Elote Recipe: Delicious Mexican Street Corn, Fast and Easy!

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Last Updated on December 8, 2023

Do you want to experience the cuisine of Mexican culture?

Well, you don’t have to travel to Mexico (although it would be nice) to try the various specialties they offer. Sweet antojitos (little cravings) can be made easily in the comfort of your home! Check out here my quick, effortless, and tasty elote recipe!

Elote on a plate

What Is Elote Exactly?

Elote means an ear of corn, and elote recipes are something you need to write down and save! It’s no coincidence that every street vendor in Mexico City sells elotes!

Slathered with mayonnaise along with a touch of fresh lime juice, you’ll for sure get messy when eating this spicy side dish.

Yes, I’m talking about Mexican street corn! It brings a mix of sweet, savory, piquant, and spicy flavors (just like my favorite chamoy sauce recipe). Harmony of taste!

Hence, you must try Mexican street corn on the cob! Check my go-to recipe and instructions and enjoy this little appetizer.

Preparation Time

If you’re in a rush but hungry for some tasty snacks, this elote recipe might be your best choice. Preparation won’t take much of your time – gather your ingredients, and get ready to assemble them!

  • Prep time: 5-10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10-20 minutes
  • Total time: 15-30 minutes
ingredients to make elote recipe


  • 4 corn on the cob
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (could add more or less depending on your preference)
  • 1/2 cup Cotija cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, fresh
  • A pinch of ground black pepper (optional)

How to Make Elotes?

Trust me; when you make your first Mexican corn on the cab, you’ll start popping those elotes on a regular basis! It’s a simple recipe, and well, there’s not much that could go wrong (hopefully).

1. Cook Fresh Corn

The corn cobs need to be cooked. Place the corn in boiling water, and leave it for about 3 – 5 minutes. Remove, and let it cool down a bit – it should be warm (neither too hot nor too cold).

Ingredients to make the spicy mayo

2. Prepare the Sauce and Sprinklings

After placing the corn in the boiling water, use the time to mix mayonnaise, chili powder, lime juice, pepper (Cayenne Pepper is my favorite pick), and salt – stir until combined. Also, prepare another bowl with grated Cotija cheese and cilantro.

Note – don’t forget to get the corn out of the water!

Well, you don’t have to travel to Mexico (although it would be nice) to try the various specialties they offer. Sweet antojitos (little cravings) can be made easily in the comfort of your home! Check out here my quick, effortless, and tasty elote recipe!

3. Brush the Mayo Blend Onto the Cooked Corn

Be ready to get dirty! You’ll probably have the seasonings spilled everywhere, but hey, it’s worth the mess. Use a pastry brush to spread the mayo blend evenly.

Well, you don’t have to travel to Mexico (although it would be nice) to try the various specialties they offer. Sweet antojitos (little cravings) can be made easily in the comfort of your home! Check out here my quick, effortless, and tasty elote recipe!

4. Sprinkle or Roll the Corn in Cotija and Cilantro

Place your corn on a plate (to minimize the mess), and sprinkle the grated Cotija cheese and cilantro over it while turning it around.

5. Sprinkle a Touch of Chili Powder, and You’re Good to Go

The final touch – chili powder. Give your Mexican street corn on the cob a smoky flavor and fiery color. For more heat, be free to add hot sauce.

Recommendation for Serving

  • Elote is best if served warm, with added lime wedges to boost it up.
  • Following the Mexican tradition, you should serve the Mexican corn on a wooden skewer. But, of course, you can leave the wooden sticks out if preferred.
  • Cut the boiled corn in half to get smaller portions, and follow the instructions as suggested.
  • Another way to enjoy Mexican corn is to make elote en vaso! Strip the corn kernels from the cob (be free to use frozen corn for this version of the elote recipe) and serve it in cups. Add the same mayo mixture and Cotija on top (next to frozen corn, you can also use canned corn).
  • To stir the flavor up, put the kernels in a skillet, and roast them with butter or olive oil for about 10 minutes.

What to Serve With Elotes?

Elotes are treated as appetizers that pair well with almost all Mexican foods. With a touch of lime and hot sauce, you’ll have a recipe that is both savory and spicy.

Hence, you can eat it as a side dish – it goes great with barbecues, burrito bowls, enchiladas, and Quesabirria tacos.

Nutrition Information for Elote Recipe/ Mexican Street Corn

Serving Size: 1 ear of corn/Serves 4

  • Calories: 241 kcal
  • Total Fat: 21 %
  • Cholesterol: 10%
  • Sodium: 17%
  • Total Carbohydrate: 7%
  • Protein: 12%


To boost your elote recipe, here are some tips on making this side dish fit your taste perfectly! You can adjust the ingredients, cut them, or boost them out!

1. Try to Grill Corn 

To add extra flavor, you can grill the corn instead of boiling it. Grilling adds a touch of that crispy taste (especially when grilled over high heat). For example, you could add corn (and butter) to a skillet and then roast it until it becomes slightly brown.

One more option is to air fry the corn. If you think it will be tasteless, you’re wrong. Air-fried Mexican street corn on the cob is rich in flavors and quite delicious.

2. Experiment With the Cheese

If you’re having trouble finding Cortija cheese, you can replace it with parmesan cheese or even feta cheese.

If you are a vegan, don’t worry; plenty of vegan substitutes will make your Mexican corn equally delicious.

3. Replace the Mayonnaise

You can use the recipe with Greek yogurt or butter instead of mayo for a slightly lighter version. Sour cream or a half-and-half mixture will be a good fit as well. Bee free to experiment with the recipes until you find your perfect balance of tastes.

4. Be Careful With the Chili Powder

Elotes are known to be a bit spicy, but make sure not to overdo it with the chili and hot sauce – the spiciness will take over the majority of the flavor. However, if you like it hot, then spread the powder away.

Elote recipe
Yield: 4

Elote recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 4 ears of grilled corn on the cob
  • ¼ cup mayo
  • 1 ½ teaspoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder, plus more for sprinkling
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional, for extra heat)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt or a pinch of fine salt
  • 2 ounces (about ½ cup) finely grated Cotija cheese*
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro


While grilling your corn, prepare the chili-mayo sauce and Cotija-cilantro blend. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lime juice, chili powder, optional cayenne, and salt. Stir until combined. In a separate bowl, mix the cheese and cilantro. Set both bowls aside.

When your corn is ready, brush the mayonnaise mixture all over one ear of corn. Over a plate, sprinkle the Cotija mixture, turning the corn as necessary (it’s going to be a little messy, no way around it!). Place the finished cob on a separate serving plate. Repeat for the remaining corn, using the cheese in the bowl and the excess on the plate as needed.

Sprinkle a pinch or two of additional chili powder lightly over the corn. Serve warm.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 444mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 3g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Final Words of Cooking Wisdom

With no fuss, but a little mess, you’ll have a dish with a delightful sauce, various seasonings, and, best of all, cheese – a recipe for everyone!

Enjoy my Mexican-inspired recipes, and be sure to try the elote out! Once you’ve tasted it, you will always want to return to it!

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