If you’re looking to add one more comforting dish to your lineup, it's your lucky day. Enter: This Mexican-style vegan elote recipe that’s filled with gut-healthy prebiotic fiber and loads of chile-lime flavor. Like any good ol’ comfort food, this easy-to-whip-together corn-on-the-cob dish is easy, convenient, and always hits the spot.
Typically, elote is made up of freshly boiled and grilled corn on the cob that has toppings like a squeeze of lime, mayonnaise, chile powder, fresh cheese like cotija, and cilantro. It’s skewered with a long wooden stick, making eating it on the go (or, you know, from bed) easy and less messy.
These days, you can find elote variations with just about anything from Mexican crema to Flamin’ Hot Cheetos crumbled on top. This particular recipe features all vegan ingredients, making it the perfect plant-based snack for any time you need to nosh on something exceedingly cozy.
What makes Mexican-style elote one of the best street food snacks
Walking through the streets of Mexico City, you’ll likely come across vendors selling classic street food fare like tacos al pastor, tamales, and, of course, elote. What do all three of these delicious dishes have in common, you may ask? They’re all built upon corn, otherwise known as maize, which is one of the most important crops featured in so much of Mexican cuisine. (Fun fact: Mexico alone produces over 27 million metric tons of the crop annually, which is almost three percent of the global production.)
Not to be corny or anything, but this recipe really sparks joy the moment you take a bite. It’s the perfect combination of sweet, spicy, smoky, and a hint of sourness that comes from plant-based ingredients like corn, chipotle powder, and lime. Not to mention, corn, the star of the show, is filled with tons of fiber that aids with digestion. "It's considered a prebiotic, which is a compound in food that enhances the activity of good bacteria and helps probiotics do their job," Vanessa Rissetto, MS, RD, a registered dietitian, previously told Well+Good. Plus, corn is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals like manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, folate, potassium, and some B vitamins.
Unlike traditional versions, this vegan elote recipe by Darn Good Veggies features vegan parmesan instead of cotija cheese and plant-based mayonnaise to help all of the delicious toppings adhere to the surface. Of course, this recipe is fully customizable and lends itself to swaps or additions (like Hot Cheetos or Takis, to name a few—just sayin').
Vegan elote recipe
Yields 4 servings
1/2 cup raw cashews
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 ears corn, removed from the husk
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp chipotle powder, optional
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1. To make the vegan parmesan, pulse the cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt in a small food processor (or blender) until it resembles grated parmesan.
2. To make the chili mayo, in a bowl, stir together the mayo, ancho chili powder, garlic, lime juice, optional chipotle powder, and salt until smooth.
3. Meanwhile, place the corn on a medium-high grill or grill pan, and cook on all sides until the corn is cooked and has grill marks, about four minutes per side.
4. To assemble, spread the corn with chili mayo and sprinkle with parmesan, ancho chili powder, and cilantro. Enjoy!
Another super corny recipe to satisfy your every craving:
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