Mexican Street Corn Salad

A beautiful blend of sweet and spicy this Mexican Street Corn Salad is essentially deconstructed Elote made off of the cob, ready to serve a crowed, and finished with a dash of smoky seasoning. Making it a truly out of this world side dish idea for any occasion, especially barbecues & potlucks.

Mexican Street Corn Salad in three blue ramekins on a yellow and white cloth napkin with fresh cilantro in the background

Different stroke for different folks, right? In many ways the hubs and I are polar opposites.

The first example that comes to mind being that most days I’m happy living in a ‘neat mess’ while our kids are young, where he needs everything to be a hundred percent spic and span to function properly. 

 Still after all the years we’ve been together, we have reaffirmed what we found out on our initial blind date, that opposites really do attract.

And with a little bit of effort over the years, they endure and keep on keeping things interesting.

Never a dull moment around here, that’s for sure.

Mexican Street Corn Salad in a blue ramekin on a yellow and white cloth napkin with fresh cilantro in the background

Another thing we are polar opposites on? Condiments, well really mostly mayonnaise. I love it, he hates it.

I’m not talkin’ eat it by the spoonful love, that would even make me gag and probably worse.

But if I’m having a sandwich– a sandwich isn’t a sandwich without some mayo. PB And J’s aside, of course.

The hubs on the other hand, can’t have more than the barest hint just to moisten the bread.

Like you must smooth on a nice even coat, and then pretty much scrape it all off before ‘dressing’ the sandwich.

It makes no sense to me, but he insists it gets the flavor in there without the unbearable texture.

Whatever floats your boat, babe. Just as long as you’re packin’ your own lunches.

a forkful of Mexican Street Corn Salad shown a top a stack of square white appetizer plates

 It’s weird though, because this aversion doesn’t translate to everything.

I mean, he can go to town on a good potato salad with the best of ’em. He loves it when I pack him egg salad sandwiches for work.

BUT it leaves me with a very fine line to walk between a mayo salad studded with a few bits of potato or egg and whatever else, and trying more for the tid bits of everything else just moistened and loosely held together by a teensy bit of mayo.

Have you ever had Mexican street corn? It’s absolutely delicious, and if you haven’t yet experienced it’s awesomeness, I highly encourage you to go out and do so STAT.

That being said, one of it’s fundamentals is being slathered with a bit of mayo, sprinkled with cheese, and seasoned.

I’m pretty sure my husband wanted to vomit the first time we tried it together and  I got a little speck on my chin.

He held it in, and did his best not to let me know since it was pre-marriage and all.

Come to think of it, maybe I should have wondered a bit more why he was so quick to not want to try a bite himself.

Oh well.

Mexican Street Corn Salad in three blue ramekins on a yellow and white cloth napkin with fresh cilantro in the background

Fast forward a decade, and I knew he’d like the flavors if he could really give it half a chance. I just had to keep his mayo-hattin-habit in mind.

Couldn’t have a random drop of mayo hit and land on his tongue and throw the whole thing off.

So I decided to adapt it, and incorporate it into another trick that seemed to please the hub’s palate. Without further adieu, I give you Mexican Street Corn Salad.

Mexican Street Corn Salad

This slightly spicy Mexican Street Corn Salad is a creamy, crunchy smooth and tangy side salad all in one yummy bowl.

It easily feeds a crowd, or can be halved to feed a smaller group. 

Toasted corn kernels are mixed with salty Cotija cheese, a bit of diced spicy jalapenos, and fresh cilantro.

Stirred in with a lightly seasoned garlic, lime, and mayonnaise-based dressing, this street corn salad is perfect for bringing to parties, for paring with grilled meats, or just for getting that yummy fix you crave– without any mess on your face.

Love corn? Check Out These Other Recipes Too!

