4 Best Elote Recipes (Mexican Street Corn)

Elote Recipe

Elote Recipe

Have you heard of Elote? Elote, also known as street corn or Mexican-style grilled corn, is a beloved flavor in many parts of the world. It’s often served as an appetizer or side dish and can make your dinner more exciting! To achieve the authentic taste of elote, all you need to do is combine some delicious ingredients like butter, cheese, lime juice, chili powder – and of course great quality corn.

In this post, we will be sharing with you our favorite recipes for Elote that are sure to impress everyone around the table! From simple classics to flavorful variations: get ready to experiment with your cooking skills and create an impressive spread for any type of gathering.

What Is Elote?

Elote is a popular Mexican street food that consists of grilled corn on the cob, slathered in butter, and other delicious toppings. It’s often served with a variety of sauces or salsas for added flavor, such as chipotle mayo, crema Mexicana, and even sour cream. This yummy snack can also be eaten without any sauce or salsa!

Elote is a popular Mexican street food that consists of grilled corn on the cob, slathered in butter, and other delicious toppings. It’s often served with a variety of sauces or salsas for added flavor, such as chipotle mayo, crema Mexicana, and even sour cream. This yummy snack can also be eaten without any sauce or salsa! 

Elote, a Mexican street food, translates to “corn cob” in Spanish. This classic dish is made by grilling sweet corn and slathering it with mayonnaise, chili powder, and lemon juice for a spicy and tangy kick. Elotes and esquites are as common in Mexico as hot dogs are in Manhattan, easily found on street carts.

Mexican elote corn, also known as Mexican street corn, is a must-try street food. It’s easy to make and even more, fun to eat. Indulge in the unique mix of sweet and savory flavors along with the perfect blend of tang and spice. Enhance the dish’s smokiness with grilled corn, and you’ll have an irresistible flavor profile.

Selecting the Perfect Corn for Your Recipe

If you want to create a stellar dish, the type of corn you use is crucial. For a delectable taste and texture, you can’t go wrong with fresh corn on the cob. In just a few minutes on the grill, you can infuse your dish with that smoky goodness.

If you don’t have access to fresh corn, frozen sweet corn can be a great alternative. Don’t bother thawing it first; just toss it into a skillet with butter or olive oil and roast. In a little over 10 minutes, you’ll have a delicious dish.

However, if you’re on a budget and time is short, canned corn is the perfect option. It’s simple- just drain the can, add it to a skillet, and cook for 10 minutes.

In conclusion, Fresh corn on the cob reigns supreme when it comes to creating a mouthwatering dish.

Enhance your Elote with these Ingredient Notes

Make this recipe your own by choosing ingredients that suit your preferences and are available in your pantry. 

Corn: For the best results, use fresh corn— the fresher, the better. While in Mexico, elotes feature a wide range of corn varieties, you can still achieve great flavors with fresh sweet corn. For an authentic texture, grill the corn until its kernels are charred. Experience an elote that’s as close to what you’ll find in Mexico!

Mayonnaise versus Sour Cream in Elote Recipes: If you’re wondering which condiment to use in your elote recipe, perhaps consider mayonnaise. Though sour cream is a popular alternative, my taste tests declared mayonnaise the winner. It enhances the other flavors while sour cream appears to dull them. Of course, if you’re counting calories, feel free to use lighter alternatives like sour cream or Greek yogurt.

Chili Powder Blends: Make your elote dish stand out with the addition of a special chili powder blend like ancho, guajillo, or chipotle. For an extra tangy kick, try using Tajín – a Mexican spice blend of chili powder and lime. If you’re concerned about the spice level, opt for a mild chili powder blend and leave out the cayenne. Don’t settle for plain elote – take it to the next level with the perfect chili powder blend.

Cotija cheese: Discover savory Cotija cheese at your local well-stocked grocery stores, such as Whole Foods, or a specialized Mexican grocer. Not able to find this specific cheese? Feta or Parmesan make excellent alternatives. Upgrade your cheese game with this delectable option.

Cilantro: If cilantro is not your taste, simply omit it from your dish.

Basic of Make Elote

Creating a delicious elote is not difficult at all. Here are some basic tips for making the perfect Mexican street corn:

1) Grill Your Corn for Unbeatable Flavor

While steaming or boiling are valid cooking methods, there’s nothing quite like the taste of fresh, grilled corn. Elevate your corn-on-the-cob game with this simple yet flavorful technique.

