Mexican Street Corn (Elotes)

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  • This Mexican Street Corn recipe is packed full of fresh, bright, and amazing flavors. It is a great way to spice up any BBQ or dinner table.

    two ears of mexican street corn on a plate with text overlay for facebook

    I seriously love corn season. Nothing says summer like buttery fresh corn on the cob, but sometimes I just want my taste buds to go wild. Mexican Corn on the Cob is the answer to my prayers!

    In other parts of the world (read Mexico) this dish is simply called, “elote.” That is Spanish for “corn on the cob.” It is pronounced, eh-LOH-tay for those of you that want to give it a go.

    It is literally the best corn you can ever imagine. A popular street food, corn cobs are charred to perfection and rolled in crema Mexicana, sprinkled with crumbled cheese, and spritzed with lime juice; it is a wild ride for the palate.

    three ears of mexican street corn on a plate

    Mexican Street Corn Recipe

    This dish is most well known for being served on the streets of Mexico City where they will often grill it on the side of the road, doctor it up to your liking, and serve it on a stick for easy eating and walking. It is a meal all by itself.

    The Mexican version and some American versions of Mexican Corn on the Cob use mayonnaise instead of crema Mexicana. You can easily use either. I personally prefer the tang of the crema.

    If you love this recipe as much as I do, you can also make my Mexican Street Corn Salad by making this recipe and taking it off the cob and into a bowl for easy eating!

    The Mexican version and some American versions of Mexican Corn on the Cob use mayonnaise instead of crema Mexicana. You can easily use either. I personally prefer the tang of the crema.

    Do what you can and do what makes you happy, but in my opinion, it makes all the difference in the world.

    If you love this recipe as much as I do, you can also make my Mexican Street Corn Salad by making this recipe and taking it off the cob and into a bowl for easy eating!

    straight on shot of elotes on a plate

    Ingredients

    • Fresh Corn – Although self explanatory, you do need to use fresh ears of corn rather than corn off the cob for this elote recipe. However, I do have a Mexican Corn Salad recipe that provides the same flavors but uses corn kernels instead.
    • Butter – You can’t have corn without butter! We roll the corn in butter to help everything to stick to the corn.
    • Crema mexicana – This is where the corn starts getting good. This is a creamy sauce that gives a tart flavor to this great recipe. You can either make your own or buy it at any major grocery store.
    • Limes – Lime wedges are used to spritz over the corn. The fresh lime juice pairs well with the tangy sauce that is crema mexicana.
    • Queso cotija – This is a crumbly Mexican cheese found in most grocery stores. However, you can use queso fresco if your store doesn’t carry it.
    • Mexican chile powder – Sometimes marketed as just this or chili powder, it is either made from one type of chile, like ancho or chipotle, or a blend of chile peppers, which is known as chili (with an “i”) powder.
    • Fresh cilantro – I know there are some cilantro haters out there, so you can certainly leave this out if you are one of them! It looks nice as a garnish and also adds some Mexican flair to the flavor.
    close up of mexican street corn on a plate

    How to Make Mexican Street Corn

    1. Grill corn. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill corn in the husk, rotating halfway through.
    2. Cool and husk. Allow to cool so you can handle, then husk the corn. You can also wear gloves if you don’t have time to allow them to cool fully.
    3. Roll in butter. Place butter into a long dish, roll each ear of corn in butter and sprinkle with Mexican chili powder. Butter the corn and generously sprinkle chili powder over the corn. Return to the grill to create a char.
    4. Add toppings. Remove and spritz with limes wedges. Place crema Mexicana in long dish, roll each corn cob in crema Mexicana. Sprinkle with crumbled cheese and another dish of Mexican chili powder. Enjoy!
    collage of how to make mexican street corn

    Variations

    There are several different ways that you could change up your elote corn.

    • If you aren’t able to find or make mexican crema, you can always use sour cream mixture instead. Some people even use a garlic mayo. Simply mix mayonnaise with minced garlic and use in place of the mexican crema.
    • If you can’t find queso cotija, any crumbly cheese such as feta cheese will work. I’ve even seen people use parmesan cheese too.
    • Add a little spice to this mexican corn recipe by adding some cayenne pepper into the mix.
    overhead shot of elotes on a plate

    Storage and Freezing

    Fresh sweet corn is always best when eaten right away. But you can store your easy Mexican street corn in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to five days.

    Freezing is not recommended, but you can reheat in either the microwave or oven.

    collage of mexican street corn for pinterest

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    mexican street corn on a plate with tacos with text overlay for pinterest
    close up of mexican street corn on a plate
    Print Recipe
    4.75 from 12 votes

    Mexican Corn on the Cob

    Mexican Street Corn is one of the best, grilled corn recipes out there. Served as a side, it is a great way to spice up any BBQ!
    Prep Time5 mins
    Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
    Total Time1 hr 35 mins
    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Keyword: elotes, mexican corn on the cob
    Servings: 12
    Calories: 225kcal
    Author: Jessica Formicola

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    • Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Grill the corn inside the husk for 45 minutes, rotating halfway through.
    • Allow the corn to cool so you can handle, then husk the corn. You can also wear gloves if you don't have time to allow them to cool fully.
    • Place the whole stick of butter into a long dish, roll each corn cob in butter and sprinkle with chile powder. Return to the grill to create a char, anywhere from 10-20 minutes.
    • Remove and spritz the corn with fresh lime. Place the crema Mexicana in long dish, roll each corn cob. Sprinkle with crumbled cheese, cilantro and additional chile powder.
    • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 313mg | Potassium: 297mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 765IU | Vitamin C: 15.8mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 0.9mg
    image of jessica formicola

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