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Mexican Street Corn Salad

Sweet and with just a hint of spice, this street corn salad is perfect at the dinner table, parties, potlucks, and even barbecues.
4.16 from 144 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 156kcal


  • 2 14 oz bags of frozen corn
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 8 oz cotija cheese crumbled
  • ½ jalapeno diced, seeds removed
  • ½ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • juice of one lime
  • sea salt
  • Pinch of smoked paprika
  • Pinch of chili powder


  • In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the olive oil and toast the corn-- cooking the corn for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the skillet from heat and set aside.
  • In a separate, large bowl stir the mayo, cotija cheese, jalapeno, cilantro, cayenne, and minced garlic together, until evenly combined.
  • Slice the lime in half and squeeze the juices from each half into the bowl. Stir until the juice is completely incorporated.
  • Stir in the corn until completely incorporated, evenly, into the salad mixture.
  • Refrigerate the salad until chilled.
  • When ready to serve, spoon the mixture into bowls and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt, smoked paprika, and chili powder.


This recipe easily serves a crowd, if you're making it for a smaller gathering, you can easily halve it.


Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 291mg | Potassium: 152mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 155IU | Vitamin C: 4.4mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 0.5mg


78 thoughts on “Mexican Street Corn Salad

    1. I think that’s one of my favorite things about this version. I can dig in without any embarrassment, especially in public.

    2. 5 stars
      I made a similar salad but used 6 ears of fresh corn. Sauteed half of cut corn in Tsp of oil in screaming hot nonstick skillet with 1/4 tsp salt for 3 min covered & not stirred to get charred & steamed corn. Did the next half of corn the same way. 3T line juice, 3T sour cream, 1 T mayonnaise over cooked corn. Saute in skillet 1 t chili pwdr, 2 minced cloves garlic & 1/2 to 1 whole jalapeno pepper, diced. Add to bowl of corn & dressing. Added 1/2 c cilantro, 1 c cotija cheese (grated like parmesan), 5 sliced green onions, lots of green tops, if nice. Then I added 1 cup good feta, 1 c sliced tomatoes, 1 sliced avocado. Toss thoroughly and ENJOY!!

    1. Karen, of course. I’d just cook it and let it cool before cutting the kernels off the cob.

    1. You could try using a a yogurt, like a regular plain or plain Greek. Or you could halve the mayo and use sour cream for the other half so it’s less.

  1. I’d like to double this and serve from a single large bowl… would you recommend stirring in the sea salt, paprika and chili powder or just garnishing the top before serving? The cotija cheese is already salty. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. I would still stir everything together, and top with an additional sprinkle of paprika and cheese just before serving for a pretty presentation.

    1. You sure can Marcy. Just be sure to store it in the fridge in an air tight container until ready to serve.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this to serve with Blackened Fish Tacos. I made a few changes to mine by using a small can of chopped jalapenos instead of chopped fresh jalapeno since that was what I had on hand. I also used a 32 oz bag of frozen corn and Goat Cheese, crumbled, as that was what I had on hand instead of the Cotija cheese. It was absolutely Amazing!!

  3. 5 stars
    This was amazing and delicious! I made it for a party and was asked for the recipe by many in attendance. Perfect!!

  4. 4 stars
    just had it with dinner.
    family consensus… no citrus, next time. they felt it would be closer to street corn without it. otherwise, a hit.
    i’ll be making it again! thanks for the recipe.

    1. That would be my assumption as well, Bill. But, if it’s a serious issue– I’d check with someone more familiar with the topic.

  5. 1 star
    I tried this recipe and mine came out tasting sour. Any ideas what I may have done wrong? I was so excited to try this.

    1. I’d say omit the lime completely, or start with a very small amount and taste test until it’s just right for you. I doubt you did anything wrong, just some people are more susceptible to sour flavors, especially in creamy dishes.

  6. 5 stars
    After ordering Mexican Street Corn at an upscale Taco restaurant I just had to come home and make this myself. Your recipe is spot on to the one we ordered. We all loved it. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I will make it again.

    1. Debbie, thank you so much for sharing this! I’m so glad you were able to get the same experience ‘at home’ like we were.

