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Grilled Elote Corn Ribs

4.84 from 12 votes

Ready for serious flavor? These Grilled Elote Corn Ribs aren’t just amazing to look at, but the flavors are off the charts! Every bite of sweet, smoky corn is highlighted with a spicy, creamy, sauce and cotija cheese. This is just about as good as good gets, and everyone will want seconds!

Grilled Elote Corn Ribs on a black platter.

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What You’ll Love About Grilled Elote Corn Ribs


  • There’s big, bold Mexican flavors in every bite!
  • These are so fun to eat and are going to wow everyone!
  • This is an easy recipe that’s ready in no time!

What Is Elote?

Elote is a Mexican street food delight. It is corn that is grilled and then slathered in a spicy, limey sauce and finally sprinkled with cotija cheese. The combination of flavors really highlights this barbecued corn, but you don’t have to be in Mexico to get this messy treat!

Grilled Elote Corn Ribs on a black platter.

What Are Corn Ribs?

Some clever person discovered that you can cut a cob of corn into quarters or ribs, and when you cook them, they bend a wee bit and form a rib shape. I can’t take credit for this, but I often serve corn ribs when a whole corn cob will be too much or when I just want to impress.

Grilled Elote Corn Ribs

This deceptively easy recipe blends the flavors of lip-smacking elote with fun-to-eat corn ribs. The hardest part about making this dish is cutting the corn. Please see my tips below to do this safely. Then, all you need to do is fire up the grill, grill the corn ribs, then slather them in the delicious sauce. These are so crazy good! I first had these in a South American restaurant in downtown Toronto, and since then, I’ve been making them at home. They’re so much cheaper to do at home, trust me!

Ingredients

  • Corn on the cob – Shucked and silks removed; cut into ribs.
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sour cream
  • Garlic powder
  • Cumin
  • Chipotle powder
  • Lime juice
  • Chili powder
  • Cotija cheese – Crumbled.
  • Cilantro – Optional garnish
Labeled ingredients to make Grilled Elote Corn Ribs.

How To Cut Corn Ribs

Cutting the corn ribs is the trickiest part of making this recipe. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Get a non-slip cutting board and a large, sharp knife. A chef’s knife works great.
  2. Shuck the cobs and remove the silk.
  3. Cut the stem end so that the end of the cob is flat.
  4. Stand the cob of corn up on the stem end – the widest end, and hold it securely with a kitchen towel. Now’s a great time to wear those cut-resistant gloves.
  5. Cut the corn cob in half, lengthwise. If you cut the cob lying on its side, you’ll squish and mash the corn kernels. This is best done with the cob standing upright.
  6. Cut the halved cobs into half again so that each cob has been cut into quarters.
Grilled corn ribs on a plate.

How To Make The Best Elote Corn Ribs

  1. Fire up your grill – medium-high on a gas grill or prepare it for indirect heat if using charcoal.
  2. Prepare the sauce by mixing the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic powder, cumin, chipotle powder, and lime juice in a small bowl. Set aside or refrigerate if you’re making it ahead of time.
  3. Grill the corn for 2-3 minutes per side, watching that it doesn’t burn.
  4. Slather the corn with the sauce, then sprinkle with a few pinches of chili powder, crumbled cotija cheese, and chopped cilantro.
  5. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • Cut the corn ribs very carefully.
  • You can use whole cobs instead of ribs if you aren’t comfortable cutting the corn ribs.
  • The sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use.
  • Can’t find cotija cheese? Crumbled feta is a good alternative or even grated Parmesan.

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Make It A Meal

Grilled corn ribs are perfect with so many other grilled dishes, including grilled ribeye cap steaks, or my current favorite, these grilled steak skewers with mojo rojo. This elote corn ribs recipe also goes well as a side dish with smoked dishes, like smoked pork loin or even a colossal tomahawk. You can also serve the ribs as an appetizer, along with other fun-to-eat dishes like artichoke jalapeno dip and fried tomatillos.

Storage

Once sauced, these corn ribs are best eaten fresh. You can store the unsauced corn ribs in the fridge for 3-4 days. I love nibbling on them cold out of the fridge. They won’t freeze well.

Step By Step Process

Grilled Elote Corn Ribs on a black platter.

Grilled Elote Corn Ribs

Chef Jenn
Super delicious and fun to eat, these corn ribs are show-stoppingly impressive! With big, bold, Mexican flavor and a smoky goodness from the grill, these corn ribs are good eating!
4.84 from 12 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican, Tex-Mex
Servings 4 servings
Calories 242 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 corn cobs shucked and cut into ribs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice or to taste
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup cotija cheese crumbled
  • 2 tabelspoons chopped cilantro for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Fire up your grill – medium-high on a gas grill or prepare it for indirect heat if using charcoal.
  • Prepare the sauce by mixing the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic powder, cumin, chipotle powder, and lime juice in a small bowl. Set aside or refrigerate if you're making it ahead of time.
  • Grill the corn for 2-3 minutes per side, watching that it doesn't burn.
  • Slather the corn with the sauce, then sprinkle with a few pinches of chili powder, crumbled cotija cheese, and chopped cilantro.
  • Serve hot or at room temperature.

Notes

How To Cut Corn Ribs

Cutting the corn ribs is the trickiest part of making this recipe. Here’s how to do it:
    1. Get a non-slip cutting board and large, sharp knife. A chef’s knife works great.
    2. Shuck the cobs and remove the silk.
    3. Cut the stem end so that the end of the cob is flat.
    4. Stand the cob of corn up on the stem end – the widest end, and hold it securely with a kitchen towel. Now’s a great time to wear those cut-resistant gloves.
    5. Cut the corn cob in half, lengthwise. If you cut the cob lying on its side, you’ll squish and mash the corn kernels. This is best done with the cob standing upright.
    6. Cut the halved cobs in half again so that each cob has been cut into quarters.

Nutrition

Serving: 4ribsCalories: 242kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 5gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 231mgPotassium: 305mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 452IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 75mgIron: 1mg
Keyword corn, corn ribs, elote, elote corn ribs
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