Elotes: Irresistible Grilled Mexican Street Corn

Authentic Grilled Elotes: Mexican Street Corn Recipe

Discover the ultimate summer treat with this mouthwatering Elotes recipe. This classic Mexican street food transforms simple grilled corn into a flavor explosion that will have your taste buds dancing!

Why Elotes Are the King of Corn Dishes

Elotes are more than just corn on the cob – they’re a culinary masterpiece. Charred to perfection on the grill, then lavishly coated with a creamy, spicy, tangy sauce and sprinkled with Cotija cheese, this dish elevates corn to new heights of deliciousness.

Our extensive “research” (aka happily devouring countless ears of corn) has proven that Elotes disappear from plates faster than any other corn preparation. The combination of sweet corn, savory cheese, creamy sauce, and zesty spices creates an irresistible flavor profile that keeps you coming back for more.

The Magic of Elotes

What makes Elotes so special? It’s all about the perfect harmony of flavors and textures:

  • Sweet, juicy corn kernels
  • Smoky char from the grill
  • Creamy, tangy sauce
  • Salty, crumbly Cotija cheese
  • Spicy kick from chile powder
  • Fresh burst of cilantro
  • Bright squeeze of lime

Each bite is a journey through these incredible tastes, making Elotes the ultimate crowd-pleaser at any summer gathering.

Mastering the Grill

The key to perfect Elotes starts with expertly grilled corn. We’ll show you how to achieve that ideal balance of cooked-through kernels and beautiful char marks that add depth and smokiness to every bite.

Crafting the Signature Sauce

The creamy, zesty sauce is what transforms grilled corn into Elotes. Our recipe combines Cotija cheese, mayonnaise, Mexican crema, cilantro, chile powder, and garlic into a mouthwatering mixture that clings to every kernel.

Elotes: A Generous Serving of Summer

When serving Elotes, be prepared for them to steal the show. We recommend planning for at least two ears per person – trust us, they’re that good! For a twist on the classic, try making Esquites, the off-the-cob version that’s equally delicious and a bit less messy.

Elotes (Grilled Mexican Street Corn) Recipe


  • 1/2 cup (110g) finely crumbled Cotija or feta cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) sour cream or Mexican crema
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho or guajillo chile powder, plus more for serving
  • 1 medium clove garlic, finely minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 4 ears shucked corn (see notes)
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


  1. Prepare your grill for direct high-heat cooking. For a charcoal grill, light a full chimney of charcoal. When the coals are covered with gray ash, spread them evenly over half of the coal grate. For a gas grill, set half the burners to high heat. Place the cooking grate, cover the grill, and let it preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate thoroughly.
  2. While the grill heats up, prepare the Elotes sauce. In a large bowl, combine the Cotija cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream (or crema), cilantro, chile powder, and minced garlic. Mix until well combined and set aside.
  3. Once your grill is hot, place the corn directly over the high-heat side. Grill for about 8 minutes total, rotating occasionally to ensure even cooking and charring on all sides. You’re looking for a nice char in spots all around the corn.
  4. Transfer the grilled corn to the bowl with the cheese mixture. Using a large spoon, generously coat each ear of corn with the sauce, ensuring even coverage. Sprinkle with extra Cotija cheese and a dusting of chile powder. Serve immediately with lime wedges for squeezing over the top.


For easy handling, leave a few inches of the stalk attached when husking your corn. This creates a natural “handle” for holding your Elotes. If your corn is pre-husked, simply skewer the cooked ears with wooden skewers before coating them with the sauce.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
305 Calories
23g Fat
20g Carbs
9g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 305
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 42mg 14%
Sodium 687mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 10mg 48%
Calcium 243mg 19%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 260mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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