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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 112 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


  • 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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  • 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!


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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Recipe Rating


  1. I used this recipe as a builder and have made it a couple of times with enhancements. First, I use whole cob corn and roast it on the gas grill to get a scattered char. At the same time, I also roast a poblano chile, which is then peeled and chopped when cool. When the corn is cooled enough to handle, remove the kernels from the cobs with a cobber or knife. If you like onion, you can add a bit or one shallot, chopped. Heat a small amount of oil or butter in a pan and saute the onion for 2-3 minutes, then add chopped chile, then continue the recipe as noted. Instead of paprika, I use ground red chile (your choice of variety, spicy or mild but NOT Texas-style chili powder) and finish with cilantro and crumbled cheese. Besides cotija, you can also use queso fresco (I use unsalted).

    1. @Steve Leyton, thanks for these helpful tips. We made it “our own” for a quick weekday side by sautéing a minced poblano pepper with the corn. We also substituted the parsley with cilantro. 😋

  2. This was easy to make and tasted great. My crew at the fire station enjoyed it, too. Will make again.

  3. Is there a way to do this in a cup? I had this in a cup one time so we could walk around but it seemed layered a certain way

    1. you could make it in a bowl and then serve it in a cup? not sure about the layering though as i haven’t had it that way! sorry!

  4. I made this. It was excellent. Please don’t be that girl. I don’t need your life story. Put the recipe at the top. – Signed, The World

    1. i’m glad you enjoyed the recipe! so what you’re saying is – you want an excellent recipe for FREE but don’t want to take the time to scroll or press the jump the recipe button. i see how it is! you’ve come to a BLOG, which means it’s not a recipe database which means there are real people and stories behind every single recipe. if you don’t want to read it, the jump to recipe button is right there for you to skip all the content and get the recipe immediately. everyone that comes to my site is getting a recipe or recipes for FREE and yet there seems to be a massive issue with the extra content/information even though it’s very easy to skip all that. I’m sorry but it’s damned if I do, damned if I don’t. If I threw up a paywall, would you pay? do you go to NY Times or WAPO and yell at them for having a paywall as a way to pay for their journalists? Having ads is the best alternative to help pay for running this website because websites aren’t free. There is maintenance cost behind it. It costs me $210 a month to just keep this website up on my web host. Now, add in ingredients and time to develop recipes and photograph, write, etc…pretty sure ads are ok by me if it helps keep content free…which clearly it helped you out b/c you got an excellent recipe….for free.

    2. @Julie Chiou, I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what most people want. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Put your ego aside and be a person who wants to share just for the sake of sharing rather than for the attention.

      1. “ain’t nobody got time for that” – well you clearly had enough time to scroll down and write a comment…which honestly, everyone who writes a comment about how they just want the recipe w/o the story is taking more time and effort to write the comment than to just press the ‘jump to recipe’ button to get the recipe and move on.

    3. @Julie Chiou, all of your content is amazing!! I love the stories behind your dishes, for me it gives them that made with love feeling and it also helps me taylor each dish to my style the same way you do. Damn all the haters to hell Julie!!! Do you boo!!! Btw, can you please do a live stream cooking show one of these days? Even if its like a 30min meal, I would love to tune in!!!

    4. @Shannon Blackstone, What a self righteous way to behave. In your own words, “please don’t be that girl.” I actually loved her post from the beginning and appreciated it. It wasn’t frivolous. To assume you speak for the World is comical. Sit down and STFU.

    5. @Shannon Blackstone, theres that little thing AT THE TOP for people like you. It’s labeled ‘jump to recipe’. Use it.

    6. @Shannon Blackstone, Part of getting a FREE recipe from a blog is you get the story too. sometimes it adds to it, sometimes not. However if you do not have the brain cells to click the ‘jump to recipe’ button as all of these have, you should perhaps not be allowed near sharp knives and hot stoves
      Excellent recipe, add some red bell pepper I had left in the fridge, made it pretty if nothing else. I love corn, but it is just to much to eat off the cob, so this is perfect! Thanks for the post!

    7. @Julie Chiou, You are 100% right~I usually read the contents of recipes,and only skip to the recipe if I need a refresher, having made the dish before~I share in your consternation of Shannon’s comment~she was definitely being “that girl”. I will be making this dish “as written” now~
      Thank you, Joanie Calkins

    1. @Kathy, I made this using canned corn and turned out great! Like Julie said, just drain first. I believe I used 2 15 oz cans no salt added sweet golden kernel corn. My husband and I both loved it! Thanks Julie!

  5. Love this recipe, it’s such an easy and flavorful side dish for weeknight dinners! I always want to take a photo of the finished product but get so excited to try it that I forget! I use feta and it comes out great every time.

  6. I made this for a family cookout. It was delicious! The only thing I wish I would have done differently, I wish I made a double batch! There wasn’t any leftover.