Elotes Recipe (Mexican Corn) (2024)

I don’t know if there’s a tastier way to enjoy corn on the cob than Elote corn, smothered in a creamy mayo sauce and topped with chili powder, cheese and lime. This popular Mexican corn recipe was my absolute favorite street food to eat while living in Mexico and makes a great side dish for any BBQ or potluck.

If you’d rather enjoy corn cut off the cob, don’t miss my esquites recipe, or try this Corn Salad.

Elotes Recipe (Mexican Corn) (1)

My first experience with authentic Elote was in Puebla, Mexico while living there during a school internship, and it quickly became my favorite snack whenever we were exploring the streets of the city. I just couldn’t get enough Elote and Esquites! This was one Mexican recipe I refused to leave the country without!

What is Elote?

The world “elote” means “corn cob” in Spanish, and Mexican Elote is grilled corn on the cob slathered in a mayo cream sauce and garnished with chili powder, cheese and lime. Elotes (and esquites) are as commonly sold from street carts in Mexico as hot dogs are in Manhatten.At least that’s what I experienced while living in Puebla, Mexico!

Elotes Recipe (Mexican Corn) (2)

How to make Elote:

Cook the Corn: You can cook the corn cobs on the stove, on a grill, or in the instant pot. For the stove, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the ears of corn and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Spread with Butter (Optional): If corn was cooked on stovetop or instant pot, Spread melted butter over the cooked corn and grill until slightly charred on all sides.

Add Crema Mixture: Mix the mayonnaise and Mexican crema together, then spread a thin layer over the cooked corn cobs.

Elotes Recipe (Mexican Corn) (3)

Enjoy: Sprinkle generously with cotija cheese and then desired amount of chili powder. Serve garnished with cilantro and a lime wedge on the side, for squeezing on top. Enjoy Elote corn immediately.

Elotes Recipe (Mexican Corn) (4)

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

To Make-Ahead: Cook the corn, allow to cool and store covered in the fridge. Prepare the topping ingredients and store in the fridge. When ready to assemble, brush the corn with melted butter and grill over medium-high heat just until charred. Spread with toppings.

To Freeze: Blanch the corn on the cob for a few minutes in boiling water. Remove and allow to cool before storing a freezer safe container for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Brush the corn with melted butter and grill over medium-high heat just until charred. Spread with toppings and serve the Mexican street corn immediately.

More Mexican Favorites:

  • Tamale Pie
  • Tres Leches Cake
  • Authentic Mexican Rice
  • Pozole
  • Esquites (Mexican Corn in a Cup)
  • Homemade Refried Beans
  • Horchata
  • Mexican Tamales

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Recipe

Elotes Recipe (Mexican Corn) (5)

5 from 149 votes

Elote Recipe

Elote, commonly called Mexican Street Corn, is grilled corn smothered in a creamy mayo sauce and topped with chili powder, cheese and lime. Serve it as a snack or side dish for summer BBQ's and potlucks.

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Author Lauren Allen

Course Side Dish

Cuisine Mexican

Servings 4

Calories 162

Prep 10 minutes mins

Cook 10 minutes mins

Total 20 minutes mins

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Ingredients

  • 4 ears corn* , husked
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons Mexican crema , or sour cream
  • ½ cup Cotija cheese , freshly grated, or queso fresco*
  • chili powder , or tajin, to taste
  • 1 lime , quartered
  • fresh chopped cilantro , for garnish, optional

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the ears of corn and cook until tender, about 10 minutes (or cook them in the instant pot).

  • (Optional step): Brush corn with melted butter and grill corn on medium heat until slightly charred.

  • Mix the mayonnaise and Mexican crema together and spread a thin layer all around the corn ears.

  • Sprinkle generously with cotija cheese and then desired amount of chili powder. Serve garnished with cilantro, and with a lime wedge on the side for squeezing on top.

  • Enjoy immediately.

Notes

Corn: White corn is traditionally used in Mexico, but yellow corn can be substituted.

Cheese: Cotija cheese is traditional, but if you can’t find it, substitute finely grated parmesan cheese.

Pro Tip: If using fresh husked corn, leave stem end attached as something to hold on to while eating. Otherwise stick a long wooden skewer into the end of the corn before grilling or coating, to make them easier to hold and eat.

Esquites: If you like your corn cut from the cob, try making Esquites instead (Mexican corn served in a cup).

Make-Ahead Instructions: Cook the corn, allow to cool and store covered in the fridge. Prepare the topping ingredients and store in the fridge. When ready to assemble, brush the corn with melted butter and grill over medium-high heat just until charred. Spread with toppings.

Freezing Instructions: Blanch the corn on the cob for a few minutes in boiling water. Remove and allow to cool before storing a freezer safe container for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Brush the corn with melted butter and grill over medium-high heat just until charred. Spread with toppings.

