Meatless grilling: how to make the perfect elote

Meatless grilling: how to make the perfect elote

What’s a mouthwatering follow up to yesterday’s watermelon agua fresca? The perfect grilled elote. I ate my first elote last week and it was delicious.

For a re-cap, an elote (pronounced eh-loh-tay) is the Mexican way of saying grilled corn. Sometimes, this grilled corn is coated with a mixture of mayonnaise, cheese, lime and cayenne pepper. Need convincing? Read on.

First off, I’m not a fan of mayonnaise. Maybe a small amount in cole slaw, but I wouldn’t put it on a sandwich or anything else for that matter. I still wanted to give the elote a try and I was not disappointed. Naturally, the next step would be to make these at home.

Elotes can often be found being served from street vendors around Chicago. I had my first elote at our local Fourth of July carnival.

Elote Recipe


4 ears of corn in their husks

1 cup mayonaise

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/8 tsp cumin

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

5 oz. cotija cheese (Parmesan cheese will also work)


1. Grill corn (in their husks) at medium high heat for 15 minutes.

2. While corn is grilling, pulse cotija cheese in a food processor to break it into crumbles.

3. Place cheese into a bowl and stir in cumin and cayenne pepper.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk lime juice with mayonnaise.

5. When corn is cooked, pull back the husk. (You can remove it completely, or use the husk as a “handle”)

6. Brush mayonnaise mixture onto corn while it’s still warm.

7. Roll or sprinkle cheese mixture over the corn.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Cotija cheese can be found at many grocery stores in the dairy section. (We bought ours at Jewel.) As I said before, I’m not a big fan of mayonnaise, but the flavors that really stood out to me were the lime, cheese and spices. If you choose to skip the mayonnaise, you can coat the corn with butter and then add the other ingredients to ensure they adhere to the corn.

Sweet corn on the grill is delicious on it’s own, but this recipe is definitely a special treat that you should try at least once. Next time you fire up the grill, impress your friends and family with your elote skills. Bon appetit!

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You might also enjoy:

Squash blossoms stuffed with queso fresco: A simple, summer recipe

Cool off this summer with a watermelon agua fresca



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