Elote Cauliflower Rice with Shrimp + Mango Salsa

As most of you know, I used to review restaurants before I switched gears and fell in love with home cooking. While I was dining out, one of the dishes I used to have all of the time was elote, AKA grilled Mexican corn on the cob with spices, crumbly cotija cheese (very similar to feta) and sometimes served with a zesty crema or aioli. All together, you get this sweet crunchy corn with a brilliant char, some smoke and heat from the spices, and some zesty, tangy creaminess from the crema or aioili. Please see below to get your taste buds turned on.

Elote is brilliant. That being said, I wanted to incorporate this beloved side dish and its unique flavors into a nutritious entrée. I used corn off the cob and sautéd it with some cauliflower rice and ground spices. To make this as easy and accessible as possible, I used powdered spices. However, always feel free to replace powder with the real deal. For example, if you want to use sliced chilis instead of chili powder, by all means do it! Same thing applies to garlic and onion. Also feel free to add any other ingredients that make you happy. There are no rules, just that you enjoy your food. 

elote cauliflower rice with shrimp and mango salsa

The corn rice mixture itself is fabulous, but it still gives off “side dish” vibes. You can totally serve it as a side for a protein. I added seared shrimp (you can also use chicken, cod, salmon…any protein with a mild flavor) and then topped it all with a mango salsa. This just helped it come together as a more well-rounded main course. Mango salsa is not a traditional pairing for elote, however, I personally enjoy it. There is something about tropical sweetness combined with salty creamy cotija cheese, buttery seared shrimp, intense raw red onion and the fragrant, savory spices in the rice that makes me swoon. The sweetness of the mango also plays really nicely off the corn. However, feel free to skip the mango salsa and just serve the rice as is! Of course, it’s easier to make when there’s one less step. 

elote cauliflower rice with shrimp and mango salsa

Elote Cauliflower Rice with Shrimp + Mango Salsa

Sautéed corn and cauliflower rice with Mexican spcies and tangy cotija cheese. Topped with a sweet and zesty mango salsa and seared shrimp!
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 2


Mango Salsa

  • 1/4 cup diced red onion or shallot
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato
  • 1/4 cup diced mango
  • 2 tsp lime juice or just the juice of half a lime
  • Pinch of salt to taste
  • Chopped cilantro to taste

Elote Cauliflower Rice

  • Avocado oil for pan can sub with olive oil or any cooking oil of your choice
  • 2 1/2 cups cauliflower rice you can grind cauliflower in a food processor to make, or you can also use pre-made cauliflower rice, just be sure to drain the water from thawed frozen cauliflower rice
  • 2 cups corn frozen or fresh, off the cob
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp lime juice or just squeeze half a lime if you don't want to measure
  • 1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese can sub feta cheese, for mixing in the rice
  • Pinch of salt or to taste (about 1/4 tsp if you want to measure)
  • 1 avocado sliced, for topping
  • 2 tbsp cilantro chopped, for topping
  • 1 tbsp crumbled cotija cheese for topping, can sub feta cheese

Seared Shrimp

  • 12-16 shrimp peeled and deveined. However many you use depends on size
  • Pinch of salt to taste
  • Pinch of pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp lime juice or to taste


  • Prepare the mango salsa by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl and mixing together. Feel free to add more salt, adjust the lime juice, or add some black pepper as well. Set the salsa aside.
  • Time to make the cauliflower rice! If using frozen cauliflower rice, make sure to drain all of the excess water out of it. Set aside.
  • Season a wok or skillet with oil over medium heat. Add the cauliflower rice and corn (if using frozen, you can add it directly to the pan.) Sauté for 5 minutes until the corn is cooked and the rice begins to crisp a bit. Add the chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder and salt. Continue sautéing for another 3 minutes. Add the cotija cheese (or feta, if using) and lime juice. Mix until the cheese is melted and the rice appears to be creamy. Taste to make sure all of the seasoning is to your liking. If it's not, feel free to adjust!
  • Plate the rice with sliced avocado on top, fresh cilantro and some extra crumbled cheese.
  • You can make the shrimp while the rice cooks, or you can make it in the same pan once the cauliflower rice is done. Pat the shrimp dry and sprinkle salt and pepper on each side. Season a skillet with oil over medium high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, place the shrimp onto the pan and let them cook for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown on one side. Then, flip the shrimp and let them cook again for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown on the other side. Right before removing from the pan, squeeze of drizzle lime juice onto the shrimp and toss once more.
  • Top the rice with some seared shrimp and add some mango salsa on the side, or also on top of the rice. Plate however you like! Serve immediately.
Keyword cauliflower, cauliflower rice, corn, cotija cheese, feta cheese, garlic powder, mango salsa, onion powder
elote cauliflower rice with shrimp and mango salsa

25 thoughts on “Elote Cauliflower Rice with Shrimp + Mango Salsa”

  1. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was amazing! I had Talapia onhand so I used that instead of shrimp. It came together super quick too. Loved this notorious meal loaded with goodness.

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