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!

More Favorite Summer Salads

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

5.0 from 36 reviews

Mexican Street Corn Salad

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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.
Recipe type: Salad, side dish
Serves: 4
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
Note: Roast the jalapeño alongside the corn if you like.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. James

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

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      you could just skip it!

  2. Tani Odorfer

    Can I make this the day before?


    • Jeanine Donofrio

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

  3. Tani Odorfer

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

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      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.