Elote or Mexican Street Corn is the street food recipe that will deliver the most flavorful corn on the cob you will ever have the pleasure of eating. Cobs of corn are super easy to make either on the grill or in the oven. They are the most mouthwatering tangy, spicy, cheese spread that is spread all over hot and sweet grilled corn. Mind-blowing!
If you have ever eaten this street food in Mexico or at a Cinco de Mayo festival, you appreciate why this amazing Mexican corn on the cob is one recipe you must try. Elote is easy to make at home either on the grill, in the oven, boiled in a pot or even sous vide! Serve this elote recipe already slathered in the Mexican crema and sprinkled with chili powder and cheese or serve these goodies on the side.
What I Love About This Mexican Street Corn Recipe:
- Easy side dish. Grill or roast corn and baste with the creamy chili pepper mixture.
- Minimal cleanup. Bowl, measuring cup, pastry brush.
- Quick. 10 minutes, not including time to pre-heat the grill or oven.
- Mouth-watering taste. Sweet, juicy corn on the cob slathered with a creamy, cheesy, spicy sauce.
Tips for choosing the best corn on the cob:
- Check the husk. It should be slightly moist, tight against the ear and have no little brown holes.
- Check the base. The part of the corn where the ear was bent off the stalk should not be brown, indicating older ears.
- Check the tassel. It should be yellowish-white, slightly sticky and smell slightly sweet.
- Gently squeeze the kernels. Move your hands, gently squeezing, over the length of the husk. The kernels should be firm and plump, with no missing kernels.
Ingredients in Elote (Mexican Street Corn)
(The printable recipe below tells you the exact measurement and methods.)
- Mayonnaise: Mayo adds just the right amount of creaminess to make all the other goodies stick to the corn. I’m talking about you cheese.
- Sour Cream: I use a full-fat sour cream because it’s flavor marries so well with the other ingredients.
- Garlic Powder: Make sure to use garlic powder and not garlic salt. You can also use a finely minced fresh garlic if you prefer the extra bite.
- Chili Powder: Ancho chili powder is the choice here for authentic Mexican street corn flavor. If you have regular chili powder on hand and don’t want to buy a special jar of ancho chili powder, feel free to use that.
- Crumbled Cotija Cheese: Cotija cheese is a Mexican cheese that has a crumbly texture. It can be found in well-stocked grocery stores – often at the cheese counter – or in Mexican grocers. If you can’t find Cotija cheese, feta cheese will work just as well. For either one, you will want to crumble it into tiny bits.
- Fresh Cilantro Leaves: I chop the leaves only. The stems can be discarded.
- Sweet Corn: Peak season sweet corn on the cob is always the best. I like the bi-color corn (the ones with white and yellow kernels), but any fresh corn on the cob is ideal too. Make sure to get corn with the husks still intact. Corn without husks lose their sweetness faster when refrigerated.
- Lime: I cut the lime into wedges to serve alongside the corn. This way people can choose to add the lime juice or not. If you know everyone eating likes the lime, then, by all means, squeeze it into the mayonnaise mixture.
How to Make Elote (Mexican Street Corn)
- Preheat Your Grill: Set your grill to medium-high heat. (See alternative cooking methods below.)
- Make the Street Corn Sauce: Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, chili powder, garlic, and cilantro.
- Grill the Corn: Grill the corn about 8 to 10 minutes until cooked through and lightly charred.
- Spread on the Goodies: Spread creamy, cheese and chili pepper mixture over the corn. Serve sprinkled with more cheese and chili powder. Serve with lime wedges alongside.
Don’t want to grill? Here are other great ways to cook corn on the cob :
- Roast: Keep husks on corn. Preheat oven to 350° F. Place corn husks directly on the oven rack and roast for 30 minutes or until corn is soft. Remove husks.
- Boil: Remove husks from corn. Add corn to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Microwave: Cut stem end and about 1/2-inch up from the bottom of the cob off using a sharp knife. Microwave on High 2 minutes per cob. Holding the tassel end, shake until the corn slides out from the center.
Looking for more amazing corn on the cob recipes? Check these out:
Elote ~ Mexican Street Corn ~ Recipe
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup finely crumbled Cotija cheese or feta cheese, approx. with more for serving
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder, approx. with more for serving
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 ears corn, shucked
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Heat your gas grill to medium-high.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, garlic powder, chili powder, and cilantro. Set aside.
- Grill corn, turning occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked through and lightly charred.
- Transfer corn to the bowl with the cheese mixture. Using a pastry brush, brush corn on all sides with the mixture. Remove from bowl; sprinkle with extra cheese and chili powder. Serve with lime wedges.
- Store corn at room temperature for up to 3 hours.
- To refrigerate your corn, keep the husks on and wrap in plastic wrap. Fresh corn should be used within 1 to 2 days.