Mexican street corn salad is a perfect alternative to the classic.  In fact, I like this one better because it can be made ahead of time.  The cotija cheese and the freshly squeezed lime juice go so well with the roasted corn.

Mexican street corn salad featured image

Mexican street corn pairings

I love Mexican food!  Whenever I make a dish like this I think of complimentary food and drinks.  I can’t think of a better cocktail pairing for this dish than our Jalapeno margarita with cucumber.  Well, maybe this grapefruit margarita.  They are both superb with Mexican food.

This Mexican corn side dish would go well on top of beef or chicken tacos.  If keeping it as just a side I recommend pairing it with these crazy good Shrimp tacos in tequila garlic sauce.

It would also go perfectly as a side to our white chicken chili with roasted poblanos!


Corn cobs

This Mexican street corn salad can be made a few different ways.  My preferred method is to sear fresh cut corn in a cast iron pan.

Other ways to roast the corn:

Grill the cobs outside on a gas or charcoal grill, then cut the kernels off.

Have a gas range?  The cobs can be held with tongs straight over the flame.  This process roasts the corn in about 2 minutes.  The downside is only one cob can be roasted at a time.

Trader Joe’s sells fire roasted corn in the freezer section, so that is a great alternative for when corn is not in season or when you just don’t feel like cutting the corn off the fresh cobs.

I do recommend fresh corn but I want to show that there’s more than one way to do it.  There are always plenty of ways to make recipes.  Don’t ever feel that the recipe instructions can’t be changed to suit your preference!

Trader Joe's fire roasted corn.
Trader Joe’s fire roasted corn

Mexican street corn salad ingredients: cotija, red onion, tomatoes, green onions, lime, cilantro, jalapenos.

All of the ingredients go really well in this Mexican street corn salad.   It’s really as simple as chopping them up and adding to a bowl with the corn and mayo/sour cream mixture.

Cut corn kernels for the Mexican street corn salad.

Cut the corn kernels from 4 cobs and set aside.

Corn kernels in glass bowl.

Corn kernels seared in cast iron pan.

Heat a cast iron pan on medium-high heat.  Saute the kernels for roughly 5 minutes to get a nice roasted char effect.  Some of the kernels will pop – one of those screened mesh protectors might help cutting down on the mess.

Halved limes, chopped jalapenos, and red onion.

Chop up 1 medium jalapeno, 1/2 cup of red onion, 1/2 cup cilantro, and 5 green onions.  Slice the cherry tomatoes in half.  Juice of 2 limes should be about right – if you like more lime go for it.  2 limes worked well for me.

Mexican street corn salad flat lay photo.

After the corn has roasted and the veggies are chopped, mix up the sauce.  Combine 3 tablespoons each of sour cream and mayo along with the lime juice.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of ground cumin.  Stir it all together.

Add the corn to the sauce along with all the veggies.

Add half the cheese and mix it all up.

Finally, add the remaining half of the cheese and cilantro for garnish.


Mexican Street corn salad plated with limes and jalapenos.

If you’ve enjoyed this recipe for Mexican street corn salad, or any recipe on this site, we want to know so tell us in the comments below.  We would love to hear how you did and it’s nice to show others as well.  Thanks!

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Mexican Street Corn Salad Recipe - Tangy, Spicy Perfection

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Mexican Street Corn Salad recipe.  Tangy, spicy, and delicious.  A great Mexican side dish or appetizer.


  • 4 whole corn cobs
  • 1/2 cup red onion
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 3-5 large green onions
  • 1 cup cotija cheese
  • 1/2 large jalapeno
  • 2 large limes
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin


  • Shuck the corn then cut the kernels off.  Place in bowl and set aside. 
  • Heat cast iron pan on medium high heat.  Let pan get hot for a couple of minutes then add the corn kernels.  Sear the corn in the pan for roughly 5 minutes until the corn gets nice and charred.  Place back in bowl and let cool for 5 minutes
  • Mix the mayo, sour cream, juice of 2 limes, cumin, and salt together in a large bowl.
  • Chop up 1/2 cup of red onion.  Slice in half 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes.  Clean and chop 1/2 cup cilantro.  Chop 1/2 a jalapeno.  Dice up the green onions.
  • Add the cooled corn, all the chopped ingredients, and half the cotija cheese to the mayo mixture and stir well to incorporate the flavors.
  • Plate the mixture in a serving bowl and add the remaining cheese on top along with some more cilantro and a few limes.  Enjoy!


Serving: 140g | Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 5.3g | Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 450mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. If I’m doing the shortcut with Trader Joe’s corn how many cups would approximate 8 corn cobs?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Christine, there’s rougly 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of corn kernels per ear of corn, so roughly 4-6 cups. Hope that helps!

  2. This was delicious and I will be making this again. Everyone loved it!
    Thanks so much for all your tasty recipes.

  3. I noticed you said it can be made ahead, how far in advance? and do you assemble completely and then just pull out and serve?

    1. Definitely make it the morning of, and it should be fine for dinner. You can assemble completely or hold off on the tomatoes and cilantro, to avoid them getting a little soggy.