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Elote (Mexican Street Corn)

June 10, 2024

Elote is all about the simplicity of grilled corn on the cob with a creamy-cheesy-spicy topping. Even a perfect ear of corn can be made more perfect with this recipe for Mexican Street Corn.

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4 ears of Elote Mexican Street Corn topped with fresh cilantro, chipotle mayonnaise, cotija cheese and slices of limes

We love a good corn dish! Here’s a few of our faves

The Best Mexican Street Corn Recipe

Our passion for Mexican food is well-documented, and so it was only a matter of time before we shared our recipe for elote. Corn on the cob slathered in butter is no slouch of a side dish, but when summer peaks and corn is abundant (not to mention cheap) after the inaugural ear of butter-coated corn, we’re ready for something with a little more kick. Serve with Easy Steak or Shrimp Fajitas and our Perfect Guacamole and you’re in for a treat.

four corn on the cob, grilled and topped with cotija, cilantro, chipotle mayo, and fresh cilantro for Elote on a plate

What Is Elote?

The precise definition of authentic elote is—as is true of many of the best global street foods—a bit difficult to pin down. Elote recipes vary, but this Mexican corn on the cob is usually charred on a grill and then slathered in a creamy topping that can be made of sour cream, crema or regular old mayo. The creamy Mexican grilled corn is then rolled in some combination of fresh cotija cheese, chili or chipotle powder (sometimes in the form of Tajín), a squeeze of lime and maybe a sprinkling of cilantro. If you’d rather eat it with a fork, try making a Mexican Street Corn salad.

Ingredients for Elote (Mexican Street Corn) cilantro, quest fresco, corn and chipotle mayo and lime in prep bowls

Ingredients You’ll Need To Make This Easy Mexican Street Corn Recipe

  • Corn on the cob.

  • Chipotle mayonnaise. We have to say that using chipotle mayo instead of plain feels like a real stroke of genius. You can use store bought, but why bother when we’ve got a handy recipe for homemade chipotle mayo just for you?

  • Cotija. Cotija is a delightfully salty, aged Mexican cheese that’s readily available in the U.S. and is considered the classic elote cheese.

  • Fresh cilantro. As ever, if you’re a cilantro hater, it’s OK to skip it.

  • Chipotle powder. Maybe not the most common ingredient, but essential for its smoky peppery flavor. Plus, you need it for the chipotle mayo anyway!

  • Lime. Fresh limes make everything good—and now that we mention it, why not buy extra and make margs, Spicy or a classic Perfect Margarita?!
four grilled corn on the cob on a plate.

How to Grill Corn for Elote

  • Shuck the corn — meaning peel off the outer husk, and remove as many strings of corn silk as you can without fussing too much over every last one. Leave the end piece if you can, so that you’ll have something to hold onto while you eat the corn.

  • Prep the grill! If you’re grilling over gas, heat it to medium-high, and if you’re working with charcoal, just get those coals good and hot.

  • Grill! Yep, just lay the corn cobs naked on the grill and let that fire do the rest. Turn the cobs often, so that all sides of the corn cob get nice color. You want a good char on the kernels, but pull it off before it is burnt—this is usually about ten minutes.

4 Elote Mexican Street Corn cobs on a plate topped with fresh cilantro, chipotle mayonnaise, cortina cheese and limes

How to Store Leftover Elote + Tips

  • Leftover grilled corn is best stored without all of the toppings. If you’re planning on freezing, it’s best to cut the kernels off of the cob before storing in the freezer for up to three months. We think this Mexican Street Corn Salad with Chipotle Crema is a great way to use up corn.

  • Let the corn cool just a bit. We like to dress it up while it’s still warm—but not searingly hot—from the grill.

  • Spread chipotle mayo all over the corn. You can use the back of a spoon to do this, or a pastry brush is really handy (and fun) for this, too. Yes, this gets messy. Yes, it is so worth it.

  • Sprinkle with crumbles of salty cotija, cilantro and shakes of chipotle powder. This is why we like to make it a party—everyone can doctor their grilled ears of corn with as much or as little of these goodies as they want.

  • Finish it off with a squeeze of lime juice, and dig in!

4 Elote Mexican Street Corn cobs on a plate topped with fresh cilantro, chipotle mayonnaise, cortina cheese and limes

More Great Food to Serve with Elote!

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Elote (Mexican Street Corn)

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  15 min
  • Calories: 134

Ingredients

Method

  1. Preheat the grill on medium high. Set the corn cobs directly on the grill and cook, rotating often, until slightly charred on all sides, 8 minutes.

  2. Using the back of a spoon or a pastry brush, spread the chipotle mayo all over the corn. Sprinkle with the cotija cheese, cilantro, and chipotle powder. Serve with the lime wedges on the side.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories134
  • Protein2 g
  • Carbohydrates17 g
  • Total Fat19 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol2 mg
  • sodium133 mg
  • Total Sugars4 g

Elote (Mexican Street Corn)

Questions & Reviews

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  • Jenn

    This recipe really elevates corn on the cob, it's a family favorite now!

    Thank you Jenn, we are so glad you all love it!