If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know that fresh corn is one of my absolute favorite parts of summer. Crisp, juicy, and sweet, you just can’t beat it. Of course, I’ll always love it straight off the cob, but when I’m looking to put corn front & center in a different way, this Mexican street corn salad is my go-to. Inspired by all of the elotes we ate in Austin, it’s creamy, tangy, and a bit spicy. This salad is all about the corn, so you only need 10 ingredients to make it!
Mexican Street Corn Salad Recipe Ingredients
If you’re not familiar with them, elotes are Mexican grilled corn topped with mayonnaise, hot sauce or chile powder, lime, and Cotija cheese. I used them as inspiration for this spicy, crisp & creamy Mexican corn salad. Because it has so few ingredients, each one adds something essential. Here’s what’s in it:
- Grilled corn is my starting point. It’s sweet, lightly charred, and juicy – delicious!
- Mayo gives the corn a lightly creamy coating.
- Lime juice and zest make it bright & zingy.
- Garlic & scallions add sharp, oniony accents.
- Cotija cheese dots it with tangy, salty pops of flavor. If you can’t find Cotija, use feta instead.
- Cilantro adds freshness.
- Smoked paprika underscores everything with a smoky depth of flavor. Chili powder works too!
- Jalapeño spices it up. Try pickled jalapeños for a fun variation!
- And sea salt ties it all together.
To make this salad, grill the corn on the cob and mix together the mayo, lime juice & zest, and garlic. Cut the corn kernels off the cob and add them to a bowl along with the scallions, Cotija cheese, cilantro, smoked paprika, and jalapeño. Fold in the dressing, and it’s ready to go.
You can serve this Mexican street corn salad just after you make it, although I love it best after it chills for a bit. Consequently, it’s a great make-ahead option for cookouts and picnics!
Mexican Corn Salad Serving Suggestions
This salad is a great one for making ahead, so bring it to any cookout on your calendar. It’s excellent with classic picnic fare like veggie burgers, BBQ sandwiches, black bean burgers, or portobello burgers.
It would also be a good addition to a Mexican-themed dinner. Serve it with any of these recipes:
- Rainbow Veggie Fajitas
- Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas,
- Grilled avocados with Veggie Ceviche (Stuff the corn salad into the avocados instead of the ceviche!)
- Avocado Sweet Potato Tacos
- Spicy Mango, Black Bean, and Avocado Tacos
- Crispy Butternut & Poblano Tacos
- Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Vegetarian Tacos
- Portobello Mushroom Tacos
- Jamaican Jerk Vegan Tacos
If you love this Mexican corn salad recipe…
- 4 ears fresh corn, husked
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
- 1½ tablespoons mayo
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- ⅓ cup chopped scallions
- ¼ cup crumbled Cotija, or feta cheese
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika or chili powder
- 1 jalapeño, diced*
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Brush the corn with olive oil and grill for 2 minutes per side, or until char marks form. Remove from grill and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the mayo, garlic, and lime zest and juice. Slice the kernels off the corn and add to the bowl along with the scallions. Stir to coat, then add the cheese, cilantro, smoked paprika, jalapeño, and salt. Season to taste and serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.