Five Ingredient Mexican-Style Street Corn

five ingredient Mexican Street Corn
While most of the time I eat corn on the cob just as it is without anything on it at all, sometimes I like to mix it up a bit with a much more sassy version. Mexican street corn has become all the rage lately and for good reason. It’s delicious! But in this Five Ingredient Mexican-Style Street Corn recipe, I’ve replaced the traditional mayonnaise and/or butter with a much lighter topping – sour cream. Doing so not only reduces calories, it also allows the flavor of the sweet corn to shine through instead of masking it with heavy richness. While this dish is meant to have a little spice to it, YOU are in control of how much. Use as little or as much cayenne pepper as you want based on your preference. This Five Ingredient Mexican-Style Street Corn is super easy and delicious! Give it a try!


Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes (but only 5 minutes of active cooking time, the rest is just waiting)
Servings: 4 ears (or as many as you decide to make!)

Mexican-Style Street Corn Ingredients: 

1. 4 ears of ripe, local sweet corn (with husks still intact)
2. 4 teaspoons sour cream
3. 1/2 of a fresh lime
4. ground cayenne pepper (to preference)
5. 2 tablespoons of grated cheese (see below for more details)
salt (to preference)

mexican street corn ingredients
The five ingredients for Mexican-Style Street Corn.

Mexican-Style Street Corn Instructions: 

STEP 1: Get out all of your tools and prepare all of your ingredients.

First get out all of the tools you will need for the recipe: an oven mitt, a plate, a grater/zester (if you will be grating your own cheese), a large, sharp knife, a teaspoon, and a tablespoon.

Next, prepare all of the ingredients and have them ready on the counter in front of you.

Corn on the Cob – Be sure you bought local, in-season corn on the cob. Otherwise, do nothing. Do not remove the husk. I’m suggesting that you follow my Easiest, No Mess Way to Make Corn on the Cob for this recipe, which requires no preparation of the corn in advance.

Sour Cream – Sour cream comes in containers as small as 8 ounces. That’s the size I normally buy so that I don’t feel obligated to use up a larger container before it goes bad. I try to avoid buying ingredients that I won’t be able to use all (or at least most) of what I bought.

Lime – You will only need 1/2 of the lime for each 4 ears of corn, so slice that lime in half and store the other half in the refrigerator.

Cayenne Pepper – You want finely ground cayenne pepper (often labeled as “red pepper”).

Grated Cheese – Traditionally, Mexican Street Corn is topped with Cotija cheese – which is absolutely delicious. I prefer to buy a block of it and only grate as much as I need with my microplane grater/zester. Cotija cheese is delicious on tacos and other mexican-inspired dishes. With that being said, if you don’t want to buy cotija cheese because you won’t use it all, you should use whatever grated cheese you might already have on hand. Most people have grated Parmesan cheese in the refrigerator already. That will work perfectly! Either way, measure out about a tablespoon of grated cheese for each ear of corn.

Salt – I recommend finely ground sea salt, but you can use whatever you have on hand as long as it is small-grained (not big chunks).

STEP 2: Make the corn. (I recommend the easy way!)

easy corn in the oven
Bake the corn in the husk for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Traditionally, Mexican Street Corn is grilled, but for simplicity I recommend making the corn in the oven, following my Easiest, No Mess Way to Make Corn on the Cob. So go check out the instructions for baking your corn in the oven at the link above and come back to this page when your corn comes out of the oven.

After your corn comes out of the oven, allow it to cool for a few minutes until you are able to handle it safely. Then remove the husks and strings completely and use a large, sharp knife to cut the inedible ends off of the corn cobs.

After that, line the corn cobs up on a plate or tray in preparation for topping them. This next step is a bit messy, so you’ll definitely want something to sit the corn on as you go.

 STEP 3: Add all of the delicious toppings. 

