This is an incredibly easy and tasty Elote Recipe, also known as Mexican street corn! It is made with mayonnaise, lime juice, cotija cheese (or queso fresco) and garlic.

This corn is bursting with flavor, quite literally. It’s slathered in mayonnaise and lime juice, which keep it so moist and juicy.

The mix of these salty, citrusy flavors when combined with the tang of cheese and mayo is just BEYOND! It’s an explosion in your mouth- don’t miss this side dish that’s perfect to go alongside so many of your favorite Mexican recipes.

Elote (Mexican corn on the cob) drizzled with crema on a white plate.
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When we moved to St. Louis, I was desperate to find great Mexican fare. I didn’t realize how spoiled we were in Kansas City in that department.

It took months of taste-testing to finally find a few Mexican restaurants we craved. That’s life in the ‘burbs. 

Don’t Skip These!

Thankfully I have a good line-up of some eternal favorite Tex-Mex dishes, including this Chicken Enchilada Recipe, Homemade Guacamole, and my favorite Homemade Margarita Mix.

We then attended the Taste of St. Louis food festival, which is exactly what I did. It was a fun way to experience a lot of restaurants, all in one afternoon. It’s such a great way to discover new flavors from all over town!

I stumbled across Mission Taco and indulged in their street corn – aka Mexican corn on the cob, or elote corn, and was overwhelmed with love! 

Elote (Mexican corn on the cob) drizzled with crema on a white plate.

What is Elote?

  • Elote corn is commonly called Mexican Street Corn here in the US. It’s often roasted on a grill and drizzled with lime juice, cotija cheese, and coated with salt, mayonnaise or crema fresca.
  • It’s topped off with chopped cilantro and IT.IS.DELICIOUS.
  • Elote very simply translates to “corn cob”. You can see why this elote recipe is so popular – corn on the cob is easy to eat on the go. Especially if you put it on a stick!
  • While it is generally eaten on a stick, sometimes the husk of the corn cob itself is pulled down while cooking and forms a “handle” of sorts. It’s so much fun to eat!
Elote (Mexican corn on the cob) drizzled with crema on a white plate.

Elote Recipe

Rather than drive 25 minutes to enjoy a little Mexican street corn, I’ve started making it at home and it’s always a hit.

Why You’ll Love this Elote Recipe

  • Great Side Dish – Great Pulled Pork Side, and one of the best Mexican Side Dishes too.
  • Quick + Easy – This recipe is filled with simple, wholesome ingredients and is as easy to customize as it is to make!
  • Fresh, Vibrant Flavor – Bursting with sweet and salty summer flavor.
Elote (Mexican corn on the cob) drizzled with crema on a white plate.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Mayonnaise – I like to use an olive oil based mayo, but it’s also easy to make your own Homemade Mayonnaise.
  • Lime juice – Fresh squeezed lime juice is always best, but if you have bottled lime juice on hand, that works too.
  • Garlic – fresh minced garlic will give you the best flavor, but I like to take a shortcut and use the grocery store bottled minced garlic sometimes.
  • Queso fresco or cotija cheese – You can use either type of cheese here, they are both very similar in that they are a salty, crumbly white cheese. Learn more about the best cheeses for tacos (and beyond)!
  • Fresh ears of corn – The fresher the better, of course!
  • Salt – I like to use big cracks of sea salt, but any kind of salt will do.
  • Cilantro – Optional, but always good for a touch of color and more flavor.
  • Mexican Crema – This is wonderful to drizzle over the top, but it’s totally optional. Available near the cotija cheese at your grocery store.

Variations

How to Make this Elote Recipe

  1. Combine mayonnaise, lime juice, and garlic.
  2. Whisk in fresh grated queso fresco or cotija.
  3. Grill sweet corn – indoors or out. Corn on the cob on a grill.
    1. Indoors, warm a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil. Rotate every three minutes on medium high heat for a total of 8-9 minutes. You can learn more about how to grill corn indoors here.
    2. Outdoors, rotate corn on a grill for a light charring on all sides. Corn on the cob on a grill. Grilled corn on the cob on a white plate.
  4. Cover with mixture. Optional: garnish with cilantro, dust with chili powder or a little salt and pepper.
Elote (Mexican corn on the cob) drizzled with crema on a white plate.