2) Mix Up Your Sauce and Toppings.

While cooking the corn, create a delicious sauce by mixing mayonnaise, lime juice, chili powder, and a touch of cayenne (if desired), seasoned with a pinch of salt. Separately, combine grated Cotija cheese and fresh cilantro to create a perfect topping for your dish.

3) Apply the Mayo Blend to the Corn using a Brush or Butter Knife

After preparing the mayo blend, it’s time to coat the corn with it. To avoid a messy situation, it’s recommended to use a pastry brush. However, if a brush is not available, a butter knife can also do the trick. Ensure that the mayo blend is spread evenly on the corn for maximum flavor.

4) Sprinkle the Cotija and cilantro mixture all over.

Enhance the taste of your corn on the cob by sprinkling a mixture of Cotija cheese and cilantro all over it. To catch any cheese that doesn’t stick, place a plate underneath. Enjoy every bite of this delicious addition to your meal.

5) Finish it off with a sprinkle of chili powder.

Add a dash of chili powder for an added kick of flavor and a burst of color to give your dish the perfect finishing touch. It’s the perfect way to take your dish from good to great. Savor every bite!

Some Elote Recipe

#1 Authentic Mexican Elote Recipe

Bring the flavors of Mexico to your table with this mouthwatering elote recipe that you can’t resist. The recipe begins with fresh corn on the cob, cooked in your preferred method of grilling or boiling. 

To ensure your corn on the cob is both safe and delicious, it is important to let it cool down after cooking. There are two main reasons for this. 

Firstly, you’ll be inserting wooden sticks as handles, and it is vital to avoid burning your fingers. 

Secondly, if you plan to slather your corn with mayonnaise, letting it cool first will prevent the mayo from melting off and ruining the rest of the ingredients. 

A pro tip for even distribution of the mayo is to use a pastry brush.

Next up, sprinkle grated cotija cheese on your corn – a sharp, salty cheese that adds a touch of heat. If you can’t find cotija cheese, parmesan cheese is an acceptable substitute or you can opt for crumbled queso fresco if you want to try a different flavor.

At this point, it’s on to the final ingredients – lime, chili powder, and hot sauce. These will add the perfect amount of zest, smokiness, and heat to your dish. We recommend Tajin or ground ancho chile for the chili powder and Valentina or Tapatio hot sauce, but as always, you can adjust the spice level to your liking.

Whether you’re having a Mexican-themed party or simply crave a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine, this elote recipe will soon become your go-to choice.


4 fresh ears of corn

1/4 cup of creamy mayonnaise

1/2 cup of crumbled cotija cheese

1 lime, cut into quarters

Hot sauce (Valentina or Tapatio are great options)

Chili powder (Tajin or ancho chile work well)

Wooden sticks (ideal for taffy apples, corn dogs, and other treats)


  1. Begin by boiling a large pot of water.
  2. Shuck the corn and remove the silk and stalk.
  3. Add the corn to the boiling water, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the corn and let it cool until it’s warm enough to handle.
  5. Insert a wooden stick into the core of the corn to use as a handle.
  6. Brush each ear of corn with 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise.
  7. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheese over each ear of corn.
  8. Add a squeeze of lime, hot sauce, and chili powder to taste.
  9. Repeat these steps for the remaining ears of corn.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

#2 Grilled Mexican Street Corn

Preparing Perfectly Grilled Corn

Begin with the mouthwatering taste of freshly-grilled corn, already deemed one of the most delectable foods in existence. To achieve optimal results, opt for fully-shucked cobs, cooked over intensely hot coals. When done correctly, the corn will be cooked thoroughly just as it starts to char, resulting in juicy kernels bursting with sweetness and a toasted, nutty flavor.

Crafting the Perfect Sauce

Take your sauce to the next level with a few key ingredients. Finely crumbled Cotija cheese or a crumbly feta make for a delicious base, mixed with creamy Mexican crema (or sour cream) and mayonnaise. Adding garlic, cilantro, and powdered chile will create a sweet, salty, savory, creamy, nutty, and tart sensation – perfect for a taste of summer. Drizzle with a little squeeze of lime and you’ve got a gloriously drippy, fat-smothered summer sensation that will have your taste buds singing.


