This easy Mexican street corn salad can be served as a dip or side dish. It’s easy to make, can be eaten hot or cold and is perfect to serve at a party.
One of my favorite things to eat is corn and this is now one of my favorite ways to eat it. This is a dish I plan on eating all summer long.
What is Mexican street corn?
Mexican street corn usually comes in two forms. Elotes is grilled corn on the cob, slathered in mayonnaise, butter, cheese, chili powder, and lime juice. Esquites is in off-the-cob version of elotes.
In San Diego, elotes is available at farmer’s markets and many Mexican restaurants. But I prefer an off-the-cob version because I hate getting corn stuck in my teeth, especially if I’m dining out. So, I decided to make my own homemade version at home.
How to Serve Mexican Corn Salad Dip
I’ve eaten this dish both hot and room temperature. When it’s hot, it’s super creamy and cheesy. It works great as a dip and is very scoopable. When it’s room temperature or cold, it’s still very flavorful and delicious and works great as a refreshing summer salad.
Type of Corn to Use for Mexican Corn Salad
- Ideally, this dish should be made with fresh grilled corn. However, if you don’t have a grill, you can use frozen corn and char it on the stove.
- If using fresh corn, you can either grill it on the cob and then cut it off for the salad or you can slice the corn off the cob and cook and char it on the stove.
- For frozen corn, thaw it directly on the stove and cook it over high heat until slightly charred.
- If you don’t have fresh or frozen corn, you can also make this with canned corn.
Mexican Corn Salad Ingredients
This salad only needs a few ingredients:
- chili powder
- lime juice
- cojita cheese
If you’re unfamiliar with cojita cheese, it’s a dry, crumbly, salty cheese that is used in a lot of Mexican dishes. It’s fairly easy to find cojita cheese in San Diego, but if you have trouble finding it you can substitute with feta cheese. Feta cheese is saltier than cojita cheese so you will need to be careful about not using too much.
Mexican Street Corn Salad
- 4 cups corn kernels (frozen, fresh or canned will all work)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tbsp cotija cheese crumbled
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika optional
- juice of 1/2 a lime
- 2 tbsp cilantro finely chopped
- Add butter to large cast iron skillet and bring to medium high heat. Add corn and cook until warm and cooked through and slightly charred.
- Reduce heat and toss hot corn in mayonnaise, cheese, chili powder, paprika, lime juice and cilantro. Serve warm with tortilla chips or room temperature as a salad. Garnish with additional cilantro and cojita cheese right before serving if desired.
- I used frozen corn. This dish can also be made with fresh corn. If using fresh corn, you can either grill the corn while on the cob and then slice off the kernels and use or slice off raw kernels from cob and cook them on the stove.
- If you have a Trader Joe's near you, they sell frozen fire roasted corn. I like to use this whenever possible because it saves me the step of charring the corn.
- If you don't like to eat spicy, reduce the amount of chili powder.
- Cojita is a dry crumbly salty cheese used in Mexican cuisine. If you can't find cojita cheese you can substitute with feta. Feta cheese is saltier than cojita so you will need to be careful and use less of it.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.