Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elote)

VideoFavorite SummerMexicanCorn

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!

Photography Credit: 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)

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

From the editors of Simply Recipes

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!

Updated June 30, 2020 : We added a new video to this post. We hope you like it!

Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elote) Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 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 Whisk together the crema topping for Grilled Mexican Street Corn

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 Grilled corn for make an elote recipe

 

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

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Megan Keno

Megan Keno, is the writer, recipe developer, and photographer behind the nationally recognized food blog Country Cleaver. Her work has been featured in Country Living Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, America’s Test Kitchen, The Kitchn, and on The Pioneer Woman’s Tasty Kitchen Blog.

More from Megan

78 Comments / Reviews

No ImageGrilled Mexican Street Corn (Elote)

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Dave

    Is it Mexican crema table cream or sour cream. I’ve seen a brand with both but don’t know the difference.

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Casey

    Very delicious and easy! The sauce would be good on many things. Thanks!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Carol

    Can this be made in advance and eaten later? Need to take something to a BBQ but would cook at my house and eat later at a friends. Does it hold up if wrapped in foil?

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Sophi

    Did you know that the corn in Mexico isn’t sweet like in the US? I’ve tried making street corn at home, but it’s never just right cause by and large you can’t find non-sweet corn in the US :( If you haven’t tried it, I’d recommend trying street corn made with non-sweet corn cause it’s so good! That’s the way they make it in Mexico (also we don’t put cilantro on em because it’s just a cheap snack that vendors sell, so you know, they’re not about to have tons of cilantro on hand lol)
    This recipe was so nice ! I just wish I had non-sweet corn on hand!!

    Show Replies (1)
  5. [email protected]

    Outstanding! My 2 year old granddaughter cannot get enough! I’ve had to omit the Crema due to diet restrictions but I just use more mayo (usually avocado mayo) and it turns out great. I top it with fresh cilantro and crumbled queso for a great presentation.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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Mexican Street Corn topped with crema and cilantro on a plateGrilled Mexican Street Corn (Elote)