Healthy Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elotes) brushed with chili lime oil & sprinkled with cotija cheese! A healthy, lighter version without the butter or mayo!
Does anything else say summer like grilled corn on the cob? This healthy, grilled Mexican street corn on the cob, also known as elotes, is brushed with a chili lime oil and topped with Mexican cotija cheese. It's a healthier and lighter twist on the traditional elotes recipe because we're skipping the butter and mayo. I promise it tastes just as good and flavorful but without the heaviness.
What is cotija cheese?
Cotija cheese is a hard cheese made from cow's milk and named after the town it's produced in. It's usually crumbled on top of tacos, burritos, or in this case Mexican street corn - elotes. The texture is similar to feta but tastes saltier.
The first time I had Mexican street corn was actually on a snowboarding trip if you can believe that. We were at a ski resort and the food options were between an overpriced hamburger or this little food vendor outside our lodge selling Mexican street corn of all things. I figured I'd try it since I never had it before and it was freaking delicious! Perfectly grilled corn on the cob smothered in butter and mayo and then covered with cotija cheese, chili powder, and a generous squeeze of lime juice.
You can see why it tasted so good but I can only eat heavy foods every once in a while before I start to feel sick, so I decided to come up with this lighter version that I can eat every week of the summer. Win!
What makes this healthy & light?
- flavorful garlic, chili lime olive oil
That's right! No butter or mayo. Instead, we're using a tasty garlic, chili lime olive oil to brush on the corn straight off the grill. It adds a smokey, zesty, garlicky flavor to the corn that pairs perfectly with fresh cilantro and cotija cheese.
How to Make Healthy Grilled Mexican Street Corn:
- Start with fresh corn on the cob.
- Heat your grill pan to medium high heat and rotate your corn about every 3 minutes
- Turn down the heat if the corn chars too quickly. It took me about 15 - 20 minutes for my corn to finish grilling.
- While the corn is grilling, make the chili lime oil and brush it on the corn after it's done grilling.
- Remove the corn from the grill pan and immediately brush on the chili lime oil. Sprinkle on the cotija cheese, extra chili powder, and garnish with cilantro leaves and lime wedges. Note: make sure to crumble the cheese really well so that it sticks to the corn. The bigger pieces will fall off since there's no mayo or butter for it to stick to.
I hope you make this healthy grilled Mexican street corn on the cob! Please share, rate, and comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
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Healthy Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elotes) with Chili Lime Oil and Cotija Cheese
- 4 ears of corn - on the cob
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil - or another high heat oil
- ½ cup cotija cheese - feta can be substituted
- 2 limes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ tablespoon smoked paprika
- ¼ tablespoon chili powder
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- ¼ cup cilantro
Grill the Corn
- Heat a grill pan over medium high heat and coat the pan with 1 Tablespoon of avocado oil. Brush the remaining 2 Tablespoons of avocado oil on the husked corn cobs.
- Grill the corn on the grill pan, turning every 3 minutes until the corn is charred and tender. About 15 - 20 minutes.
Make the Chili Lime Oil
- Meanwhile, cut one lime into wedges and set aside for serving. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic, and the juice of the other lime, roughly 2 tablespoons of lime juice. If you tend to like saltier food, season lightly with salt & pepper (keep in mind the cotija cheese will add more salt).
- When the corn is ready, brush the chili lime oil on each ear of corn and then sprinkle on top the cotija cheese, extra pinch of smoked paprika, and cilantro leaves. Serve with extra lime wedges.
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.