This fresh Mexican Street Corn Salad combines the classic authentic flavors of the popular street food with some simple and fresh flavors to create a tangy, spicy, and deliciously creamy side dish perfect for potlucks and summer picnics.
Mexican Street Corn Salad
This Mexican Street Corn Salad is inspired by the flavors of the popular Mexican street food with added fresh summer vegetables to make a beautiful, bright, and fresh summer dish. It's tangy, spicy, and deliciously creamy.
If you're looking for a more authentic version, you'll definitely like this esquites recipe, which is the authentic Mexican street corn cups.
This Mexican street corn salad takes all of the authentic flavors and adds in a few fresh new ones to make a simple and fresh summer salad with charred corn, red onions, cucumber, jalapeno, and fresh cilantro tossed in sour cream, mayo, lime and chili dressing.
What is Mexican Street Corn Made of?
Authentic Mexican street corn (both elote and esquites) is made from grilled corn on the cob, mayo, crema, cotija cheese, chili powder, and lime.
This salad includes all of these flavors, plus some extra fresh vegetables and herbs to turn it in into a fresh summer salad version.
Is Mexican Street Corn Salad Supposed to be Served Hot or Cold?
Traditionally, Mexican street corn or street corn cups (esquites) is served warm.
Since this is a bit of an Americanized version, inspired by the flavors but not authentic, I like to serve it cold like a pasta or potato salad. It can also be served warm, if you prefer.
Mexican Street Corn Salad Variations
Here are some simple variations on the original recipe to make this dish your own.
- Corn- Fresh, frozen, or canned will all work for this recipe. Thaw frozen corn first and rinse canned corn.
- Fresh veggies- add other fresh vegetables such as bell peppers, tomatoes, or whatever you have on hand.
- Beans - add some extra fiber and protein to this dish by adding in a can of drained and rinsed black or pinto beans.
- Cheese - Add more cotija cheese to taste, or use feta instead in a pinch.
- Sour Cream - Sour cream is easiest to find, but you can use Mexican crema if your grocery store has it or even use plain yogurt if you have that on hand.
What Do I Serve with Mexican Street Corn Salad?
Mexican Street Corn Salad makes an excellent dish for a potluck or picnic.
It can go well with virtually any main dish, including burgers or grilled chicken.
More Corn Recipes You'll Love
- Easy Corn Fritters - loaded with fresh (or canned or frozen) sweet corn and pan fried to golden perfection. I love mine topped with a little sour cream and some fresh chives.
- Southern Succotash - a southern side that features fresh summer vegetables including fresh corn, cherry tomatoes, okra, and basil topped with some crispy bacon and lime juice.
- Crock Pot Corn Chowder - a great recipe to make with fresh summer corn and freeze for the coming cold winter months.
- Homemade Creamed Corn - my kids' favorite corn recipe. The one they always request and hope for if they see "corn" on the menu. This creamed corn is rich, creamy, and ridiculously easy to make. (and tastes absolutely nothing like the canned version).
- Corn Side Dish Recipes - an epic list of corn recipes to try all season long!
Mexican Street Corn Salad Video
Mexican Street Corn Salad
- 2 tablespoon light olive oil
- 6 medium ears of corn cut off the cob (about 4 cups of kernels)
- 1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
- ¼ cup sour cream (or Mexican crema)
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon Tajin plus more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
- ½ red onion chopped
- ½ English cucumber sliced and quartered
- ⅓ cup chopped cilantro plus more for topping
- ½ cup cotija cheese or queso fresco plus more for topping
- Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the corn, and then spread into an even layer. Cook for 10-15 minutes with a lid on, stirring very occasionally, until corn is mostly toasted.
- Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for a few minutes.
- In a small bowl, add red onion and cover with cold water. Set aside.
- In a separate medium mixing bowl, add mayonnaise, crema or sour cream, lime juice, Tajin, chili powder, and salt, and whisk together.
- Add the dressing, red onions (drained and patted dry), cucumber, half the cilantro, and half the cheese to the corn, and stir to incorporate. Taste and add salt as needed.
- Top with remaining cheese and cilantro and more Tajin. Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve.
- Use 4 cups of thawed frozen corn instead of fresh ears.
- Don't have to char the corn but it's highly recommended for extra flavor.
- Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
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