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A less messy way to eat Mexican street corn! This Mexican street corn off the cob is one you'll want to make for all your parties year-round!
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This Mexican street corn off the cob reminds me of Anthony Bourdain’s ability to transport you to another country and to try something new.

I’ve never met the guy but I did watch a lot of his shows and his storytelling was captivating. It transported you to each location and I felt that after each episode, I yearned for more and I had a desire to travel.

If I were to sort out my feelings over his passing years ago, I think he was an inspiration to me. Traveling for food, learning about one’s culture through food — that is what inspires me to travel and that is what Anthony did.

He literally went to every country with no judgement and truly wanted to learn.

I hope we all learn from this tragic event and carry on his spirit by exploring the world, being bold with food, and knowing to seek out help when you need it or reaching out to someone if you think they need it.

A less messy way to eat Mexican street corn! This Mexican street corn off the cob is one you'll want to make for all your parties year-round! #mexicanstreetcorn #corn #mexican #sidedish #cornrecipe

Thoughts on my Mexican street corn recipe

I have been pining to make this Mexican street corn off the cob recipe since last year.

I LOVE Mexican street corn but is there anything more awkward than eating an entire fresh corn on the cob at the table with your friends? Haha

I mean, I know it’s totally fine but I really hate it because 1. it’s messy, you end up with so much cotija cheese and other ingredients on your face, and 2. you get so much stuck between your teeth that if you don’t carry floss or toothpicks with you, it can get real annoying!

There are some restaurants apparently that if you ask, they will cut the corn off the cob for you when you order Mexican street corn.

So that got me thinking…then why not just make the entire dish IN a bowl OFF the cob in the first place?!

Well, that is exactly what I did and I could’ve eaten this ENTIRE bowl of Mexican street corn, or as they say in Spanish, elote!

I loved this elote recipe so much that I created another variation – my poblano Mexican street corn off the cob AND a Mexican street corn kale salad.

Who would’ve thought taking ears of corn and cutting it off the cob would yield such an incredibly easy to make and loads of flavor dish?

The best part? Your face won’t be covered in cotija cheese, mayo, or corn.

However, I guess if you are all about the experience, you could make this on the cob too but I like taking ears of corn and shaving off the corn kernels into a big bowl (or small bowl if you’re saving some to snack on later) because it’s easier to divide up and share as a side dish!

A less messy way to eat Mexican street corn! This Mexican street corn off the cob is one you'll want to make for all your parties year-round! #mexicanstreetcorn #corn #mexican #sidedish #cornrecipe

How to make Mexican street corn (elote) off the cob

You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Butter
  • Ears of corn or corn kernels
  • Mayo
  • Cotija cheese (or try queso fresco if you can’t find cotija cheese)
  • Green onion
  • Parsley or fresh cilantro (cilantro tastes like soap to me so that’s why I always use parsley)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Prepare the corn kernels. You’ll want to either grill the ears of corn or cut off the corn kernels and char it in the skillet with some butter. They kind of spit and pop at you when they get hot (kind of like popcorn!) so just be careful.

Combine ingredients in a large/small bowl. Once the corn kernels are cooked/charred, add them to a bowl and mix in the mayo, cotija cheese, smoked paprika, green onion, and parsley (or fresh cilantro). Don’t forget salt and pepper, to taste! Stir together to incorporate everything.

Enjoy. Divide and enjoy your street corn…in a bowl!

A less messy way to eat Mexican street corn! This Mexican street corn off the cob is one you'll want to make for all your parties year-round! #mexicanstreetcorn #corn #mexican #sidedish #cornrecipe

Can I use frozen corn kernels?

Yes, just thaw it and make sure it’s warm (microwave or stovetop).

Can I grill the corn on the cob first?

Yes! That’d be so good.

I can’t find cotija cheese

You can use feta or queso fresco!

I don’t like cilantro

Friend, neither do I.

I think it tastes like soap.

You can sub parsley!

Can I use vegan mayo?

You can use whatever mayo you want.

A less messy way to eat Mexican street corn! This Mexican street corn off the cob is one you'll want to make for all your parties year-round! #mexicanstreetcorn #corn #mexican #sidedish #cornrecipe

Should this be served warm or cold?

You can do either but it’s best warm!

How does this keep?

You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to three days.

I think this is best eaten as quickly as possible and I’m sure you won’t have trouble with that!

A less messy way to eat Mexican street corn! This Mexican street corn off the cob is one you'll want to make for all your parties year-round! #mexicanstreetcorn #corn #mexican #sidedish #cornrecipe

This Mexican street corn would be great to serve with a summer panzanella, grilled lime butter shrimp, or these grilled chicken kebobs!

If you’re looking for another version of this Mexican street corn off the cob, try this smoky poblano Mexican street corn off the cob!!

4.58 from 114 votes

Mexican Street Corn off the Cob

A much less messier way to have your favorite side dish! Mexican street corn off the cob tastes just as great as the ‘on the cob’ version!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) unsalted butter
  • 4 ears of corn, shucked and kernels removed (about 34 cups depending on how large your corn is)
  • 2 tablespoons mayo
  • 3 ounces (85 g) cotija cheese, freshly grated or crumbled
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 green onion stalk, finely chopped
  • Handful of freshly of chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
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Instructions 

  • In a cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat then add the corn kernels. Spread in an even layer and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until exterior is charred/browned, stirring frequently. Be careful of the popping action of the heated kernels!
  • Once charred/browned, place into a large bowl then mix in mayo, cotija, paprika, green onion, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  • Mix to combine then divide evenly and serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving, Calories: 328kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 20g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 8g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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153 Comments

  1. This is a great recipe! I’ve made it several times! It is my most requested dish when I ask “What can I bring?”!!!

  2. Love your recipe. I used frozen but thawed white sweet corn and cooked in my cast iron skillet. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  3. Love street corn! I usually add diced onion for flavor and a bit of diced red and green pepper for visual appeal as well as red pepper flakes for a bit of zing.

  4. Made this by draining canned corn, slightly charring it on the iron skillet and replacing with feta cheese and parsley for those more sensitive to cilantro. This was for a church fellowship/Town Hall and so many raved about it. Even had a shoutout from my pastor. =) Thank you for the great recipe and its flexibility. Can even squeeze some lime juice if you need that tartness. Mm…