This Vegan Grilled Mexican Street Corn aka Vegan Elote is one of the absolutely most mouthwatering summer recipes! Easy to make!
If you have never taken the time to make vegan grilled Mexican street corn then you have literally zero idea what you are missing.
We’re asked sometimes where our inspiration comes from and honestly it’s so many places. But this one comes from something similar that we had years ago prior to being vegan and then at a vegan festival a few years ago.
It’s funny because one of our kids was like, “Yup, I want that”. There were so many things available and she was adamant on having the corn. Thankfully, we said yes, because it was delicious and reminded us of the recipe we had pre-vegan.
Wish we could remember the name of the restaurant serving it that day but for now, we’ll just serve you with the best Vegan Elote recipe out there!
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WHAT INGREDIENTS DO YOU NEED FOR VEGAN GRILLED MEXICAN STREET CORN?
Below are notes about the ingredients before we get into the full recipe located lower in this post on how to make the best dairy free Mexican street corn:
- fresh corn – for the absolute best taking recipe, you want to use in season fresh corn. Even better if you can get it in season from a local farm. It is the absolute best tasting corn!
- vegan sour cream – since vegans in the US don’t have a good vegan crema option, we are using vegan sour cream. It comes close though it is slightly different
- vegan mayonnaise – paired with creama, mayo is the other main ingredient for this recipe, so we are using a vegan version that does not contain egg
- vegan butter – this provides the richness that we need in our recipe to just take the flavor to the next level
- vegan parmesan – Cotija is the cheese of choice for traditional Mexican street corn, but we also don’t have a version of that so we are doing vegan parmesan
SUBSTITUTIONS AND VARIATIONS:
- corn – we really wouldn’t recommend using frozen corn for this recipe. It is definitely more of a seasonal recipe
- vegan sour cream – you could substitute a plain vegan yogurt (non-flavored) for the sour cream but it will alter the taste. We also aren’t a fan of most vegan yogurts, especially plain ones, so make sure you are using a brand that you are okay with ahead of making this swap
- vegan mayonnaise – while we have never tried it, we do know that some people swap whipped avocado for mayo. Again, this will alter the flavor, but it’s a possibility if you need a different option here
- vegan parmesan – you could swap this with vegan feta
What’s the Best Vegan Mayo?
We highly recommend Just vegan mayo and the Good and Gather vegan mayo from Target. You can read more about these and others in our vegan mayo review.
What’s the Best Vegan Sour Cream?
We highly recommend Wayfare or Follow Your Heart. You can read more about these and others in our vegan sour cream review.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is Mexican Street Corn?
Mexican Street Corn is the common name for Elote which is a Mexican street food, also known as antojitos. Street vendors sell these fast prepared foods in Mexico which has one of the most vibrant street food cultures in the world.
What is Elotes?
Elote literally translates to corn and Elotes is just the name for Mexican Street Corn. They are the same thing and interchangeable. Elotes is a grilled (usually) or boiled corn that is topped with a creamy mayo sauce and cotija cheese.
Is this recipe authentic?
We are not Mexican, so we can’t claim that this is an authentic elote recipe. What we can say is that this is inspired by traditional Mexican elote and we think that this tastes delicious and hope you do as well.
Do I have to leave the husks on to cook?
No! They just look pretty when photographing and if you really want to to impress someone. However, it’s not needed. Just remove completely and proceed with the recipe.
If you do want to make them fancy like this, then pull the husk almost all the way back and pull together. Remove the longer piece of husk and then tie around the remaining husk pieces still attached. Remove any silks from the corn.
Do I have to grill this recipe?
No! Grill adds flavor that you can’t get otherwise; however, sometimes elote is also boiled, so you could do that as well and then just put the vegan mayo mix topping on after cooking. We recommend boiling for 5-8 minutes.
Can I make this Vegan Mexican Elote Top 8 Allergen Friendly?
There are top 8 allergen friendly vegan mayo and sour cream options. For the vegan butter, use a soy free version and for the vegan parmesan use a coconut free version. If you make those swaps then this recipe will be Top 8 Free.
How long is Vegan Mexican Street Corn good for?
Vegan Elotes is best served immediately; however, you can store this in an air tight container in the fridge for up for 3 days. Just reheat before eating.
How do you cut corn off the cob?
Place the flat bottom down on your countertop or a flat surface. Then slice from the top to the bottom and turn and repeat.
Fun fact: When Mexican street vendors cut corn off the cob and serve it in a dish it is then called Esquites.
I have leftover Elote sauce, how can I use it?
You can use it as a sauce for burgers, mix it into a pasta salad, add to other roasted veggies like broccoli, or dip in some vegan chicken nuggets. There’s lots of delicious ways to use it.
What do you pair with Vegan Mexican Street Corn?
You can totally just eat this buy itself; however, it pairs well with grilled tofu or jackfruit, seitan and more. Here’s a few ideas:
- Vegan BBQ Seitan
- Grilled Vegan Jackfruit Tacos
- Smoked Whole Roasted Cauliflower
- Grilled Vegan Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Vegan Sausage and Peppers Sandwich
What other vegan side dish ideas could I make?
We love love love sides. They are the best parts of the meal! Here’s some of our favorite recipes:
Pin these vegan grilled Mexican street corn for later!
Vegan Grilled Mexican Street Corn
- 6-8 ears fresh corn, husks left on or remove
- 1/2 cup vegan sour cream
- 1/2 cup vegan mayo
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp ground chipotle chili powder, more to taste (sub with regular chili powder if needed)
- 2 tsp lime zest (1-2 limes)
- 2 tbsp lime juice (1-2 limes)
- 1/4 salt, more to taste
- 1/4 cup dairy free butter, melted
- 1/2 cup vegan parmesan Cheese
- Grease clean grill grates (or use grill mats) and heat grill to 400 degrees F.
- While waiting, in a medium bowl, add sour cream, mayo, cilantro, garlic, chipotle chili powder, lime zest, lime juice and salt. Whisk together. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Place in fridge.
- Brush each ear of corn with dairy free butter (and the husk if left on). Add corn directly onto grill grates. Grill the corn for about 2 – 3 minutes per side (turning after kernels are golden brown and charring). Repeat on all 4 sides. Remove from grill.
- Brush or spoon on the mixture to the corn. Sprinkle with crumbled vegan parmesan cheese. Add more chipotle pepper, if desired. Serve immediately with extra lime wedges.
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