1/2 cup (110g) of finely crumbled Cotija or feta cheese (plus additional cheese for serving)

1/4 cup (60ml) of mayonnaise

1/4 cup (60ml) of sour cream or Mexican crema

1/4 cup of finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems

1/2 teaspoon of ancho or guajillo chile powder (plus additional powder for serving)

1 medium clove of finely minced garlic (about 1 teaspoon)

4 ears of shucked corn (refer to notes)

1 lime, cut into wedges


  1. Light one chimney full of charcoal and let it burn until covered with gray ash. Spread it evenly over half of the grill grate.
  2. Alternatively, set half of the burners of a gas grill to high heat and let it preheat for 5 minutes.
  3. While waiting for the coals to heat up or the gas grill to preheat, mix cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream or crema, cilantro, chile powder, and garlic in a large bowl.
  4. Place corn directly over the hot side of the grill, rotating occasionally for 8 minutes or until cooked through and charred on all sides.
  5. Transfer the cooked corn to the cheese mixture bowl and coat evenly with the mixture.
  6. Sprinkle with additional cheese and chili powder and serve hot with lime wedges.

These easy-to-follow instructions will help you grill the perfect corn dish with a cheesy twist. Impress your guests with a delicious and savory appetizer that’s perfect for any occasion!

#3 Easy Elote Recipe

An Easy Method to Remove Corn from the Core

To easily remove corn from the core, use a Bundt or any round cake mold with a hole in the middle. Simply place the bottom stem in the middle of the mold hole, hold it firmly down with one hand, and use a sharp knife with the other hand to cut alongside the cob down to the bottom. Repeat on the other side until all kernels are removed.

Don’t toss the cores – save them to add extra richness in flavor to soups. For leftovers, try storing Mexican Elote (street corn) – it pairs well with grilled tortillas or other dishes. Plus, the cores freeze well for future use.


2 pounds of frozen or fresh corn kernels (if in season), 

3/4 cup of crumbled Cotija cheese

1/2 cup each of chopped cilantro, mayonnaise, and sour cream. 

2 teaspoons of finely grated lime zest 

1/4 cup of fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon of ancho chile powder to enhance the flavors. 

Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. 


  1. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds! Start by preheating the broiler to ensure that your dish comes out perfectly.
  2. Meanwhile, take out the corn and spread it evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Let it cook under the broiler for approximately 8-10 minutes, stirring once midway through, until it turns a luscious golden brown color.
  3. In a big bowl, mix the cilantro, mayonnaise, sour cream, lime zest, lime juice, and ancho chile powder with cheese. Don’t forget to add some salt and pepper to taste!
  4. Finally, add the roasted corn to this mouth-watering mixture and give it a good stir. You can serve this dish either warm or at room temperature. Savor the flavors and watch your friends and family go back for seconds!

#4 Elote Recipe for ears of corn, husk left intact

Simple Tips to Follow

Start by purchasing corn with tight husks and a stump. This will guarantee tender kernels.

Cut off any overhanging husks before grilling to prevent them from catching fire. 

For successful grilling, whether outside or indoors, I recommend using a Grill Pan. To attain even charring without burning the kernels and husks, it’s crucial to consistently and uniformly rotate the corn. Keep an attentive eye on the fire to avoid any mishaps. Using medium-high heat will produce excellent results.

Remember to keep good ventilation in the kitchen as it can get smoky. 

Use thongs to turn the corn frequently and maintain a keen eye on the grill. 

Remove both the husks and silks for optimal preparation.

Blend mayonnaise and sour cream for a creamy twist, or opt for mayonnaise only. 

While grilling the corn, mix in the sauce to allow the mayonnaise to absorb the flavors of Sriracha, lime juice, and sugar. 

Don’t have Sriracha? Feel free to substitute with any hot Mexican sauce of your choice. 

The amount of cheese I use is merely a suggestion, as I adore cheese.

This dish is best served at room temperature with lime wedges. Master the art of Elote with these must-try tips.


6 ears of fresh corn, husk left intact

½ cup of mayonnaise

½ cup of sour cream

1 tablespoon of Sriracha hot chili sauce

2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice

¼ cup of chicken stock

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of black pepper

1 teaspoon of sugar

¾ cup of cotija cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro

Chili powder (optional)


Get ready for a delicious treat with this easy recipe for grilled corn. Follow these simple instructions to create a mouth-watering corn dish that’s perfect for sharing with friends and family.

