If you’re an avid street food connoisseur, you’re likely familiar with Mexican street corn, or elote (the Spanish word for “corn”). This summery snack is slathered with a creamy sauce made from mayo and sour cream, then topped with Cotija cheese and chili powder for a bit of heat.

You don’t have to find a street corn vendor to enjoy this Mexican food. Just pick up a few ears of corn and fire up the grill!

How to Make Mexican Street Corn

This Mexican street corn recipe from James Schend, a former Taste of Home editor, makes 6 servings.


6 medium ears sweet corn
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 tablespoons Cotija cheese
2 to 3 teaspoons chili powder

Editor’s Tip: Cotija cheese is an aged Mexican cheese that has a similar taste to Parmesan. Find it at your local grocery store or a Mexican convenience store if you have one nearby.


Step 1: Peel back the husks

Carefully peel back the corn husks until they’re about 1 inch away from the bottoms. Remove the silk by either using a produce brush and brushing the silks away under running water or rubbing the cob with a gloved hand until the silk falls off.

Step 2: Wrap the corn

Rewrap each ear of corn in its husk and secure with butcher’s twine. You need butcher’s twine for this step because it’s oven-safe—regular string won’t work. You don’t want to worry about anything burning while your corn is cooking.

Step 3: Soak the corn

In a Dutch oven, cover the corn with cold water. Let soak for 20 minutes and then drain.

Step 4: Grill the corn

While you’re waiting for the corn to soak, preheat your grill to medium heat (or 350°F). If you’re using a charcoal grill, cook the corn over direct heat.

Place the corn on the grill and cover. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until the corn is tender, turning the ears of corn often.

Step 5: Make the elotes mixture

In a medium bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, cilantro, lime zest and juice. Peel back the husk on each ear of corn and spread the mixture generously over the kernels.

Step 6: Top with Cotija and chili powder

Sprinkle each ear of corn with Cotija cheese and chili powder and serve on a platter, or let everyone assemble an ear of corn so the toppings are to their liking. Elotes are best served immediately so the mixture remains nice and warm on the crisp corn.

Tips for Making Mexican Street Corn

What substitutions can you make in a Mexican street corn recipe?

If you have trouble finding Cotija cheese, use Parmesan, feta or queso fresco. Substitute tajin for the chili powder for an added zing to your elote. You can also use Mexican crema instead of mayonnaise for a more authentic taste.

For a dairy-free version of this recipe, swap out the sour cream and mayonnaise with 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise and use your favorite vegan Cotija or Parmesan cheese instead.

What do you serve with Mexican street corn?

Unsurprisingly, Mexican street corn pairs well with a variety of Mexican food. Serve it alongside burrito recipes, birria tacos, taquitos or even fajitas! It’s the perfect combination when you’re in the mood for Mexican cuisine.

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The post How to Make Mexican Street Corn (Elote Recipe) appeared first on Taste of Home.