Authentic Mexican Street Corn Recipe - Elote

Elote brings together savory, spicy, and tangy elements to create a mouth-watering experience that will transport you to the bustling streets of Mexico.

Whether you’re hosting a barbecue, picnic, or simply craving a taste of Mexico, this Elote recipe promises to spice up summer gatherings with its irresistible charm and traditional roots.


🌽 History of Elote

Origins of Elote

Elote, a traditional Mexican dish, has a rich history dating back centuries. The word “elote” itself comes from the Nahuatl word for “tender cob” or “green cob”.

Corn has been a staple in Mexican cuisine for thousands of years, with evidence of its cultivation dating back to ancient civilizations such as the Maya and Aztecs. Elote is a beloved street food that perfectly captures the essence of Mexican culinary traditions.

Evolution of the Dish

Over time, elote has evolved from a simple corn on the cob dish to a flavorful delicacy enjoyed by people worldwide. Initially, it was served simply with mayonnaise, cheese, and chili powder.

However, as the dish gained popularity, various regions in Mexico added their own unique twists and flavors to the recipe. Today, you can find elote topped with a variety of ingredients such as lime juice, cilantro, crema, and even hot sauce.

Cultural Significance

Elote holds a special place in Mexican culture, often enjoyed during festivals, fairs, and gatherings. It represents the vibrancy and diversity of Mexican cuisine, showcasing the country’s love for bold flavors and fresh ingredients.

The dish’s popularity has transcended borders, becoming a symbol of Mexican culinary identity around the world.

As famed chef Aaron Sanchez once said, “Elote is more than just a street food, it’s a representation of the rich history and cultural heritage of Mexico".


🛒 Ingredients for Authentic Mexican Street Corn

Ingredients for Elote - Mexican Street Corn

When preparing a mouth-watering batch of authentic Mexican street corn gather the right ingredients to balance flavors and textures.

Here are the key components you’ll need for this delightful Elote recipe:

Fresh Corn on the Cob

The star of the dish, fresh corn on the cob, is crucial for creating the authentic taste of Elote. Look for corn with plump kernels and bright green husks for the best results.

You can either use white or yellow corn, depending on your preference.


Mayonnaise is used to add a rich and creamy element to Mexican street corn. It helps the other seasonings adhere to the corn while providing a subtle tanginess to the dish.

Opt for a high-quality mayonnaise for the best flavor.

Cojita Cheese

Cojita cheese is a traditional Mexican cheese known for its crumbly texture and salty taste. This cheese is sprinkled generously over the corn to add a savory kick. If you can’t find Cojita cheese, you can substitute it with feta or Parmesan cheese.

Chili Powder

To give the Elote its signature spicy kick, chili powder is essential. Sprinkle chili powder over the corn to add a flavorful heat that complements the sweetness of the corn and the creaminess of the mayonnaise.

Fresh Cilantro

Fresh cilantro adds a bright and herbaceous flavor to the dish. Finely chop the cilantro leaves and sprinkle them over the corn for a refreshing and aromatic touch.

Lime Wedges

Lime wedges are served alongside the Elote and can be squeezed over the corn before eating. The acidity of the lime cuts through the richness of the other ingredients, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the dish.


👩‍🏫 Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

Corn grilling to make Elote

Preparing Ingredients

Before starting with the cooking process, gather all the necessary ingredients for making authentic Mexican street corn. Here is a list of ingredients you will need:

  • Fresh corn on the cob
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cotija cheese
  • Chili powder
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges

Grilling the Corn

  1. Prepare the Grill: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Shuck the Corn: Peel back the husks without removing them completely and remove the silk.
  3. Season the Corn: Brush each corn cob with mayonnaise and sprinkle with chili powder.
  4. Grill the Corn: Place the corn on the grill and cook for about 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally until charred in spots.

Adding Toppings

  1. Coating with Cotija Cheese: Roll the grilled corn in crumbled Cotija cheese, ensuring it sticks to the mayonnaise.
  2. Garnishing: Sprinkle additional chili powder, freshly chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice on top for added flavor.

Serving the Elote

  • Serve the Mexican street corn hot off the grill.
  • Offer extra lime wedges and chili powder on the side for individuals to enhance the flavors according to their preference.

Expert Tip:

“For an extra twist, I like to mix mayonnaise with sour cream and lime juice to create a creamy sauce for drizzling over the elote before adding toppings.”


🧀 Different Variations of Elote:

  1. Spicy Chipotle Elote: Add a spicy twist to your Elote by mixing chipotle peppers or chipotle powder into the mayo and sprinkling some extra chili powder on top for an extra kick.
  2. Cheesy Jalapeño Elote: For cheese lovers, sprinkle shredded cotija or parmesan cheese and finely chopped jalapeños over the grilled corn to create a gooey and spicy delight.
  3. Herbed Butter Elote: Instead of mayo, spread a mixture of butter, minced garlic, and fresh herbs such as cilantro or parsley on the corn for a flavorful and aromatic variation.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro, parsley, or chives on top of the Elote for a burst of freshness and color.
  • Top with Lime Juice: Squeeze a wedge of lime over the corn just before serving to add a tangy citrus flavor that complements the creaminess of the mayo and cheese.
  • Serve with Hot Sauce: Provide a selection of hot sauces on the side for those who enjoy an extra spicy kick with their Elote.

🩺 Health Benefits of Elote

1. Nutrient-Rich Ingredients

Elote, or Mexican street corn, is not only a delicious treat but also a nutritious option packed with essential vitamins and minerals.

According to Healthline , corn, the star ingredient, is a good source of fiber, which aids in digestion and helps maintain a healthy gut. It is also rich in antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, known to promote eye health.

2. High in Antioxidants

One of the key health benefits of Elote is its high antioxidant content. The combination of ingredients such as chili powder, lime, and cheese provides a range of antioxidants that help fight oxidative stress in the body.

Antioxidants play a crucial role in reducing inflammation, supporting the immune system, and protecting the body against chronic diseases.

3. Energy Boost

With a combination of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, Elote serves as a satisfying and energy-boosting dish. The carbohydrates from corn, proteins from cheese, and fats from mayonnaise offer a balanced meal that can keep you energized throughout the day, making it a perfect summer snack or side dish.

*always consult with your doctor about your specific healthy eating requirements*


Check out more amazing corn side dishes.