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Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elote)

Mexican street corn is a staple of summer and it's easy to make at home! Top char-grilled corn on the cob with a tangy, creamy sauce, sprinkle with crumbled cheese and dive in. Make this for your next backyard cook-out!

Mexican Corn or elote recipe with crema topping and cilantro
Megan Keno

Whenever we go back to my husband’s hometown for any of the summer holidays – Flag Day, July 4th, or Labor Day – there is always a little taco cart sitting at the park with the rest of the food trucks.

This one cart always a line stretching out in front and around the corner with people waiting to get their mitts on classic street tacos, burritos, and grilled Mexican street corn (elotes) slathered in sauce.

When we are far away from the lively celebrations of his hometown, my husband and I can relive the fun by grilling corn on the grill and making our own version of Mexican street corn in just a few minutes. The charred kernels and the tangy sauce really make this different from your everyday corn on the cob.

Video: How to Make Mexican Street Corn (Elotes)

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Mexican Street Corn

Swaps & Substitutions for Mexican Corn

  • Mexican crema: Look for crema alongside the sour cream or with the cheeses at your grocery store. If you aren’t able to find it, by all means, use regular sour cream. Crema is a little thinner than sour cream and has added salt, which makes it extra divine. It’s usually what we keep in our house now!
  • Cotija cheese: If cotija isn’t available, feel free to omit it, or just use grated Parmesan or crumbled feta cheese instead.

How to Eat Mexican Street Corn

There is absolutely no way to eat this messy corn on the cob delicately, but usually you’re not alone since half of the other people gathering for the event are equally covered in it as well. Small town events, and their street cart food, mean that summer is really here!

Grilled Mexican Street Corn
Megan Keno

What to Pair With Mexican Street Corn

Grilled Mexican corn makes any backyard barbecue into a party. Try pairing it with some of these dishes:

More Favorite Summer Corn Recipes!

Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elote)

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 6 to 8 servings
If you aren’t able to find traditional Mexican crema in your local grocery store, by all means, use regular sour cream. You can also substitute grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled feta for the cotija.

Ingredients

  • 6 to 8 medium ears sweet corn, husks removed
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema, or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup minced cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest, from one lime
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice, from one lime
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  • Lime wedges, to serve

Method

  1. Heat a gas or charcoal grill to 400F:

    Clean the grates once it has heated.

  2. Whisk together the sauce:

    In a bowl, whisk together the crema, mayonnaise, cilantro, garlic, chipotle pepper, lime zest and lime juice. Taste and season the mixture with salt if needed. (Crema has a little salt already, so add extra judiciously.) Set aside.

    Squeezing the lime for the crema topping for mexican street corn
    Megan Keno
    Whisk together the crema topping for Grilled Mexican Street Corn
    Megan Keno
  3. Grill the corn:

    Place the husked corn directly onto grill grates. Grill the corn for about 3 minutes, undisturbed, or until kernels begin to turn golden brown and look charred. Turn over and repeat. When all sides are browned, remove from the grill onto a plate.

    Lay the corn right on the grill for making elotes
    Megan Keno
    Grilled corn for make an elote recipe
    Megan Keno
  4. Top the corn with sauce and cheese:

    Using a brush or a spoon, coat each ear of corn with the crema mixture. Sprinkle with crumbled cojita cheese. Sprinkle with additional chipotle pepper, if desired. Serve immediately with extra lime wedges.

    Spread the grilled corn with the Mexican crema topping
    Megan Keno