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Mexican Street Corn (Elote Recipe)

Mexican Street Corn or “Elote” is covered with a tangy and spicy crema sauce and topped with crumbled cotija cheese. It takes just one bite to realize why Mexican grilled corn on the cob is so popular. Big thank you to Reynolds Wrap® who sponsored this recipe.

The flavor profile of this Mexican corn is similar to the sauce on our famous Fish Tacos. Make this elote corn for your next party and you will get recipe requests.

Mexican street corn elote served in foil on platter

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What is an Elote?

Elote, pronounced ‘ee-low-tay’ is a side dish of sweet grilled corn on the cob, smothered with a mixture of crema (or sour cream), mayonnaise, and spices. The combination of sweet and slightly charred corn with the spicy sauce is irresistibly good. Elote is a popular vendor street food sold during Mexican festivals which is why it’s referred to as Mexican Street Corn.

elote ingredients with corn, sour cream, mayo, cotija cheese, lime, cilantro, garlic and spices

How to Make Mexican Street Corn:

Mexican Street corn is really easy to prepare. Start by making Grilled Corn in Foil. We love making Mexican Elote with Reynolds Wrap® Heavy-Duty Foil because it’s the best foil on the market. It’s sturdy so you only need to wrap the corn in a single layer for perfect results every time. We don’t have to worry about our food burning in Reynolds Wrap®. It also makes prep, serving, and cleanup easy.

1. Grill Corn: Use just enough foil to cover the corn once, overlapping slightly and tucking in the edges. We double wrap for a camp-fire. See our full tutorial on grilling corn in foil.

2. Partially Unwrap: Once the corn is grilled, let it rest inside the foil 10 minutes then peel back the foil to expose most of the corn, but keep the foil under the cob to use as a dish/ holder to avoid getting sauce on your hands.

Sauce tutorial for Mexican street corn

3. Make Sauce: Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl then smother the corn in sauce and sprinkle with chili powder, a generous amount of cotija cheese, and chopped cilantro to serve.

Brushing on sauce and adding garnish on elote corn

How to Serve Elote Corn:

Serve the smothered corn right out of the foil ‘boats’ that you grilled the corn in to keep your hands clean and your guests will appreciate it. Mexican corn is perfect as a side dish and pairs really well with:

Elote served in foil on a platter

Why Grill Corn in Foil?

This recipe goes from the grill to the table using the same foil. It’s so convenient to make and serve with Reynolds Wrap® Heavy-Duty Foil. Here’s why we love it:

  • Make-ahead – you can pre-wrap the corn in advance and refrigerate until ready to use
  • No pre-soaking or waiting required, simply wrap and grill the corn
  • Great for any kind of grill – gas, charcoal, wood, or smoker, and you can even double wrap to grill it over a campfire
  • Even cooking – the foil protects food over direct heat to evenly cook corn without burning
  • Serve in Reynolds Wrap® Foil – to keep hands clean while enjoying saucy Mexican corn
  • Easy cleanup – no mess and no dishes

Grilling Safety Tip: when removing foil-wrapped corn from the grill, use tongs and please be very careful opening as the packet and steam inside will be extremely hot.

foil wrapped corn

More Authentic Mexican Recipes:

If you love Mexican food, try our top-rated Mexican recipes. These sweet and savory recipes always get rave reviews and you’re sure to find some new favorites in this list.

Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elote Recipe)

5 from 9 votes
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Mexican Street Corn on blue platter

Mexican Street Corn or "Elote" is sweet corn on the cob smothered with a tangy and spicy crema sauce and topped with crumbled cotija cheese and cilantro.

Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $10-$12 (varies by season)
Keyword: elote, grilled Mexican corn, Mexican street corn
Cuisine: Mexican
Course: Side Dish
Calories: 220 kcal
Servings: 8 cobs of corn

Ingredients

  • 8 cobs of corn
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup cilantro finely chopped (reserve some for garnish)
  • 1 garlic clove finely minced
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice (plus lime wedges to serve)
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese (crumbled)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder to garnish

Instructions

  1. Shuck corn and wrap in a single layer of Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil to fully enclose the corn then grill corn in foil.

  2. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, mayo, cilantro, minced garlic, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, and 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice. Stir to blend and set aside.

