Classic Mexican corn on the cob that’s flavored with feta cheese and smoked paprika and makes for a perfect appetizer, side dish, or simple dinner. Plus, this Mexican street corn is baked, so it’s easy to whip up this summer favorite all year long!
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About Baked Mexican Corn
Oh, summer. You’re the best excuse we’ve got to indulge in all sorts of fun appetizers, snacks, and outdoor friendly foods.
And I love it.
I know I talk about appetizers and snacks all the time, and I’ve already told you guys I have no shame and could easily live off them (cause it’s true), but now that I’m in the “cooking game” it never ceases to amaze me just how many snack-friendly foods there actually are. Seriously, there are so many. And I’ve got a bucket list a mile long of all these snack-friendly foods I have yet to make.
Which brings me to today’s post, entry #64 on my to-cook list: Mexican Street Corn. Or Elotes, if we’re being proper.
Making these beauties has been a dream of mine since I was a kid, when I first saw them being sold from a street cart while on a family vacation. We weren’t in Mexico, just an east coast beach town, and I remember I shied away from trying one. Or, more accurately, simply refused to have one.
Because, apparently, I didn’t really like food as a kid. If it wasn’t a hot dog or macaroni and cheese then it simply wasn’t fit for consumption.
So I guess it would be more accurate to say that I’ve been wanting to make Mexican Street Corn for about 10 years, since that’s how long ago it was that I finally gave up all my hangups about food and started to embrace what the culinary world had to offer.
Better late than never, right?
Another great part about Mexican Street Corn is that you can make it a variety of different ways.
I opted to use smoked paprika, but guajillo chili powder is another popular option.
And I happened to have feta cheese on hand, but cotija cheese is another good choice for Elotes.
One final difference is that I also baked the corn instead of grilling it. I know, that probably seems so wrong to all the Mexican corn recipe enthusiasts out there, but what can I say? I don’t own a “true” grill and wanted a cooking method I could use all year long.
Because I’ll totally be making these again, even when it’s not 110 degrees F outside.
What cheese should you use?
Fans of Elotes will probably notice that some of the ingredients I used are a little bit… different.
For example, Mexican street corn tends to have queso fresco or cotija cheese. However, my local grocery store never seems to carry either one, so I tend to use feta cheese instead. I know it’s not the same as the other two, but it has a similar taste and texture and does the job well when all the ingredients are mixed.
So when making your own Mexican corn, search for queso fresco first. If you can’t find queso fresco, then look for cotija cheese. And then if cotija cheese is nowhere to be found, grab some feta cheese. You’re bound to find at least one of the three.
Notes & tips for baked Mexican corn
- One of my favorite parts about this recipe is that the corn is baked, not grilled, meaning that you can make whip this recipe up no matter what the weather is like outside. And better yet, the corn is baked directly on the oven rack, so there’s not even a lot of cleanup. Be sure to check out the recipe video to see how it’s done!
- Smoked paprika was used in this recipe, and though it’s not very traditional, I always seem to have it on hand and it’s a great complimenting flavor to this recipe. If you’re not a fan of smoked paprika, one reader suggested using chile tajin instead.
More great recipes with veggies
Baked Mexican Corn
- 4 ears corn, still in husks
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish (optional)
- 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup feta cheese, (or cotija cheese or queso fresco) crumbled
- 1/2 tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika, or more to taste
- limes, optional, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place corn, still in their husks, directly on the middle oven rack. Cook until corn is tender and heated through, about 40-45 minutes. (Note: If you'd rather not put the corn directly on the rack, you can also cook it on a baking sheet for the same amount of time).
- While corn cooks, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cilantro, garlic, and feta cheese in a small bowl and mix until combined and mostly smooth.
- When corn has cooked, peel down and discard husks. Using a spatula, spread a generous helping of the sour cream mixture over all sides of the corn. Place corn on a serving plate and drizzle with lime juice. Finish by sprinkling smoked paprika and more fresh cilantro on top.
- Serve immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I'm not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.