This is a classic recipe for Mexican street corn (Elote), grilled in the husks and topped with butter, cilantro, lime juice, and Cotija cheese.

Two ears of grilled corn on the cob sprinkled with seasonings, cilantro, Cotija cheese and lime.

When in season, fresh, sweet corn is a wonderful treat, and grilling it in the husks adds a delicious flavor component that boiling or steaming simply doesn’t provide.

This recipe is a popular Mexican version that adds butter, fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime, and a sprinkling of crumbled Cotija cheese. Once you’ve had it, you may never eat plain corn on the cob again!

If you’re not familiar, Cotija is a Mexican cheese that can be made from either cow’s or goat’s milk. It’s similar in flavor and consistency to feta and is really delicious when paired with the sweetness of the fresh corn.

Mexican street corn on a serving plate with lime wedges

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Grilled Corn with Cotija, Cilantro and Lime

Grilled Corn with Cotija, Cilantro and Lime

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This is a classic recipe for Mexican street corn (Elote), grilled in the husks and topped with butter, cilantro, lime juice, and Cotija cheese.

Ingredients

  • 4 ears fresh sweet corn, husks left on
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Cotija cheese, crumbled (see notes)
  • 4 lime wedges

Instructions

  • To prepare the corn for grilling, soak it in the husks, in cool water for 30 to 45 minutes. This will keep the husks from charring and drying out too much during cooking.
  • Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to a medium-high temperature (about 400°F).
  • Peel the back the husks to about 2/3 of the way down the length of each cob to expose the kernels. Remove as much of the silk as you can (don’t worry if you can’t get it all) and discard.
  • Brush the kernels with a little olive oil, then season with salt and pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Re-cover the corn with the husks and arrange the ears in a single layer on the grill. Cover and grill for 12 to 15 minutes, turning each several times to ensure even cooking.
  • To serve, pull the husks back all the way to expose the entire cob (or remove completely), brush each ear with melted butter, sprinkle with the cilantro and Cotija and drizzle with lime juice.

Tips for Making This Recipe

More about Cotija cheese:

If you can’t find Cotija, feta cheese is an acceptable substitute, but tends to be a little bit saltier. If you need to substitute, take that into consideration when seasoning the corn before cooking.
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