Grilled Mexican Street Corn


Mexican Street Corn is one of the ultimate summer side dishes! This version is just as good as the kind I got from street vendors in Mexico! When I serve this at parties there’s never any left.

Mexican Street Corn on a large white platter. Corn cobs are topped with mayonnaise, cotija cheese, and chili powder.

What is Mexican Street Corn?

This is a popular Mexican street food you’ll find people snacking on throughout Mexico. Fresh corn is cooked then slathered with mayo or crema, topped with cotija cheese and dusted with chili powder. Here’s my take on it.

I grill it for a nice charred flavor. Then top with a light layer of a creamy garlicy, cilantro mayo then it’s coated with the classic salty cotija, dusted with chili powder and cayenne pepper for a kick, and it’s finished with a just a spritz of tart, fresh lime for one last layer of flavor.


Once you try it for the first time you’ll be wondering “where has this been all my life?”

12 cobs of fresh corn on a grill to make Mexican Street Corn.

How do You Make Mexican Street Corn?

  • Preheat a grill over medium-high heat.
  • Stir together mayonnaise, cilantro, garlic, cayenne pepper.
  • Place cotija cheese in a shallow dish long enough to fit corn.
  • Grill until charred on all sides, turning every few minutes, about 8 – 9 minutes total.
  • Brush corn with mayo mixture, roll in cotija and sprinkle with spices. Serve with limes if desired.

Do I Have to Grill the Corn?

If you don’t own a grill, or if it’s freezing cold out you can also just boil the corn or roast it in the oven.

Corn cob being rolled in cotija in a shallow dish to make Mexican street corn.

What Should I Serve with Them?

Mexican Street Corn close up image.

Tips for This Recipe

  • Sprinkle over the cotija if you want a lighter coating (rather than rolling).
  • Add chili powder to taste. Some people like a lot while others like just a few dashes.
  • Start with great corn and use a good quality mayo.

How do I Choose The Best Corn?

  • Check the husk. It should be nice and bright green. It shouldn’t be dry, leaves should be soft, pliable and almost seem a little wet.
  • Check the silks/tassles. Those thin strings at the top of the corn should be golden or light brown and sticky, not black. And they should look fresh, not wilted or dry.
  • Check the corn. Peel back the husk a bit, corn should be filled in to the top and full and plump throughout.
  • Watch out for worms and other bugs. Obviously. If you see a row of corn that’s been nibbled on lets avoid that one.

Stack of Mexican street corn on a plate.

Double the Recipe it Will Go Quick!

I made a double batch for the recipe pictured so just keep in mind the recipe is for 6 and not quite as many as are here.

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Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elotes)

5 from 1 vote

An ultimate summer side dish! Corn cobs are grilled for a nice charred flavor then slathered with a creamy mayo mixture, rolled in cotija cheese and dusted with chili powder and cayenne for a little kick. No one can resist!

Servings: 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 6 ears yellow corn , shucked (that pictured here is a double batch of this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (preferably 1/4 cup regular 1/4 cup light)
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro , plus more for garnish
  • 1 small clove garlic minced
  • 1 fair pinch cayenne pepper , plus more for topping, to taste
  • 1 cup finely crumbled Cotija cheese
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder , then more to taste
  • Lime wedges , for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (to about 450).
  2. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl whisk stir together mayonnaise, cilantro, garlic, cayenne pepper. Set aside. Place cotija cheese in a shallow dish long enough to fit corn.
  3. Once grill is preheated place corn on grill, leaving space between them. Let grill until charred on all sides, turning every few minutes, about 8 - 9 minutes total.
  4. Working with one cob of corn at a time, using a spatula brush all sides with the mayonnaise mixture then lightly roll in cheese to coat with a thin layer (it should look somewhat sparse, don't overdue it or the cheese will be overwhelming and you won't have enough to coat all of them). Transfer to a serving platter or baking sheet and repeat with remaining corn. Sprinkle corn with chili powder then a little cayenne pepper if desired, then turn to opposite side and sprinkle with more chili powder. Sprinkle lightly with more cilantro and serve with lime wedges if desired.
Nutrition Facts
Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elotes)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 271 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 31%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 30mg 10%
Sodium 413mg 17%
Potassium 258mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 7g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 6.9%
Vitamin C 7.6%
Calcium 12.5%
Iron 3.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Mexican Street Corn
Calories: 271 kcal
Author: Jaclyn


  • Louie: Tastes Mexican to me! September 2, 2018 at 6:43pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad you think so :). Thanks for your review Louie! September 2, 2018 at 11:01pm Reply

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