the peppers are softened, about 5 minutes. Add corn and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in lime zest and lime juice.

  3. Transfer half of the corn mixture to a blender; add milk. Secure the lid on the blender and remove the center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over the opening. Process on medium speed until mostly smooth, about 15 seconds. (Use caution when blending hot liquids.) Transfer to a large bowl; stir in eggs, cilantro, 3/4 cup sour cream and the remaining corn mixture. Add flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and 1/4 teaspoon chile powder; stir to mix well. Pour into the prepared baking dish.

  4. Bake until lightly browned and set, 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.

  5. Combine water and the remaining 1/4 cup sour cream in a small bowl; stir until smooth. Drizzle the mixture over the casserole and sprinkle with cotija and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon chile powder. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

To make ahead

Refrigerate baked casserole for up to 2 days; reheat, covered, in a 325°F oven.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

223 Calories
9g Fat
31g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 223
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 7g 14%
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 54mg 18%
Vitamin A 516IU 10%
Sodium 355mg 15%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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