Street Food Recipe: Elote (Roasted Sweet Corn with Cheese)

(Image credit: Joanna Miller)

Sweet corn is the perfect thing to eat right now – seasonal, fresh and perfect with almost nothing added to it. But just in case you’re ready for something new, let’s load it up with lots of rich and delicious toppings. What do you say? You may be familiar with elote, a Mexican sweet corn treat. If not, allow us to introduce you …

We often see elote vendors at Chicago festivals, flea markets and ballparks – it’s also popular in other parts of the United States, and in Mexico. Grilled corn is served up on the cob or freshly sliced into a cup, and topped with a healthy dose of mayonnaise, Cotija cheese, lime juice, salt and spices. Other common toppings include butter and sour cream, and you can usually order it up just the way you like it.

We like the ease of eating it out of a cup when we’re on the go, but there’s something fun about nibbling right off the cob, and it does tend to stay warm longer that way. At home, it’s pretty much the same simple presentation either way – grill corn, load up the toppings and dig in!

2 Ratings


Makes4 servings


  • 4 ears


  • 1/2 cup


  • 1/2 cup

    Cotija cheese (Parmesan will work if you can't find it)

  • 2

    limes, cut into wedges

  • 2 tablespoons

    chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon


  • Salt



  1. Prepare a grill or grill pan with high heat. Keep corn in husks, or remove one strip of husks. Place directly on grill. Cook for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until husks are well blackened and the kernels are bright yellow.

  2. If serving on the cob, remove husks and slather each ear with a generous spoonful of mayonnaise. Add the juice of one lime wedge per ear, followed by a pinch of salt, a healthy sprinkle of cheese and a light dusting of cumin and chili powder.

  3. If serving off the cob, cut the kernels off of each ear. Place into a jar or small cup and top with remaining ingredients.

  4. If you prefer, serve the corn with the toppings on the side and let everyone dress their own.

(Images: Joanna Miller)