Whether you've heard of it through Trader Joe's or you're just a fan of Mexican street corn, you will absolutely love this Everything but the Elote Seasoning! Flavors of chile, spice, sweet, cheesy goodness, and just of a touch of smoky chipotle blended together.
Typically these flavors are used to season grilled corn topped with creamy sauce and cheese, also called Elote or Mexican Street Corn. Homemade elote seasoning is so easy to make and the heat from the spice is just right. Even my 4-year-old will sneak pieces of my salmon topped with this spice blend!
Right now on the East Coast, particularly in New England, we're in peak corn season. So having this on hand is definitely a plus.
If you don't live near Trader Joe's and you've heard all the raving about this seasoning, now you can just make your own! Or if you don't live near one and just want to be able to have this on hand, well here you go. Once you start using it you'll go through it surprisingly fast!
Great news! Homemade Trader Joe's Everything the Elote Seasoning can easily be made with many ingredients you likely already have hanging out in your spice cabinet.
I tried to keep this recipe as close to the TJ's version as possible without knowning the exact portions. Which means I dissected the ingredient list, found comparable ingredients, and made no less than 6 batches until it was perfect. So I hope you love it!
What you'll need and some helpful tidbits:
Corn flour - Try to find the finest grind you can. I really like the Bob's Red Mill brand for this.
Cane sugar - You can definitely substitute granulated sugar but the TJs recipe calls for cane sure and the crystals of cane sugar are slightly larger so the sweetness really spreads.
Salt - Diamond crystal salt, traditional kosher salt, or sea salt are great choices.
Paprika - While this isn't going to add a mind blowing amount of flavor it adds just a hint of sweet pepper taste, but more importantly that vibrant color.
Chipotle pepper powder - This one is a little tricky to find right now. I had luck at whole foods, but you could also purchase chipotle powder via amazon (affiliate link!). Chipotle pepper powder is different than chili powder!
Cumin - Don't skip the cumin! This powerhouse spice adds a deep flavor to round out the spice
Ground coriander - Not the same as cilantro! Ground coriander is the ground seeds from the cilantro/coriander plant. It is a perfect flavor pairing with cumin.
Parmesan cheese - I'm going to recommend two different products for this. First, if you have the patience, I'd highly recommend purchasing parmesan cheese powder (affiliate link) so that your spice is shelf stable and stored at room temperature. The texture is also very fine (hence, powder), and will get your seasoning mix as close to a copycat as possible.
If you don't have the patience, buy the finest grated parmesan cheese you can at the store.
Amarillo seasoning (optional) - This one is totally optional, but I really loved the color and just a hint of savory taste it added.
What does elote seasoning taste like?
It taste a little smoky, a little sweet, with a touch of heat, blended with traditional Mexican flavors like cumin and coriander all laced with a subtle cheesy taste.
Making & Storing Your Seasoning
Truly, it can't get any easier than this.
Add all your ingredients to a bowl. Mix with a whisk until completely combined.
Store in an airtight container. You're done!
Hint: Store in an airtight container! Moisture will make the seasoning stick together. If it does stick together, give it a shake to loosen it.
How to use it
One of the best things about having this on hand is it can be used on so many things!
Use homemade elote seasoning to add flavor to fish (salmon is my favorite!) or chicken, sprinkle over popcorn, and of course, use it to season vegetables like corn.
You can also mix it into creamy sauces like mayonnaise, sour cream, etc for a savory aioli sauce to drizzle or dip!
Be sure to let me know how you decide to use it so I can try it too!!
If you loved this recipe, please leave a star rating and a comment below! Don't forget to tag me @hungerthirstplay on social media so I can see your delicious eats!
Everything but the Elote Seasoning
- ¼ cup corn flour
- ¼ cup cane sugar
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese (powder or grated)
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons chipotle pepper powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- Add all the ingredients to a medium size mixing bowl. Whisk together, until spices are completely blended.
- Transfer the spice mix to an air tight container. If using parmesan powder, store at room temperature. If using grated parmesan cheese, store in the fridge for 1 month.
- Parmesan cheese powder is my preferred cheese ingredient for this recipe because its shelf stable and does not need to be refrigerated. It's also super fine, so the final product's texture is much more like a typical seasoning blend.
- If you can't get your hands on parmesan cheese powder, use the finest grated parmesan you can.
- Chipotle pepper powder and chili powder are two different things with two different tastes, the chili powder flavor is more robust with more heat.