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2 – 4 servings


0 hours 15 mins


0 hours 16 mins


0 hours 31 mins

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2 Ears corn, shucked and cut into ribs (see notes)

1 Tbsp. Canola oil

1/2 Tsp. Elote Seasoning (see below)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 limes, halved

2 Tbsp. Lite Mayonnaise

2 Tbsp. Lite Sour Cream or Fat-Free Greek yogurt

1 Small clove garlic, grated

2 Tbsp. Part-skim Cotija cheese, crumbled

2 Tbsp. Fresh cilantro, flat leaf parsley or basil, finely chopped

Cooking Spray


1 1/2 Tbsp. Smoked paprika

1/2 Tbsp. Granulated Garlic or Garlic blend seasoning

1 Tbsp. Ground cumin

1 Tbsp. Guajillo Chili powder

1 Tbsp. Chipotle powder

1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar

1 Tbsp. Lime zest

1 Tsp. Flaky sea salt


1) Make the elote seasoning. Mix everything is a small bowl and put to the side.

2) Next, stir the mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt, grated garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl until evenly combined. Put in the fridge until ready to use.

3) To prepare the corn ribs: Shuck your corn. Then, using a large, very sharp chef’s knife, cut off the ends of the corn cobs to make them flat. Next, cut the cobs in half crosswise. Stand a cob section on one flat end and carefully and slowly cut down through the core cutting the cob into half again lengthwise. (See tips in notes on the best way to do this.) Next, place a half, cob side down, on the cutting board and cut lengthwise through the cob creating two riblets out of each half.  Repeat with the remaining cob halves. (You should have 16 corn riblets.) 

4) Put the corn ribs in a large bowl and toss with the oil and one teaspoon of the elite seasoning. Sprinkle with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Spray your grill pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat until really hot.

5) You can cook the corn ribs on an outdoor grill or on a grill pan on the stove top. I made this batch on a grill pan. After you spray and heat the grill pan with cooking spray,  arrange the corn ribs with a cut side down.  Cook for about 2 minutes until they start to get grill marks and are dark in spots and the edges start to curl slightly.   Flip to the other cut side and grill for another 2 minutes. Finally, grill them on the kernal side for another 2 minutes.  The corn kernels will still be crisp but warm with brown spots.

6) Add the cut lime, cut side down on the grill pan and grill for about 10 minutes. Just add them on the side of the grill pan during the last couple of minutes of cooking.

7) Add the cooked corn ribs to a large bowl and add the mayo mix. Toss to coat everything. Place the corn ribs on a platter and top with the crumbed cotija and chopped herb (s) of your choice. Squeeze the grilled limes over the ribs and enjoy.

NOTES:  Everyone is making some version of corn ribs this summer.  My elote corn ribs recipe (riblets) is my take on the Mexican street corn which is oh so good!  I make my own elote seasoning and use it to create this corn rib recipe my family is loving.

This is a very easy recipe.  The hardest part of the entire recipe is cutting the corn.  Here are some tips to making that job easier.

How To Cut Corn Ribs

First, a reminder, be careful!  Ears of corn are tough and the core is hard.  It can be difficult to cut through them so follow these guidelines to make this as easy as possible and please be safe while using a knife to do this part of the recipe.  Do you love the idea of this recipe but are afraid of cutting the corn?  Don’t sweat it!  Simple grill the corn whole and season and top with the exact same ingredients as the recipe.  This will get you a much more traditional Mexican Street Corn.  It is just as delicious as these corn ribs. But, if you want to try this fun take on the dish, here are some pointers.

  1. Use a sharp knife. Sharpen the chef’s knife before cutting the corn. Do this using a knife sharpener or knife steel.  I’ve used the Chef’s Choice Knife Sharpener for years.  It works great, takes no special skills to use and has lasted for ever.  This is a one-time purchase that handles all my knife sharpening needs.  Remember, it is very dangerous to use a dull knife.  Keep them sharp for safety sake and for the ease of working in the kitchen.  On this recipe, it is incredibly important when working with raw corn on the cob.
  2. Stable Cutting Board. Work on a stable cutting board.  You don’t want it slipping around so put a damp kitchen towel under the cutting board.  That will stabilize the board and keep it from slipping.  Again, safety first.
  3. Cut The Ends Off. To start, cut off the two ends of each cob.  This will give you a flat surface on each end which will be helpful during the next steps.
  4. Halve the ears. Next, cut the ears of corn crosswise in half.  This will make creating the riblets much easier and cutting the the corn cob easier since there will be less on each corn cob piece.
  5. Cut each Corn Half in Half Again. Now that you have four corn cob halves, you will work with one half at a time.  Place the corn cob on one of its flat sides on the board.  Place your knife on top of the corn cob.  Press down on the knife. Use a gentle rocking motion with some serious pressure on top of the knife to cut through the cob.  Alternatively, you can bang hard on the top of the knife pushing it through the cob. Keep your hands flat and your fingers away from the knife’s blade.  NOTE:  before you start banging hard on the knife, make sure the knife is already in part of the corn cob making it more stable.  I found by the second or third cob, I had gotten my groove and it became easier as I realized how much pressure I needed to apply.  NOTE:  Never hold the corn under the knife’s blade…too dangerous if that knife slips, you are in trouble.  Just press, rock or bang the knife down until you cut all the way through each cob piece creating two halves.  Do this with all the corn cops.  When done, you’ll have 8 corn pieces.
  6. Cut Each Half into Riblets. Now, lay each quarter of the corn, cob side down, on your board and cut in half again creating corn riblets.  Do this with all of the corn.  When you are done, you’ll have 16 corn riblets.

