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Mexican Corn on the Cob (Elote)

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A plate of food, with Corn on the cob
This easy Mexican corn on the cob coats grilled sweet corn in a tangy Mexican crema and is topped off with chili powder and sprinkled Cotija cheese.
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Our Mexican corn on the cob, also known as Mexican street corn or Elote, is the best way to enjoy corn this summer. Once your corn is grilled, you can slather it in our authentic, Mexican-style crema and sprinkle spicy seasoning and cotija cheese on top.

This is an amazing side that goes well with Chicken Enchiladas or these Sheet Pan Fajitas. It’s the perfect pair with either dish! And don’t forget to make this Spanish Rice to complete your Mexican-inspired meal. For a different spin on this great recipe, try our Mexican street corn salad.


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MEXICAN CORN ON THE COB INGREDIENTS

You will need:

  • 6 ears of corn, husked and all silk removed
  • Olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Juice of 2 limes

For Mexican Crema

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CREMA: Mexican crema is not the same as sour cream although you can use it as a substitute if you wish. Mexican crema is lighter than sour cream and has a tangy sweetness to it that sour cream is lacking. The outcome of your Mexican street corn will be enhanced greatly by using the crema recipe over just sour cream, but it is an acceptable alternative if needed.

CORN: Fresh corn on the cob is going to bring about grilled corn with the most crunch and flavor, however, you could use frozen corn for this recipe if that is all that is available.

OLIVE OIL: You can substitute butter for olive oil when wrapping the corn in foil as well so that your corn comes off the grilled dripping with melted butter.

COTIJA CHEESE: If you can’t find the traditional Mexican cheese at your local grocery store, you can substitute parmesan cheese or feta cheese instead.

SPICE: If you love extra spice, you can add a dash of cayenne pepper to your seasoning. Mexican street vendors usually provide a wide variety of hot sauces for their customers to put on top of this popular street food so you can certainly spice it up as much as you like!

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HOW TO MAKE THIS MEXICAN CORN ON THE COB RECIPE

STEP ONE: Place each ear of corn on a piece of foil.

STEP TWO: Brush olive oil on each ear of corn. Lightly sprinkle all sides of corn with sea salt.

STEP THREE: Wrap the aluminum foil tightly around each ear of corn.

STEP FOUR: Preheat the grill to medium heat and place corn cobs on the grill grates and close the lid. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the corn on the cob can easily be pierced with a fork. Turn often while the corn is cooking to prevent burning the corn cob. When the corn is done cooking carefully remove the foil.

PRO TIP: Make sure the heat isn’t too high on the grill. You don’t want a direct flame coming into contact with the foil.

STEP FIVE: Combine ingredients for Mexican Cream sauce in a small bowl. You can also make this while the corn is on the grill.

STEP SIX: Lightly brush each ear of corn with the crema.

PRO TIP: If the crema is too thick for your liking when you are ready to use ita splash of lime juice will thin it out as needed.

STEP SEVEN: Sprinkle additional chipotle chili powder, cotija cheese, fresh parsley, and fresh lime juice over each ear of corn.

PRO TIP: If you are making this for a crowd, instead of adding extras of each topping yourself, set the ingredients out in bowls or sectioned tray and allow your guests to customize their corn toppings.

STEP EIGHT: Serve hot with lime wedges on the side and enjoy!

HOW TO SERVE

This grilled Mexican street corn is the perfect side dish for a cookout and alongside plenty of different summer meals. Serve it as the perfect accompaniment to spicy shrimp tacos, enchilada cups or grilled chicken. Make a batch of this Elote recipe for any meals you are planning that feature Mexican food. What about whipping up this recipe for a Cinco de Mayo celebration?

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: If you have Mexican grilled corn on the cob leftovers, store them tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and place them into an airtight container in the fridge. The crema will help to make up for the corn if it is a bit dry the next day, so be sure to save any extra crema as well. Refrigerated crema can be used on a variety of recipes for 4 to 5 days.

REHEATING: When you are ready to eat the leftovers of this Mexican-style corn on the cob recipe, warm in the microwave and add additional leftover Mexican Crema to each cob to enhance the creaminess. After adding the leftover crema, you can also add more chipotle powder, cotija cheese, parsley, and lime juice.

Mexican street corn on the cob is an authentic and tasty side for any summer meal. This delicious dish is sold by street vendors in Mexico and the US and is a popular choice for a treat. Roasted sweet corn layered with yummy Mexican crema, spicy chipotle, and fresh cotija cheese is so delicious. Your family will love this new way to eat their juicy ear of corn!

FAQ

What is Elote corn?

Elote is often served as corn on the cob, while other times is it served as a corn salad. Authentic Mexican street corn is a dish made with cooked sweet corn that has been coated in a creamy topping called Mexican crema and topped off with chili powder and sprinkled with cotija cheese.

Can I cook the corn in the oven or boiled on the stove instead of on the outdoor grill?

While grilling gives the corn the smoky flavor that makes this corn dish taste authentic, you can cook it however you like before adding your toppings.

What is Cotija cheese and where can I find it?

Cotija cheese is a white, firm, dry and slightly salty cheese that originated in Mexico. You can find it at most specialty stores or Latino markets. If you cannot find it, you can use either feta or parmesan in its place.

Is there something I can substitute for Mexican Crema?

If necessary, you could substitute sour cream for the crema, although it will have a different taste. Crema is lighter than sour cream and has a tangy taste lacking in sour cream.

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A plate of food, with Corn on the cob

Mexican Corn on the Cob

5 from 2 votes
This easy Mexican corn on the cob coats grilled sweet corn in a tangy Mexican crema and is topped off with chili powder and sprinkled Cotija cheese.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 6 ears of corn husked and all silk removed
  • olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup cotija cheese crumbled
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley finely chopped
  • sea salt to taste
  • Juice of 2 limes

Mexican cream sauce

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ teaspoons chipotle chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoons salt

Instructions
 

  • Place each ear of corn on a piece of foil. Brush olive oil on each ear of corn and lightly sprinkle all sides of corn with sea salt. Wrap foil tightly around corn.
  • Preheat the grill to medium heat and place all 6 ears of corn on the grill grates. Close lid and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the corn on the cob can easily be pierced with a fork. Turn often while the corn is cooking to prevent burning the corn cob.
  • Combine the cream sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
  • When the corn is done cooking carefully remove the foil.
  • Lightly brush each ear of corn with Mexican cream sauce.
  • Sprinkle additional chipotle chili powder, cotija cheese, fresh parsley, and fresh lime juice over each ear of corn.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!

Video

Notes

TIP: Make sure the heat isn’t too high on the grill. You don’t want a direct flame coming into contact with the foil.
 
TIP: If the crema is too thick for your liking when you are ready to use it, a splash of lime juice will thin it out as needed.
 
TIP: If you are making this for a crowd, instead of adding extras of each topping yourself, set the ingredients out in bowls or sectioned tray and allow your guests to customize their corn toppings.

Nutrition

Calories: 145kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 143mg | Potassium: 405mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 904IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg
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Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

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