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close up photo of corn on the cob with cotija cheese, cilantro and tajín
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Healthy Mexican Street Corn (Elotes)

This Healthy Mexican Street Corn is no mayo, no butter and all the flavor. Charred corn on the cob, freshly squeezed lime juice, topped with chili lime salt, cilantro and a sprinkle of cotija cheese. It’s the lighter, healthier version of the traditional Mexican Elotes recipe.
Prep Time7 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: 15-minutes, 30-minute meals, 4-ingredient, cheese, corn, lime, mexican, side dish, tajín
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 152kcal

Equipment

  • Basting Brush
  • Cast Iron

Ingredients

  • 4-6 Sweet Corn on the Cob
  • ¼ Cup Chopped Cilantro
  • 2 TSP Tajín (more if preferred)
  • 0.5 OZ Cotija Cheese
  • 2 TBSP Neutral Oil

Instructions

  • If in the husk, trim the tassels of the husk and peel back all layers of the husk.
  • Chop the cilantro roughly into small pieces. Crumble the cotija in your hands straight into a small bowl. Juice the limes.
  • Heat a cast iron on the stove at medium-high heat. Add 2 TBSP neutral oil. Allow to heat for 2-3 minutes. (If grilling, pre-oil the grates and heat the grill to medium-high heat. If boiling, read instructions above in post).

Char the Corn (additional cooking options in post)

  • Add the corn on the cob into the heated cast iron. (Or onto grill if grilling)
  • Char each side for 2-3 minutes, until the corn begins to brown/char.
  • Char for about 10-minutes, until all sides are charred and slightly browned.
  • Remove from the cast iron (or grill) and place onto the serving plate/platter. Turn off the stove.

Garnish the Corn

  • Using a basting brush, dip the brush into the bowl of lime juice and spread all over the corn. I add lime only on the top of the corn as it will soak towards the bottom, but you can rotate the corn to reach all sides.
  • Using a spoon or your fingers, next sprinkle the corn generously with tajín (or chili powder). I sprinkle only on the top of the corn, but you can rotate the corn to reach all sides.
  • Sprinkle the corn generously with the chopped cilantro.
  • Top with crumbled cotija cheese (optional).

Notes

Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge (place in refrigerator immediately if using cheese and leave no longer than 2-3 days). When ready to eat, preheat the oven to 425ºF. Place leftover corn on an aluminum-lined baking tray. Warm in the oven for 10-15 minutes until warm. Top with extra lime juice, cilantro or cotija cheese.
To Grill: Trim the tassels of the stalk and peel back a few layers of the husk. You will want to keep a thin layer to prevent the corn from burning and drying out. You’ll remove the corn from the grill once it’s charred, about 10-15 minutes, and let cool. Then pull back the remaining husks and any silks. Remove, place in a serving dish and continue with the recipe.
To Boil: Trim the tassels of the stalk and remove all layers of the husk. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the cleaned, husked corn and cover. Cook for 5 minutes in the boiling water. Remove, place in a serving dish and continue with the recipe.
Vegan. Omit the cotija cheese or top with shredded vegan cheese (vegan feta would be great!) instead.
Gluten Free. This recipe naturally is!
Dairy-Free. Omit the cotija cheese or top with shredded vegan cheese (vegan feta would be great!) instead.

Nutrition

Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 70mg | Potassium: 270mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 547IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg