Grilled Corn with Spiced Butter & Cotija Cheese

I love the concept of Mexican street corn, but cannot get over the fact that it has mayo on it because let’s be real, mayo is the worst. I despise it so much that I’ll proactively ask if sandwiches have mayo on them at restaurants because I know my meal will be ruined if even the slightest amount is spread on a bun. Yep, I’m a mayo hater. I can tolerate it in potato salads or in tuna (99 percent of the time, I’ll use Greek yogurt), because the taste is masked by other ingredients, but on anything else, it makes me gag.


I really wish the thought of Mexican street corn didn’t gross me out – so many other people seem to enjoy it and I feel kind of like an outsider not liking it. Then I think about the taste and texture and I’m fine with saying I’ll never be a fan. Yuck.


I recently made my own mayo-free version at home by adding a bunch of spices like cumin, paprika and oregano to softened butter and melted it into corn cut off of the cob. I topped the corn with some cotija cheese, which added a nice salty and creaminess to the corn. It’s such a fresh and fun summer side dish and pairs perfectly with tacos or enchiladas! I definitely foresee this being a main Taco Tuesday side.

If you end up making this grilled corn with spiced butter and cotija cheese, don’t forget to tag #marinamakeseats!

Grilled Corn with Spiced Butter & Cotija Cheese


  • 4 ears of sweet corn
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed and diced into small pieces
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (or more if you like spice)
  • 1/4 cup of crumbled cotija cheese
  • Juice of half a lime


Set a grill to medium-high heat and let it warm up for about 5-7 minutes. While the grill is preheating, add 1/4 cup of olive oil and a couple pinches of salt to a small bowl. Mix to combine and brush the corn with olive oil. Place the corn on the grill and cook on all sides until slightly charred.

While the corn is cooking, add one tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan and cook the diced jalapeno over medium-high heat. Cook until the peppers are softened, about 7-10 minutes.

To make the spiced butter, mix the cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Add the softened butter and stir to combine.

When the cobs of corn are finished, slice the corn off of the cob using a knife. Mix the corn with the spiced butter, cotija cheese and lime juice.

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