Make your Mexican feast a certified hit with these cotija cheese recipes!
These dishes are clear evidence that cheese makes the world a better place.
I love all kinds of cheese, but for today’s round-up, we’re giving the spotlight to cotija.
It’s a crumbly cheese with mild salty and tangy flavors. It’s similar to ricotta, feta, and cottage cheese, but it very much has its own distinct personality.
Often a topping to tacos, nachos, and elote, this Mexican cheese adds another layer of flavor to anything it touches.
I adore cotija so much, I was tempted to feature 50 recipes in this list! I don’t want to overwhelm you, though, so I decided to pick my top 23.
Naturally, this list has a chock-full of Mexican dishes, but I’ve also thrown a few other fusion cuisines here and there.
Ready? Let’s feast!
1. Mexican Corn Dip (Hot or Cold!)
This Mexican corn dip is a colorful mix of corn kernels, roasted green chiles, cotija cheese, mayonnaise, and chile powder.
Enjoy it hot and melted or cold and crunchy.
You can eat it with or without chips, too! Because it has all of these amazing textures, it makes for a fantastic snack on its own.
2. Salsa Roja with Cotija Cheese
Salsa roja, which translates to red sauce, is a bright Mexican condiment.
It’s perfect for nachos, enchiladas, huevos rancheros, and any Mexican dish you can imagine.
This mix of tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, spices, seasonings, and cotija cheese has an awesome blend of sweet, savory, earthy, and spicy flavors.
3. Chile Rellenos
Chile rellenos are broiled poblano peppers stuffed with melty cheese and drizzled with salsa roja.
As if that wasn’t good enough, the rellenos are also garnished with sour cream, hot sauce, lime wedges, cilantro, and cotija.
Colors, tastes, and textures are all at play to make this dish a certified hit.
4. Mexican Street Corn – Elote
If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating an elote, you’re in for a treat! This Mexican grilled corn is insanely good.
Grilled corn on the cob is jazzed up with Mexican crema (mayo, if you can’t find one) cotija, chili powder, and lime juice.
The dish is so colorful, it fills your eyes with joy. Its flavor and texture combinations are so dynamic, your tastebuds will sing with glee.
5. Mexican Street Corn Salad
It has all the same tastes and textures as the classic elote but in salad form. This recipe is ideal if you don’t like getting your hands dirty.
This salad is a vibrant mix of corn kernels, onions, bell peppers, jalapenos, avocados, sour cream, cotija, and a whole lot of spices and seasonings.
Now, this is my kind of salad.
6. Carne Asada Torta
This is the sandwich of my dreams! Thanks to this recipe, I can turn my dreams into reality any time, any day.
Tender and juicy carne asada is stuffed onto a soft roll and finished with a variety of Mexican toppings, from avocados to refried beans to cotija.
Esquites have the same ingredients as classic elote, but it’s presented as a salad.
This version of esquites combines fresh corn kernels tossed with mayo, chili powder, cilantro, lime juice, and cotija.
You can serve the salad either in a glass bowl or serve it in single portions in small cups.
8. Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken enchiladas are topped in spicy green tomatillo salsa and finished with sour cream, chopped red onion, cilantro, and cotija.
What a wonderful explosion of colors and flavors, indeed! They’re bursting with goodness inside, outside, and in between.
9. Air Fryer Corn Ribs, Elotes Style
Here’s yet another variation to the delectable elote. By now, you can already probably tell I’m obsessed.
It’s a viral TikTok recipe where instead of being served on the cob, the corn kernels are shucked to create rib-like segments.
They’re air-fried to give them an even crunchier texture then served with classic elote ingredients – mayo, chile, cotija, cilantro, and lime.
10. Sheet Pan Street Corn Nachos (Esquites Nachos)
This snack is a beautiful mash-up of nachos and elotes. Crunchy nacho chips are fully loaded with roasted corn, melted cheese, crema, cotija, and lime juice.
Sure, the recipe makes a lot, and it’s meant for sharing, but I won’t judge if you have the whole thing to yourself.
