Grilled Corn with Chipotle Lime Butter! It’s a new take on a summer classic. I used softened salted butter, then stirred in lime zest and dried chipotle chili powder.

Grilled Corn with compound butter on it

I originally shared this recipe for Grilled Corn on July 26th, 2016. I have updated the photos and text today. This post contains affiliate links.

Synonymous with easy summer evenings is a big platter of fresh corn on the cob with butter. Am I right? This recipe for Grilled Corn with Chipotle Lime Butter is a fun twist on the traditional summer side dish and a MUST at your next cookout or barbecue.

In the summer, when sweet corn is at its peak freshness, serving it as a side dish for dinner is a great way to add an easy seasonal vegetable to the meal. It’s even better when you can cook it outdoors on the grill!

For this recipe we made a flavored Mexican inspired butter using softened salted butter. We then stirred in lime zest and dried chipotle chili powder to make a “Compound Butter” to melt over the top of each slightly charred ear or corn.

Wowza is this combination great! We also cut the lime into wedges and served the lime with the corn, to squeeze over the ears. If you like you can also add on a generous scattering of chopped cilantro.

Serve this recipe with burgers or grilled sirloin steak with chimichurri or with 20 minute Vegan Veggie Tacos for a Mexican inspired vegetarian meal.

Ingredients For This Recipe

the ingredients with labels

Corn On The Cob

When purchasing corn on the cob it is always best to purchase direct from the farm when possible, as freshly picked corn is best.

Do not shuck the corn before buying it. Instead look for ears of corn with silk that is not entirely brown. Silk that is still slightly green where it comes out of the peels indicates fresher corn.

Also firmly grasp each ear and check that the corn is bulky and formed all the way to the tip.

Avoid ears that show signs of worm holes!

Salted Butter

For this recipe it is easiest to use salted butter. Bring it to room temperature by leaving out on the counter for several hours before making the butter mixture.


You will need zest and wedges for this recipe. Remove the zest with a microplane zester or the small holes on a box grater. Then cut the lime into wedges.


You will need Ground Chipotle Chili Powder, which is dried chipotles (smoked red jalapenos) that have been ground into a fine powder. It is sold in the dried spice section of large supermarkets.


For garnish, if you like, you can add freshly chopped cilantro leaves. If you are not a fan, simply omit them.

How To This Make Grilled Corn Recipe

to make the compound butter

Step 1: Make the Butter Mixture

This technique for making Chipotle Lime Butter is what is called a Compound Butter. Compound butters are made by mashing softened butter with flavorings (in this case I used lime zest and the ground chipotle) and then solidified again. They can be melted over steak, fish or veggies.

To make this butter, mash the softened butter, the lime zest and chipotle in a medium bowl. I like to use a fork to do so. Keep mashing until it is soft and silky and all of the flavorings are evenly incorporated into the butter.

spreading the butter into the ice cube tray

Step 2: Freeze the Butter

While some compound butters can be rolled into logs, chilled and sliced, I like to use an ice cube tray to make smaller individual portions. This helps to keep the portions in check and the overall fat calories lower.

Simply spread the butter mixture into the ice cube tray to make 12 small portions. Then set the ice cube tray into the freezer to firm up for 1 hour to overnight.

grill the corn until it is charred lightly on all sides

Step 3: Grill The Corn

While the butter is firming up and about 25 minutes before you are ready to serve the corn, preheat the grill to medium high heat. Shuck the corn.

Grill the corn, turning it often until it is lightly charred on all sides. This takes about 10 minutes total.

grilled corn with the flavored butter in a dish and lime wedges

Step 4: To Serve

Once the corn comes off the grill, twist the ice cube tray to pop out the portions. If it doesn’t pop out, you can run tap water over the back of the ice cube tray and then try twisting it again. It should loosen it enough that it will release from the tray.

Serve each ear with one portion of butter. Scatter the cilantro on top and serve with the lime wedges

a plate of corn on the cob with cilantro and lime wedges

FAQs For Grilled Corn

Should the corn be shucked?

For this recipe the corn should be shucked so that it chars over the grill. This adds smoky flavor which goes great with the smoky chipotle butter/

Should the corn be oiled before it is grilled?

It is not necessary to oil the corn first. It doesn’t stick to the grill and the oil actually can cause flare ups of flames.

Can vegan butter be substituted for the butter?

Vegan butters should work well. Since vegan butter is softer than dairy butter, we suggest freezing it overnight so that it comes out of the ice cube trays more easily.

What does grilled corn go with?

We think this Maple Chipotle Barbecue Chicken would be a perfect match. Plus this Chickpea salad on the side to round out the meal. Or try this corn with Chicken Taco Sloppy Joes or Steak Fajitas for an easy Tex-Mex meal.

More Corn Recipes To Try

Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!

Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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close-up of the grilled corn

Grilled Corn with Chipotle Lime Butter

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 ears of corn 1x


Grilled sweet corn with chipotle and lime butter: a new take on a classic summer side.


  • 1 stick salted butter, softened
  • 1 lime, zested then cut into wedges, separated
  • ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder
  • 12 ears of corn, shucked
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro


  1. Mash butter, lime zest and chipotle powder in a medium bowl.
  2. Divide butter evenly into 12 wells of a clean ice cube tray. Set the tray in the freezer.
  3. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Grill corn, turning often until charred on all sides, 8 to 12 minutes total.
  4. Twist the ice cube tray to pop out the butter portions. (If necessary run tap water over the back of the butter tray to loosen it.) Serve corn with the butter, lime wedges and sprinkled with cilantro.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 ear plus one butter portion
  • Calories: 210
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Sodium: 89 mg
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 33 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 5 g

Keywords: grilled corn,lime compound butter