Vegan Elote or Mexican-Inspired Corn on the Cob with Hemp-Lime Sauce

by on August 12, 2015
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Vegan Elote or Mexican Street Corn with Hemp-Lime Sauce

I’m counting down the days (less than three) until my husband D and I drive our daughter to college 796 miles away. Because of the anticipation, the dread, the planning, the shopping, and the packing (or at least the nagging E to pack, without much success), I haven’t been doing a lot of cooking, or at least not original cooking. I’ve relied on old standbys, like burritos made with canned beans, to get us through most days, though in the last week I’ve been honoring E’s requests for some of her favorites. At her going-away party last Friday, I served the sesame-peanut noodle salad she’s always loved (and which is much too high in fat to qualify for this blog). Last week we had Pasta and Vegetables with White Sauce, and last night she requested her very favorite meal, lasagna, garlic bread and salad. And don’t tell her but tonight I’m planning to surprise her with Ribz.

All of this is to say I haven’t had much time for experimentation, though I did have one idea floating around in my head that I wanted to try out. I’ve seen a lot of recipes lately for Mexican Street Corn, which looks beautiful, but since I’ve been vegan since the Dark Ages, I’ve never tasted. Traditional recipes involve mayo and cheese, but I thought it would be delicious to slather corn in a spicy, limey, vaguely cheesy, vegan sauce, so I did a little experimentation until I found a concoction I loved. The best news is you can put this sauce on anything to liven it up, so feel free to drizzle it on your potatoes and veggies or even toss it with some pasta. Anything goes.

Vegan Elote or Mexican-Inspired Corn on the Cob with Hemp-Lime Sauce

Vegan Elote or Mexican-Inspired Corn on the Cob with Hemp-Lime Sauce

Vegan Elote or Mexican-Inspired Corn on the Cob with Hemp-Lime Sauce

This spicy, tangy sauce is also delicious on baked potatoes and other vegetables. I like the nutty flavor and Omega 3’s that hemp seeds give it, but if you don’t have them, pine nuts are a close substitute.
Course Sauce, Side Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 190 kcal
Author Susan Voisin


  • 4 ears corn shucked and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup plain unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 2 tablespoons hemp hearts (may substitute pine nuts sesame seeds, or sunflower seeds if necessary)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice flour (I haven’t tested with other flours)
  • 1 small clove garlic peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


  • Minced cilantro or parsley, chopped jalapeno or other hot peppers, lime wedges, and/or chipotle powder/smoked paprika


  1. Cook the corn in any way you want. Grilled tastes best, but I save time by using my Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Just put a rack or steaming basket in the pot, place the shucked corn on the rack, and add about 1 1/2 cups water–enough to cover the bottom by a good 1/2 inch but not rise above the bottom of the rack. Cook at high pressure for 4 minutes. Quick-release pressure manually.
  2. While the corn is cooking, make the sauce. Combine “milk” and all remaining ingredients EXCEPT lime juice and garnishes in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it boils and thickens. Add the lime juice and continue to cook for another minute. If the sauce is too thick to drizzle or pour, add more non-dairy milk by the tablespoon to thin it out. Taste and add extra salt, cayenne, and lime juice, if you like, and remove from heat.
  3. Serve the corn drizzled with the hot sauce and sprinkled with your choice of garnishes.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition (per serving, sauce alone): 67 calories, 26 calories from fat, 2.9g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 166.2mg sodium, 39.4mg potassium, 6.4g carbohydrates, less than 1g fiber, 1.2g sugar, 4.7g protein

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Elote or Mexican-Inspired Corn on the Cob with Hemp-Lime Sauce
Amount Per Serving (0g)
Calories 190 Calories from Fat 41
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4.6g 7%
Sodium 187.6mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 33.6g 11%
Dietary Fiber 4.7g 19%
Sugars 5.8g
Protein 9.3g 19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Please pin and share:
Fresh corn on the cob is slathered in a spicy, limey, cheesy, vegan sauce and sprinkled with chopped jalapeño peppers and cilantro.

After we drop E off at college, D and I are going to try to stave off empty-nest depression by taking our first vacation alone in 18 years. I’ll be posting photos on my Instagram account of the animals and pretty scenery of South Dakota as well as some of the vegan food we sample (a trip to a famous vegan cookbook author’s restaurant just might happen!) So please follow me there if you want to see what we’re up to.


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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maria August 12, 2015 at 4:02 pm

Hi Susan–

This corn looks delicious and absolutely beautiful! I love the photos of it. Mike and Kelly will have corn ripening soon and I just KNOW they’ll want to try this. Thank you! And good luck with the Veg News survey. I bet you’ll be a shoe-in. 🙂 xoxo


2 Neja August 12, 2015 at 4:06 pm

Great idea for Summer evenings! I hope your vacation will be lovely, no need to be sad…be happy, kick empty nest feeling out of the window =). Take Care!


3 Sally Rosloff August 12, 2015 at 4:52 pm

Voted. I don’t cook much, but you are my go to recipe site. Thank you!


4 OR Suz August 14, 2015 at 12:38 pm

I’ve both benefited and enjoyed your blog & recipes, so this is the least I can do; you continue to inspire this lackadaisical vegan wanna-be.


5 Krista August 15, 2015 at 3:17 pm

This is really good!!! I appreciate a new use for hemp seeds too!!


6 Em August 16, 2015 at 11:58 am

Thanks Susan.
Looks great. We are crazy busy these days too. Our baby is taking a plane soon to go to SU. I went there for admit weekend so we can’t afford to fly out again-
And the other 3 have things going on so lately trying to keep it simple yet I also got Miyoko’s pantry book- oh my! 🙂
We are having a cookout- Go West Young Man send off for him and I will whip some of this up for the corn we are serving that day.
Best of luck to E!


7 Zoey August 17, 2015 at 2:34 pm

Will E follow a vegan food plan while in college? Is she a vegan?


8 Susan Voisin August 17, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Yes, E was born and raised a vegan and will continue to be vegan in college. She chose a school with great vegan options at every meal. Check my Instagram for a photo of the delicious meal we shared a couple days ago.


9 Jane August 22, 2015 at 3:09 am

Amazing corn-on-the-cob recipe. Just perfect during barbecues or picnic.


10 rick millward August 28, 2015 at 5:03 pm

I voted for you!


11 Josh Latham November 21, 2016 at 3:34 pm

Am eating this now, made it for my dinner tonight. So good! It taste like I’m eating a really good piece of buttered corn! I used powdered lime which gave it an even more intense lime flavor. I’m thinking you could use this to dress brown rice or a pasta salad.


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