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Mexican Street Corn Salad

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Mexican Street Corn Salad is a crowd favorite at summer get togethers and bbqs. Sweet corn is mixed together with bell pepper, cilantro, green onion, cotija cheese and a creamy, spiced dressing. Serve this alongside your favorite grilled chicken, steak or hamburgers. It also works great as a dip with chips! 

Mexican Corn Salad in teal bowl

MEXICAN STREET CORN SALAD

Sweet corn is at its peak right now!

We love eating corn in the warm months. I will often buy extra sweet corn to make this Mexican Street Corn Salad, also known as Esquites. I like having this salad on hand to pair with grilled chicken, steak or hamburgers. I even use it as a dip with chips. 

If you are looking for ways to use sweet corn this time of year I promise this Mexican Street Corn Salad will soon become a favorite in your house. We also love using sweet corn in this soup and adding it to things like this Mexican Zucchini dish or these zucchini fritters. The nice thing with today’s corn salad is that it is very customizable to your tastes and can be modified easily. 

Mexican Corn Salad with smoked paprika

WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN THIS CORN SALAD?

SWEET CORN: The sweet corn is the perfect base for this salad. I love using fresh summer sweet corn because of all of the flavor it brings to the dish. 

VEGETABLES: This dish uses fresh bell peppers and chopped green onions. I used red bell pepper but you can use any color. 

CILANTRO: The cilantro is one of my favorite parts of this salad. It goes nicely with the Mexican flavors in this dish. 

SPICES: I used smoked paprika because I love the smoky flavor but you can use regular paprika. I also used a bit of cumin and cayenne pepper. Other spices that work work nicely are chili powder, chipotle pepper or crushed red pepper. 

COTIJA CHEESE: This is the cheese you often see in Mexican street tacos. I like how light and crumbly it is but you can also use any cheese you like. I think feta, pepper jack and sharp cheddar work nicely. 

GREEK YOGURT AND MAYO: A simple mixture of yogurt and mayo create a creamy dressing spiced with the cumin and smoked paprika. 

Mexican Corn Salad with fresh cilantro

HOW CAN I MODIFY THIS SALAD?

VEGETABLES: Mix in a variety of vegetables to this side dish. Some I like are zucchini, poblanos, jalapeños, carrots and radish. 

CHEESE: Other cheeses I like in this dish are feta, cheddar, pepper jack and monterrey jack. 

SPICE: Feel free to use other spices like regular paprika, chili powder or crushed red pepper. 

WHAT SHOULD I SERVE THIS MEXICAN STREET CORN DIP WITH?

GRILLED CHICKEN: Use one of these three chicken marinades and grill up juicy chicken to pair with this salad. 

STEAK: Steak pairs really nicely with corn, especially this Grilled Steak Flank with Chimichurri Sauce, this  Grilled Steak with Herb Butter or this Mexican Ribeye

Mexican Corn Salad with cheese

WHAT IS ESQUITES?

You will often see Esquites made with corn sautéed in butter with chilies, onion, salt and served with toppings like hot sauce, mayo, lime juice. You probably see recipes for Mexican Street Corn on the Cob. This is similar but in salad form.

I went ahead and took the classic Mexican Street Corn Salad and made changes to it. I often will take a classic recipe and modify it is a bit to change things up and also to adjust it to my tastes.  

Recommended products:

Corn Peeler

Mixing Bowls 

Wooden Spoon 

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Mexican Corn Salad with cheese

Mexican Street Corn Salad

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Mexican Street Corn Salad is a crowd favorite at summer get togethers and bbqs. Sweet corn is mixed together with bell pepper, cilantro, green onion, cotija cheese and a creamy, spiced dressing. Serve this alongside your favorite grilled chicken, steak or hamburgers. It also works great as a dip with chips! 

Ingredients

  • 4 cups sweet corn {about 5 ears of corn} or use frozen 
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil {or 2 Tablespoon butter}
  • 1 bell pepper, green or red, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped 
  • 5 green onions, white and green parts chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed, diced {optional}
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika {or you can use sweet paprika}
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin 
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice {1 lime} 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 2 Tablespoons plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise 
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese, crumbled {or feta cheese}

Instructions

  1. If using ears of corn cut the corn off the cob otherwise measure out frozen corn.
  2. In a large skillet heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil or butter over medium heat. Add the corn and cook until the corn is beginning to char, about 5 minutes.
  3. Put the corn in a large mixing bowl to cool off.
  4. Once the corn is cool add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Tatse and ajdust seasoning.

Notes

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

You can use either cooked corn on the cob or frozen corn.

If you can't find Cotija cheese, use feta cheese in its place for a similar taste.

I like the combination of mayo and Greek yogurt for the tangy flavor and the lightened up version. You can sub the yogurt with sour cream if you like.

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Laura Oswald

Thursday 17th of October 2019

Hi Julia,

Can you swap out the Cotija Cheese with Cottage Cheese - or am I being really silly? :D

Thanks!

Julia

Thursday 17th of October 2019

I think maybe you could but it would definitely be a creamier dip. You also could use feta or really any cheese or leave it out! Let me know how it goes.

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken - A Cedar Spoon

Wednesday 11th of September 2019

[…] You will see that this recipe calls for a jar of salsa. Use whatever variety you like from a chipotle flavor to homemade salsa to a black bean or this Mexican Street Corn Salad. […]

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