Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili-Lime Honey Butter


Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili-Lime Honey Butter is smokey, sweet, and easy as it is addicting!

Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili Lime Honey Butter |

So the recipe for Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili-Lime Honey Butter has been about, ohh, 8 or 9 years in the making!

Even before the blog I was that crazy person who went to the grocery store multiple times a week. (I still follow my one big trip a week rule, but always find a reason to pop in there for one thing or another a few days later!) That said, me and the grocery store staff tend to become, well, tight over the years. One produce guy in particular at the Rainbow Foods in Minneapolis that I used to frequent over the 3 years I lived in the city after college (Uptown location – whattup?!) and I became very friendly.

We’d say hello every time I visited the store, ask how each other was doing, etc, but what I really loved was how he’d always suggest fresh recipes I should try at home. One idea he demanded I try, as I was shucking sweet corn at the store one hot summer afternoon, was corn on the cob slathered with butter then finished with a sprinkling of chili powder, and spritz of fresh lime juice.

Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili Lime Honey Butter |

Now I am an Iowa girl through and through – I know me some sweet corn – but around here we tend to eat it in its purest state. Shucked, steamed, rolled in butter, then sprinkled with salt. At the time I had never even thought to jazz up the classic cob, but his sassy suggestion never left my mind. It’s sad that it’s taken me so long to actually give it a whirl because I did this weekend and OMG IT IS THE BEST CORN EVER!

Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili Lime Honey Butter |

Summer’s sweetest corn is popped on the grill to bring a smokey contrast to the sweet flavor, then smeared with a compound butter made with chili powder, lime juice, honey, and a dash of cayenne for a kick. This side dish is so good that you may just want to double or triple the recipe to make sure there’s enough to go around!

Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili Lime Honey Butter |

Start with 6 Tablespoons salted butter at room temperature. I always use salted butter, even in baking. It’s a personal choice, you see. Next add 1 Tablespoon lime juice – about 1/2 lime’s worth.

Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili Lime Honey Butter |

Drizzle in 2 teaspoons honey next, followed by 1 teaspoon chili powder and dash of cayenne pepper. The dash can be heavy or light – totally your call!

Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili Lime Honey Butter |

Mix up the butter with a fork, then pop into the fridge.

Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili Lime Honey Butter |

FYI – compound butters freeze beautifully. Just roll in plastic wrap then pop into a freezer bag. I already have big plans to melt some of this then drizzle over freshly popped popcorn!

Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili Lime Honey Butter |

Time to get grillin’.

Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili Lime Honey Butter |

Shuck 6 ears sweet corn (gosh I hate shucking corn. Already have big plans to have my kids do this for me someday!) then pop onto a preheated grill set to medium-high. Add the corn then turn occasionally to get the ears equally cooked/lightly charred on all sides.

Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili Lime Honey Butter |

Slather the hot ears of corn with the chili-lime honey butter then sprinkle with salt and spritz with a lime wedge, if you please. Pull back your hair, get out the napkins, and chow down!

Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili Lime Honey Butter |

Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili-Lime Honey Butter


Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili-Lime Honey Butter is smokey, sweet, and easy as it is addicting!


  • 6 Tablespoons salted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 6 ears sweet corn, shucked
  • salt and lime wedges, for serving


  1. In a small bowl add butter, lime juice, honey, chili powder, and cayenne pepper then mash with a fork until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Preheat a grill to medium-high then add sweet corn and grill, rotating occasionally, until evenly cooked. Spread while hot with Chili-Lime Honey Butter then serve with extra salt for sprinkling and lime wedges for drizzling.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili Lime Honey Butter |

I am telling you – best corn ever! The extra sprinkling of salt and spritz of lime juice added at the end, just before biting in, is insanely delicious. The honey in the butter also helps reinforce the sweet flavor in the corn. Loved. This. Dish. Enjoy!

Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili Lime Honey Butter |

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  1. Courtney 07.02.2013

    This sounds so good!

  2. Lindsey 07.02.2013

    We make our corn on the grill still inside the husks… it’s SO much easier to shuck after and the corn comes out perfectly every time. I also use a similar seasoning method to this and add a little grated manchego cheese, it is out of this world! P.S. I am loving the morning posts! :)

  3. Karla 07.02.2013

    I also LOVE the morning posts!

