Mexican Street Corn (Elote) Recipe

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Mexican Street Corn (Elote) Recipe

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Up your grilling game with this authentic Mexican street corn. 

Flavor seekers, you won’t want to miss this. Spicy, salty, creamy, and fresh, this is no ordinary corn. It’s legendary!

Mexico is home to some epic street food. And Mexican street corn tops the list. 

Grilled Mexican Street Corn  with Lime Slice on the SideGrilled Mexican Street Corn  with Lime Slice on the Side


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It’s a finger-licking good snack and a delicious cookout side. The corn is coated in mayonnaise, Cotija cheese, lime, cilantro, and chili powder for a flavor explosion.

So fire up that grill and grab a handful of napkins while you’re at it. Things are about to get deliciously messy.

Mexican Street Corn 

Mexican street food vendors offer a stunning array of authentic dishes. But there’s one staple nobody can pass up: Mexican street corn!

It packs a flavorful punch that’s fresh, sweet, salty, creamy, and spicy. 

Also known as elote, Mexican street corn is a favorite. It takes your average corn cob to a whole other level. 

Grilled corn gets slathered in a Mexican crema mixture with mayo, cilantro, lime, and chili powder. A sprinkle of Cotija, extra chili powder, and more lime juice finishes it off.

It’s such a treat any time of year, and it’s perfect for a Cinco de Mayo bash.

Serve it at your next cookout. It will be a smash!

Grilled Mexican Street Corn Ingredients on White Marble SurfaceGrilled Mexican Street Corn Ingredients on White Marble Surface


Mexican street corn is all about using ripe corn and quality ingredients. Here’s a list of everything you need:

  • Corn –White or yellow, use whichever kind you like. Just be sure to remove the husk and the silks.
  • Mayo –Regular mayo has the best flavor. But light works, too.
  • Mexican crema –Mexican crema is traditional. But if you can’t find it, use sour cream.
  • Cilantro – For a pop of color and to cut through the fat of the creamy sauce.
  • Lime – The bright acidity enhances the flavor and balances out the creaminess. You need juice for the sauce and wedges for serving.
  • Chili powder – To give it a spicy kick! Depending on your preference, you can tone it down or take it up a notch.
  • Salt –Add just a tiny amount to taste.
  • Cotija cheese –Crumbly and salty Cotija is the ideal topping. Sprinkle some on top.

How to Make Mexican Street Corn

You don’t have to be a grill master to make Mexican street corn. It’s a simple recipe anyone can follow. 

Here are the steps:

  1. Prep the corn. Preheat the grill to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Shuck the corn cobs and remove the silks. 
  1. Make the sauce. Mix mayo, Mexican crema, cilantro, lime juice, chili powder, and salt.
  1. Grill the corn. Place the corn cobs directly on the grates and grill them for 10 to 12 minutes. Turn them every 3 minutes until the corn chars slightly and becomes tender.
  1. Add the sauce. Brush each corn cob with the crema mixture until well-coated. 
  1. Finish with toppings. Sprinkle each corn cob with crumbled Cotija cheese. Press gently so it adheres to the sauce. Sprinkle them with more chili powder (optional). Serve them with a lime wedge, and enjoy!
Grilled Mexican Street Corn on Plate with Mayo and Chili PowderGrilled Mexican Street Corn on Plate with Mayo and Chili Powder

Tips for the Best Mexican Street Corn 

For the best Mexican street corn, follow these nifty tips:


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  • Clean corn is a must. Remove the husks and the silks. It cooks faster and means you won’t bite into those pesky strings. 
  • The riper, the better.The riper the corn, the more juice and the better the flavor. Look for corn with bright green husks that are firm to the touch.
  • Grease it up! Adding a layer of oil before grilling helps keep it from drying out. You can achieve the same effect by wrapping it in foil.
  • Opt for the oven instead. Set your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, lightly spray the shucked corn with oil. Then, wrap it in foil and roast for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Don’t ditch the stalk. As you shuck, keeping a few inches of the stalk makes it easier to hold and eat.


Can’t find all the ingredients? Or do you want to try something a little different? No problem!

Here are some Mexican street corn variations to try:

  • Try using sour cream. It’s thicker and more sour. But it does the trick.
  • Swap out Cotija for another cheese. Queso fresco is my first pick for a substitute. Use Monterey Jack, Feta, or Parmesan cheese if you can’t find it. 
  • Kick it up a notch. Add cayenne powder to the sauce for extra spice. You can also adjust the chili powder based on your heat preference.
  • Make it vegan. Use non-dairy versions of mayo, crema, and cotija. Plant-based crema may be hard to find. In that case, use vegan sour cream.
  • Serve it up in salad form. Cut the corn off the cob and serve it as a side salad.
Grilled Mexican Street Corn with Cilantro and Cotija Cheese on TopGrilled Mexican Street Corn with Cilantro and Cotija Cheese on Top

How to Store 

Mexican street corn is best when eaten the day you make it. But this doesn’t mean you can’t store it for later. 

If you have extras, you can either freeze or refrigerate them. The trick is to store the corn and toppings separately.

To Store:Let the corn cool completely. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an air-tight container. Place the sauce and toppings in separate air-tight containers. Eat it within 2 to 3 days.

To Freeze:Place the corn in a freezer-friendly air-tight container or zip-top bag. It will last for about 10 months. You can freeze the sauce, but I don’t recommend it. The consistency will change and won’t be ideal when you defrost it.

Mexican Street CornMexican Street Corn author avatarauthor avatar Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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