Tips

  • I prefer to eat it directly off the cob for ease, but you can also remove corn kernels from the cob and toss with all ingredients for the ultimate side dish – esquites!
  • If you prefer, you can substitute mayonnaise with Mexican crema or sour cream. Try this savory cilantro crema for another delicious option.
  • You can make Mexican Corn on the Cob with cotija cheese, but I prefer queso fresco because it’s easily accessible.
  • If you don’t like cilantro, you can garnish with used lime wedges. They add a little color to your platter. Another option is to sprinkle a little chili powder over the Mexican Street Corn.

Make More (or Less!)

Scaling up, down or substituting? You’ll love this printable Measurement Conversion Chart!

Elote (Mexican corn on the cob) drizzled with crema on a white plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between Elotes and Esquites?

Elote is basically grilled corn on the cob with added seasonings and mayonnaise. Esquites is the same seasoning, flavors and corn, but it’s removed from the cob, served in a cup and you use a spoon to scoop it.

What is the white crumbly cheese on Elote?

That’s queso fresco or Cotija cheese! It’s a dry, crumbly cheese that can generally be found next to the other cheeses in the grocery store. It’s salty and delicious, perfectly crumbled over your elote recipe.

Serving Suggestions

This elote recipe serves beautifully at your summer barbeque or any Mexican themed dinner night. Serve it alongside the following ideas!

Elote (Mexican corn on the cob) drizzled with crema on a white plate.

Dietary Considerations

  • Gluten Free
  • Vegetarian
  • Nut Free
  • To make it Vegan and Dairy Free: Sub mayonnaise for a vegan alternative (mayo is dairy free, but it does have eggs), and replace the cheese with vegan parmesan.

How to Store

  • Refrigerate – Refrigerate covered up to two days.
  • Refrigerate – Store your elote for 3-4 days covered tightly in the fridge.
  • Freeze – While you can freeze your Mexican street corn, the texture won’t be quite the same once it defrosts. It’s great to cut the kernels off, and then use in other dishes (think casseroles, soups and quesadillas) where the texture won’t matter as much.
Elote (Mexican corn on the cob) drizzled with crema on a white plate.

More Corn Recipes

Elote (Mexican corn on the cob) drizzled with crema on a white plate.
5 from 6 votes

Mexican Corn on the Cob (Elote Recipe)

Easy Mexican Corn on the Cob recipe, (also known as Mexican Street Corn or Elote) made with mayonnaise, lime juice, cojita cheese and garlic.
Prep: 6 minutes
Cook: 9 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
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Ingredients  

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoon lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic minced
  • cup queso fresco finely grated
  • 4 ears of corn shucked and washed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Whisk mayo, lime juice and garlic. Stir in queso fresco.
  • Grill corn (indoors in a skillet with a touch of olive oil flipping every 3 minutes for 9 minutes or outdoors on the grill)
  • Remove from cob OR place on platter and cover with mixture.

Julie’s Tips

Mexican Street Corn Tips and Variations

  • You can make Mexican Corn on the Cob with cotija cheese, but I prefer queso fresco because it’s easily accessible. 
  • If you prefer, you can substitute mayonnaise with Mexican crema or sour cream. Try this savory cilantro crema for another delicious option!
  • If you don’t like cilantro, you can garnish with used lime wedges. They add a little color to your platter. Another option is to sprinkle a little chili powder over the Mexican Street Corn.

Video

Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 131mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 199IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This corn was wonderful with the grocery store corn I found this week—and I can’t wait to try it again with local corn this summer!!

  2. Hi Julie,

    Just thought I’d let you know we had Julie Blanner recipe day at my house yesterday – I made your M & M cookies, your Mexican corn, and your pasta salad. We ate very well!
    Thank you!

    Emily

  3. I love these, I grew up eating these…I do make them at home from time to time but honestly, I prefer the ones sold on the street! Yum! We add Mexican hot sauce to it too, yum.