Nutrition

Serving: 4gCalories: 162kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 6gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 316mgPotassium: 274mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 294IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 112mgIron: 1mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @TastesBetterFromScratch on Instagram with #TastesBetterFromScratch!

Nutritional calculation is not perfectly accurate, as you may not use all of the mayo/crema sauce or cheese, depending on preference.

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I originally shared this recipe May 2020. Updated April 2023.

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Categories

  • Kid Friendly Recipes
  • Mexican
  • Side Dishes
  • Snacks/Misc.

About The Author

Elotes Recipe (Mexican Corn) (10)

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Elotes Recipe (Mexican Corn) (2024)

FAQs

What is Mexican elote made of? ›

Elote is made with corn on the cob, slathered with mayonnaise, seasoned with chili powder and fresh lime juice, sprinkled all over with salty Cotija cheese and cilantro. It's messy to eat but worth every bite. Elote is the perfect summertime side dish for any Mexican-inspired meal.

What is the difference between elote and Mexican street corn? ›

Elote, also known as Mexican street corn, is a popular Mexican street food made from grilled or boiled ears of corn on the cob that is slathered in a creamy mayo sauce and garnished with chili powder, crumbled cotija cheese, and fresh cilantro. The word “elote” means “corn” in Spanish.

What is the yellow thing they put on elotes? ›

Crema: Crema is a cultured dairy product similar to sour cream. On elote, crema works as the glue for adhering the spices and cheese onto grilled corn. While similar to crème fraîche and sour cream in terms of tang, crema is a bit thinner and sweeter than its tarter relatives.

What cheese do Eloteros use? ›

Elotes can be made in a variety of ways, and this is the classic elote. The most authentic way is to boil some corn, slather on mayonnaise and lime juice, then cover in cotija cheese and chile powder. Hot sauce is optional and I usually see Valentina or Tapatio.

What is elote seasoning? ›

A bold and versatile seasoning blend, our Elote Seasoning blend is filled with chili pepper, cumin, lime, parmesan cheese and garlic. Just as versatile as our Everything Bagel blend, this shaker is delicious on everything from elote street corn on the cob and scrambled eggs to popcorn and even BBQ pork ribs.

What kind of mayo for elotes? ›

Fresh sweet corn, of course! Use the freshest corn on the cob you can find. Mayonnaise – It creates a creamy coating for the corn and helps the other fixings stick. I love the flavor of 100% mayo on elote, but if you prefer, you can sub Mexican crema or sour cream for some or all of it.

What chili powder is used for elotes? ›

I'm using ancho powder, guajillo powder, garlic and salt. You can sub in your favorite chili powder blend, or use other spices, like cayenne or paprika. Crumbly White Cheese. I often use Cotija cheese, but feta cheese works great.

What is the red on elote? ›

The classic seasoning for elote is chili powder, but we have also found that we love it with smoked paprika. So maybe do a few cobs with each and see which one you prefer.

What does elotes mean in Spanish? ›

The world “elote” means “corn cob” in Spanish, and Mexican Elote is grilled corn on the cob slathered in a mayo cream sauce and garnished with chili powder, cheese and lime.

Is elote good for you? ›

Elote is a favorite summer BBQ treat. Caramelized grilled corn is slathered with a sauce made from Mexican crema, then sprinkled with cotija cheese and cilantro. Butter may be good, but this corn cannot... Corn is rich in fiber and carotenoids, which makes it healthy for the gut and eyes.

What do you eat with elotes? ›

Chips and guacamole is a classic Mexican side dish, perfect for accompanying elote. It's easy to make and is full of flavor. All you need to make chips and guacamole are avocados, onion, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, lime, and salt.

Should elote be hot or cold? ›

This salad can be served warm, or chilled and served cold. If served cold, I find it usually needs an extra squeeze of lime juice right before serving.

Is cotija cheese just Parmesan? ›

One of Mexico's most famous cheeses, cotija is a semi-hard, slightly aged cheese with the crumbly texture of parmesan but a stronger, saltier flavor. Try as you might, cotija cheese won't melt, so it's sprinkled or crumbled on everything from soups and salads to tacos and tostadas.

What is Mexican street corn made of? ›

This Mexican Street Corn recipe is a common Mexican street food that is made by grilling corn on the cob and then coating it with a mixture made up of mayonnaise, sour cream, cotija cheese, chile powder, and lime.

What is the red stuff in elote? ›

The classic seasoning for elote is chili powder, but we have also found that we love it with smoked paprika. So maybe do a few cobs with each and see which one you prefer.

What is the difference between elotes in the US and Mexico? ›

In Mexico, elote is usually made with white corn instead of the yellow sweet corn typically found in the United States. Similar to elote is another Mexican corn dish: esquites. Just like elote, esquites also utilizes a plethora of toppings — often the exact same toppings.

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