I don’t know if there’s a tastier way to enjoy corn on the cob than Elote corn, smothered in a creamy mayo sauce and topped with chili powder, cheese and lime. This popular Mexican corn recipe was my absolute favorite street food to eat while living in Mexico and makes a great side dish for any BBQ or potluck.
My first experience with authentic Elote was in Puebla, Mexico while living there during a school internship, and it quickly became my favorite snack whenever we were exploring the streets of the city. I just couldn’t get enough Elote and Esquites! This was one Mexican recipe I refused to leave the country without!
What is Elote?
The world “elote” means “corn cob” in Spanish, and Mexican Elote is grilled corn on the cob slathered in a mayo cream sauce and garnished with chili powder, cheese and lime. Elotes (and esquites) are as commonly sold from street carts in Mexico as hot dogs are in Manhatten. At least that’s what I experienced while living in Puebla, Mexico!
How to make Elote:
Cook the Corn: You can cook the corn cobs on the stove, on a grill, or in the instant pot. For the stove, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the ears of corn and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
Spread with Butter (Optional): If corn was cooked on stovetop or instant pot, Spread melted butter over the cooked corn and grill until slightly charred on all sides.
Add Crema Mixture: Mix the mayonnaise and Mexican crema together, then spread a thin layer over the cooked corn cobs.
Enjoy: Sprinkle generously with cotija cheese and then desired amount of chili powder. Serve garnished with cilantro and a lime wedge on the side, for squeezing on top. Enjoy Elote corn immediately.
Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:
To Make-Ahead: Cook the corn, allow to cool and store covered in the fridge. Prepare the topping ingredients and store in the fridge. When ready to assemble, brush the corn with melted butter and grill over medium-high heat just until charred. Spread with toppings.
To Freeze: Blanch the corn on the cob for a few minutes in boiling water. Remove and allow to cool before storing a freezer safe container for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Brush the corn with melted butter and grill over medium-high heat just until charred. Spread with toppings and serve the Mexican street corn immediately.
More Mexican Favorites:
- Tamale Pie
- Tres Leches Cake
- Authentic Mexican Rice
- Esquites (Mexican Corn in a Cup)
- Homemade Refried Beans
- Mexican Tamales
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- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the ears of corn and cook until tender, about 10 minutes (or cook them in the instant pot).
- (Optional step): Brush corn with melted butter and grill corn on medium heat until slightly charred.
- Mix the mayonnaise and Mexican crema together and spread a thin layer all around the corn ears.
- Sprinkle generously with cotija cheese and then desired amount of chili powder. Serve garnished with cilantro, and with a lime wedge on the side for squeezing on top.
- Enjoy immediately.
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Nutritional calculation is not perfectly accurate, as you may not use all of the mayo/crema sauce or cheese, depending on preference.
I originally shared this recipe May 2020. Updated April 2023.