Mexican Street Corn – Elote [+ Video]

Elote or Mexican street corn is grilled corn on the cob lathered in creamy, cheesy goodness that is so irresistible! If you’ve never had it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!
A photo of several cobs of elote mexican street corn lathered in cotija cheese and seasonings.
This is not the typical mayonnaise and butter Mexican street corn that is found all over the web these days. This Elote is so delicious, you will forget about any other Mexican Street Corn recipe you have ever tried. Trust me!

I’m finding myself dreaming about our trip to Mexico and all the delicious food we ate while we were there! The elote was to die for! I seriously could have eaten it at every meal! And it’s so easy to make right at home.

What is Elote?

This authentic Mexican Street Corn, known as Elote, is smothered in Mexican Crema, and sprinkled with Cotija (a dry Mexican cheese). Next you add a little, smoky chili powder or smoked paprika and fresh cilantro and then immediately dive in. And the best part? This Mexican Street Corn is grilled, which makes it pop with juicy, sweetness, and the crema is like buttah (that’s butter in case you didn’t notice;).

Ingredients You’ll Need for Mexican Street Corn:

I’ve mentioned most of the ingredients you will need for this dish, but let’s look into them a little closer. Many of them might be out of your comfort zone, but no need to worry! I know that trying ingredients from other countries, especially if you don’t really cook can seem a bit too adventurous, but I promise that these six ingredients are essential to the best elote you’ll ever have!

  1. Corn
  2. Mexican Crema
  3. Cotija cheese
  4. Chili powder or smoked paprika
  5. Limes
  6. Cilantro



A photo of several cobs of elote mexican street corn lathered in cotija cheese and seasonings.


Make Mexican Street Corn – Elote

Let’s start with the corn, of course! Head on over to our post on the best grilled corn recipe where we share all our secrets for the making perfect grilled corn every time. We also discuss how to pick good corn on the cob at the grocery store in that post. Follow everything in that post except for adding the salt and sugar at the end. You don’t need to add salt to this corn because the cotija is going to add all the saltiness you need.

What is Mexican Crema?

Crema is slightly soured and thickened cream, milder and less thick than American sour cream. You will find it in specialty cheese section of your grocery store. As soon as you pull the corn off the grill, spread the Mexican crema all over each corn on the cob. If you can’t find Mexican crema, you can use mayonnaise as a substitute.



A photo of several cobs of elote mexican street corn lathered in cotija cheese and seasonings.


What is Cotija Cheese?

Cotija cheese is a hard, crumbly Mexican cheese. Cotija cheese is made mainly from cow’s milk and is quite salty.

It resembles feta cheese. In fact, feta can be used as a substitute if you absolutely cannot find cotija, but try your hardest to find the cotija! It will also be in the specialty cheese section.

Sprinkle the cotija all over the corn that has been lathered in crema.

How to Season Elote

The classic seasoning for elote is chili powder, but we have also found that we love it with smoked paprika. So maybe do a few cobs with each and see which one you prefer. You can sprinkle them on the corn with the cotija cheese and then squeeze fresh lime juice all over each corn on the cob. Top off each cob with some chopped fresh cilantro.



A photo of several cobs of elote mexican street corn lathered in cotija cheese and seasonings.

Can You Reheat Corn on the Cob?

There are a few ways to reheat corn on the cob that will keep it juicy and tender.

  • Microwave:  Place the corn in a microwave safe dish and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Set the timer for 10-20 second bursts and continue heating till corn is warm.
  • Oven: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add butter, 1 tsp. water, salt and pepper to the corn and wrap in foil. Place in the oven for 5-7 minutes.
  • Boiling Water: Bring water to a boil. Add the corn and boil for 1-2 minutes.

How Long Does Elote Keep?

Fully prepared elote will last for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, but it is by the best when it is eaten fresh! It doesn’t freeze very well, so we don’t recommend that.


A photo of several cobs of elote mexican street corn lathered in cotija cheese and seasonings.


