This grilled Mexican Street Corn (aka Elotes) recipe is classic Mexican street food at it's best. Lightly charred corn on the cob slathered in a creamy chili, lime sauce and topped with cilantro and cotija cheese is a great side to serve at any summer cookout. 

limes around street corn on a plate

Table of Contents
  1. What is Street Corn?
  2. Mexican Street Corn Ingredients
  3. How to Make Mexican Street Corn
  4. Mexican Street Corn Recipe Tips
  5. What to serve with Mexican Street Corn
  6. More like this Mexican Corn Recipe
  7. Street Corn Recipe Recipe

What is Street Corn?

Mexican street corn, (aka "elote,") is a popular Mexican street food made with lightly charred grilled corn on the cob coated with a creamy sauce with hints of garlic and lime, then topped with various toppings like cotija cheese and fresh cilantro. It's a delicious snack or side dish that's especially popular during outdoor festivals, fairs, and gatherings, and it’s sure to be a hit at your next backyard cookout!

Try using some of this Mexican Street Corn in my Mexican Street Corn Dip, or pair the corn with my Homemade Mexican Rice, Ground Beef Enchiladas, and Horchata for an amazing meal!

A white colander filled with ears of corn on the cob, reading for husking.

Mexican Street Corn Ingredients

  • Fresh Corn
  • Mexican Crema
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Chipotle Pepper
  • Limes
  • Cotija Cheese

Mexican Corn Substitutions

  • Greek Yogurt - You can replace the Mexican crema or sour cream with plain greek yogurt.
  • Parmesan Cheese - If you can’t find cotija cheese, parmesan cheese or even feta cheese will work instead.

How to Make Mexican Street Corn

  1. There are lots of ways to go about grilling corn on the cob, but for this recipe, we fully shuck the cobs and put them directly on the grill so that the kernels can char slightly, which adds a little bit of smokiness. My girls are always happy to help shuck corn, just as I was when I was a kid and would sit on the back porch at my grandparents' house, shucking the corn that came out of their garden.
  2. Then once the corn is grilled, it gets coated with an easy sauce made by stirring together Mexican crema or sour cream (there are differences but for purposes of this recipe, I just use whatever I have on hand) with some mayo, bright citrusy lime zest and juice, minced garlic, chopped cilantro, and chili powder, along with salty cotija cheese.

If you haven't tried cotija cheese before, it's super tasty and is somewhere between Parmesan and feta on the flavor scale. It comes in a little round block and you crumble it fresh. I absolutely love it on tacos, with beans, and on this grilled corn!

I find the easiest way to get the sauce on the corn is to just stick the grilled cobs in a baking dish and spread the sauce on top, then give them each a turn to coat them evenly in that delicious stuff!

You can fancy them up from there by sprinkling with a little extra chili powder, crumbled cotija cheese, and chopped cilantro, and I definitely recommend serving them with extra lime wedges to spritz over the top!

Mexican Street Corn Recipe Tips

  • Use Fresh Corn: Fresh, sweet corn is essential for the best elote. Look for corn with bright green husks and plump kernels.
  • Grill the Corn: Grilling the corn adds smoky flavor and caramelizes the sugars in the kernels. Grill the corn until it's lightly charred on all sides, rotating occasionally. I definitely don’t recommend boiling your corn on the cob for this recipe.
  • Husk and Silk Removal: Before grilling, remove the husks and silk from the corn. Make sure to remove all the silk to prevent it from burning on the grill.
  • Skewer for Easy Handling: To make it easier to handle the corn on the grill, you can skewer each ear with a wooden or metal skewer first for easier turning.
  • Add Toppings: After coating the corn with the sauce, sprinkle it with crumbled cotija cheese and chopped fresh cilantro. You can also add a sprinkle of chili powder or paprika for extra flavor and color.
  • Serve with Lime Wedges: Serve the elote with lime wedges on the side. Squeezing fresh lime juice over the corn just before eating adds brightness and freshness to each bite.
  • Variations: Get creative with your elote by adding even more toppings like chopped green onions, hot sauce, or crispy bacon bits.
  • Serve Immediately: Elote is best served hot off the grill while the corn is still warm and the sauce is creamy.

What to serve with Mexican Street Corn

I served these with carne asada, charro beans, and horchata and it made the most delicious Mexican dinner I think I've ever had.

An image of a stack of ears of corn on the cobb made mexican-style with mayo, sour cream, lime, cilantro, chili powder, garlic, and cotija cheese, surrounded by sliced limes and extra crumbled cheese.

More like this Mexican Corn Recipe

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

Stay in the know

Street Corn Recipe

5 from 5 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8 servings
This grilled Mexican street corn recipe is classic Mexican street food at it's best with lightly charred corn on the cob slathered in a creamy chili, lime sauce and topped with cilantro and cotija cheese. 


  • 8 medium ears sweet corn, husks removed
  • ½ cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle pepper
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest, from one lime
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice, from one lime
  • 1 cup cotija cheese, crumbled and divided
  • Additional chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, to serve


  • Heat a gas grill to 400°F, or prepare charcoal for a charcoal grill. Husk the corn.
  • While the grill is heating, mix together the sour cream, mayonnaise, cilantro, garlic, chipotle pepper, lime zest, lime juice, and ½ cup of the cotija cheese. Taste and season with salt, if needed.
  • Grill the corn by placing the husked corn directly onto the grill grates. Grill for about 10 minutes total, turning every 2-3 minutes until the kernels are lightly charred on all sides of the cobs. Remove from the grill to a large baking dish or plate.
  • Using a brush or spoon, slather each ear of corn with the sauce, then sprinkle with remaining crumbled cotija cheese. Sprinkle with additional chipotle pepper and chopped cilantro and serve with extra lime wedges, if desired.


While not a perfect substitute, grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled feta may be used in place of cotija cheese.  Also, if you have ancho chili powder on hand, you could replace the ¼ teaspoon of chipotle chili powder with 1 teaspoon of ancho chili powder instead.
Adapted from Simply Recipes.


Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 325mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 434IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

Share This With the World


Related Recipes

About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Reader questions and reviews

  1. Helene says:

    5 stars
    Wow I am all crazy for street corn. YUM! Love all the flavors in this.

  2. Dana DeVolk says:

    5 stars
    This has always been a favorite of mine, and now with your recipe I can make them at home. Thanks so much!

  3. Richelle says:

    Thanks for describing the cojita cheese. I looked right passed it the first time.

    1. Amy says:

      I'm glad that helped!