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Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elote) – a wonderfully messy, well spiced, delicious summer treat!
Fresh sweet summer corn slathered in a mixture of mayonnaise, garlic, lime juice, chili powder and Cotija cheese then grilled to perfection. The end result is the perfect combination of salty, spicy, and tangy, and it’s utterly addicting!
We live about 10 miles from one of the last working farms in our area. They send out daily email updates on their crops, when they’ll be ready, and if the fields are open to pick-your-own berries. They do a great job of enticing me to drop all plans and “come to the farm” to grab everything fresh and available. I’ve figured out the perfect time to snag fresh corn. I check my email every morning, and when they start picking, I make an early morning trip to Miller Farms Market.
For the last few years, I’ve been lucky enough to arrive at the farm at the perfect moment; when the tractor rolls in the parking lot pulling a trailer loaded with local high school kids, working their summer job, with buckets of fresh picked corn. As soon as they dump the (still warm-from-the-sun) corn in the bin, I make my selections and head home to enjoy the sweetest corn I’ve ever had. I’ll be making a few more trips to the farm before the corn is gone, and later to pick blackberries, raspberries and blueberries too. What a treat!
What to look for when picking out the best corn:
- Firm, plump ears, no skinny minis;
- Select ears that feel heavy for their size;
- Look for deep green husks; and
- the silk should be dry.
Maybe you’ve never tried street corn because what you’ve seen looks overcooked and dried out, just not very appealing. If you’re like me and haven’t loved all the Mexican Street Corn recipes you’ve tried, perhaps you’ll give this one a whirl. I created a recipe that cooks the corn without drying it out, and delivers the signature grilled flavor and beautiful charred kernels we love.
This is an easy summer recipe perfect for big or small gatherings.
You can do some of the prep ahead of time by cleaning the corn, removing the husks and silk, but leaving the stalks intact like a handle. Brush each ear of corn with melted butter, and season with salt and pepper. Wrap each ear individually in aluminum foil and set aside until ready to cook. About 30-minutes before serving, put the foil wrapped corn on the preheated grill and cook for about 20 minutes, turning once.
Remove the foil and slather the corn with the mayonnaise mixture. Place the corn directly on the grill for just a few quick minutes to finish cooking and to get that critical char. This method is super easy and the corn doesn’t have time to dry out! Pass the left over sauce with the hot corn and enjoy! Garnish each ear with a little extra of everything, especially fresh ground black pepper. Friends – you are going to love our take on the Mexican classic. Enjoy and grill on!
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Here are a few more sweet summer corn recipes you might like:
Spicy Corn Relish – a sweet and spicy corn relish terrific served on hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, sandwiches or even a cracker. This relish is also the perfect tangy topping for grilled meats and fish too!
Corn & Zucchini Casserole ~ Summer vegetables are plentiful in this crustless quiche-like casserole. Delicious for breakfast, brunch or a meatless dinner everyone will enjoy.
Cheesy Corn Casserole with Jalapeños ~ a lightly spicy casserole sweetened with summer corn. A terrific adaptation of an old favorite.
A wonderfully messy, well spiced, delicious summer treat!
- 6 ears corn husks and silk removed, stalks left intact for easy cooking
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup Cotija cheese crumbled, plus extra for serving
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro plus more for garnish (parsley is fine too)
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 teaspoon Ancho chili powder regular is fine
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Additional lime wedges for serving
- Brush each ear of corn with the melted butter. Season with salt and pepper and wrap each ear individually in foil. The stalk does not need to be wrapped in foil.
- Preheat one side of your grill to 400F. If you don’t have a temperature gauge it should be too hot to hold your hand about 12-inches above the fire.
- Blend together the mayonnaise, Cotija cheese, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, and crushed red pepper flakes.
- Place the foil wrapped corn on the hot grill leaving the stalk handle/end on the cold side of the grill. Close the lid and cook for 10 minutes. Turn each ear, close the cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes, for a total of about 20 minutes.
- Unwrap the corn from the foil (discard the foil), and brush the mayonnaise mixture evenly on all sides of the ear. Reserve any remaining mixture for serving. Place the corn directly on the grill grate and cook, turning frequently, until lightly charred on all sides, about 5 minutes.
- Serve immediately with lime wedges, any leftover sauce, a sprinkle of Cotija cheese, cilantro, black pepper and chili powder.
This recipe may also be made in the oven set to 400F, then broiled brieflyto get the appropriate char
Here are a few more corn recipes from some of our awesome and talented friends! Bacon Ranch Corn Dip from Oh Sweet Basil, a real crowd pleaser perfect for any occasion. Love this easy Corn and Bacon Casserole from A Family Feast – I could eat this for any meal. And finally, one more bacon/corn recipe. I really want to try this Corn and Bacon Guacamole from Garnish With Lemon – so creative and no doubt delicious!
Thanks so much for stopping by!