Mexican Street Corn, or Elote, is the most flavorful corn recipe ever. It’s tangy, creamy, a little spicy, and absolutely delightful. Sweet corn covered in crema sauce and cotija cheese makes the best veggie side dish!
My Favorite Mexican Street Corn (Elote) Recipe
Mexican Street Corn has quickly become one of my favorite ways to prepare corn. It may look a little more complicated than just regular boiled or grilled corn, but I promise you it’s not! This elote recipe includes an incredible crema sauce that only takes a few minutes to whip together and that is topped with cotija cheese.
This corn recipe is so good I almost never have any leftovers by the time dinner is over. When you bite into this glorious combination of fresh, smoky corn and tangy sauce, you’ll see why!
What is Elote?
Elote is a Mexican side dish of sweet corn slathered in a sour cream or crema sauce, and topped with cotija cheese. It’s a pretty common side dish and snack sold by vendors at Mexican festivals and street fairs, hence the name. Mexican Street Corn is usually grilled so that the smoky char on the corn can mix with the other added flavors.
Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is! These are the ingredients you’ll need to get started:
- 6 Ears of Fresh Corn: you can also use frozen corn on the cob. In this recipe, I like to make my Grilled Corn On The Cob before topping it. However, you can also use this easy recipe for Air Fryer Corn On The Cob!
- Sour Cream: you can also use Mexican crema or plain greek yogurt.
- Lime Juice: you want to use fresh lime juice for the best flavor.
- Seasonings: Salt, Black Pepper and Chili Powder.
- Oil: you can use canola, vegetable or olive oil.
- Crumbled Cotija Cheese: crumbled feta or parmesan also work well for this recipe.
- Grated Parmesan Cheese: this is optional, I just love the flavor it adds.
- Chopped Fresh Cilantro
Traditionally cotija cheese is used, but feel free to use the alternative cheeses listed above.
How to Make Mexican Street Corn
Mix: In a bowl, mix mayonnaise, sour cream, juice from half the lime, a pinch of salt and a pinch of black pepper.
Shuck: Preheat grill to 400°F. Shuck the corn. You can peel back and leave husk attached or discard. Leave the stalk on, however.
Grill: Brush corn with oil and season with remaining salt, pepper and chili powder. Grill corn for 10-12 minutes turning occasionally, until some of the corn is charred just a bit. Remove from grill. (If leaving the husk on, be sure to allow husk to hang over the side of the grill, or grill corn over hot side and husk over cool side of the grill. If the husk is over the hot side of the grill it will burn to a crisp.)
Serve: Squeeze remaining half of the fresh lime juice over corn. Drizzle mayonnaise sauce over the corn and liberally sprinkle with cheese and cilantro over the top. Serve and enjoy.
Do I Have to Grill the Corn?
No, you do not have to grill the corn! You can cook it however you like, you just want nice hot cooked corn for the base of your Mexican Street Corn! Here are a few more ways you can cook your corn:
- Boil: Boil the corn for 5-10 minutes, but make sure it is nice and dry before toping with sauce and cheese, etc.
- Broil: Broil the oiled corn in the oven for about 10 minutes turning every few minutes, until cooked.
- Air Fryer: If you have an air fryer, you can also cook it in the air fryer with my easy Air Fryer Corn On The Cob recipe!
Tips for the Best Elote
Still have some questions? Here are some tips for making the best Elote:
- Foil: grilling the corn in foil could help preserve flavors, and it also makes cleaning the grill less of a hassle.
- Picking Sweet Corn: look for husks with a bright green color that are tight to the corn.
- Chili Powder: if you aren’t a huge fan of spice, or if you want more, adjust the amount of chili powder accordingly.
- Sprinkling the Cheese: if you like a thick layer of cheese you can roll the corn in the cotija, but if you like a lighter layer just sprinkle it on.
Mexican Street Corn pairs well with seafood and meat, and goes great with a green salad. This recipe is also the perfect side dish for any of your favorite Mexican main courses! Here are a few of my favorite dishes to serve with this Elote:
- The Best Grilled Steak Kabobs
- Pico De Gallo Chicken
- Instant Pot Charro Beans
- Cheese Enchiladas
- Cheesy Beef Empanadas
- Homemade Tamales
- Mexican Casserole
- Salsa Verde Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
Mexican Street Corn (Elote)
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sour cream, or Mexican crema or plain greek yogurt
- Juice of 1 lime, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 6 ears of fresh corn
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 3 tablespoons oil, canola, vegetable or olive oil
- ⅓ cup crumbled cotija cheese
- 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese, optional
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1. In a bowl, mix mayonnaise, sour cream, juice from half the lime, a pinch of salt and a pinch of black pepper.
- 2. Preheat grill to 400°F. Shuck the corn. You can peel back and leave husk attached or discard. Leave the stalk on, however.
- 3. Brush corn with oil and season with remaining salt, pepper and chili powder. Grill corn for 10-12 minutes turning occasionally, until some of the corn is charred just a bit. Remove from grill. (If leaving the husk on, be sure to allow husk to hang over the side of the grill, or grill corn over hot side and husk over cool side of the grill. If the husk is over the hot side of the grill it will burn to a crisp.)
- 4. Squeeze remaining half of the fresh lime juice over corn. Drizzle mayonnaise sauce over the corn and liberally sprinkle with cheese and cilantro over the top. Serve and enjoy.
More Delicious Vegetable Recipes
Looking for easy, but delicious, vegetable side dishes? Me too! My family and I love different ways of dressing up vegetables to make them stand out. Here are a few of my favorites:
- The Best Sautéed Green Beans With Bacon
- Air Fryer Baked Potato
- Pan Fried Plantains (Sweet Plantains)
- Air Fryer Asian Roasted Broccoli
- Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
- Oven Roasted Potatoes
- Air Fryer Asparagus
- Best Creamed Spinach
- Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
- Twice Baked Potato Casserole
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