This Mexican corn salad is like street corn in a bowl. Flavors of charred corn, cream, spices, cojita cheese, and lime are mixed together for easy serving.
I love my recipe for Mexican Corn on the Cob, often called Elote. But, I often don’t have whole cobs of corn, especially in the winter and spring months, so I really love this Mexican Street Corn Salad that is like a deconstructed version of my favorite Elote.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
What Kind Of Corn Should I Use?
Of course, I think fresh corn would probably be best here. But, since I usually make this when cobs of corn aren’t available, the recipe calls for frozen defrosted corn. You can use drained canned corn instead if you prefer that but I’m not typically a fan of it.
When I make Elote, I char cobs of corn on the grill as they would in Mexico at street stands. Here’s how I like to grill corn with the husks on, by the way. When I’m making this salad though, I simply add the kernels to a really hot skillet. I move them around for 3-5 minutes or so, and when they have some color on them, I remove them from the heat. Then I make the mayonnaise-based sauce recipe while the corn cools. Note that if you want to speed up this recipe, you don’t have to toast the corn at all. Just defrost it and continue on with the sauce.
How To Make Street Corn Salad
The “sauce” that coats the corn is really delicious. It’s crema (use sour cream or Greek yogurt if you can’t find crema), mixed with mayonnaise, chili powder, garlic powder, and cilantro. Doesn’t that sound delicious?
When everything is all mixed together, I crumble on cotija or queso fresco cheese and squeeze the whole dish with a little bit of lime. This lime wakes everything up and adds brightness. You can’t skip that part!
The best part about this is that you can serve it hot or cold. If you want to eat it right away, simply serve after you squeeze on the lime juice. If you want to make this ahead of time, pop it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it later!
More Corn Recipes
If you like creamed corn, you’re going to LOVE the other corn-based recipes that I’m linking to here.
- Cheesy Jiffy Corn Casserole
- Simple Corn Salad
- Creamed Corn
- Creamy Spicy Corn Salad
- Black Bean and Corn Salsa
- Microwaved Corn on the Cob
- How To Make Grits
And, for more delicious side dish inspiration, check out all of my side dish recipes over here. Enjoy! -Christine xo
Podcast Episode On Making Mexican Corn Salad
Listen to me briefly talk about how to make this Mexican Street Corn Salad, with some great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:Print
This Mexican corn salad is like street corn in a bowl. Flavors of charred corn, cream, spices, cojita cheese and lime are mixed together for easy serving.
- 4 cups frozen corn kernels, defrosted
- 1/4 cup Mexican crema (or use sour cream or Greek yogurt)
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- 1/2 cup finely crumbled cotija cheese, feta cheese or queso fresco
- 1/2 of a lime
- Heat a large skillet over high heat.*
- Add the corn to the hot pan, and cook stirring constantly but slowly until it starts to have char marks in places, 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn.
- Remove the corn from the pan, and spread it out a bit so that it cool better while you make the sauce.
- In a medium bowl mix together the crema, mayonnaise, chili powder, garlic, and cilantro, if using.
- Fold in the corn, covering each kernel with the mayonnaise mixture.
- Sprinkle the dish with the cheese and lime juice. Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate and serve cold later.
Love this recipe? I’d appreciate it if you could scroll down and add a *5 star rating* to help others know they’ll love it as well!
*Note: To speed up this recipe, you don’t have to toast the corn. Just defrost it and then begin at step #4.
This post originally appeared in October 2019 and was revised and republished in August 2023.