If you love the creamy, tangy iconic street food, you’ll flip for my Mexican corn salad recipe!
Every Mexican salad promises vibrant colors and unforgettable tastes — and this Mexican corn salad delivers as one of your new favorite side dishes! Just like elotes, the grilled street corn found on food carts south of the border, this Mexican street corn casserole is savory and sweet and a decadent treat in the world of vegetable salad recipes!
Grab your favorite ears of corn and lets cook!
Any excuse to eat corn in the summertime, I’ll take it! But seriously, this Mexican corn salad recipe will blow your tastebuds with that oh-so-perfect balance of sweet, savory, and KAPOW!
- Great for parties
- Pairs well with any meat main dish!
- Super easy to make
- Flavors for DAYS!
How To Make Mexican Corn Salad Recipe
The first step in this salad recipe is the most important: char your corn! The salad just won’t have the same taste if your corn isn’t browned, so grilled those ears or roast those corn kernels.
Once that’s taken care of, saute your garlic and jalapeno and allow it to cool. Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together, then mix the cooled corn, garlic, and jalapenos with the tomatoes and radishes. Use just enough dressing to cover the salad and gently fold to coat.
Top with cilantro, pepitas, and cojita cheese.
As a side note, making Mexican Corn Salad vegan is a snap! Just swap out the dairy products for vegan-friendly equivalents!
Serve and enjoy!
How do you make a Mexican corn salad that tastes like authentic Mexican street corn? I’ve got the tips you need! Read on.
The secret to this salad’s deliciousness lies in the ingredients!
- Corn: I love making this recipe in the summer, when I know I can get fresh, sweet corn on the cob. But that doesn’t always happen — sometimes the store is out! — so grabbing frozen or canned works too, as long as you char your kernels! That’s what brings out the flavor in a really delicious way.
- Cotija: The cotija cheese we have in the U.S. is a little softer than what you’d find in Mexico (which is similar to parmesan). It’s more akin to feta here, so you can substitute that if needed!
- Heat: There’s a pinch of cayenne in this salad, which isn’t for the faint of heart! You can use less, according to your taste, or substitute paprika or chili powder. Want to up the heat more than the cayenne and hot sauce? You can add some pickled jalapenos to give your salad an extra flavor dimension!
- Crema: In Mexico, they use crema for street corn dishes like this. If you can’t find crema, sour cream or mayo are great substitutes, as they both bring that acid bite that crema is so famous for. There’s also lime juice and zest in this dressing, which adds concentrated lime flavor.
Tools to Make
Fire up the grill or heat up your oven — we’ve got a salad to make! You’ll need:
- A saute pan
- Mixing bowls
That’s it! If you grill your corn cobs, you’ll switch to a grill for some of this recipe — but otherwise, it can all be done on the stove!
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
Everything has so much flavor already there’s no need to refrigerate this salad before serving. I actually prefer to serve it right after mixing it all together since the flavors seem to be the strongest when they’re closer to room temperature, but if you have leftovers, store them safely for up to five days.
Can You Freeze This?
Unfortunately, this corn salad recipe does not do well in the freezer! The dressing won’t get along with the low temps, and the lovely charred corn will wilt and lose all its charred umph! So eat it chilled or send some home with guests!
Make Ahead Tips
This corn salad tastes the best right after assembly — the flavors really pop! However, you can make it up to a day ahead of time, and store it safely in the fridge.
When I’m pressed for time, I prep the veggies beforehand and store them in individual containers. I also mix up the mexican salad dressing and keep it separate until it’s time to serve.
Side Note: I also love having this dressing on hand to top other salads too! It’s great on romaine or spinach if you need to jazz up a boring pile of greens.
Let’s have an all-out Mexican fiesta! Whip up some of my downright mouthwatering carne picada and carne guisada for a flavor-packed protein your guests will love. Or, as you’re roasting your corn for the salad, keep the grill hot and make some Mexican pollo asado.
Of course, you can never go wrong with a big pan of my classic yet delicious beef enchiladas! Mexican corn salad makes a winning combo with any of these dishes.
What variations can we get from this recipe? Let’s have a look!
- Char, char, char! Get nice grilled marks on every veggie and have Mexican street corn salad.
- Toss in some of your favorite salty chips for a quick and easy salad that doubles as a dip! Frito corn salad combines crunchy corn chips with a creamy corn and veggie mixture.
- Add some citrus pop! Full of veggies and bursting with freshness, corn and tomato salad is a fantastic summer bite that you can easily adjust based on what’s fresh in the store or your garden.
- Celebrate summer’s favorite veggie by doubling up on corn to make corn salad!
- Want some added protein? Toss in some black beans for black bean corn salad to make this a proper main course!
Mexican Corn Salad
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 (15-ounce) bags corn kernels, thawed and well drained
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 4-5 radishes thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 lime zested and juiced
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 10 ounces cojita crumbled
- 3/4 cup pepitas
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- In a large, heavy bottom skillet, heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Add corn and red onion and cook, until corn is slightly charred, about 5-7 minutes.
- Turn heat to low and add garlic, and jalapeno and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cooled corn, cut tomatoes, and radishes.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients until they are well combined.
- TO SERVE: Add just enough of the dressing to coat the cooled corn mixture and gently fold.
- Taste. Add more dressing if desired (You may have some dressing leftover). Pour salad out on a serving platter.
- Sprinkle the top of salad with cojita, pepitas, and remaining 1/2 cup cilantro. Serve
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Want more vegetable sides and beyond? Here are some must-trys!
- Mexican Black Bean Salad – You’ve never had bean salad quite this flavorful!
- Taco Salad – All the best parts of a taco in a fork-loving dish!
- Dorito Taco Salad – Your favorite chips, for dinner
- Taco Pasta Salad – Tacos and pasta? Is this heaven?
- Chicken Taco Salad – Protein, party of one — this dish is begging to be dinner!
Next time you have a craving for a full Mexican feast, start with the salad! Mexican corn salad recipe packs all the flavors and textures you love about Mexican food into one sensational dish.
What did you serve with your corn salad? Let me know in the comments!