Grilled Mexican Street Corn, also known as Elote. This char-grilled corn is Mexican Corn on the cob slathered in a delicious sauce made of mayo, chile powder, paprika, and chipotle, and lime! Then sprinkled with cheese–queso fresca or cotija! Then garnished with more lime and cilantro (optional) for a tangy, spiced, delicious street food, that makes the perfect summer side.
Elote (Mexican Street Corn)
This recipe is one of my favorite summer side dishes, because it is:
- Super Easy to Make: With only a few ingredients and a little time, you get the BEST EVER CORN.
- Low Mess: You grill the corn, and mix all the rest of the stuff together in a single bowl, which means big flavor with hardly any mess.
- Big Flavor: This recipe for street corn boasts huge flavor. You get creaminess from the sauce, spiciness from the chile, tangy flavor from the lime, and of course the cheese! Plus the sweetness of the corn, which means this recipe for elote checks all the boxes.
- Goes with Everything: I love serving this at a potluck, BBQ, or even family dinner. It is so impressive, and pairs well with just about everything, from Tacos Dorados, to Baked Breaded Chicken.
In Mexico, elote means an ear of corn, and in my humble opinion there is no better way to make corn than this. It really enhances and compliments the flavor of the ear of corn! This recipe is pretty authentic, depending on the ingredients you use, and whether or not you make substitutions. But even if it is not exactly traditional or authentic elote, it is a delicious way to eat corn.
What You Need to Make Elote
This recipe is so simple, and only requires a few ingredients.
- Sweet Corn: There are different varieties of corn, look for the freshest, sweetest option you can find.
- Mexican Crema: You can find this in most grocery stores near the cheese. If you can’t find it, you can substitute sour cream.
- Mayonnaise: Real mayo, not Miracle Whip, is recommended. You can even make your own: Homemade Mayo.
- Garlic: Freshly minced, or from a jar, whichever is easiest for you.
- Spices: chili powder, chipotle powder, and paprika
- Lime: This adds the tanginess, so you want fresh lime juice AND Doterra Lime Essential Oil, which will give it such a great flavor, and really help it stand out.
- Cheese: Cotija or sub for Queso Fresco and a little salt. Queso Fresco is similar to cotija, but it’s not dry, it’s softer, a bit creamier and much more mild in flavor. So if you can’t find cotija, use queso fresco and a little salt!
- A Grill: You can use whatever grill you have, charcoal, gas, wood fired, etc. But to get the enhanced flavor, grilling is best. If in a pinch you can bake your corn, or boil it. But you won’t get that char or smokiness.
How to Make Elote Mexican Street Corn
Making Elote is very simple. You just grill your corn, mix your sauce, then top the corn and enjoy!
Step One: Grill Corn
Heat your grill, clean the grates, oil if needed, then grill the husked corn directly on the grate for about 3 minutes per side until nice and cooked through. Traditionally elote corn has a skewer in the end to make it easier to eat. But for the sake of ease, we skip that step. But feel free to add a soaked wooden skewer into the end if you would like.
Step Two: Mix Sauce Together
Make the creamy sauce you are going to slather your grilled corn in. You simple combine your Mexican cream, mayo, garlic, lime juice, and Doterra Lime oil together and stir. Taste it and adjust seasoning with extra lime oil or lime juice if needed.
Step Three: Top Corn
Use a silicone brush or spatula to slather the grilled corn on the cob with the mayo and crema mixture, then sprinkle with the spice mixture and the cotija cheese.
Why Lime Oil?
One of the biggest differences you will see between this elote recipe and other recipes for Mexican street corn is the addition of the Lime oil. So why do I add it?
It adds amazing flavor!
It is essentially the same thing as adding lime zest, but in a simpler, and more concentrated way. It is also more palatable. The trick is using a high quality lime oil. doTERRA lime essential oil is cold-pressed from the peel of fresh limes, and offers a fresh, citrus flavor that is perfect for this summery recipe.
This recipe is so perfect for all your summer barbecues, and potlucks, and tastes great with Mexican food, or grilled foods. I love pairing it with:
Tips and Tricks
Making this recipe is Eazy Peazy, but here are a few tips to make sure it turns out perfect every time:
- Use Fresh Corn: Choose the freshest sweet corn you can find. It will give you the best flavor, but also the best texture. As corn ages the kernels can become dryer. You want nice and juicy corn for your elote.
- Grill: Grill the sweet corn, the charred kernels are closer in texture to the elotes in Mexico, but it also adds flavor. When you grill you get that natural caramelization of the sugars in the corn, and a nice smoky flavor.
- Mayonnaise: You could use sour cream instead of mayonnaise, or a half-and-half mix but after a BUNCH of recipe testing I can confirm mayo is the best option as it helps the other ingredients shine.
- Chili powder, Chipotle, & Paprika: I love this combination of spices, but if you don’t have them all, you can mix and match. You can also add some cayenne to the mix if you want a spicier result. Just be sure to adjust to taste, and select a mild chili powder if you don’t like heat or spice.
- Cotija cheese: You can find Cotija cheese at most grocery stores. However, if you can’t find Cotija cheese, queso fresco is the best alternative (with salt), or you can use feta or Parmesan.
- Cilantro: I opted not to add it to this recipe because my brother was visiting and he is one of those people who taste cilantro as a soapy flavor. But, if you like it, it is a great addition to this recipe.
- Mexican crema: Mexican crema can be found alongside the sour cream or with the cheeses at your grocery store. But if you can’t find it, use sour cream.
- Cotija cheese: If cotija isn’t available, use queso fresco, grated Parmesan or crumbled feta cheese instead.
- Spices: Adjust to your preferred spices, or even use Tajin which is chili powder and lime for some extra tanginess.
Other Great Corn Recipes:
Elote- Mexican Street Corn
- 6 ears Sweet Corn husks removed
- 1/2 cup Mexican Crema can substitute sour cream
- 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice fresh
- 3-5 drops Doterra Lime Essential Oil or sub with an additional TBS of fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup Cotija or sub for Queso Fresco and a little salt
- Preheat grill to 400 degrees F
- Remove husks from corn, and place directly on grill grates, grill for 3-4 minutes per side, until slightly browned. Once cooked on all sides, remove from grill.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine Mexican Crema, Mayonnaise, Garlic, Lime Juice, and Doterra Lime Oil and stir together well. Set aside.
- In a small bowl combine chili powder, chipotle powder, and paprika, set aside.
- Crumble cotija or queso fresco, and set aside.
- When corn is done being grilled, slather the sauce on all sides of the corn, then liberally sprinkle with spice mix and cheese. Garnish with fresh lime juice and/or cilantro, and enjoy warm.
- Feel free to make substitutions: Sour cream for Mexican Crema, Fresh Lime Juice for Doterra Oil, Queso Fresco and Salt for Cotija
- Watch your corn closely, you want a slight char, but don’t want to overcook or burn your cobs.
- Doterra Lime Oil is the recommended, for the best flavor and benefits.
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.
Pin to your Summer Sides board on Pinterest: