Grilled Mexican Street Corn photo and recipe by Judy Barbe,

How to make healthier Mexican Street Corn

Mexican Street Corn gets a makeover! Easy to make, this is a delicious way to cook a summer favorite – fresh corn on the cob!🌽

I wonder if the Incas looked forward to corn season as much as I do. Though it didn’t look or taste like the corn we eat today, corn has been cultivated since at least 3500 BC. Mexican farmers grew corn as a crop about 5,000 years ago.

How to buy corn

We are in the sweet spot of corn season, which means those ears taste best and cost less. When you buy it, the husk should be bright green and snug to the ear. The silk should be dry, not soggy or moldy. Kernels should be rounded and plump, not shriveled or sunken.

The sugars in corn convert quickly to starch after harvest. The sooner you eat it after it’s picked is best, though it can be refrigerated for a day or two. The husks keep moisture in; so don’t shuck them until just before cooking.

How to cook corn
ears of corn on the grill

grilled corn is ready in minutes

Boiling corn may be the way you learned to cook it, but boiling robs vegetables of their nutrients. Steaming, grilling or microwaving are the best ways to cook corn to preserve the vitamins and minerals. Corn cooked in its husk retains the most nutrients of all. The color matters too. Deep yellow corn has more beta-carotene than white corn.

How to make Mexican Street Corn, healthified 😉

Sold from street carts in Mexico, street corn is typically slathered in Mexican crema or sour cream and mayonnaise. I’ve given the traditional version a makeover by substituting olive oil for some of the mayo and eliminating the cream, but it’s still tangy, spicy, salty, and good!

Let’s make Mexican Sweet Corn

After grilling, hold the corn with tongs, then brush the sauce over the hot corn. For easy cleanup, I like a brush that’s dishwasher safe. Spread the shredded cheese in a shallow pan or plate, then roll the corn to lightly cover. This cheese is salty, so you don’t need much. I use ancho chile powder for it’s smoky flavor and mild heat, you can substitute chile power. Find crumbly, salty Cojita cheese in the refrigerated cheese section at the grocery store (or you could use Feta).

You could simplify this recipe further with just a sprinkle of chile powder and squeeze of lime juice over the cooked corn.

Mexican Street Corn brushed with yogurt cream

lightly brush the sauce over the grilled corn

grilled corn rolled on crumbled cheese

lightly roll corn in crumbled cheese

platter of Grilled Mexican Street Corn with lime wedges

Grilled Mexican Street Corn ready to serve

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Mexican Street corn with cheese and herbs on a platter

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Grilled Mexican Street Corn

Grilled Mexican Street Corn gets a makeover! Easy to make, this is a delicious way to a cook a summer favorite – fresh corn on the cob!

  • Author: Judy
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Vegetable
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Mexican


  • 8 ears fresh corn
  • ½ cup Cojita cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon lime zest
  • ½ teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 lime wedges


  • In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, chile powder and cayenne. Place cheese in a baking dish or large plate.
  • Cut off corn silks from top of corn. Heat grill to 350°F to 400°F. Grill corn for 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Using a heat-proof gloves or pot holders, remove the husks and silk, then put the corn back on the grill. Turn the corn until it is lightly grilled on all sides. Remove corn from grill.
  • Brush herb mixture over each ear of corn. Roll corn in cheese.  Squeeze lime wedge over corn.


Note: Rather than grilling, you can microwave the corn. Cut off the silks, they can burn in the microwave. Arrange the corn evenly in the microwave and cook on High. Cook two ears for 5 to 6 minutes, and add one to two minutes for each additional ear of corn. Let the corn cool down for five minutes before husking. Cooking technique from Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson.

Keywords: street food, grilled vegetable, how to grill corn, how to make mexican street corn

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