Mexican street corn salad is tangy and sweet with enough heat to make it interesting. Serve this scrumptious Mexican salad with a weeknight meal, at your next cookout, or take it for a potluck side dish!
Mexican Street Corn Salad
The traditional name for Mexican street corn salad is “esquites” and it’s typically served in a portable cup. While the flavor can be similar to “elotes,” the kernels are loose and mixed with other ingredients instead of being left on the cob.
Or, try this popular recipe that pairs crunchy, sweet kernels with tomatoes, mozzarella, herbs, and a simple dressing.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Sweet corn – Since this recipe is flexible, you can use whatever is most available. Frozen kernels will need to be thawed first, and canned ones should be drained thoroughly. Slice kernels off of fresh cobs before browning them on the stove, or grill the whole cobs until slightly charred. Then, skip the stovetop and add the kernels straight to the mixing bowl.
- Cotija cheese – This is a popular cow’s milk cheese, named after the town in Mexico where it originated. It has a strong, salty flavor and a crumbly texture. While not quite the same, Feta or fresh Parmesan are the closest substitutes.
- Sour cream – Greek yogurt is a great alternative that is higher in protein and lower in both fat and calories.
- Jalapeno – Wear food safe gloves while cutting jalapenos since the oils are extremely hard to wash off and can then transfer to your eyes or other parts of your body. Remove all of the seeds, unless you would like your dish to be spicier, but be sure to let guests know if you do so.
- Spices – While this recipe has plenty of heat, feel free to kick it up a notch with some red pepper flakes or a dash of cayenne.
- Extra veggies – Chopped red bell peppers or avocado are a delicious addition to Mexican corn salad. Add the avocado just before serving since it oxidizes quickly and squeeze a little lemon juice over the top to keep it from browning.
What to Serve with Mexican Corn Salad
Pair with tortilla chips for a hearty appetizer or serve alongside any of your favorite cookout foods.
This street corn salad tastes great with barbecue chicken, grilled steak or shrimp, tacos, enchiladas, and even burgers!
Kitchen Tools You Will Need
- Large Skillet – Be sure that it is wide enough for all of the kernels to brown evenly.
- Quality Knives – If you only make one kitchen investment, it should be good quality knives. They cut down on prep time and are important for safety as well.
- Mixing Bowl – This one is my go-to!
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How long does Mexican corn salad last in the refrigerator?
This is best served the same day. If you have leftovers or want to prepare it ahead of time, it will keep for about 3 days in an airtight container.
However, I recommend making it no more than a day in advance if you will be serving it to guests.
More delicious salads to enjoy this summer
With love from our simple kitchen to yours.
Mexican Street Corn Salad + Video
- 4 cups sweet corn, (**See Notes below, thawed, drained, or cut off the cob)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup cojita cheese
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 tablespoons mayo
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from 2 limes
- chopped cilantro
- extra cojita cheese
- Cut corn kernels off of cob, or drain canned or thawed corn.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Carefully spoon corn into the skillet and cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until corn starts to brown. Remove from heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool.
- Once the corn has cooled, add all remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir until combined well.
- Garnish with additional chopped cilantro and extra cojita cheese if desired. Serve cold and enjoy!
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published April 2021
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