Elote With Mole Verde

A bright, tangy tomatillo sauce amps up classic Mexican street corn.  

Elote with mole Verde
Photo: Victor Protasio
Hands On Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins

You may think of mole as that rich, brown sauce that covers enchiladas at your favorite Mexican restaurant. And it is that, but it's also so much more. Mole is a family of complex sauces that can be made from a range of different ingredients, but the main stars are usually onion, garlic, chiles, and ground seeds such as sesame or pumpkin seeds. In this green version, tomatillos are blended with spinach for a captivating pop of color, plus jalapeños, scallions, and a combination of sesame and pumpkin seeds. This rich sauce is served alongside grilled corn on the cob, aka elote or Mexican street corn, and topped with crema and crumbled cheese.


  • 2 medium tomatillos (about 4 oz. total), husked and chopped

  • ¼ cup frozen spinach, thawed and well drained

  • 1 large scallion, chopped

  • ½ jalapeño, seeded and chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons sesame seeds

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt

  • Canola oil, for grill

  • 4 ears fresh corn, husks pulled back and silks removed

  • ¼ cup crema or sour cream

  • 1 ounce queso fresco, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)


  1. Combine tomatillos, spinach, scallion, jalapeño, garlic, pepitas, sesame seeds, and salt in a blender. Process on medium-low until mole verde is almost smooth, about 2 minutes.

  2. Preheat grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F) and grease grates with oil. Grill corn, turning occasionally, until cooked through and charred in spots, 12 to 15 minutes.

  3. Spread mole verde on a serving platter and top with grilled corn. Drizzle evenly with crema and sprinkle with queso fresco.

Related Articles