  1. First, char the corn husks over a medium-hot grill until they’re charred. This should take around 10 minutes if you’re using a stove grill. Flip the husks occasionally to ensure uniform charring and avoid burning the kernels underneath. Once charred, set the husks aside to cool, then shuck them and remove the corn from the cob.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, hot sauce, lime juice, chicken stock, salt, black pepper, and sugar. Stir well and set aside.
  3. When you’re ready to serve, add the corn and the mayonnaise mixture to a large skillet and sauté over medium-low heat until warm. Transfer to a bowl, and garnish with a sprinkle of cilantro, cotija cheese, and chili powder.
  4. Indulge in the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and creamy flavors. This dish is perfect as a side or a main course and is sure to impress any corn lover.

Best Ways to Serve Elote: Traditional & Unique Variations

In the traditional Mexican style, elote is served on a wooden skewer. But if you prefer, you can avoid the skewer altogether. Just be prepared – eating this delicious grilled corn will always come with a little bit of a mess!

For smaller servings, try slicing your grilled corn cobs in half before applying the flavorful elotes ingredients.

Another option is to strip the kernels of corn from the cob using a knife. Arrange the corn in individual cups, and apply the mayo and Cotijah blend dressing on top. This variation is known as esquites or elote en vaso, meaning “corn in a cup”.

Follow these newly guided serving suggestions to discover your preferred way to savor elote, the mouth-watering and authentic Mexican appetizer.

What to Serve with Elote?

Discover the perfect side to go with elote, the sweet-corn snack made by street vendors in Mexico. Whether you’re craving a snack, a late-night bite, or a complement to your Mexican-inspired meal, elote is an excellent option. It’s also a perfect choice for barbecues! 

Savor this scrumptious Mexican street corn as a mouthwatering main course or savory side dish. Elevate your dining experience by pairing it with delectable specialties such as Steak Fajitas, pork Carnitas, smothered honey lime chicken burritos, and crockpot cafe Rio copycat chicken. 

If you’re unsure what to pair with this delicious snack, try one of these entrées: Burrito Bowls, Chilaquiles, Enchiladas, Quesadillas, and Tacos.

Delight your palate with these delectable dishes!

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

To Make-Ahead: Plan by cooking and chilling the corn, while also prepping and storing the toppings in the fridge. When it’s time to assemble, simply brush the corn with melted butter and grill until charred, before topping it off with your pre-made ingredients. Enjoy the flavorful and easy-to-make dish!

To Freeze: Enhance your culinary experience by preserving fresh corn on the cob. Blanch it in boiling water for a couple of minutes, then take it out and let it cool before storing it in a freezer-safe container for up to six months.

When it’s time to use it, simply thaw it overnight in the refrigerator, brush it with delicious melted butter, and grill it over medium-high heat until it is perfectly charred. Finally, add your favorite toppings to enjoy heavenly Mexican street corn.

Some Notes about Elote Recipe

Tasty Tips: How to Elevate Your Corn-on-the-Cob Game

Grilled corn will provide an extra layer of flavor, but don’t fret if you don’t have a grill! Boiled or steamed corn on the cob works just as well.

Spice things up by experimenting with chili powders like chipotle, ancho, guajillo, or try Tajín, a zesty Mexican blend of chili powder and lime.

While some recipes use sour cream instead of mayonnaise (or a combination of both), switching to these alternatives can give you a more muted flavor. For a lightened-up alternative, give Greek yogurt a go.

If cilantro isn’t your cup of tea, don’t hesitate to omit it.

Introducing an alternative to elote – the Esquite Variation

Say goodbye to the messiness and hello to a deliciously easy way to enjoy corn. After cooking the corn, simply use a chef’s knife to slice off the kernels and divide them into 4 cups. Add our homemade chili-mayo sauce and Cotija-cilantro blend for an extra kick of flavor. Finish with a sprinkle of chili powder and serve with spoons. Follow our stovetop esquites recipe for even more mouth-watering goodness.

Go Dairy-Free

Enhance your dish’s dietary restrictions with a touch of vegan Parmesan instead of Cotija. To balance the salt levels, use less than the specified amount in the recipe. If preferred, simply skip out on the Cotija altogether.