More Ways to Eat Elote

Corn on the cob sometimes doesn’t appeal to everyone because it’s messy and gets stuck in your teeth. I have no problem getting totally sloppy dirty to eat this Mexican street corn, but I get it. Have no fear, elote grilled Mexican corn salad uses corn that has been cut off the cob but still has all the delicious street corn flavors. We also made it into a pasta salad as well…elote Mexican corn pasta salad. Now you can dig into elote and you won’t even need a napkin, unless you are my kids, and then you will need several napkins!


A photo of several cobs of elote mexican street corn lathered in cotija cheese and seasonings.


What to Eat with Elote Mexican Street Corn

I could make this elote Mexican street corn my whole meal, but most of you are probably going to want it as a side. So if you are looking for a main dish to go with it, here is a link to all our Mexican main dishes and a few of our favorites:


More CORN RECIPES You Are Sure to Love:




Mexican Street Corn – Elote

Our favorite side all summer long, Mexican street corn!
Elote or Mexican street corn is grilled corn on the cob lathered in creamy, cheesy goodness that is so irresistible, you won't be able to live without it! I need this ASAP!
Print Recipe Pin Recipe Rate this Recipe
4.91 from 10 votes

Mexican Street Corn - Elote

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: 200+ Easy Appetizers Recipes
Keyword: corn, grilled, mexican, side
Calories: 897kcal
Author: Sweet Basil


  • 6-8 Ears of Corn husked
  • Mexican Crema found in your local grocery store by the cheeses or Mayonnaise
  • Cotija Cheese Again, over by the cheese section
  • Chili Powder or Smoked Paprika
  • 2 Limes
  • Fresh Cilantro chopped


  • Heat a grill to medium-high heat and add the corn.
  • There is no need to add salt as the cotija cheese is salty.
  • Grill on each side for a few minutes until some of the kernals begin to look darker, and a little charred, as pictured above.
  • Remove from the grill and immediately spread the mexican crema all over the corn.
  • Sprinkle lightly with cotija cheese, chili powder and lime juice.
  • Top with a little bit of the fresh cilantro and enjoy.
  • Best eaten hot off the grill, so be careful not to burn yourself.



Serving: 1g | Calories: 897kcal | Carbohydrates: 219.7g | Protein: 29.6g | Fiber: 28.3g | Sugar: 35.3g
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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

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24 comments on “Mexican Street Corn – Elote [+ Video]”

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  3. just PERFECT!!!!! This looks so good.

  4. This was fantastic! I’ve made it with mayo/butter and now this way, I far prefer this to the other! Thanks for sharing!

  5. It’s 897 calories for one ear of the corn? That seems very high. 

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve seen something similar at the PC Farmer’s market and it’s amazing. I’ll give this one a whirl.


  7. The corn looks delicious. I agree about cooking. Experimenting is always fun and you never know what a wonderful dish you’ll create on your own until you try.

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  10. I’m Mexican and this isn’t how we make elotes… We do use butter and mayo, lol. Just cause these are Mexican ingredients doesn’t mean we use them for everything.

    • Exaxtly, Im not mexican but i grew up in southern CA. Mayo and butter at least she got the cheese right. And it’s usually boiled with the husk. Not saying theres anything wrong with this recipe but dont call it AUTHENTIC mexican its more of a twist.

      • Thanks for your comment Brit. This was a recipe I was taught by someone who is Mexican so I guess it just depends on the family or region. I’ll have to try the butter and mayo way asap!

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  12. Oh friend! YUM. I simply ADORE corn and the addition of the cotija and chili powder and lime… I knew I liked you 🙂 <3

  13. WHOA!!!!! I have to try this corn, every time I see it somewhere it makes me drool! love it 🙂

  14. I have seriously been grilling corn like crazy lately. This sounds SOOO good!!

  15. The corn looks awesome! There is a vendor at the Park City farmers market that makes a similar corn and it's one of our favorite things to treat ourselves with when we go!