Mexican Street Corn

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Mexican Street Corn, also known as Elote, is a popular and delicious street food in Mexico. This dish features grilled corn on the cob slathered with a creamy, tangy sauce, and sprinkled with cheese and spices. Perfect for a summer barbecue or a side dish, Mexican Street Corn is sure to be a hit with everyone. Let’s dive into this flavorful recipe and learn how to make it step-by-step.


  • 4 whole ears of corn on the cob or 6-8 half cobs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 tablespoons queso cotija (or feta cheese as a substitute)


Step 1: Prepare the Corn

  1. Preheat the Grill:
    • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Husk the Corn:
    • Remove the husks and silk from the ears of corn. Rinse the corn under cold water to remove any remaining silk.
  3. Grill the Corn:
    • Place the ears of corn on the grill. Cook, turning occasionally, until the corn is charred and tender, about 10-12 minutes.

Step 2: Prepare the Sauce

  1. Mix the Ingredients:
    • In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. Mix well until smooth.

Step 3: Assemble the Corn

  1. Coat the Corn:
    • Once the corn is grilled, remove it from the grill and place it on a serving platter. While the corn is still hot, use a brush or a spoon to generously coat each ear with the mayonnaise mixture.
  2. Sprinkle with Cheese:
    • Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of crumbled queso cotija (or feta cheese) evenly over the coated corn.

Step 4: Serve

  1. Garnish and Serve:
    • Optionally, garnish the corn with additional chopped cilantro and a sprinkle of chili powder for extra flavor and presentation. Serve immediately.

Cooking Notes and Tips

  • Grill Alternatives: If you don’t have a grill, you can roast the corn in the oven at 400°F (200°C) for about 20 minutes, or until charred and tender.
  • Cheese: If you can’t find queso cotija, feta cheese or Parmesan cheese are good substitutes.
  • Mayonnaise: For a lighter version, you can use sour cream or Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise.


Spicy Mexican Street Corn

  • Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce to the mayonnaise mixture for a spicy kick.

Mexican Street Corn Salad

  • Cut the kernels off the cob after grilling and mix them with the mayonnaise mixture, cheese, and cilantro for a delicious corn salad.

Lime-Infused Mexican Street Corn

  • Substitute the lemon juice with fresh lime juice for a different citrusy flavor.


Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time? A: It’s best to serve Mexican Street Corn fresh off the grill for the best flavor and texture. However, you can prepare the sauce ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to use.

Q: How do I store leftovers? A: Store any leftover corn in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the grill before serving.

Q: Can I use frozen corn? A: Yes, you can use frozen corn on the cob. Thaw it completely before grilling.

Q: What can I serve with Mexican Street Corn? A: This dish pairs well with grilled meats, tacos, burritos, or a fresh salad.

Q: Can I add other toppings? A: Absolutely! Feel free to add toppings such as crumbled bacon, diced avocado, or a drizzle of hot sauce.

Mexican Street Corn is a flavorful and savory treat that’s perfect for any occasion. With its combination of creamy sauce, tangy cheese, and smoky grilled corn, it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or try one of the variations, this dish is easy to make and always delicious. Enjoy making and sharing this delightful street food with your family and friends!

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