Authentic Elote (Street Corn Recipe)
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Use this street corn recipe to make the best roasted Mexican corn on the cob you’ve ever eaten! This authentic elote recipe is perfect for summer grilling!
One of the fun adventures of traveling is walking through new-to-you towns to look for authentic foods to try. In most parts of Mexico, you can find street vendors selling food from carts in the center of town.
Mexico has some of the best street food! From empanadas mendocinas, street tacos to walking tacos, and bowls of spicy pork asado to Mexican elote corn.
Elote in English translates to “corn”, which explains how the dish got its name. Authentic elote is as much fun to make as it is to eat, and it’s SO simple to do!
Street corn recipe ingredients
- Sweet corn on the cob– In the U.S., fresh sweet corn is typically in season during the mid to late summer months. If you want to make this recipe and fresh corn isn’t available, you may be able to find frozen corn on the cob at the grocery store. It won’t be nearly as delicious after thawing and grilling it, but it’ll do in a pinch.
- Seasonings– A bit of chili powder adds a little kick of spice to the street corn recipe. I have a homemade chili powder recipe that you can use if you’d like.
- Mexican crema or mayonnaise– After grilling the corn, you’ll brush either Mexican crema or mayo onto the kernels. This will hold the cheese and seasonings onto the elote street corn.
Mexican crema is a thin, creamy sauce, similar to sour cream. I prefer the consistency and flavor of crema rather than thick mayonnaise. You can buy it or make it yourself by stirring some lime juice into sour cream.
Even better though, flavor the crema! Check out my crema recipe post and you’ll find recipes for avocado, chipotle, and a couple of other flavors of Mexican crema you can make!
How to make an authentic elote recipe
- CLEAN THE CORN
Simply pull down the husks like you would when eating a banana, keeping them still attached at the base of the stalk.
Use your fingers to pull the corn silk up and off of the cob, then discard. I use a strip of husk to tie the husks together (see below).
- ADD SEASONING
Squeeze fresh lime juice on the corn kernels, sprinkle each one with salt, pepper and other spices. Then, wrap the husks in foil so they don’t burn when grilling.
- ROAST ON THE GRILL
- ADD TOPPINGS
For an authentic elote recipe, you’ll finish roasting your corn on the cob, then add the final toppings.
- Mexican crema
- Chili powder or chipotle powder
- Crumbled Cojita cheese
- Chopped cilantro
What to serve with the street corn recipe
For a complete meal, serve up a few of these Mexican specialties along with the Mexican street corn!
- Pollo Asado
My take on pollo asado starts with marinating chicken in orange and lime juice, oregano, cumin, garlic and achiote paste overnight. It’s another fantastic summer grilling recipe!
- Mexican Watermelon Salad
My watermelon salad recipe requires just four ingredients. It’s a fun spin on this street corn recipe, but with watermelon instead of corn! It’s made in minutes and is the perfect summer fruit salad.
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Street Corn Recipe (Authentic Elote)
- 4 ears of corn with husks
- 2 limes cut in halves
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp chili seasoning
- 1/4 cup Mexican crema (See Note 1)
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 cup crumbled Cotija cheese (See Note 2)
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped, loosely packed
Mexican Cremas (Optional)
- 1/2 cup avocado crema (if using, omit mayonnaise)
- 1/2 cup Habanero Crema (if using, omit mayonnaise)
- 1/2 cup Cilantro Lime Crema (if using, omit mayonnaise)
- 1/4 cup Chipotle Crema (if using, add 1/4 cup mayonnaise to thicken)
- In a small bowl mix together the salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Set aside.
- Mix together the Crema with the mayonnaise and cumin. Set aside. If using any of my flavored crema recipes, use 1/2 cup. If using the Habanero Crema, use 1/4 cup and add 1/4 cup of mayonnaise to thicken.
