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

This Mexican street corn salad is my at-home version of all the elotes we ate in Austin. Creamy, tangy, and a bit spicy, it’s one of my favorite ways to showcase summer sweet corn. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know that fresh corn is one of my all-time favorite foods. Crisp, juicy, and sweet, you just can’t beat it. Of course, I’ll always love it straight off the cob, but this Mexican corn salad takes it to a whole new level.

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, and creamy Mexican corn salad. It only has 1o ingredients, so 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 and zest, and garlic in a small bowl. 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. Don’t forget the margaritas to drink!

corn salad

More Favorite Summer Salads

If you love this Mexican corn salad, try one of these summer salad recipes next:

Mexican Street Corn Salad

rate this recipe:
5 from 6 votes
Serves 4
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.

Ingredients

  • 4 ears fresh corn, husked
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • tablespoons mayo, (or vegan mayo)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

*Roast the jalapeño alongside the corn if you'd like.
Make this recipe vegan by omitting the cheese.

 

85 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Josephine
    06.28.2022

    5 stars
    This is really good!! I also thought there wouldn’t be enough dressing. It’s plenty. I made this to go along with chipotle chicken thighs that I will be throwing on the grill tonight.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.29.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  2. Tori
    06.19.2022

    5 stars
    I used frozen sweet white and yellow corn only because I didn’t have corn on the cob. Sautéed it in love oil. I’ll use the cob next time. Otherwise, I made it as is and it was wonderful! Great side dish with our Father’s Day BBQ. Will definitely make again.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.22.2022

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Bailey
    06.16.2022

    5 stars
    Such a wonderful recipe! I have been taking it to all my BBQs this summer and it has been a hit!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.18.2022

      I’m so glad you’ve loved it!

  4. Nikky
    06.13.2022

    5 stars
    Made this tonight as a yummy summer side. This is amazing, made exactly as is! Works great as a solo side or could be added to a bigger salad, tacos or burrito bowls. As I was making I thought maybe it wasnt enough dressing to coat all the corn, but I was wrong it was perfect. Highly recommend.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.18.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  5. erica
    06.11.2022

    If tripling and making a full day ahead of time should I make the mayo sauce, prep the corn and then assemble day of? Just afraid of the corn getting rubbery. But that might happen if I don’t mix them too! Or should just make it a day ahead and add cilantro day of?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.11.2022

      Hi Erica, I would assemble it with the dressing a day in advance. Give it a good stir before you transfer to a serving dish, and add the cilantro day-of. Hope that helps!

  6. Kathryn
    06.10.2022

    This was great. I used the vegan mayo recipe with the corn and the consistency of the mayo didn’t work, but the flavor was fine. I also subbed queso fresco for cotija based on preference and cooked the corn in a pan. Very tasty, but I would recommend doubling to increase leftovers.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.11.2022

      I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  7. James
    10.08.2021

    My wife hates cilantro so could it be replaced with lemon juice instead of lime and parsley instead of cilantro?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.09.2021

      you could just skip it!

    • Shar
      04.08.2022

      Yes to both the lemon juice and parsley.

  8. Tani Odorfer
    09.11.2021

    Can I make this the day before?

    Tani

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.11.2021

      Hi Tani, you could – I would wait to add the cilantro until you’re ready to serve it.

  9. Tani Odorfer
    09.05.2021

    I saw a post about removing the garlic. I did not see that in the recipe. Am I missing something?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.06.2021

      Hi Tani, I’m not sure what you’re referring to, but if you don’t like garlic, you could skip it here.

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.