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Homemade Best Elote (Mexican Street Food)

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Once, during a summer trip to Mexico, I tasted a street food so delicious that I knew I had to recreate it at home. That dish was Elote, grilled corn on the cob, coated in a creamy, tangy sauce, and dusted with a sprinkle of cheese and chili powder.

Now, I’m thrilled to share my perfected creamy cob recipe with you. It’s simple to prepare, incredibly tasty, and a fantastic way to enjoy corn during its peak season.

As we journey together through this recipe, you’ll discover the delights of making and savoring this classic Mexican treat.

So, let’s start our culinary adventure and prepare some mouthwatering Mexican street corn.

Key Takeaways

  • Elotes, also known as Mexican Street Corn or Esquites, are a delicious way to serve corn.
  • The recipe for this Mexican snack is super simple to make and fun to eat, making it a perfect summer grilled corn recipe.
  • The traditional Mexican goodness recipe includes grilled corn slathered in Mexican crema, spices, and cotija cheese.
  • There are various modifications and additional seasoning options that can be added to the creamy corn treat recipe based on personal preference.

Understanding the Elote Ingredients

Let’s dive into the key ingredients that make Elote, or Mexican street corn, so irresistibly tasty and unique.

The traditional toppings play a crucial role: a blend of creamy mayo, tangy lime juice, and a dusting of vibrant chili powder, crowned with a sprinkle of salty Cotija cheese.

Creative variations might include a smoky chipotle mayo or a zesty cilantro-lime drizzle.

I’ve seen folks substitute vegan mayo and a dairy-free cheese for a healthier alternative without losing that quintessential savory corn snack experience.

There’s a world of possibility when you start exploring different spices, cheeses, and sauces.

It’s the combination of these elements that creates this Mexican street food masterpiece, where every bite is a celebration of flavor.

Preparing the Elote Dressing

With the key ingredients understood, I’m now going to delve into how to prepare the creamy, tangy, and spicy fiesta dressing.

I’ve discovered, through exploring different types of corn toppings, that the dressing is what truly sets flavorful corn cob apart.

Start by whisking together mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, chili powder, garlic, and cilantro until they’re properly combined. The lime juice adds a tangy zest, while the chili powder provides that essential heat.

I’ve tried alternative cooking methods for this savory treat, but grilling always gives the corn a smoky flavor that pairs well with the dressing.

Sharing personal experiences and variations with Mexican corn on the grill recipes, I’ve learned that the dressing is customizable to taste.

Now, let’s move onto grilling and dressing the corn to bring our flavorful corn to life.

Grilling and Dressing the Corn

After preparing the dressing, I get my grill ready for the next step of making the elote—grilling the corn. I’ve learned that the key to perfectly charred corn is patience and constant rotation for an even cook.

As the corn grills, I explore different types of cheese for the creamy corn treat. While Cotija is traditional, a good Feta or Queso Fresco can add a unique twist. Once grilled, I dress the corn with my prepared condiment, liberally coating each cob.

Then, I sprinkle the cheese, making sure it adheres to the dressing. The final touch is a squeeze of fresh lime. Its acidity enhances the flavors, making the grilled corn pop with zestiness.

Now let’s delve into recipe modifications and seasoning options.

Recipe Modifications and Seasoning Options

I’ve tried several variations of this traditional recipe, adding my own twist to cater to different tastes. Exploring different spice combinations, I’ve found that adding smoked paprika or even a dash of cayenne pepper can really elevate the flavor profile of the corn fiesta.

Also, trying different cheese options like queso fresco or even sharp cheddar can provide a unique taste experience.

Discussing the best cooking method, I’ve found that grilling the corn brings out its natural sweetness, providing a delicious contrast to the savory toppings. If grilling isn’t an option, roasting the corn in the oven also yields tasty results.

Serving suggestions and pairings

Having found the perfect flavor profile for this Mexican delight, it’s time to think about what to serve it with for the complete dining experience.

Different variations of tasty corn toppings can transform your main dish, adding a pop of color and texture.

For example, a grilled steak or roasted chicken would pair beautifully with the creamy, tangy, and spicy flavors of the Mexican corn.

Now, let’s not forget those leftover savory snack ingredients. Why not use them in a creative way?

Take that extra mayo, chili powder, and cheese and incorporate them into a dressing for a zesty side salad. Or, mix them with some mashed avocados for a twist on your classic guacamole.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the History and Origin of Elote in Mexican Cuisine?

I’ve watched this tasty corn popularity grow, and its cultural significance is undeniably linked to Mexico’s rich history. Regional variations highlight its adaptability, but its origin in Mexican cuisine remains a testament to the country’s innovative culinary tradition.

Can Elote be made with canned or frozen corn as a substitute for fresh corn?

Yes, I’ve successfully made fiesta corn with canned or frozen corn. Though fresh is ideal, canned or frozen can be good substitutes. Seasonal availability and corn quality can impact the choice. Just ensure it’s well-drained.

How Can Elote Be Made Vegan or Dairy-Free?

Ironically, making vegan corn delight is easier than you’d think! Swap regular mayo for vegan mayo alternatives, use dairy-free crema options, and choose plant-based cheese choices. Voila, you’ve got a dairy-free, delicious treat!

What Other Types of Cheese Can Be Used If Cotija Is Not Available?

If you can’t find Cotija for your creamy snack, don’t worry. I’ve successfully used feta as a substitute. Parmesan can also be a good choice, while cheddar offers a different, but still tasty, option.

Are There Any Traditional Mexican Dishes That Are Commonly Served With Elote?

Mexican corn variations often pair well with spicy counterparts like tacos al pastor or enchiladas. For a full Mexican feast, I’d suggest serving it alongside a refreshing agua fresca or a tangy michelada as complementary beverages.

Elote Recipe

Elevate your taste buds with our mouthwatering Elote recipe, a delightful blend of grilled corn, creamy mayo, cheese, and flavorful spices.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 250 kcal


  • 4 ears of fresh corn husks removed
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or Mexican crema
  • 1/2 cup finely crumbled Cotija cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder more to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • Salt to taste


  • Preheat the grill: Heat your grill to medium-high heat.
  • Grill Corn: Place corn directly on the grill, rotating every few minutes to char evenly. Cook for about 10 minutes until the kernels are tender.
  • Mix Sauce: While the corn is grilling, mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, and chili powder in a bowl.
  • Assemble Elote: Once the corn is grilled, brush each ear with the mayo mixture. Sprinkle with Cotija cheese, cilantro, and additional chili powder.
  • Serve: Serve immediately with lime wedges and a sprinkle of salt.


  • Corn Selection: Fresh corn is preferable for the best taste and texture.
  • Cheese Substitute: If cotija cheese is unavailable, grated Parmesan or feta cheese can be a good substitute.
  • Spice Adjustment: Feel free to adjust the amount of chili powder based on your spice preference.
  • Serving Suggestion: Elote can be served on the cob or sliced off into a bowl for an easier eating experience.


Calories: 250kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 7gFat: 15gSodium: 200mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7g
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