  3. Partially unwrap corn to cool for a few minutes before applying sauce. Keep the foil under the corn to be used for serving the corn.

  4. Using a basting brush, generously brush on the sauce and sprinkle generously with cotija cheese. Garnish with chili powder and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
Nutrition Facts
Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elote Recipe)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 220 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 19mg6%
Sodium 221mg10%
Potassium 284mg8%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 408IU8%
Vitamin C 8mg10%
Calcium 68mg7%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

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Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • KB
    August 2, 2020

    Delicious! I mixed in the chili powder and cilantro with the sauce. Instead of grilling the corn I used the air fryer. This has been the best Elote recipe I’ve tried yet! Thank you.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 3, 2020

      So nice to know that! Thank you so much for sharing that info with us.

      Reply

  • natalia
    July 14, 2020

    I made this last night 7/13/20 and it was crazy good! My husband gave it a 10/10! Thank you so much!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 14, 2020

      That’s just awesome Natalia! I’m so glad you enjoyed that!

      Reply

  • Faith
    July 14, 2020

    Where can I get cojita cheese or what cheese can I substitute

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 14, 2020

      Hi Faith, we purchase cojita cheese in the cheese section in our local grocery store. There really isn’t another cheese that would work as well without a completely different flavor profile. I’ve seen people use crumbled feta or grated parmesan instead.

      Reply

  • Linda
    July 4, 2020

    We had this with our dinner tonight it was wonderful. Thanks Natasha

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 4, 2020

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that!

      Reply

  • Frank
    July 1, 2020

    Can I substitute plain yogurt for the mayo? if not, then what can be substituted?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 1, 2020

      Hi Frank, I haven’t tested that with yogurt to advise. If you experiment please let me know how you like that.

      Reply

  • preeti gautam
    June 29, 2020

    The recipe looks delicious and I love corns. Can you please tell me what is sour cream?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 29, 2020

      Thank you! You can buy sour cream at the grocery stores.

      Reply

  • Surati Ivey
    June 28, 2020

    I suppose one could grill the corn, cut if off the cobb nto a bowl, and mix all the other ingredients in another bowl, then spoon over the corn kernals, and mix it in , and serve it that way…..

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 29, 2020

      That could work Surati!

      Reply

  • wilhelmina
    June 28, 2020

    This is the perfect way to eat fresh corn! So good!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 28, 2020

      Thank you so much for your good comments and review!

      Reply

  • Aimee Shugarman
    June 28, 2020

    Perfect side for our tacos last night. SO GOOD and easy.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 28, 2020

      Love it! Thanks for your excellent review.

      Reply

  • Desiree Cureno
    June 27, 2020

    Question what part of Mexico sells the corn like this?

    Reply

  • Edward Flublingviv
    June 27, 2020

    Wow this looks tasty and easy to make! I like how you suggested using them in tacos, havent tried that before.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 27, 2020

      I hope you try it soon! These are so good!

      Reply

  • Matt Taylor
    June 27, 2020

    Yummy!! I love Mexican street corn. So easy and tasty!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 27, 2020

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that Matt! Thank you for that great review!

      Reply

  • Gladys Acevedo
    June 27, 2020

    Hi there if I can’t find cortija cheese what can I use thank you

    Reply

    • Natasha
      June 27, 2020

      Hi Gladys, for this recipe, there really isn’t another cheese that would work as well without a completely different flavor profile. I’ve seen people use crumbled feta or grated parmesan instead.

      Reply

  • Judy Cindrich Myers
    June 27, 2020

    I’m just wondering…hmm..why they don’t hire you for the FOOD NETWORK ! You are TV ready, and SO talented !! I watch videos every day, Natasha !!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 27, 2020

      You are so nice! Thank you for that compliment Judy!

      Reply

  • NAYNAY
    June 26, 2020

    Yes! It’s my favorite! I make it all the time!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 26, 2020

      That’s so great! Thank you so much for sharing that with me!

      Reply

  • Zara
    June 26, 2020

    Looks so so delicious, cant wait to try!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 26, 2020

      I hope you love this recipe Zara!

      Reply

  • Lucy
    June 26, 2020

    Oooooo looks delicious!!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 26, 2020

      I hope you try and enjoy this recipe Lucy!

      Reply

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