This Mexican Street Corn Recipe takes the humble corn on the cob and turns it into a funky, spicy delight. It is so simple to elevate these lovely vegetables, by slathering them in Mexican crema and taco seasonings ( like chili powder, cumin, and paprika) and then topping them with Cotija cheese and cilantro for the perfect result.
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Mexican Street Corn Recipe
The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions; to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required, and to understand the steps and timings involved.
We love Mexican and Tex-Mex food at The Purple Pumpkin Blog, and this Mexican Street Corn recipe is a game changer if you’ve never tried it before!
I had my first taste of this street food at Walt Disney World at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival from the Mexico food booth. Here’s a photo of my corn on the cob below, and wow, was it GOOD!
Mexican street corn is simply grilled corn on the cob, slathered in a delicious mixture of seasoned Mexican crema and mayonnaise and a sprinkling of crumbled Cotija cheese.
After reading that sentence you might be thinking – what on earth is Mexican crema and Cotija cheese?! And I don’t blame you. Over here in the UK it is going to be hard to find these ingredients in your local supermarket, and even online might be a struggle.
However! I am the queen of finding substitutes for ingredients, and while the end result won’t be 100% authentic Mexican, the flavors will be very similar and you can still enjoy this popular street food!
What is Mexican Crema?
Mexican crema is a slightly tangy, creamy condiment that is often used to top dishes like tacos or nachos or used to tone down the spicy heat of Mexican food. Think of what you use to do the same thing on Taco night – sour cream right? So essentially, sour cream is a great substitute!
Mexican crema is thicker and richer than sour cream, but not quite as thick as crème fraîche – the latter of which can also be used as a substitute.
You can make your own crema with heavy cream, buttermilk, lime juice, and salt – but it takes 12 hours, and who has time for that when you’ve got simple substitutes that you can make!
The amount of the crema and mayonnaise mixture you put on your corn is a personal preference – you can really slather it on, or use it sparingly.
What is Cotija Cheese?
Cotija is an aged Mexican cheese named after the town of Cotija, Michoacán, Mexico. It is a crumbly, salty cheese made from cows’ milk.
You may find it in larger grocery stores or specialty shops. If it is unavailable in your area, crumbled Feta cheese is a common substitute.
Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe
While most ingredients can be bought in grocery stores, for your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients (and equipment) needed for this recipe have been listed below and linked to Amazon or other stores if available online.
It does not include staple ingredients such as oil, salt, and pepper, as you’re likely to have those in your kitchen already. The complete list of ingredients with measurements is found in the recipe card.
- Fresh Produce – Corn on the Cob (Large Ears), Cilantro (Coriander)
- Dairy – Unsalted Butter, Mexican Crema (or Sour Cream), Mayonnaise, Cotija Cheese (or Feta)
- Chili Powder – use mild or hot depending on your personal tastes and spicy heat preference!
- Ground Cumin
- Ground Coriander
- Garlic Powder
- Smoked Paprika
- Fine Sea Salt
- Ground Black Pepper
- Ground White Pepper
- Cayenne Pepper
- Chipotle Powder
Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog use both cup measurements and/or weighted measurements. American cups and kitchen food scales are handy pieces of equipment to have in your kitchen as it means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog. I try to give American, imperial, and metric measurements in my recipes. You can mix cup measurements with weighted measurements, but never mix imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.,) with metric (kilograms, grams, litres, etc.,).
More Recipes Using Sweetcorn
One of the hero ingredients in this dish is sweetcorn, so here are some more recipes using the same:
- Cayenne Buttered Corn on the Cob
- Black Bean, Sweetcorn, and Avocado Salsa
- Mexican Chopped Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
More Mexican Recipes
Looking for more Mexican dishes to make? Check these recipes out next:
- Mexican Shredded Beef in the Slow Cooker
- Mexican Huevos Rancheros for Sunday Brunch
- How to Make Instant Pot Pork Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Porked)
- If Mexican or Tex-Mex dishes are popular in your house, make double or triple batches of the taco seasoning to use later. Excess seasoning can be stored in an airtight container for several months.
How Do I Make Mexican Street Corn?
Check out the printable recipe card below with full ingredients and instructions. Any demonstration photos do not print out to save your ink.
For the Taco Seasoning
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1½ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp ground white pepper
- ¼ - ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 6 large ears of corn (fresh corn on the cob)
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup Mexican crema or sour cream
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped, divided
- 1 Tbsp taco seasoning (see above)
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup Cotija cheese, crumbled*
- 1-2 tsp ground chipotle or smoked paprika
- Preheat your oven's broiler/grill to "high". Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
- Husk the corn and remove the silk. Rinse thoroughly to remove any remaining silk and pat dry. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet and brush with the melted butter on all sides.
- Place the baking sheet under the pre-heated broiler/grill for 5-6 minutes, or until the top of the corn is slightly charred. Remove from oven and carefully rotate the corn one-third of the way around before placing under the broiler/grill again. Broil/grill for another 5-6 minutes, then rotate and broil/grill for another 5-6 minutes. (Total cook time should be 15-18 minutes)
- While the corn is broiling, prepare the taco seasoning by combining all ingredients in a small bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.
- Combine the Mexican crema (or sour cream), mayonnaise, and two tablespoons of chopped cilantro in a medium bowl. Add one tablespoon taco seasoning and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Remove the broiled/grilled corn from the oven and brush evenly with the seasoned Mexican crema mixture, using all or a thin layer according to your preference.
- Serve immediately topped with crumbled Cotija cheese, the remaining cilantro, and a sprinkle of ground chipotle or smoked paprika.
*Can substitute Feta cheese if Cotija cheese isn't available.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 396Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 1071mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 7g
This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
Make It A Full Meal
You can enjoy this street corn as an appetizer or side dish, but what about the rest of the courses?
Here are additional recipes to make a full meal for a dinner party or special occasion:
- Appetizer: Quick & Easy Spicy Salsa Recipe
- Soup: Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Soup
- Salad: Mexican Chopped Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
- Main Dish: Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Bowls
- Side Dish: Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice
- Beverage: Sparkling Mexican Paloma Cocktail with Blanco Tequila & Grapefruit
- Dessert: Coconut Pineapple Cupcakes with Rum
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy – please feel free to check them out too.