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Mexican Street Corn (Elote) is roasted and then smothered with a delicious creamy topping, spices, fresh lime, and plenty of cheese to finish it off. 

This addictive appetizer or side dish pairs perfectly with all your favorite BBQ dishes such as this grilled chicken marinade or this macaroni coleslaw salad!

Image of the ready-to-eat Elote on a plate with limes and cilantro around them.

The first time I had elote, I was on vacation in California. We went to a little Mexican restaurant, and even though we ordered the street corn for an appetizer, I ended up eating it all. At least I did share my tacos with everyone else to make up for it– ha! As a self-proclaimed corn addict, I became hooked on elote. Mexican street corn is one of my all-time favorites to this day!

Since I began this site in 2013, I’ve shared various versions of recipes inspired by Mexican street corn. (Mexican Street Corn pasta salad, Mexican street corn chicken tacos, and loaded sweet potatoes to name a few). So, I can’t believe I haven’t shared with you a recipe for actual Mexican Street Corn. Remedying today!

But let’s back up a little bit and give some background in case you aren’t familiar.

Ingredients in Mexican street corn

  • Mayonnaise: Use a good quality, full-fat version for this recipe.
  • Mexican crema: In case you aren’t familiar, Mexican crema is a thickened and slightly soured cream. It’s thinner and a bit milder than American sour cream and pretty common in most grocery stores. You can use sour cream in place of the crema for this recipe.
  • Lime: I love a strong lime flavor, so we use the zest and juice for this recipe. Avoid the white pith of the lime when testing, to avoid a bitter flavor. Using a microplane makes removing the zest a breeze.
  • Spices: For this elote recipe, we use a medley of spices: chili powder, paprika, cumin, and a little cayenne. This is a few more spices than traditional elote has, but it’s my favorite way to make it!
  • Garlic: I recommend grating a glove with a microplane to more evenly disperse it throughout the sauce.
  • Cilantro: A very fine chop puts herb-y goodness in every bite! If you’re a cilantro-phobe, swap parsley for the cilantro or even basil or oregano.
  • Queso cotija: Traditionally, Mexican street corn is sprinkled with just cotija, but I gave a bag of queso cotija (found at my local Kroger store) a try and we are hooked! (Not sponsored, just a fan!) We LOVE it on elote. 

Image of the cream sauce being spread on the roasted corn for Elote.

How to make Elote

  • Grill the corn: There are a lot of ways to grill corn, but this is my very favorite method! Begin by peeling back husks and removing the silk. Rub vegetable oil on all sides of the corn and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place on heated grill (400 degrees F) and rotate every 3-4 minutes or until charred. This also works on a grill pan!
  • Make the sauce: While the corn is grilling, whip together the sauce by whisking everything together in a small bowl.
  • Brush it on: Using a pastry brush or spoon, coat the corn with the sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and any additional lime juice. Enjoy while the corn is warm, and the sauce is melty!

Image of Elote on a plate with lime wedges and cilantro on the side.

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5 from 5 votes
Mexican Street Corn (Elote) is roasted and then smothered with a delicious creamy topping, spices, fresh lime, and plenty of cheese to finish it off. 
Print Recipe


5 from 5 votes
Mexican Street Corn (Elote) is roasted and then smothered with a delicious creamy topping, spices, fresh lime, and plenty of cheese to finish it off. 
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword elote, Mexican Street Corn
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 8 elotes
Chelsea Lords
Calories 227kcal


  • 8 ears of sweet corn
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema (or sour cream)
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/3 cup minced cilantro (measure 1/3 cup BEFORE chopping)
  • 1 clove garlic very finely minced or grated on microplane
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (or 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder for a smokier flavor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 large lime (1 and 1/2 teaspoons zest and 2 tablespoons juice)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso cotija (or plain cotija cheese)
  • Optional: additional lime wedges for serving


  • CORN: Preheat a grill to medium-high heat, around 400 degrees F. Once hot, clean the grill grates. Remove the husks and silk from the corn. Pour about 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil on each corn cob and rub that oil onto all the sides. Very lightly sprinkle salt and pepper on all sides of the corn. (Remember, the cotija cheese is quite salty, so you don't want to add too much salt here.) Place corn on grill grates (nothing needs to go down first; don't wrap in foil) and close grill. Cook (temps remaining at 400F) for about 3 minutes per side undisturbed. Using tongs, rotate, and continue cooking, for about 12 minutes total. When all sides are browned, remove from the grill onto a plate.
  • SAUCE: While corn is grilling, whisk together the sauce. Add the Mexican crema, mayo, cilantro, garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, lime zest, and lime juice to a bowl; whisk to combine. Taste and adjust any seasonings to personal preference.
  • ASSEMBLE: Using a spoon or pastry brush, brush on the sauce, generously coating each ear of corn. Sprinkle on cheese and if desired, an additional sprinkle of chili powder. Serve immediately with lime wedges.


Nutrition Facts

Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 271mg | Potassium: 257mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 378IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Elote is delicious! I was able to try it at a Taste of STL festival and fell in love with it. I love making this for Cinco de Mayo.

  2. Could you replace the mayo with something else like sour cream or just butter? Most of my family doesn’t like it.

    1. I haven’t ever tried it without mayo so I’m really not sure what the flavor would be like! I’d try a combo of melted butter and sour cream instead

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