Grilled Elotes Corn

July 18, 2018

Grilled Elotes are cooked sweet corn slathered in a spicy mixture of mayonnaise, crema, and chili powder and then sprinkled with cheese and finished with fresh lime. It’s a Mexican side dish that’s tough to compete with!

So what is an elote anyways?

Elote is often referred to as Mexican street corn because it’s a popular snack sold by vendors both on the streets and at festivals in Mexico. The corn on the cob is cooked — grilled, boiled, or roasted — and traditionally served either on the cob or a stick. (my preference is the cob for the sake of ease) I like grilling the fresh corn cobs in their husks and finishing by pulling back the husks to get a little char on the grill. When picking out your cobs, look for those with longer stalk ends to make them easier to eat.

What about going cob-less?

You can prepare elote off the cob (by cutting the kernels off the actual cob) and serve it in a dish is called esquites. It’s a great alternative to the traditional variety served on the cob but much easier if you simply want to capture these flavors in an easy-to-make dish for a crowd.


clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Grilled Elotes Corn

  • Author: Kelsey Nixon
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x


My favorite traditional Mexican side dish. Grilled corn slathered in crema or sour cream and crumbled cheese makes this favorite irresistible. 


  • 8 ears corn, shucked
  • ¼ cup melted butter or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup mayonnaise or crema
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¾ cup crumbled cotija cheese (can substitute parmesan)
  • Lime wedges, for garnish


Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Alternatively preheat the broiler to low, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Brush the corn with melted butter or olive oil. Grill the corn until hot and lightly charred all over, 7 to 10 minutes, depending on the temperature of the grill. Alternatively, broil the corn ears 6-inches from the heat source until charred spots appear, about 10 minutes. Flip the corn and broil for an additional 10 minutes.

While the corn is charred, mix the cilantro, garlic, chile powder, salt, mayonnaise, and lime juice.

Spread the mayonnaise mixture evenly over the corn, and sprinkle with the cotija cheese. If desired, return the corn to the grill or broiler for just a few minutes. Serve warm with lime wedges.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes


Looking for more simple weeknight recipes? Check out Recipe Club.

Learn More