    1. If one of our recipes calls for mayo, it’s always mayo NOT miracle whip. I’d make sure to make included miracle whip specifically in the ingredients since I think they taste nothing alike, and don’t use them interchangeably.

  7. Looks amazing, making on vacation for a Mexican night dinner. Can I use parmesan cheese? Eveyone is funny about there cheeses, I would use what the recipe says, but some have sour faces…

    1. Parmesan may work, but it’s pretty pungent. The cotija is mild, but salty. I’d suggest feta instead, if you’re looking for an alternative.

  8. Recipe was delish, thanks! Would you mind sharing where you bought the navy
    serving bowls that you used? Thanks!!!

    1. So glad you liked it! The little blue ramekins are actually from Kroger. The store goes by a couple different names depending on where you live. They had them in red, yellow, and blue.

    1. If you try that Janny, let me know what you think! I don’t think it would taste bad, but mayo is a staple in any variation of Mexican Street Corn so it definitely wouldn’t have an authentic taste/feel.

  9. 5 stars
    I stumbled onto your site looking for a street corn recipe. This was so easy to make! I took it to a “taco Tuesday” party and it was everone’s favorite. You now have at least 10 other people visiting your recipes.

    1. That’s awesome, Kendell– so glad everyone loved it! You’ll see pretty quickly we’re about fast fix, but full flavor, options. Can’t wait to hear the next thing y’all find that you fall in love with!

  10. 5 stars
    Just brought this modified recipe for a Thanksgiving get together yesterday and it was a huge hit. No Mayo at all just a half brick of softened cream cheese with some tsps of Greek yogurt for the dressing. Cotaja cheese too expensive but subbed feta instead. Minced the whole jalapeño and threw in an extra can of corn. They brought out a bag of blue corn chips and used it as a relish or dip for the chips. Thank you for this. Everyone loved it.

    1. I think it would be ok. I’d probably use thawed frozen before canned, just because I wouldn’t want it to become mushy or squishy on stirring.

  11. 5 stars
    Amazing recipe!!!! I made this for our Mexican Christmas dinner. It was a hit!! Everyone LOVED it. Very easy recipe …….. on hand ingredients …….. WIN – WIN!!!!!

    1. I hadn’t thought about making it for Christmas, but I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it! I tend to whip it up before picnics & Summer bbq’s. I too love how quick & easy it is!!

  12. 5 stars
    This is so much better with the lime juice. I saw where several people omitted so I tried it with and without. The lime juice adds a lot to the mix! Also tried white sweet and yellow whole kernel corn and I believe half and half would be perfect!

    1. It’s not a table cloth actually! It’s a fat quarter (piece of cloth typically for quilting) from Walmart 🙂 I love using them as background pieces though.

  13. I am planning to make this for my mother’s 60th birthday. Out of everyone that has made it -do you believe it tastes better served hot or cold?

    1. I prefer it cold myself, but I know a lot of people like it hot. I have another recipe on the site for esquites that is slightly different and in my opinion tastes much better hot.

        1. I can’t wait to hear how it goes! Happy early Birthday to you Mom. So happy to hear you’ve enjoyed it- and hope to see you back again soon, Stephanie 🙂

    1. It will be super yummy! I love it with blue born tortilla chips bc it makes a studding presentation 🙂

  14. Making this for a party that will be adults and Children. What can I omit or cut down so its not to spicy for the kids and old timers?

    1. It’s honestly not that spicy Gina, but you could do without the cayenne and make it and separate some to include the jalapeno in and another to serve without.

  15. 5 stars
    Amazing! I brought this to a family pot luck and everyone loved it and wanted the recipe. I love the flavors and the little bit of heat you get after taking a bite 🙂

  16. 5 stars
    I made this for a graduation party. Doubled the recipe, made as written with the exception of using del monte roasted corn – canned. I made it the day before and followed those suggestions. THIS WAS A HUGE HIT! Everyone LOVED it!!
    Note: Cojito cheese is difficult to find, and a bit pricey.

    Thanks for the recipe! I have already shared with many!

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