Grilled and charred Mexican-style corn on the cob, slathered in a creamy and zesty sauce and topped with crumbled cheese. This is classic Mexican street corn, easy to make at home for a summer grilling side dish during sweet corn season.
When we lived in Chicago, around the corner were several Mexican establishments... a bakery, taquerias and a supermercado. In the summer months, mostly August, a pushcart would appear on the sidewalk selling corn on the cob, called elote. I was always intrigued but could never quite get past the large jar of mayonnaise sitting out in the hot sun.
Flash forward to our days in St. Paul, Minnesota. Similar cart on the sidewalk outside our favorite Mexican grocery with the restaurant in the back. Still couldn't get past the mayo in the sun. But I always felt like this grilled summer corn was not to be missed, so I finally decided to make it at home, currently in St. Louis. So easy and SO GOOD!!
Here's what you'll need to make grilled Mexican street corn, aka elotes.
- Corn on the cob no better time than late summer sweet corn.
- Mayonnaise and sour cream or Mexican crema for the sauce. Sour cream is easier to find and I usually have it on hand.
- Cilantro, chile powder and garlic
- Lime juice and zest
- Crumbled feta cheese or the traditional Cotija cheese. I find feta is easier to find and I often have it on hand.
How to Make Mexican Street Corn
- Make the mayonnaise mixture and set aside.
- Grill the corn on the cob until charred all over.
- Coat the corn with the creamy mixture and sprinkle with the crumbled cheese and a dusting of more chile powder.
- Serve with lime wedges on the side.
Recipe Notes and Tips
- I use sour cream instead of Mexican crema, only because I always have that on hand. But by all means, you can swap that out for Mexican crema if you have it or can easily find it in the grocery.
- Same goes for my choice of feta cheese. Cotija cheese is traditional and more authentic but not always easy to find. I really like feta as the best substitution. Grated parmesan will also work!
- For a little spice, I like the smoky heat of ground chipoltle pepper. You can sub with ancho chile powder, regular chili powder or even a little cayenne pepper.
- I brush on the crema mixture but you can spoon it on or even roll the corn in a shallow dish of the mayonnaise mixture. Whatever way you find easiest to coat the corn. It's a bit messy to make as well as to eat!
Mexican-style charred sweet corn is easy to make at home with just a few ingredients. It is perfect for backyard summer cookouts, especially when the sweet corn comes in locally for the season. It's like having your own street cart serving up Mexican street corn in your own backyard! xxo- Kelly🍴🐦
Looking for some more summer corn dishes or dishes to go with these elotes?
- Corn Chowder
- Grilled Corn Salad
- Skillet Cajun Fried Corn
- Summer Minestrone
- Grilled Marinated Flank Steak
- Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri
- Maple Bourbon Grilled Chicken Wings
- Grilled Shrimp Chimichurri
Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elote)
- 4 ears of corn
- ¼ cup good quality mayonnaise I like Duke's
- ¼ cup sour cream or Mexican crema
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or minced
- Zest of half a lime
- Juice of half a lime
- ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
- Pinch kosher salt
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese or Cotija cheese
- Lime wedges and chipotle pepper for serving
- Make the sauce. In small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, cilantro, chipotle pepper, garlic, lime zest and juice. Season with a pinch of kosher salt. Set aside.
- Grill the corn. Heat the grill and when hot, grill the shucked corn, turning every 3 minutes until charred all over, about 10 minutes or so. Remove corn to a platter or plate.
- Brush or spoon on the sauce all over to coat the corn, sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese and a dusting of chipotle pepper. Serve with lime wedges on the side.
- You can substitute Mexican crema for the sour cream and Cotija cheese or Parmesan cheese instead of feta cheese. Mexican crema and Cotija are more authentic, but that said, it's all good!
- Use chipotle pepper to taste or sub with ancho, regular chili powder or a little cayenne pepper.