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When you’re tired of the same old thing, a bowl of Creamy Mexican Street Corn Salad will spice up your menu! This fun summer side dish is loaded with freshly grilled corn, chunks of ripe avocado, juicy tomatoes, and all the street corn toppings you want!
What is your all-time favorite summer veggie??
Every trip to the grocery store sees me bringing home more cobs.
I find strands of cornsilk all over the floor by my garbage can (that stuff is ridiculous).
These Florida summer afternoons already near 100 degrees F, but I’ll happily stand over a flaming hot grill for a few of these babies.
JUST TAKE ME TO THE MEXICAN STREET CORN SALAD ALREADY!
If you’d rather skip my (pretty darn helpful) tips and tricks, essential cooking info, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to this deliciously easy corn salad recipe, just scroll right on down to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card!
As much as I love grilled corn on the cob, I think I might just love this salad even more.
I mean, there’s only so much surface area for all the creamy toppings that go on street corn. When you add some of that charred corn to a bowl, you can pile in as much cheese, crema, and lime as you want.
You can also toss in some overripe avocado and the last of your tomatoes and take it to a new level.
Whether you eat this salad as a side dish, for lunch, or on top of some tasty tacos, if you’re a corn lovah, you’re in for a treat!
What Is Mexican Street Corn?
Also known as elote, the inspiration for this side dish comes right from the streets of Mexico!
Often sold by street vendors at festivals, elote is comprised of grilled, boiled, or roasted sweet corn that is covered in a blend of mayo, Mexican crema, cheese, and spices.
It is traditionally served on the cob or on a stick – but this corn salad is all the best parts of elote in a conveniently portable preparation!
How To Grill Corn on the Cob Perfectly Every Time!
There are SO many ways to grill corn on the cob, but the best way for this particular dish is naked. No husk, no foil – you want those kernels to burn just a bit.
First, remove and discard the husks and all the cornsilk. Place the corn cobs in a large bowl and add enough water to cover them. Sprinkle in a bit of salt, and allow them to soak for 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, lightly coat a gas or charcoal grill rack with oil or oil spray. Preheat it to medium-high (450 degrees F). If you can hold your hand ~6 inches from the heat for about 5 seconds without it getting too hot, you’re good to go!
Place the ears of corn on the grate, directly over the flames. Grill them, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes, turning them every 2 minutes for an even cook. Remove once the kernels have just begun to char in spots.
Can This Be Made On A Grill Pan or Indoor Grill?
If you don’t own an outdoor grill, you can absolutely make this salad with corn grilled indoors.
Rub the corn cobs with butter or avocado oil. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a grill pan or skillet set over high heat. Add the corn and “grill” it, turning the cobs occasionally until they are charred to your liking. Then follow the remaining recipe as listed in the card.
Can Mexican Street Corn Salad Be Made With Frozen Corn Kernels?
Yes – this salad is versatile, and your prep is a matter of preference and season.
If you’d prefer to use corn kernels over corn on the cob, simply melt some butter in a cast iron skillet set over high heat. Add the corn and allow it to cook, undisturbed, for 3-5 minutes, until it begins to char. Season with salt and cumin, stir, and repeat until the corn is blackened in spots.
Follow the remaining recipe as listed in the card.
Can Corn Salad Be Made Ahead Of Time? How Long Will It Last?
Yep – the salad itself can be made up to a day ahead, but I recommend grilling the corn no earlier than 1 hour ahead of prep time. The quality of grilled corn on the cob tends to deteriorate after being refrigerated, so the fresher, the better.
Properly stored in an airtight container in the fridge, this street corn salad will keep for about 2 days. If you’d like it to be creamier, add a bit more crema/mayo before serving.
How To Make Mexican Street Corn Salad
Just like most side salads, this one is extremely easy to throw together. There’s minimal cooking involved (just the corn!) and only a bit of chopping, making it a great choice for a last minute potluck dish.
While your corn is grilling, chop up the garlic, avocado, jalapeño, green onion, and tomatoes. In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients –
- Mexican crema (sour cream or Greek yogurt also works well if you can’t find it)
- Cotija cheese (or feta or queso fresco)
- Chopped cilantro (leaves and stems)
- Lime zest and juice
- Chili Powder (or cayenne pepper if you like more heat)
- Ground cumin
- Paprika (your fave type)
The amounts are listed in the recipe card, but after tasting the mixed dressing, I encourage you to add more seasonings/lime/cilantro based on your tastes! You honestly can not screw this recipe up with too much goodness.
After the corn is grilled to your desired char level, let is cool a bit until you can touch it with your bare hands. Grab a large mixing bowl (or a bundt pan – the middle holds the cob in place!) and carefully slice the kernels off of the cobs.
I like to cut deep enough that some of the kernels stay together in chunks – making for a very pretty presentation.
Finally, toss the corn and all the veggies together with the dressing in the bowl. Be gentle when tossing so you don’t smash the avocado or separate the corn kernels.
Garnish the serving bowl as you would actual street corn – with lime wedges, jalapeño slices, cilantro leaves, more cheese, and a sprinkle of paprika or cayenne.
LOOKING FOR MORE FIESTA-THEMED SALAD RECIPES?
- Grilled Corn & Zucchini Salad
- Chopped Avocado Caprese Salad
- Mexican Salad with 3-Minute Guacamole
- Taco Pasta Salad
HELPFUL KITCHEN TOOLS FOR MAKING MEXICAN STREET CORN SALAD:
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Mexican Street Corn Salad
- 4 ears of corn husked
- 1 avocado peeled, cored, and chopped
- 2 jalapeno peppers minced (seeds optional)
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes quartered
- 1/4 cup green onion chopped
- 1/3 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Cotija or Feta cheese crumbled, plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder or cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika plus more for garnish
- Kosher salt to taste
- Remove husk and all corn silk from ears of corn. Place ears of corn in a large bowl, fill with water until covered, and add a sprinkle of salt. Allow to soak for 20-30 minutes.
- Rub grill grates with oil, then heat to medium-high (450 degrees F). Grill corn, uncovered, over direct flames, 8-10 minutes. Turn occasionally, until tender and charred in spots. Let cool until touchable, then carefully cut kernels from cobs into a mixing bowl.
- Add avocado, jalapeño, garlic, tomatoes, and green onion to bowl with corn. Gently stir to combine.
- Whisk crema, mayonnaise, cheese, cilantro, lime juice and zest, chili powder, cumin, and paprika together in a small bowl. Season with salt to taste.
- Add dressing to bowl with vegetables and stir gently to combine. Top with additional cheese, cilantro, and paprika, then serve with lime wedges on the side.
- Crema dressing can be made 2 days ahead, stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
- Corn can be grilled up to 1 hour ahead of preparation.
- Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.