  4. Double Dippers 07.02.2013

    This corn looks amazing!!!! I love your story about the Rainbow in uptown MN. We live right outside of uptown so I know exactly what you’re talking about. I think in honor of this post we’ll go there tonight and make this corn! :) Thanks for sharing!

  5. Tieghan 07.02.2013

    This corn looks perfect! I love the chili butter and all those grill marks. Honestly the perfect looking corn to me.

  6. Kristen, those are some beautiful pictures! I always love how crisp your photos are– that’s the biggest thing I’m working on right now with my own food photography.

  7. love this idea!

  8. Looks awesome!! I know my Iowa boy would love this.

  9. erin 07.02.2013

    so my mom tried this way of cooking. We didn’t even shuck the corn. Put it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.

    After we pulled them out. We shucked them, and it came off in no time, it was SO easy. Basically it was sort of like steaming them. the silk and all came off so easy. I think we’re doing this every time!

  10. Becky 07.02.2013

    My husband grew up on a farm and his parents and sister are freakishly ob.sessed with sweet corn (which I say in love, of course). I think they might have a hard time wrapping their mind around this compound butter…but it’s worth a shot! I think it looks amazing!

  11. pamela 07.02.2013

    I just tried the grilled corn with poblano lime crema from EatLiveRun two nights ago (and again last night!), and seriously, it rocked my world. I’m with you – the grilled corn with the lime and the chili and the salt … oh, man it’s amazing!! (Seriously, try the crema on it! Takes it to a whole.nother.level.)

  12. Erica 07.02.2013

    I LOVE the morning posts!!

    Looking forward to my sweet corn shipment from my mama! Every summer since moving away, I get an overnight shipment of 2 dozen ears of Iowa sweet corn. Something I’ve shared with the North Carolinians in my life. Yes, they even rave about how awesome Iowa corn is. :)

  13. Lauren 07.02.2013

    I’ve been wanting to try grilled sweet corn too for a while, and you’ve made it clear that I should stop waiting and just do it!

    An easy way to shuck corn is to pop it in the microwave (in the husks) for 4-5 minutes, then cut off the end and the husk and silks slide off very easily! I used to hate shucking corn too, but I don’t mind it anymore!

  14. From one Iowa girl to another, this looks amazing!! There is nothing better than Iowa sweet corn. I cannot wait until I can get some from my dad’s garden this year :).

  15. I have some fresh corn in the fridge that needs to be shucked. This recipe is perfect! Making it tonight. Can’t wait!!

  16. That butter looks to. die. for. Chili powder + lime + honey? Lord. Love this!

  17. Sally 07.02.2013

    I love that you are posting in the morning! Gives me something to read as I get settled in at work :) This recipie looks delicious, I might give it a try for the Fourth!

  18. Brittany 07.02.2013

    I feel like starting a countdown until I try this recipe…I am THAT excited.
    And I LOVE the morning posts…since I tend to read your blog in the mornings…meaning Monday usually means no IGE :( what a nice surprise for this week! :D Definitely hope it works for your schedule!


  19. Sara 07.02.2013

    The Hispanic girls I work with always eat their corn this way! I was reluctant to try it-I know what you mean about us Iowans, we KNOW corn :)
    But it is super tasty! Another corn I have tried is grilling the corn and spreading a little mayo on it (I know-it sounds gross, but it melts just like butter) and then sprinkling it with pepper and parmesan cheese.

    Now I can’t wait for our corn to be ready! It is going to be a lot later than usual due to all the rain :(

    • Allison 07.03.2013

      There’s little carts (like ice cream carts) that are in Chicago that sell corn similar to that — mayo, chili powder, and some cheese (can never tell what kind it is though). Tastes amazing, and I devour it every time I get it.

  20. Debt girl 07.02.2013

    Looks so good!!! Love all the pics!

  21. drooling. i’m actually drooling. i haven’t had corn on the cob yet. i need to eat some this weekend, and my second cob should probably have this on it. the first needs to be pure. :)

  22. I’m finding it really hard to meal plan with your blog around because I tend to want to change plans immediately so I make what you’ve posted. I’m too impatient I guess ;)

  23. Sounds so good! I love chili-lime flavoring on just about everything, so I can imagine I’d love this. Perfect side for a summer BBQ.

