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Mexican Corn Salad

A bowl of food on a plate, with Salad
A sweet corn dip made with Mexican crema, jalepeno, chili powder, and Cotija cheese, this Mexican corn salad is a delicious way to transform Elote (Mexican street corn) into a tasty chunky salsa or side dish!
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Table of Contents
  1. MEXICAN CORN SALAD INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS MEXICAN CORN SALAD RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. FAQ
  6. MORE RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE
  7. JUMP TO RECIPE

All the favorite flavors of Elote are found in this Mexican street corn salad recipe. It is made of sweet corn cooked in a skillet, then covered in a spicy mix of Mexican crema, jalapeño, spices, and topped off with Cotija cheese. It makes a perfect side dish for a summer night grill out or paired with tortilla chips for a delicious appetizer dip.

If you love this Mexican corn dip you have to try grilled Elote as well. The corn salad would also be perfect when paired with easy-to-make dinner dishes like Ground Beef Enchiladas, Mexican Casserole, or Sheet Pan Fajitas.

close up overhead shot of Mexican corn salad garnished with parsley then topped with Cotija cheese and lime slices

MORE CORN RECIPES
Corn Casserole | Grilled Corn on the Cob


MEXICAN CORN SALAD INGREDIENTS

Mexican corn salad raw ingredients that are labeled

You will need:

  • 4 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • ⅓ bunch cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup Cotija Cheese, crumbled
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ⅓ to 1/ cup Mexican crema (2recipe below)
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced (optional)

Mexican Crema Ingredients

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CREMA: A common question that arises when making this recipe, is Mexican crema the same as sour cream? Can sour cream be used as a substitute? While they are similar, Mexican crema is different from sour cream, and I would recommend sticking with the recipe listed above; however, it is an option if that is all you have or if you prefer the taste.

Mexican crema is runnier and lighter than sour cream. It has a tangy sweetness to it that sour cream is lacking. The outcome of your Mexican street corn will be enhanced greatly by using the crema recipe over sour cream.

GRILLED CORN: This recipe can be made using corn on the cob instead of kerneled corn.

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HOW TO MAKE THIS MEXICAN CORN SALAD RECIPE

STEP ONE: In a medium bowl, combine Mexican Crema ingredients and whisk together. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to add the corn mixture.

PRO TIP: The time in the refrigerator allows the crema to thicken which is exactly what you want. The longer you leave it (even up to 24 hours), the better.

Mexican corn salad process shot of ingredients mixed in a bowl

STEP TWO: In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add thawed corn and butter. Stir well to combine. Let cook in the pan, stirring often until the corn starts to look charred.

PRO TIP: A cast iron skillet works best, but a nonstick skillet will do the trick, too!

Mexican corn salad process shot of corn being cooked in a skillet

STEP THREE: Place corn into a bowl and let it cool for 10 minutes, stirring often and allowing the corn to cool evenly.

STEP FOUR: Add the cumin, chipotle chili powder, black pepper, salt, red onion, cilantro, and cotija cheese, juice from 1 lime, jalapeño (if you like, this is optional), and ⅓ to ½ cup of Mexican crema. Stir together all of the ingredients to combine.

PRO TIP: If the crema is too thick for your liking when you are ready to use it, a splash of lime juice will thin it out as needed.

Mexican corn salad process shot of ingredients in a bowl

STEP FIVE: Top with additional Cotija cheese and chopped cilantro.

STEP SIX: Serve slightly warm, room temperature, or cold.

HOW TO SERVE

You can serve this authentic Mexican Corn Salad either warm or cold. Serve it alongside Shrimp Tacos with Spicy Cilantro Lime Sauce or our Enchilada Cups for a Mexican-inspired meal.

STORAGE

If you have leftovers, store them in a tightly covered tupperware or bowl. When you are ready to eat the leftovers, add additional leftover Mexican crema to make the consistency more creamy. The crema recipe makes a little bit extra to account for the corn being a bit dry the next day! Make sure to save any extras.

close up overhead shot of Mexican corn salad being picked up with a spoon in a bowl

Whether you’re celebrating taco Tuesday or throwing a family fiesta, Mexican street corn is the perfect side dish or appetizer dip. Also known as elote, this corn salad recipe is full of delicious flavor. From the sweet corn mixed with a homemade Mexican crema to the sprinkling of fresh Cotija cheese and spicy seasoning, this is an easy-to-make, authentic dish.

FAQ

What kind of corn should I use?

You can use either frozen corn or fresh grilled or boiled corn cut from the cob for this recipe.

What is Cotija cheese and where can I find it?

Cotija cheese is a white, firm, dry and slightly salty cheese that originated in Mexico. You can find it at most specialty stores or Latino markets. If you cannot find it, you can use either feta or parmesan in its place.

Is there something I can substitute for Mexican Crema?

If necessary, you could substitute sour cream for the crema, although it will have a different taste. Crema is lighter than sour cream and has a tangy taste lacking in sour cream.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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A bowl of food on a plate, with Salad

Mexican Corn Salad

5 from 3 votes
A sweet corn dip made with Mexican crema, jalepeno, chili powder, and Cotija cheese, this Mexican corn salad is a delicious way to transform Elote (Mexican street corn) into a tasty chunky salsa or side dish!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cup frozen corn thawed
  • 1 tbsp salted butter
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1/3 cilantro chopped
  • 1 lime juiced
  • ⅓ to 1/2 cup Mexican Crema recipe below
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese crumbled
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and diced (optional)

Mexican Crema

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl combine Mexican Crema Ingredients and whisk together. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to add to the corn mixture.
  • In a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add thawed corn and butter. Stir well to combine. Let cook in pan stirring often until the corn starts to look charred.
  • Place corn into a bowl and let cool for 10 minutes, stirring often allowing the corn to cool evenly.
  • Add the cumin, chipotle chili powder, black pepper, salt, red onion, cilantro, and cotija cheese, juice from 1 lime, jalapeno (optional), and ⅓ to ½ cup Mexican Cream. Stir together to combine.
  • Top with additional Cotija Cheese and chopped cilantro.
  • Serve slightly warm, room temperature, or cold. 

Notes

Tip: Use leftover crema to mix in the next day in case the corn salad dries out a bit.

Nutrition

Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 491mg | Potassium: 390mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 569IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 1mg
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Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

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