Italian Street Corn
This Italian street corn recipe is a variation on the very popular Mexican street corn. It takes your traditional grilled corn on the cob and adds an Italian flair that makes it straight up addicting! Serve it as a side along with Italian stuffed artichokes, pasta salad, or eggplant parmesan!
Traditional Mexican street corn is made with corn on the cob and then dressed with a sauce that includes cotija cheese, mayo, sour cream, lime juice, cayenne pepper, garlic, and cilantro. This Italian street corn version includes similar elements for a nice twist! For this recipe, you’ll need
- Corn on the cob – obviously
- Sour cream – I go full-on sour cream instead of mayo, however, you can also substitute half for plain yogurt to lighten up the recipe a bit
- Sun-dried tomatoes – the kind soaked in oil, for easier chopping
- Garlic – finely minced
- Parmesan cheese – finely grated or crumbled, in place of the cotija
- Lemon juice – brightens up the flavor from the acidity of the lemon
- Paprika – gives it a subtle red pepper flavor & red color
- Oregano – gives it that Italian flair
- Red pepper flakes – add in a kick of heat to your taste, or omit completely if your not one for heat
- Fresh basil leaves – garnish with basil leaves for a refreshing taste, and of course, those visuals
How to grill corn on the cob
Prepping the corn
Start by pulling back the husks and getting rid of all the strings. This part doesn’t have to be perfect because they will burn up in the flames anyways – but still do your best to get rid of most of them!
You can keep the husks on or take them off — there isn’t a difference in flavor, just purely for aesthetics and a few extra minutes of cooking time. In this recipe I partially peeled the husks back so they were on the non-heated portion of the grill, to keep from charring.
I learned from Geoffrey Zakarian through one of his Instagram posts that there is no need to butter or oil the corn before grilling it. He explains that corn is very easily overcooked. It’s unnecessary, people just do it because they think they need to.
Grilling the corn
Preheat the grill to high. Once it is hot, place the corn directly onto the grill and close the cover. Turn the corn 90 degrees every 2-3 minutes until the kernels are slightly charred. This will give the corn a nice smokey flavor.
If you are leaving the husk on, the husky will start to burn but don’t worry! This does not mean your corn is burning, it means it is cooking. You’ll want to rotate the corn every 5 or so minutes.
You can also grill corn on the cob on a cast iron grill pan indoors. If you are using this method, I recommend shucking or partially shucking the corn, because without a cover it will take a longer time to cook. This method because the corn is not receiving the same heat on the top or sides as it would from a grill. Rotate the corn every few minutes until charred on each side.
You’ll know when your corn is cooked when the kernels turn to a more vivid shade of yellow, and they appear plump and juicy. If you are unsure, you can take the tip of a knife and poke the kernel — it should be easy to puncture. Also, remember that not all corn is going to be super vibrant yellow. It depends on the amount of beta carotene, (the chemical that makes it yellow) present in the corn. Take a look at your raw uncooked corn first as a guide — if it’s a paler yellow, expect it to turn just a tad darker.
How to make Italian street corn
Prep your sauce ingredients – Mix the sour cream, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, paprika, and oregano in a bowl. Set aside.
Cook your corn on the cob – prep your corn and use any of the methods above.
Garnish & plate – lay your cooked corn on a plate and spoon your sauce over the top of the corn. Sprinkle a little extra parmesan on top along with some freshly chopped basil and extra red pepper flakes. Enjoy!
If you liked this street corn recipe, you might like
- Italian Stuffed Artichokes
- Batata Harra (Lebanese Spicy Potatoes)
- Venezuelan Arepas
- other Italian Recipes
Italian Street Corn
- 4 ears of corn
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes chopped
- 1 garlic clove finely minced
- 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 8 - 10 basil leaves finely chopped
- Mix the sour cream, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, paprika, and oregano in a bowl. Set aside.
- Partially shuck the corn by pulling back the green husk and keeping attached. Remove as much of the strings as possible.
- Preheat the grill to high. Once it is hot, place the corn directly onto the grill and close the cover. Turn the corn 90 degrees every 2-3 minutes until the kernels are slightly charred
- Lay your cooked corn on a plate and spoon your sauce over the top of the corn. Sprinkle a little extra parmesan on top along with some freshly chopped basil and extra red pepper flakes.
Let me know if you tried this recipe in the comments below — I love hearing from you!