The summery flavor of elote gets baked into the coziest Mexican street corn and zucchini baked macaroni and cheese. It is super cheesy with the perfect amount of heat.
Mexican Street Corn and Zucchini Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I’m never going to learn from my mistakes.

Like, today, I spent the whole day apartment hunting.

AND I DIDN’T EVEN BRING A FLASK.

My day would have been much more enjoyable had I gotten to take a shot every time the overenthusiastic looked-like-he-was-18 broker I was with said the phrase “spacious flexed 1 bedroom”.

Just saying.

Mexican Street Corn and Zucchini Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I mean, this guy was really trying. He kept calling buildings he saw as we were walking around midtown to see if there were any apartments he could show.

But it just felt like a bad date train wreck situation…like, it was SO SO SO bad but I couldn’t stop it from happening or extricate myself from the situation and I don’t know why.

And seriously if I never again hear the word “flexed” used to describe adding an inappropriately placed wall to an already too-small living room to create the illusion of a second bedroom…it will be too soon.

Mexican Street Corn and Zucchini Baked Macaroni and Cheese

So if you need me, I’ll be trying to shake the whole day off.

One hot shower + one hot bowl of this mac and cheese should do the trick.

Mexican Street Corn and Zucchini Baked Macaroni and Cheese

THIS MAC AND CHEESE (!!!!!!!!!!!!)

It’s like all your summer street corn dreams come true. With a heavy dose of carbs and cheese because WHY NOT but also because it is still rather cold round these parts and we need something to warm our bones.

You start off by making a street corn spice mix. This gets mixed into the cheese sauce and ALSO gets sprinkled on top so it gets all warm and toasty and rich in the oven. Plus you’ll probably have extra to save for all the actual street corn you’ll be eating this summer (<– you can thank me later).

The cheese sauce is just a basic cheddar with a roux base. Some crumbled cotija gets mixed in at the last second to give it that extra street corn flair.

And FINALLY this whole hellagood mixture is topped with even more heavy handfuls of cheese and then baked to glorious gooey cheesy perfection.

It’s perfect for when you’re wallowing in fruitless apartment hunting self pity. But also for those moments when you feel like eating something so bad, yet so good.

Mexican Street Corn and Zucchini Baked Macaroni and Cheese
 
The summery flavor of elote gets baked into the coziest Mexican street corn and zucchini baked macaroni and cheese. It is super cheesy with the perfect amount of heat.
Yield: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
For the spice mix
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper
For the mac and cheese
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 ears sweet corn kernels
  • 1 large zucchini, trimmed and cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 12 oz white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup minced cilantro, divided
  • 1 lb cavatelli pasta, cooked al dente and drained
  • 6 oz cotija cheese, crumbled, divided
  • juice of 1 lime
Instructions
  1. To make the spice mix, mix together the garlic powder, chile powder, smoked paprika, salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat oven to 375F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.
  3. Melt 2 tbsp of the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the corn and zucchini to the pan and saute until zucchini is tender, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  4. Melt the remaining 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat in the same pot that you cooked the corn. Add the flour to the pot and cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, for 2 minutes. Slowly stir in the milk a little bit at a time. Cook until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, stirring constantly.
  5. Stir in the cheese, 1 tbsp of the spice mix, and 2 tbsp of the cilantro. Cook until cheese is fully melted. Season to taste with the spice mix, making sure to reserve at least 1½ tsp for the topping.
  6. Mix the cooked pasta with the cheese sauce in the prepared baking pan. Fold in the corn mixture, 2 oz of the cotija cheese, and the lime juice. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  7. Top with the remaining cotija cheese, spice blend, and cilantro.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden on top and bubbling. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Notes
Slightly adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon

 

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8 Responses to Mexican Street Corn and Zucchini Baked Macaroni and Cheese

  1. Hahaha oh my apt hunting would definitely be more fun with a flask and holy crap I need this mac and cheese!

  2. Kate says:

    Really, the solution is just to stop moving!

    I have faith the perfect apartment will come through. That always seems to work out for you, after stress and worry and wanting to tear out your hair.

  3. Love this! I haven’t made street corn in for-ev-er. Hope you have fruitful apartment searching!

  4. Pam says:

    Hot shower and a bowl of that mac would turn any real estate bad day around. Good luck apartment hunting!!!!

  5. Bleh. I am also apartment hunting. Not going well for me either. Good idea on the flask ;p
    This would definitely improve the day.

  6. This mac and cheese is amazing! I love your spice mix, and I can’t get enough of zucchini in the summer time, Yum!

  7. CakePants says:

    This mac and cheese looks like the comfort food dish I didn’t even know I needed! I love cotija cheese but I wouldn’t have thought to add it to mac and cheese. I’m looking forward to trying this the next time I’m having a rough day. I hope your apartment search takes a turn for the better!

  8. mjskitchen says:

    Total comfort food! So much goodness in one dish. Great casserole!

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