Now that the corn on the cob has been made and husked, it is time to top each ear with all of the delicious toppings! I recommend the following order to keep the mess and necessary hand washing to a minimum:

  1. First, take the teaspoon and plop a dollop of sour cream on top of each ear of corn, right in the middle. Then use your clean hands to spread the sour cream over the entire ear, twisting it to make sure you cover every kernel.
  2. Next, squeeze the lime over each ear of corn and, again, use your hands to spread the lime juice evenly over every kernel.
  3. Then wash your hands! You’re done with the really messy part and you don’t want to get sour cream all over the salt and red pepper containers.
  4. Next, either grind or sprinkle salt over each ear of corn, rotating the cob as you go so that you get some on all sides. Use as much salt as you prefer. I generally only use a little, especially if I’m using a saltier cheese.
  5. Then repeat step 4, but this time with the cayenne pepper. Use as much cayenne pepper as you prefer. The more you use, the spicier it will be. If you don’t like spicy food, go light on the cayenne pepper. Be sure to rotate the corn cobs to get some on every side.
  6. Lastly, sprinkle the grated cheese on all sides of each corn cob – approximately a tablespoon for each ear of corn.

That’s it! You’re done. Easy, right?!? The corn should look something like the picture below.

Mexican Street Corn
Five Ingredient Mexican-Style Street Corn with all of the delicious toppings!

The Five Ingredient Mexican-Style Street Corn is now ready to eat! Serve it with tacos, burgers, or really any casual-type meal. Be careful though! It is so delicious that it tends to be addictive! When testing this recipes, I made it with turkey tacos as shown below.

Mexican street corn meal
I served my Five Ingredient Mexican-Style Street Corn with turkey tacos!

I hope you enjoy this Five Ingredient Mexican-Style Street Corn recipe! It is a fun, spicy twist on corn on the cob, but still makes our local sweet corn the star!

Did you give this recipe a try? How did it turn out? How do YOU eat corn on the cob? Let me know in the comments below!

The Short Version

Five Ingredient Mexican-Style Street Corn

Time: 40 minutes; Servings: 4

Mexican Street Corn


  • 4 ears of ripe, local sweet corn (with husks still intact)
  • 4 teaspoons sour cream
  • 1/2 of a fresh lime
  • ground cayenne pepper (to preference)
  • 2 tablespoons of grated cheese (Cotija or Parmesan)
  • salt (to preference)
  1. First, slice the lime in half and grate the cheese (if not already grated).
  2. Without removing the husk, bake the corn cobs in the oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
  3. After, allow the corn to cool, remove the husks, and cut the inedible ends off.
  4. Then top each ear of corn with 1 teaspoon of sour cream. Use your hands to spread it around evenly.
  5. Next, squeeze the lime over each ear of corn and use your hands to spread it around evenly. Wash your hands after this step.
  6. Sprinkle each ear of corn on all sides with the desired amount of salt and cayenne pepper.
  7. Lastly, sprinkle each ear of corn on all sides with approximately 1 tablespoon of grated cheese per ear. Enjoy!


  1. Glad to see you used the proper cheese for street corn. I hate it when people use parmesan. Not that it’s that bad on the corn it’s just cotija is the real deal and its salty fresh taste goes perfect on the corn. If you can find it definitely go for cotija. The only problem I see with this recipe is the sour cream. Doesn’t sound too bad it’s just I have only seen them put butter or mayonnaise on it at street fairs. I thought mayo on corn sounded so weird the first time I saw it. Boy was I wrong It is delicious. For a quick weeknight version, I will use frozen corn. Quick delicious side. I like to add chile flakes, onion, and garlic powder as well, but that puts you well over five:). First time I have seen your site. Will continue to come back.

    1. Thanks for your feedback. You’re right! Cotija cheese is delicious! I chose to use sour cream to keep the dish a little lighter. I actually got the idea from a Mexican friend 🙂 Your weeknight option sounds great too! I will have to try that. I look forward to your feedback in the future!

Tell me what you think!