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Elotes (Mexican Street Corn)

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Updated 11/23/20 to include a variation on this recipe for when corn is not in season—making it a perfect side-dish for any season! Click here to see recipe variation at the end of this post.

This is not a sponsored post or endorsement made in coordination with or paid by any of the brands mentioned here—only offering a few suggestions based on things my family and I have tried and enjoyed.

Elotes, otherwise known as Mexican street corn, is a hot food trend right now for good reason: it’s really, really good.

The topping is a perfect, creamy addition to fresh, sweet, in-season corn that gets sprinkled generously with Mexican-style seasoning blend and and cotija cheese.

It’s very easy to make your own spice blend but you can also use one that’s pre-made, if you don’t have the time, such as from McCormick or tajin, which is chili and lime flavored.

Cotija is a firm cheese that typically comes wrapped in a small wheel and can be easily crumbled, similar to feta but much milder in flavor. If you can’t find this in a store near you, substituting a shredded Mexican-style cheese blend or cheddar cheese blend works. Definitely try the cotija, if you have that option!

The recipe makes enough topping for about 6-8 medium ears of corn. You can always cut the corn in half, too, to double the number of portions—this is a nice idea for a buffet when you have multiple side dishes that people can choose from.

Elotes (Mexican Street Corn)
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

Elotes, otherwise known as Mexican street corn, is a hot food trend right now for good reason: it's really, really good. The recipe makes enough topping for about 6-8 medium ears of corn.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cheese, corn, mexican, side dish, spicy, vegetables, vegetarian
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Mexican crema (such as Cacique; otherwise, use sour cream thinned with an additional 1/2 tbsp lime juice)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp Mexican spice blend (see recipe above or use a store-bought Mexican or chili-lime seasoning )
  • 2 tbsp cilantro chopped
  • 8 oz Mexican cotija cheese (such as Cacique; otherwise, use a shredded taco-style or cheddar cheese blend, such as Sargento)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill to 350° Fahrenheit and when hot, oil grates to prevent sticking. Husk and remove silk from corn. Grill corn until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes, rotating frequently. Remove from grill and set aside.

  2. While corn is cooking, whisk together mayonnaise, crema or sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon Mexican spice blend, and lime juice in a small bowl until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  3. On a small plate, add crumbled cotija cheese or shredded chesee blend and chopped cilantro. Stir together with a fork or toss using clean fingers until combined.

  4. Spread mayonnaise mixture over hot corn, then either roll in the cheese or sprinkle it on, about 1-2 oz per piece of corn. Sprinkle with any additional Mexican spice blend and more salt and pepper as desired. Serve immediately.

Recipe variation when corn is not in season  

When corn is not in season, frozen ears of corn can also be used, such as Green Giant® brand Nibblers®. Full disclosure: I’ve never made this with frozen ears of corn, always fresh. (If you try it, let me know!)

As an alternative, I have mixed the same ingredients together and added them to a bag of frozen corn kernels for an excellent side dish that is also easier to eat. Of course, when corn is in-season, you can also use this recipe, too, with fresh corn.

The ingredients are the same but measurements are slightly altered from the street corn on the cob recipe above. In this variation, I prefer less mayo and more crema, but still the same amount of cheese.

As a bonus: this makes for an amazing topping on a taco or nachos…

Elotes Mexican Street Corn Side Dish
Total Time
15 mins
 

A recipe variation for when corn is out of season.

Ingredients
  • 12-16 oz bag of frozen corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons mayo
  • 2 tablespoons Mexican crema (such as Cacique; otherwise, use sour cream thinned with an additional ½ tbsp lime juice)
  • 8 oz Mexican cotija cheese (such as Cacique; otherwise, use a shredded taco-style or cheddar cheese blend, such as Sargento, but use cotija if you find it, for best results! Reserve 2 tablespoons for topping.
  • ½ tablespoon Mexican spice blend reserve ½ teaspoon for topping
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro reserve 1 tablespoon for topping
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook frozen corn based on package instructions—microwave steam-in-bag corn makes this even easier, otherwise, take the corn out of the bag and cook in a glass, ceramic or another kind of microwave-safe bowl. Make sure if you're using a bowl, it will be big enough to stir in your ingredients at the end.

  2. Combine mayo, crema, lime juice, and spice blend in a small bowl. Add half of the cilantro and half of the cheese.

  3. After the corn cooks, fold in the cream mixture. Top corn with remaining cilantro and cheese, 1/2 teaspoon Mexican seasoning, and serve.

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