Mexican Street Corn Steak Nachos

Leftover steak or beef tenderloin makes the best individual nachos especially when topped with homemade Mexican street corn or esquites. An easy one bite appetizer with something for everyone!

zoom of a beef and street corn nacho with cotija cheese and cilantro leaf

Mexican Street Corn Nachos were born out of what to do with some leftover steak sitting in the fridge. They aren’t your traditional cheese nacho recipe with drippy sauce but more of an individual bite that is room temperature and full of flavor thanks to an easy street corn salad recipe loaded with spice and a touch of heat.

If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that we love beef tenderloin recipes. A quick visit to my Beef Tenderloin Sliders or Potato and Beef Tenderloin Bruschetta recipes and you’ll know that roasting up a beef tenderloin whether for a holiday or game day is one of our favorite techniques.

And this recipe answers the age old question that I know is keeping you up at night…

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What to do with leftover steak

close up of sliced roasted beef tenderloin on wooden cutting board

Whether you have leftover tenderloin or ribeye, you can make nachos or other good stuff. You can also add leftover steak to make:

  • Philly Cheesesteaks. Melt sharp provolone over some ribeye on a griddle to make these so good and satisfying weeknight sandwiches.
  • Crispy Beef Burritos. Substitute the ground beef mixture for the leftover steak and you’ll have an easy dinner recipe ready to go! Here’s a quick video on how to fold a burrito.
  • Mac ‘n Cheese. A beefy mac adds such good umami to my cheesy and easy Last Meal Mac and Cheese.

Distracted enough? Time to make some leftover steak nachos. But we have to start with the corn salad recipe.

Roasting frozen corn

towel with bowls of roasted corn, mayonnaise, cotija cheese and spices and some limes, garlic and jalapenos

You don’t have to resort to charring and grilling fresh corn to make esquites salad. The secret weapon to these steak nachos counts on you having one key ingredient tucked in your freezer: some frozen fire-roasted corn (like Trader Joe’s or any other brand you can find).

Don’t have any frozen corn on hand? You can roast frozen corn yourself right in your oven!

  1. Crank your oven to 400˚.
  2. Spread the corn on a baking sheet and toss with a drizzle of olive oil.
  3. Season with salt and pepper (or even add chili powder here).
  4. Roast for about 20 minutes until charred checking halfway through and stirring.

Fast Mexican Street Corn Salad

The best thing about esquites is how simple they are to make. To the corn, you’re going to stir together:

  • chopped cilantro
  • jalapeno
  • spices like cumin and chili powder
  • lime
  • cotija and a little parmesan (hey I’m Italian!)
  • mayo and crema

Assembling the perfect individual nacho

  • Space the tortilla chips on a platter.
  • Fan some sliced avocado on each chip. The avocado acts as the glue for the steak.
  • Top with a thinly sliced piece of beef followed by a spoon of esquites, a fresh crumble of cotija and garnish of cilantro.

Best kind of tortilla chips for nachos

Use firm and fairly flat tortilla chips. My favorites are the El Milagro Salted Tortilla Chips.

angled white tray with three tortilla chips with beef and elotes salad

Make ahead, storing, reheating

Make ahead

The Mexican street corn salad can be made ahead of time and since the beef is leftover, there isn’t much to make ahead. This is more of a from the fridge recipe.


The corn salad can be made up to 2 days ahead of time.


Reheat the beef tenderloin in a sheet pan at 400˚ for about 5 minutes just to warm it through.

Made this recipe?

I’d love it if you’d share your review and leave a star rating and comment!

angled white tray with three tortilla chips with beef and elotes salad.
5 from 2 votes

Mexican Street Corn Steak Nachos

An easy single bite steak nacho topped with a esquites salad.
Prep Time:10 minutes
Total Time:10 minutes
Servings 4


For the nachos

For the esquites


For the street corn (esquites)

  • Place thawed and heated corn in a medium sized bowl. Stir in jalapeno and garlic until combined.
  • In a measuring cup, mix the mayo and crema together. Stir in the spices and parmesan until mixed well.
  • Add the mayo/crema combo to the corn and stir until combined.
  • Sprinkle in 2 oz of cotija, cilantro and lime juice. Toss until incorporated. Taste and correct for seasoning.

Assemble the nachos

  • Lay tortilla chips on a platter leaving space in between.
  • Top each tortilla chips with the following ingredients:
    slice/piece of avocado
    remaining crumbled cotija
    squeeze of lime
  • Serve 4 nachos per person.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Southwest; Tex-Mex
Author: Lori Murphy
Did you make this recipe? Tag @josieandnina or tag #josieandnina!

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