Opt for a Vegan Twist

Switch to vegan options for a healthier and more delicious twist! Substitute mayo with my homemade vegan sour cream, and opt for vegan Parmesan instead of Cotija. Use less vegan Parmesan as it tends to be saltier. Alternatively, skip the cheese altogether and try a quality vegan mayonnaise. Enjoy a guilt-free and flavorful meal!

Where to find Cotija Cheese 

Seek out Cotija in your local grocery store or Mexican specialty shop. For example, you can find it at Whole Foods, located near the goat cheese. If it is not available, consider using finely crumbled feta cheese or finely grated Parmesan as a substitute.


What cheese goes on Elote?

Most Elote recipes call for Cotija cheese, which is a salty Mexican cheese. Feta and Parmesan can also be used as substitutes if you are unable to find Cotija in your local grocery store or specialty shop.

Is Elote vegan?

Yes! To make it vegan, simply substitute the mayo with homemade vegan sour cream and opt for vegan parmesan instead of Cotija. You may also skip the cheese altogether and opt for quality vegan mayonnaise or other non-dairy alternatives instead.

Can Elote be frozen?

Yes, Elote can be frozen! To do so, blanch it in boiling water for a few minutes before storing it in a freezer-safe container for up to six months. When ready to use, simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator, brush with butter, and grill until charred before adding your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

Is Elote a Healthy Choice?

Corn is notorious for its ability to enhance vision and it’s a nutritious vegetable packed with important antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin to keep those eyes protected. Yes, you heard it right – it’s not a nutritional villain; it’s a nutritious component added to a balanced and diverse eating routine.

Introducing elote, a popular and mouth-watering snack, yet a healthier alternative to other fried snacks such as churros and tacos. Elote is loaded with vitamins, and dietary fiber, and can be cooked with minimal oil, or butter. Corn is a good source of carbohydrates and protein, making elote a nutritious treat that’s part of a well-rounded diet.

You’ll be surprised to know this popular snack is a blend of mayonnaise, cotija cheese, Epazote, chili powder, and lime juice to create an incredibly delicious and flavorful taste that will tantalize your taste buds. Try it out!

What is Cotija Cheese?

Cotija cheese is a salty Mexican-style cheese typically used as a topping for elote. It’s made from cow’s milk. 

Discover the savory taste of Cotija, a traditional Mexican cheese that’s both salty and crumbly. Available in two varieties – fresh and aged – both options offer a distinctive salty flavor. The fresh variety boasts a soft texture, while the aged variety is harder, similar in taste to Parmesan cheese. 

If you are unable to find Cotija in your local grocery store or specialty shop, consider using finely crumbled feta cheese or finely grated Parmesan as substitutes. 

What goes on top of Elote?

There are many possibilities depending on your preference. Common toppings include Cotija cheese, chili powder, cilantro, lime juice, Epazote (a herb), mayonnaise, and/or vegan sour cream. Feel free to experiment with different flavors and ingredients to create your unique Elote creations!

What is Mexican Crema?

Mexican crema is a thick, creamy condiment made from heavy cream and sour cream. It’s often used as a topping for elote, tacos, enchiladas, and other Mexican dishes. To make it vegan-friendly, use plant-based milk or coconut cream instead of dairy-based products. This will give the same creamy texture while adding in some healthy fats! 

The Mexican counterpart to French crème fraîche, this slightly sour and thickened cream is milder and thinner than its American sour cream counterpart. Ideal for creating Elotes Mexicanos, Crema is a must-have ingredient for any home chef seeking to bring bold and delicious flavors to their dishes.


Elote is such an incredible and flavorful dish that is easy to make. As you can see, many variations are possible depending on what flavors you’re wanting or what ingredients you have available. Whether it’s Mexican-style with mayonnaise, chili powder, and Cotija cheese or more of an American-style with butter, garlic powder, and cheddar cheese, the possibilities are endless!

Giving elote a try can be a great opportunity to introduce some delicious Mexican flavors in your kitchen. Make sure to explore all of the varieties that exist; there’s something for every taste bud! So unleash your creative culinary side and take on the challenge of creating your unique recipes. Who knows, maybe you’ll even win over some non-elote lovers?

If you want to know more information, visit our website here.


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