Mexican Street Corn Salad (Esquites or Elote Salad) is loaded with the flavors of roasted corn, jalapenos and Cotija cheese in a creamy, tangy and smoky dressing. Just like Mexican Corn on the Cob, this salad is the perfect addition to any gathering.
This salad is a twist on the famous Mexican street corn everyone loves. This easy to make home version of the popular street food is easy to make and much easier to eat also.
Mexican Street Corn Salad
This Mexican Corn Salad recipe is perfect for summer BBQ’s, potlucks and any other Mexican fiestas. If it’s summer and fresh corn is in season, there’s nothing quite like the flavor of juicy, sweet, tender and crisp summer corn.
Of course, nothing can stop me from making this roasted corn salad any other time of the year. During colder seasons when fresh corn isn’t available, frozen corn works perfectly. I simply thaw out the corn and roast it.
Mexican Corn Salad Ingredients
- Corn: Fresh or frozen.
- Green Onions: Sliced
- Onion: I use red onions.
- Jalapenos: To reduce the heat in jalapenos, devein and remove the seeds.
- Cilantro: Fresh. If you don’t like cilantro, use fresh parsley instead.
- Cheese: Cotija cheese is the traditional cheese used for street corn salad. If you can’t find Cotija cheese, feta cheese or queso fresco can be used.
For the Creamy Lime Dressing:
- Mayonnaise: I use regular mayo but light mayonnaise can be used.
- Mexican Crema or Sour Cream: Regular or light can be used.
- Garlic: I use fresh garlic.
- Lime Juice and Zest: There’s nothing like fresh lime juice.
- Seasonings: Chili powder, ground cumin, cayenne pepper and ground black pepper.
How To Make Street Corn Salad
- Make the salad dressing.
- Roast the corn.
- In a large bowl, combine the roasted corn, jalapenos, green onions, red onions, cilantro and Cotija cheese.
- Pour the creamy lime dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
What Is Mexican Crema?
Crema is often referred to as the “Mexican Sour Cream”. Although crema is a bit lighter and milder in flavor, I often substitute one for the other. Crema is readily available in most supermarkets, but if you have sour cream handy, feel free to use it for this recipe.
What Is Cotija Cheese?
Cotija cheese is a hard and crumbly cow’s milk cheese. It is named after the town of Cotija in Michoacan, Mexico. Good substitutes for Cotija cheese are Feta cheese and the more mild Queso Fresco.
Fresh Corn vs Frozen Corn
This recipe works with fresh corn or frozen corn. If corn is in season, it is definitely best to use it.
How To Roast or Grill Corn?
- In a Cast Iron Skillet: Heat a 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add the corn kernels in a single layer and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Stir and cook until the corn is charred.
- You can use frozen corn as well. Just thaw out the corn and follow the instructions above.
- On the Grill: Shuck and clean the corn. You don’t have to worry about removing every piece of silk as it will burn on the grill. Heat your grill to medium hot. Place the corn directly on the grill. Grill turning occasionally for about 10 minutes or until charred and cooked through.
If pressed for time, use canned roasted corn. Drain it first and mix it with the rest of the ingredients!
Can This Street Corn Salad Be Made Ahead?
I love recipes that make entertaining easy. This Mexican Street Corn Salad can be made ahead and for me that is a huge plus! The salad already tossed with the dressing keeps well, refrigerated in an airtight container for 2-3 days. The creamy dressing by itself will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.
Take A Look At These Other Mexican Recipes:
- Mexican Chopped Salad
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
- Chicken Tinga Tacos
- Tequila Lime Chicken
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Charro Beans
- Mexican Green Chile Rice Casserole
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Mexican Street Corn Salad
- 2 12 ounces bags frozen corn, thawed or 5 to 6 ears of fresh corn
- 4 green onions sliced
- 1/4 cup red onion finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño seeded and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 1/2 cup Cotija cheese cut into small cubes
To Make the Dressing
- In a small bowl, mix all the dressing ingredients. Set aside or refrigerate, covered in an airtight container. until ready to use.
Roast The Corn (skip this step if using canned roasted corn)
- METHOD #1: In a Cast Iron Skillet or Regular Skillet (frozen corn)
- Heat a 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add the corn kernels in a single layer and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Stir and cook until the corn is charred. You may have to repeat this process until all the corn is nicely charred.
- METHOD #2: On a grill (on the cob)
- Shuck and clean the corn. You don’t have to worry about removing every piece of silk as it will burn on the grill.
- Heat your grill to medium high. Place the corn directly on the grill. Grill turning occasionally for about 10 minutes or until charred and cooked through.
- In a large bowl, mix the roasted corn, green onions, red onions, jalapeno, cilantro and cheese. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Serve.