- Preheat grill to 450°F. Peel back husks from corn and remove corn silk threads. Using a strip of corn husk, tie the folded back husks together. Wrap them with foil to not burn.
- Squeeze lime juice on ears of corn and season with spice mixture. Either grill as is or wrap husks back up and around corn and tie off (See Note 3).
- Grill for 3 minutes per side, or until slightly charred and cooked through.
- Allow grilled corn to cool slightly. Pull back husks if still on, and brush crema mixture all over corn. Roll each ear in crumbled cotija cheese to cover, gently pressing all over to adhere and sprinkle with chile powder and chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.
- Mexican Crema is a little more sour than plain sour cream and thinner in consistency. It also is saltier. Making homemade crema is easy, and I have 4 different flavored crema recipes: Avocado Crema, Cilantro Lime Crema, Habanero Crema or Chipotle Crema.
- Cotija cheese is a hard white cheese that crumbles like feta cheese. It’s a cow’s milk cheese that’s salty. Feta cheese is a good substitute.
- I use a strip of the corn husk to tie the corn back together or use kitchen string soaked in a little water prior to tying.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This looks awesome Kev! Corn is an essential vegetable in my house hold when it comes to the summer and BBQ’s 🙂 love this! I make mine in a cub instead of on the cobb because I prefer my guests to leave the messiness to THEIR house 🙂
Thanks Mila! Heck yeah, corn for the win!
Outdoor BBQ party food definitely, unless your sitting down at the table and just dig in, that’s what napkins are for. 🙂
I LOVE Mexican grilled corn…so looking forward to corn showing up at our farmer’s market so I can try this!
That’s where I picked these up at, so many bins full of fresh corn. Love summer! Hello to Ken and I hope you guys are out enjoying this beautiful weekend. Is it as hot up there as it is here and elsewhere? The temperatures are off the charts hot this weekend.
The first time I tried corn done this way was a bit of a life changing moment. Bought from a vendor on the main square in Oaxaca one evening when we were travelling, I literally fell head over heels. And so easy to make!
We just love the stuff although I can’t remember when I first had it. Speaking of Mexico, we have plans for a Mexico holiday that includes San Miguel de Allende, Mexico City, Cuernavaca and Oaxaca. We have been to Puerto Escondido before and were able to stay at a friend’s place and just relax, hike and every morning swim in the ocean. When are you guys headed out on your LONG holiday?
That is Mexican corn perfection, it really looks amazing. Great job Kev!
Thanks Mike, appreciate it. The season is here!
Hey Kevin! We’ve been eating corn a few times a week now that we can get good corn! Mexican corn is now on the menu for this weekend! I made a shrimp and corn boil the other night which was pretty tasty! PS Your pork from Monday is also up for this weekend (I just found pork butt on sale)! 🙂
Corn is in da house! 🙂 I had a fantastic crawfish boil when last in your parts of the country, it was so fun AND good. Shrimp sound like a great substitute and are a little more accessible over here.
Sounds like you guys are going to have a tasty weekend! Thanks Dorothy.
Just seen your Mexican Grilled Corn on your twitter account and had to head right over to your blog. They look amazing! My boring version of corn only involves a little bit of butter 😉 I have to try your version next time. So beautiful!
Nothing wrong or boring with a little butter, salt & pepper, right? These just go a step further and I’m sure you’ll enjoy. Thanks Miriam!
I’ve never had Mexican Crema before I would love to try it on this corn!! Sounds absolutely delish, Kevin! And I know I would be generously drizzling some Sriracha on there and tons of cheese. I could easily make a meal out of this corn 🙂 Pinning and I’m sure I’m going to be making this a bunch of times during the Summer months!
I hope to hear back your report, Tasty stuff! In the post and recipe I mentioned how you can make your own crema if you can’t find it up there, too.
Looks amazing Kevin!!! I am an absolute sucker for Mexican corn!
Thanks Nagi. We ate all four! Ha, ha, ha! 🙂