Elote Recipe

Level up grilled corn on the cob with this easy elote recipe! Smothered with mayo, chile, cheese, and lime, it's creamy, tangy, smoky, and sweet.

Elote on plate with lime wedges and cilantro

When summer sweet corn comes hits peak season, this elote recipe goes on repeat in our house. I love corn on the cob in all its iterations, but something about elote is especially irresistible. This grilled Mexican street corn is creamy, tangy, sweet, and smoky. If you’ve never tried it—or never tried making it at home—now’s the time. Let’s make it!

What Is Elote?

Also called Mexican street corn, elote is a Mexican preparation of corn on the cob. The ears of corn are grilled, then slathered with mayo or crema, and finally topped with lime, chile, and Mexican cheese such as Cotija.

Commonly sold by street vendors in Mexico, elote makes a great snack. I also love to serve it as a side dish at summer cookouts and BBQs.

Elote recipe ingredients

Elote Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this elote recipe:

  • Fresh sweet corn, of course! Use the freshest corn on the cob you can find.
  • Mayonnaise – It creates a creamy coating for the corn and helps the other fixings stick. I love the flavor of 100% mayo on elote, but if you prefer, you can sub Mexican crema or sour cream for some or all of it.
  • Fresh lime juice and zest – For brightness.
  • Chili powder or ancho chile powder – It adds smoky flavor and a little heat.
  • Cotija cheese – For salty flavor and tang. If you have trouble finding Cotija cheese at the grocery store, a little crumbled feta cheese will work instead. It won’t taste exactly the same, but it will still be delicious!
  • Fresh cilantro – For a fresh, aromatic finishing touch.
  • And sea salt – To taste! Because mayo and Cotija cheese are both salty already, you may not need it. I recommend taking a bite of your elote before you sprinkle on more salt.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Grilling the Corn

The first step in this elote recipe is grilling the corn. I share two methods in my recipe for grilled corn on the cob—with the husks and without.

Either will work here. However, having some char on the corn kernels really enhances the smoky flavor in this recipe. If you choose to grill the corn in the husks, you may want to pull them back for the last few minutes of cooking so that some char marks form on the kernels themselves.

Brushing grilled corn on the cob with mayo

Once you grill the corn, make a simple sauce by stirring together the mayo, lime juice, and lime zest.

Use a pastry brush or butter knife to slather the mayo mixture all over each ear of corn.

Elote with mayo, cheese, chili powder, cilantro, and lime

Sprinkle with the chili powder, Cotija, and cilantro, and season to taste with salt. Serve with lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!

What to Serve with Elote

Elote is a tasty snack on its own, but it’s also a great side dish for all kinds of summer meals.

How do you like to serve elotes? Let me know in the comments!

Elote recipe

More Favorite Corn Recipes

If you love this elote recipe, try one of these other summer corn recipes next:

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Elote (Grilled Mexican Street Corn) Recipe

rate this recipe:
4.95 from 39 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves 4
If you've never tried Mexican elote—or never tried making it at home—you HAVE to make this recipe! Sweet and smoky grilled corn is smothered with mayo, chile, lime, and cheese. You won't find a more delicious side dish or snack.



  • 4 ears Grilled Corn
  • cup mayonnaise*
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving
  • ½ teaspoon lime zest
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder or ancho chile powder
  • cup Cotija cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sea salt, to taste


  • Grill the corn according to this recipe.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise and lime juice and zest.
  • Spread the mayo mixture over the corn and sprinkle with the chili powder, Cotija, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and serve with lime wedges for squeezing.


*A mix of ¼ cup Mexican crema or sour cream and ¼ cup mayonnaise is a delicious alternative to all mayo.


4.95 from 39 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Crystal Cary

    5 stars
    I had never tried elote before (our area is rural upstate new york and no food vendors offer it) and this was the only way to get it without traveling. YUM! Next time we will buy more corn so everyone have seconds!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Crystal, I’m so glad you loved the recipe!

  2. Victoria Petty

    5 stars
    I made this tonight, along with my cooking partner (my teenage granddaughter), and it was delicious! There were lots of “mmmm’s” as the family took their first bites. I got requests to please make it again, it was so juicy and flavorful, sweet and tangy.

  3. Aurora Hernandez

    5 stars
    This Elote recipe is delicious. I used a six chili powder on two n the other two used ancho chili 🌶️ powder. Will be making this again

  4. Anna Broyles

    5 stars
    I did not have time to grill the corn, so I boiled it. I’m sure grilling would have added an extra layer of flavor to this Elote recipe that the boiling could not, but it was still a yummy recipe that my husband really enjoyed. Thank you!

  5. Cherri Blair-Drayton

    5 stars
    This recipe gave me the lovely opportunity to visit my local farmer who sells the best corn ever! The recipe was easy and delicious. We enjoyed the layer of roasted flavor the grilling added.

  6. Bridget Cassun

    5 stars
    Delicious! Easy and tasty summer side; perfect for a BBQ! I grilled the corn without the husks for the smoky char! Used the Love and Lemons recipes for vegan mayo and vegan parm!! Definitely making every corn season!

  7. Sally Sagebiel

    5 stars
    Easy! Delicious. Impressive for entertaining.
    Made a few changes, based on what was in the fridge.

  8. Erin Dominy

    5 stars
    I have had Elote numerous times from food trucks and at street fairs but never thought to make it myself. Wow, this was so good and incredibly simple. So happy to have this recipe and know that the homemade version is even better!

  9. Annika Carnes

    5 stars
    This grilled corn recipe is so yummy and easy to make. And used ingredients I already had at home which I think makes it even better. I stirred together the mayo mic and got all the seasonings plus cheese ready while the corn was grilling on the stove. Once it was cooked through, it was so quick and easy to finish it so we could enjoy it with our dinner. I will definitely make this again. And soon!

  10. Shira

    4 stars
    Super yummy (especially with grilled corn). I made mine vegan with vegan Mayo and noochy parm.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Shira, I’m so glad you loved the recipe!

  11. Glenys

    5 stars
    This was so simple and attractive to the kid’s eyes, actually everyone’s eyes : ), my husband enjoyed it like a child, i got 100% positive comments for this recipe , my family wouldn’t stop saying how delicious it was.

    Thank you for sharing, i am a mom of 4 teenagers always looking for something new to impressed them and this definitely worked : )

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad everyone loved it!

  12. Inessa Yurkin

    It was our first time making elote at home and it was so delicious! I was surprised how such simple ingredients yielded so much flavor! We used home-grown corn and feta cheese instead of cotija. My husband and I licked the plate clean and definitely wished we made more. 🙂

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Inessa, I’m so glad you both loved it!

  13. Ashley Epps

    5 stars
    Great recipe! The whole family enjoyed it. Will definitely make it again soon.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Ashley, so glad it was a hit!

  14. Laurie Bettini

    5 stars
    I love the smoky flavor you get from cooking the corn on the grill. My husband loves elote, and this recipe does not disappoint!! Although I should have served it with something Mexican, I ended up serving it with salmon and roasted potatoes.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Laurie, I’m so glad you loved the recipe!

  15. Rachael Russ

    5 stars
    This elote recipe is amazing! so delicious and my kids even loved! A perfect way to enjoy summer corn!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Rachael, I’m so glad it was a hit!

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.