11. Shrimp Tacos
This tremendous dish really needs no explanation. I mean, who doesn’t know and love shrimp tacos?
They have all the great elements you look for in a shrimp taco.
There’s perfectly seasoned and cooked shrimp, tender tortillas, and all the amazing Mexican toppings you can imagine.
What makes this recipe extraordinary, though, is the homemade cilantro-lime crema sauce. This creamy, savory, and peppery sauce is to die for!
12. Elote Pasta Carbonara
Take that classic carbonara to a whole new level of deliciousness with this recipe!
This is carbonara with bacon, corn, and cotija seasoned with chili powder and lime.
It’s what happens when you put together carbonara and elote together in one bowl. It’s a fantastic fusion of Italian and Mexican cuisines.
13. Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas
These tostadas have a crunchy corn tortilla crust topped generously with fresh ceviche made of diced shrimp and vegetables.
The tostadas are finished with cotija cheese, which complements the citrus-flavored ceviche beautifully.
You’ll get your hands (and maybe your entire face) dirty eating these appetizers, but it’s 100% worth it!
14. Grilled Steak Street Tacos
These street tacos are small, almost bite-sized snacks made of tender meat, crunchy, veggies, cotija, and salsa stuffed inside soft mini tortillas.
If you want more, by all means, pile on as much and many toppings as you like!
They’re so incredibly delectable you’ll wish it were Taco Tuesday every day.
15. Healthy Cotija + Corn Guacamole
Here’s something wholesome, for a change! If you’re on a diet but don’t want to miss out on the cotija fun, this dip is for you.
It’s a simple combination of creamy guacamole, fresh tomatoes, cilantro, and cotija, but the flavors are spot on.
The flavors come together really well, giving you a dip that’s even more delectable than the chips!
16. Wild Salmon Tacos with Roasted Corn and Chile Adobo Cream
Tacos are great, but roasted tacos are next level.
These tacos are filled with roasted salmon, roasted corn, onions, and peppers, and chile adobo cream.
The tortillas themselves are grilled as well, giving them a nice, smoky, charred taste.
17. Vegetarian Enchiladas with Poblano Cream Sauce
Vegetarians are allowed to enjoy enchiladas, too! They might be all-veggie, but don’t be surprised if your meat-loving heart gets hooked, too.
They’re filled with pinto beans and corn and covered in a decadent poblano cream sauce.
These enchiladas are so delectable, you won’t even miss the meat.
18. Grilled Asparagus with Cotija Cheese
A very humble dish of grilled asparagus is given a glow-up with cotija cheese.
There’s something quite special about the combination of crunchy, vegetal asparagus and crumbly, salty cotija.
They work together hand in hand to create a simplistic side dish with a remarkable taste.
19. Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini
Hollowed-out zucchini is stuffed with a wonderful mix of black beans, green chiles, green onions, brown rice, sour cream, and four kinds of cheese.
Then it’s baked to perfection.
To make things even more exciting, the stuffed zucchini is sprinkled with cotija crumbles.
20. Mexican Elote Creamed Corn
Corn kernels are bathed in a creamy sauce seasoned with sugar, salt, jalapenos, cheese, and spices.
This results in a delectable dish bursting with all kinds of wonderful flavors.
21. Mexican Quinoa Salad
Nutty and healthy quinoa seeds are made extra delish with black beans, corn, fresh vegetables, and cotija.
Tying the flavors together is a refreshing dressing made with olive oil, vinegar, cilantro, lime, and spices.
22. Elote-Style Cotija Cheese Quesadillas
Cheese quesadillas are given a whole new dimension of taste and texture with corn, ancho chile, and cotija.
Finished off with a tangy and spicy lime and cumin crema, these quesadillas are *chef’s kiss.*
23. Creamy Mexican Corn Chowder
This bright and sunny bowl of Mexican corn chowder is sweet, savory, creamy, and cheesy!
The combo of smooth and silky broth, crunchy corn, and crumbly cotija creates a party in your mouth.
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