    I’m the multiple times a week grocery shopper. No matter how much I plan, I always need something or end up preferring to buy it fresh rather than I Sunday. That’s okay though, I (secretly) enjoy going to the grocery store.

  24. Lauren 07.02.2013

    I like the summery flav-ah of this! Hope you’ve been enjoying cooking in your new kitchen!

  25. Rachel 07.02.2013

    I gotta ask–What’s your secret for getting all the silk off your corn? I love fresh sweet corn (I’m from Ohio, so we too know our corn), but I hate picking silk off the cobs (and out of my teeth!)!!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 07.02.2013

      I try and grab as much of the outer peel and silks in one handful as I can in the first couple of shucks. That seems to work best. I also know some people that use a new, unused toothbrush to brush off the silks!

  26. Lynn 07.02.2013

    That’s how we eat it in Texas. You will find that exact topping and more at every fair in Texas. Glad it made it to Iowa!

    • c 07.02.2013

      Yes! Down here we call it “street corn” and add parmesan cheese- HEAVEN!

  27. Theresa 07.02.2013

    This sounds amazing! I can’t wait to try it out. And I’ll be saving some butter for my popcorn too, genius!!

  28. MaryAnne 07.02.2013

    I love these flavors together, but have always just buttered the corn, spritzed with lime juice, and then sprinkled with chili powder … can’t wait to give this compound butter version a whirl, sounds fabulous!

  29. I’m a pure corn eater myself, but this looks amazing and simple enough not to over-complicate the fresh taste of the corn.

  30. I love that we have the same grocery store routine – one big trip but you keep going back for more, usually for a food prop grocery store run.

    I also think it’s so great that you were so friendly with one of the produce guys at the store. This corn is just phenomenal, and I’ve been craving some grilled corn lately too! Plus, that honey-butter – genius!

  31. That’s so funny how demographics can change the way we view and prepare even simple foods like corn on the cob. I’ve lived in the southwest my entire life and this is the way we eat corn most of the time. Definitely a keeper!

  32. Nessa 07.02.2013

    Those grill marks are perfect!

  33. Doug D 07.02.2013

    That looks great. Same for me,it never crossed my mind to mess with a good thing – but this is worth a try. :) Hope you’re feeling great!

  34. Kelly D. 07.02.2013

    Please tell me you’ve seen this trick–it’s so easy! No silk left on the corn!

  35. Rachel 07.03.2013

    I was so excited to see this post yesterday as I browsed your site. I bought corn this past weekend at the market and was just thinking how to cook it.

    I boiled my corn instead of grilling it (no grill in my tiny apartment) and slathered it with this butter. UNREAL. Thanks!

  36. […] Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili-Lime Honey Butter, from Iowa Girl […]

  37. Susan 07.12.2013

    Tried it. Loved it. Saved it. Thank you!!

  38. […] Recipe from: Iowa Girl Eats […]

  39. […] love fancy flavored butter, so when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. And while flavored butter seems fancy – it really isn’t. […]

  40. […] Click here for the recipe > […]

  41. Hi Kristin – Just wanted to let you know that I featured this recipe (with full credit and a link-back) in a sweet corn recipe roundup today on Foxes Love Lemons. Happy Friday!

  42. […] Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili-Lime Honey Butter by Iowa Girl Eats – So simple – just grill the corn and stir up some compound butter – but adds a special touch to corn on the cob. […]

  43. […] Grilled Corn with Chili-Lime Honey Butter This recipe from Iowa Girl Eats is a great way to spice up a typical summer favorite — sweet corn! Corn is a nutritious side with just 85 calories per medium sized ear, 2 grams of fiber, and antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin. We don’t usually gravitate towards sweeteners on veggies, but the touch of honey in this butter really complements the chili and lime flavor perfectly. Grill up a batch of corn and let your BBQ visitors slather on their own “buttah”. […]

  44. […] Corn on the Cob Photo courtesy of […]

  45. […] On the Cob:  Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili-Lime Honey Butter.   Good summer corn doesn’t need a lot of help in the flavor department – but the […]

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