Mexican Street Corn Salad

This Mexican street corn salad is one of my all-time favorite summer sides. Fresh, bright, lightly creamy & spicy, it's easy to make and sure to please.

Mexican Street Corn Salad

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 Street Corn Salad Recipe

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:

If you have leftovers, add them to a DIY burrito bowl with cilantro lime rice and dressing, guacamole, black beans, pico de gallo, and mango or tomatillo salsa. And don’t forget the margaritas!

If you love this Mexican corn salad recipe…

You have to try this corn chowder, this panzanella, or this pizza next!


5.0 from 1 reviews
Mexican Street Corn Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This easy Mexican street corn salad is the ultimate summer side dish! Lightly creamy, spicy & bright, it's a recipe you'll make again and again.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad, side dish
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 ears corn
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • 1½ tablespoons mayo
  • 1 clove garlic, 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 jalapeno, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Brush the corn with olive oil, grill 2 minutes per side until char marks form. Remove from the grill and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the mayo, garlic, and lime juice and zest. 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 sea salt. Season to taste and serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.
Notes
I didn't bother peeling my roasted jalapeño, I just let it blacken in a dry skillet for a few minutes on each side and then chopped it.

 

39 comments

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  1. Alyssa from livinlyssa.wordpress.com
    06.20.2013

    Wow! It was like you KNEW I had fresh corn already cut off the hull sitting in my fridge waiting for a corn salad recipe to make. This has to be destiny. Guess we know what’s on my menu!

    • jeanine
      06.20.2013

      ha, yes I would call this destiny 🙂

      • Alyssa from livinlyssa.wordpress.com
        07.01.2013

        I made this last week and actually ended up serving it cold. I was a bit nervous my boyfriend wouldn’t like it but he absolutely loved it and told me it was something I should add to the “Make again soon!” list.

        Smoke Paprika is one of my favorite spices, so I already knew I’d enjoy this! And serving it cold made it super refreshing on such a sweaty Austin evening!

        • jeanine
          07.01.2013

          ooh yay, I love it when a recipe wins over boyfriends and husbands! thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Jaclyn from loveandbellinis.com
    06.20.2013

    This looks amazing!!! My husband is a farmer so we get lots of sweet corn in the summer…I’m constantly coming up with different ways to use it. I love adding a bit of spice and cilantro to it. I can’t wait to try this salad out!

    • jeanine
      06.20.2013

      oh I bet you get the best veggies, lucky! Love the name of your blog, btw.

  3. my auntie loves corn so much she actually grows her own. We even get varieties like white and spotted black ones. I could really use this salad on Mexican mondays!

    • jeanine
      06.20.2013

      that sounds amazing, and so does Mexican mondays!

  4. val from dinkydoover.blogspot.com
    06.20.2013

    gen-i-us. Especially for people who, um, don’t like to eat corn on the cob, this is great!

    • jeanine
      06.20.2013

      ha, my husband Jack doesn’t like to eat corn off the cob, hence the salad 🙂

  5. Anthropologie talks to you too? I am glad I am not the only one that goes in to just look and always walks out with a plate or knick knack. Mexican street corn is one of my favorite summertime eats. I seriously have been having fresh corn at least once maybe twice a week.

    • jeanine
      06.20.2013

      I’m weak for the knick knacks, zero control 🙂

  6. I make this all the time in the summer and seriously cannot get enough! Best. salad. ever.

    • jeanine
      06.20.2013

      we grilled some scallops with ours… such a great side dish for any simply grilled meat.

  7. Eileen from hampiesandwiches.blogspot.com
    06.20.2013

    There had better be a mountain of fresh corn at the farmer’s market this weekend, because I need some of this as soon as possible! NOM.

  8. Tieghan from halfbakedharvest.com
    06.20.2013

    Yes! Yes! Yes! New favorite salad!

  9. This looks incredible, I adore sweetcorn but would never had thought to have it as a salad. I was in New York a month ago and couldn’t resist looking around Anthropologie and dreaming about all the amazing things I would buy with a lottery win!

  10. Faith from sojourn-of-faith.blogspot.com
    06.21.2013

    This looks delicious! I didn’t grow up eating Mexican food, but as an adult it’s become a staple on my weekly menu. It never disappoints, and who doesn’t love homemade guacamole?

  11. I just discovered your blog and LOVE your photography and want to make ALL of your recipes 🙂

    • jeanine
      06.22.2013

      🙂 thank you!

  12. Sue | CandlesOffMain.com
    06.21.2013

    This looks delish! If I remove the cheese and mayo to make it vegan, is there anything I should substitute or do you think it will be just as good without? I don’t like vegan cheese or mayo.

  13. Sue | CandlesOffMain.com
    06.21.2013

    Love you website btw!

  14. This looks like my perfect salad! Cannot wait to get some fresh corn and make this. Love the flavours!

  15. Megan T from bancardsales.com
    06.24.2013

    Oh my this looks amazing. So fresh and colorful!

  16. Feenomenale from cookiesdelice.canalblog.com
    06.30.2013

    This salad is very colorfully. Very summer!

  17. Jeanine, I am planning on making this salad tomorrow for a pre-fourth of July party (the best kind!). Do you think that it would still taste okay if I made it in the morning, refrigerated, and then served later that night? Should I add the cheese just before serving?

    • jeanine
      07.02.2013

      Hi Lauren… It should be ok, I would add the cheese just before serving. If you’re using fresh corn, I think it’ll hold up well and will retain a crunchy bite. Maybe cook the corn slightly less than you would otherwise, since it’ll get a little mushier after it sits in the fridge.

  18. jean
    11.26.2015

    Hi. Tried making this salad but the cheese melted into a goo-ey mess. How long should i wait for the corn to cool down before adding the cheese? Thx.

    • jeanine
      11.27.2015

      oh weird – feta and cotija cheeses don’t really “melt” so I’ve never run into that. Let it cool until it’s room temp, and maybe reduce the mayo and that’ll help make it more fresh and crisp.

  19. Christina
    09.25.2016

    When should the garlic come out?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.25.2016

      sorry! just pull it out before you serve!

  20. Christina
    09.25.2016

    Thanks! It was delicious!

  21. MM
    01.30.2019

    Just made this and it was so easy and tasted excellent! Thank you!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.