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Mexican Street Corn

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Mexican Street Corn features a tangy sauce and crumbly cotija cheese sprinkled with just the right amount of spice.  This is the best corn I've ever tried! Serve with tacos, Doritos Casserole, and carne asada fries for a true fiesta. 3 ears of corn topped with mayonnaise, chili powder, and cojita cheese, and garnished with cilantro.

I love enjoying fresh sweet corn from the farmer's market in the summer. Usually I just eat it with a little bit of butter and salt.

However, this Mexican street corn recipe is my new favorite! It features creamy sauce, crumbly cheese, and a hint of spice. My mouth is watering just writing this post. You need to try it before the end of summer.

Fun Variation: You can also serve this recipe off the cob (also called esquites) like I did in my street corn salad.

What Is Mexican Street Corn?

Also called Elotes (Spanish for corn cob) this dish is traditionally served by food vendors: street corn features a delicious sauce topped with cheese and fresh herbs.  The garlic mayo is creamy, the cotija cheese is crumbly, and the chili powder hits you at the end! SO good!

Why This Is My Favorite Way To Eat Corn

  1. Flavorful: The combination of tangy lime, spicy chili powder, and crumbly cheese is a flavor and texture explosion.
  2. Easy To Make: Just a few simple ingredients, with no fancy equipment or techniques.
  3. Fun To Eat: Eat on a stick or use corn holders just like your favorite fair food.

Ingredient Notes and Shopping Tips

  1. Corn: Fresh corn will taste best. However, if it is out of season frozen can be substituted.
  2. Mayonnaise: If you're not a fan you can use sour cream instead. However, I find mayo provides better flavor and helps the cheese stick better.
  3. Chili Powder: If you're sensitive to spice you can use paprika instead.
  4. Lime Juice: Use freshly squeezed. It has more flavor and less acid than squeeze bottles.
  5. Cojita Cheese: This salty crumbly cheese can be found in the specialty cheese section of the store. If you can't find it queso fresco is a good substitute.
  6. Cilantro: Measure before chopping. If you are part of the 14% of the population that thinks cilantro tastes soapy parsley can be used instead.

a closeup of mexican street corn topped with cojita cheese and parsley.

How To Make Mexican Street Corn

  1. Cook Corn: Cook corn in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
  2. Make the sauce: Combine garlic powder and mayonnaise. Brush over corn.
  3. Top: Top with chili powder, cheese, and cilantro.

Grilling

If you don't want to use your oven you can also grill corn for 3-4 minutes per side over medium heat.

Tips and Tricks

  1. Corn Buying Tips: When buying fresh corn I like to go to my local farmers' market. Look for corn that has a bright green husk, and a pale yellow tassel.  Also, look at the spot where the corn was removed from the plant. It should be pale, not brown.  Finally, try to feel the kernels through the husk, you're looking for plump uniform kernels.
  2. Storage: Don't remove your corn from the husk until you're ready to use it or it may dry out. Store in the husk in the fridge for up to days before cooking.
  3. Make husking corn easier: Microwave for around 1 minute.
  4. Use a silicone basting brush to easily coat your corn.

Leftovers

  1. Storing or freezing prepared elotes is not suggested, these are best enjoyed fresh.
  2. Storage: Store cooked corn in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave, and add toppings as desired.
  3. Freeze: Freeze cooked corn for up to 6 months.

a closeup image of a mexican street corn topped with mayonnaise, chili powder, and parsley

More Corn Recipes To Try This Summer

Crab and Corn Soup

Corn Fritters

Cajun Fried Corn

Mexican Street Corn Salad

📖 Recipe

Mexican Street Corn

Sweet corn topped with crumbly cotija cheese and sprinkled with just the right amount of spice. The best corn you've ever had guaranteed!
4.54 from 15 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 Ears
Calories: 247kcal

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Ingredients

  • 6 Ears Fresh Sweet Corn
  • 6 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • ½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Cup Cotija Cheese Crumbled
  • Cup Fresh Cilantro Roughly Chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 2 Limes Quartered
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Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place corn in husks directly on the oven rack. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until fork tender.
  • While corn is cooking, in a small bowl combine garlic powder and mayonnaise.
  • When corn is done brush with garlic mayo. Roll in cotija cheese.
  • Sprinkle with cilantro and chili powder.
  • Squeeze with fresh lime juice if desired.

Notes

Ingredient Notes and Shopping Tips
  1. Mayonnaise: If you're not a fan you can use sour cream instead. However, I find mayo provides better flavor and helps the cheese stick better. 
  2. Lime Juice: Use freshly squeezed. It has more flavor and less acid than squeeze bottles.
  3. Cojita Cheese: This salty crumbly cheese can be found in the specialty cheese section of the store. If you can't find it queso fresco is a good substitute. 
  4. Cilantro: Measure before chopping. 
Tips and Tricks
  1. Corn Buying Tips: Look for corn that has a bright green husk, and a pale yellow tassel.  Also, look at the spot where the corn was removed from the plant. It should be pale, not brown.  Storage: Don't remove your corn from the husk until you're ready to use it or it may dry out. Store in the husk in the fridge for up to days before cooking.
  2. Make husking corn easier: Microwave for around 1 minute. 
  3. Use a silicone basting brush to easily coat your corn. 

Nutrition

Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 387mg | Potassium: 287mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 420IU | Vitamin C: 12.6mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 0.8mg
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21 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    Really good recipe! It's difficult to find cotija cheese in my city so I had to use feta, which obviously was not the same. Would recommend!

    1. Yay glad you like it. Thanks for the substitution idea. I have trouble finding it here too 🙁 Hooray for small-town living.

  2. I think it's funny how some people think that they have a recipe for Mexican Street Corn, or try to "American-fy", or "Gringo-fy". LOL! As a Mexican-American myself, it's just roasted charred corn (preferably on a grill), and you add your toppings,
    (for TRUE AUTHENTIC MEXICAN STREET CORN) such as Mayonnaise ,butter, lemon juice, Chamoy, Chile Rojo, Tajin, Queso Mexicano, parmesan cheese, Valentina Chile. THERE ARE NO EXACT MEASUREMENTS, and add your toppings to your hearts content. At least, that's how us Mexcians do it. 🙂

    1. 5 stars
      As a “gringo” myself, I like to try new and different things I can’t find where I live. Any recipe I’ve seen for this is very similar to this. I find it strange that we either get hate for not appreciating other cultures or hated for trying to. I also find it strange that you intentionally looked up a recipe just to comment how ridiculous you think it is. Sometimes its best to think before you speak... or type

  3. 5 stars
    To speed this recipe up, try cooking the corn in the microwave (on a microwave safe plate) for 3 minutes per ear (2 ears - 6 mins, 3 ears-9 mins, etc.) Leave the husks on and trim the silk on the end and extra stem. The steam will cause the husk & silk to peel right off.

  4. 4 stars
    Wow! That looks indulgent in the best possible way. I think I'll be making this on Father's Day. Thanks for sharing a cool idea.

  5. Oh boy this looks incredible. I have been trying to add some new sides to my meal plan and this is just perfect, my family is going to love this!