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.
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.
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 powder
- 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
- 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.