Now that you’ve got the corn prepped, the rest is easy-peasy!

Make Your Elote Seasoning

This elote seasoning recipe is so easy.  You’ll probably have all the ingredients right in your spice cabinet.  If not, each spice is a good investment and can be used for all kinds of recipes.

If you aren’t familiar with elote seasoning, it is a Mexican spice blend typically used on Mexican Street Corn.  Elote actually means corn in Spanish.  The seasoning typically has chili powder, cumin and chipotle powder, as does my elote seasoning recipe.

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine.  Doesn’t get any easier than that.  You aren’t using all of it so you’ll want to store this is a small jar (or zip lock bag) so you have it to make other dishes (and of course, this recipe again!).  Because there is lime zest in the recipe, let the mixture stay out overnight so the lime zest dries out before storing it in a jar or airtight plastic container.

Elote Dip – Bonus Recipe

As a quick “bonus recipe”, I make an elote dip by adding my elote seasoning to fat-free Greek yogurt.  Mix it up and serve with veggies and tortilla chips for a really fast and easy party dip.  I’ll add 1 tablespoon of the spice mix to one cup of yogurt.  If you want it spicier, add more.

Make Your Mayonnaise Coating

To make the coating for the cooked corn ribs, mix the mayo, sour cream or yogurt in a small bowl with the grated garlic and salt.  I almost always substitute fat-free Greek yogurt for sour cream.  It is one of my go-to substitutions when I’m watching calories and saturated fat intake.  It also provides an extra dose of protein, so it is my preference when sour cream is called for.  Note, you can always use full fat mayonnaise and sour cream.  That’s your call.  Put this in the fridge while you are grilling your corn ribs.

Now that you have all your components of this dish ready, it is time to start grilling the corn ribs.  You can do this on an outdoor grill but today, I’m making them on a grill pan in my home.

Spray your grill pan (or oil the grill grates if cooking outdoors) and heat to medium-high heat.  In a large bowl, add the prepped corn riblets, the oil and a half-teaspoon of the elote seasoning.  Toss so everything is coated.

Place the corn (cob side) down on the sprayed grill pan or grill grates.  Cook for about 2 minutes until they start to brown or char and they start to curl slightly.  Flip to the other core side and grill for another 2 minutes until brown in spots and/or charred.  I grill for a final couple of minutes on the kernal side.  Depending on the heat of your pan or gril, you may grill longer.  Let your eyes be your guide. You are looking for char marks. The corn kernels will remain tender-crisp and will be heated through.  When you flip the corn the first time, put your lime halves (cut side down) on the grill.

When the ribs are down, place in a bowl and top with the mayonnaise mixture and toss to coat.  Place on a platter and top with the crumbled cotija cheese, chopped cilantro, parsley, basil or herb of your choice and squeeze the lime over everything.  You can sprinkle with flaky salt if you like. Are you drooling yet?

Note that I gave you the option of cilantro, flat leaf parsley, basil or other herb.  While cilantro is the classic topping, I know too many people that don’t like it so I gave you options.  If you have a mixed crowd, serve topped with parsley and serve the chopped cilantro on the side.  I like basil on this and used that and parsly.

This is such a delicious dish.  Be sure to give it a try.  Like this recipe?  Be sure to try some of my other favorite corn recipes like my Corn Cakes with Pineapple and Basil Salsa, Warm Corn and Red Bell Pepper Salad and my Grilled Corn on The Cob with Garlic Butter.


Looking for Mexican inspired dinner options?  Try these:

Chipotle Steak Tacos

Smoky Chipotle Chili

Shrimp Tacos with Healthy Chipotle Cream and Taco Slaw

Shrimp Fajitas with Fresh Guacamole