Mexican Street Corn Salad Recipe (Esquites Recipe)

This easy side dish is full of fresh, zingy flavor! Mexican Street Corn Salad is a twist on my favorite Mexican restaurant’s Elote recipe but made even easier. A great addition to any party and quick enough for a fun weeknight dinner.

Quick and easy, Mexican Street Corn Salad is a fresh and bright side dish perfect for summer parties and Cinco de Mayo. | TheSuburbanSoapbox.com

Originally published in May 2017 and updated in June 2019.

I think when you get to this point in the year….you just yearn a bit more for summer. The seesawing weather really affects my mood to the point that I just want it to get hot, already, so I’m sweating profusely and need to eat ALL the watermelon within a five mile radius.  

Everything about the summer is better….beyond the weather.  The produce is spectacular, the sounds of the evening are soothing and the summer cookouts always have the best dishes.  Like creamy macaroni salad spiked with lobster, sweet and caramelized baked beans and now….Mexican Street Corn Salad…..or Esquites.

Quick and easy, Mexican Street Corn Salad is a fresh and bright side dish perfect for summer parties and Cinco de Mayo. | TheSuburbanSoapbox.com

I’m a little obsessed with corn on the cob…it’s the best part of summer. Dripping with butter and salted more than the average person would like, I could eat a dozen ears all by myself.

So, when I started to see drippy, cheesy Elote (Mexican Street Corn) popping up all over Pinterest years ago, I vowed to make it myself. And I did…but it’s a mess to eat.  Like, you’ll have stains on every square inch of your clothes…or that’s just me.

That’s when I decided to turn it into a quick and easy side dish… and this Mexican Street Corn Salad Recipe was born. Now, I’m not claiming to have invented the salad concept….in fact, it seems they’re already enjoying it in Northern Mexico…..but I definitely improved upon it in my own way.

And, to be honest, I thought I DID come up with a pretty new idea until I googled it and then….there it was. Mexican Street Corn Salad, or Esquites, 50 billion ways. But I made my own anyway.

What is Esquites?

Esquites, or Esquites Receta, is the “salad” form of Mexico’s popular Elote…which is basically grilled or toasted corn on the cob with cheese, mayonnaise, crema and chili powder.

Esquites, commonly known in the United States as Mexican Street Corn Salad, is the easier way to enjoy Elote.  Served on the streets in Mexico as a snack or dip, it’s basically Mexican corn in a cup (or elote in a cup if we’re splitting hairs here). No mess, no dental floss needed. And you’ll have a clean shirt after you stuff your face with this amazingness.

Quick and easy, Mexican Street Corn Salad is a fresh and bright side dish perfect for summer parties and Cinco de Mayo. | TheSuburbanSoapbox.com

How to Make Mexican Street Corn Salad

I started by charring the corn kernels in a skillet with a bit of oil. Just until they begin to smell toasty, then I let them cool before tossing with red onion, green onion, cilantro, jalapeño and cheese.

Quick and easy, Mexican Street Corn Salad is a fresh and bright side dish perfect for summer parties and Cinco de Mayo. | TheSuburbanSoapbox.com

I whisked together sour cream, a little mayonnaise, a little more cheese, chili powder, cayenne and lime then tossed the salad to coat.

Quick and easy, Mexican Street Corn Salad is a fresh and bright side dish perfect for summer parties and Cinco de Mayo. | TheSuburbanSoapbox.com

What to Serve with Mexican Street Corn Salad

My favorite time to serve this easy Esquites recipe is at barbecues during the summertime. So naturally, these are my FAVORITE things to serve alongside this addicting side dish:

Quick and easy, Mexican Street Corn Salad is a fresh and bright side dish perfect for summer parties and Cinco de Mayo. | TheSuburbanSoapbox.com

It really is the best tasting side dish I’ve ever made.  Filled to the brim with vibrant flavor that is completely and utterly addicting. It’s so perfect served alongside some simple Barbecue Chicken or my favorite spicy ribs.  

Mexican Street Corn Salad is definitely one of those dishes you’re going to make again and again and again. And AGAIN.

Want to see what else we’re cooking up in the kitchen? Follow us over on Instagram!

Quick and easy, Mexican Street Corn Salad is a fresh and bright side dish perfect for summer parties and Cinco de Mayo. | TheSuburbanSoapbox.com

Mexican Street Corn Salad

Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: street corn
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 189 kcal
Author: Kellie

This traditional Elote salad....Mexican Street Corn Salad....is a fiesta for your tastebuds!

Print

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups corn kernels thawed, if frozen
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 ounces Cojita cheese crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the corn to the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes or until slightly charred, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
  2. Transfer the corn to a mixing bowl. Add the onion, jalapeño, green onion, cilantro and cheese. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, lime zest, lime juice, cayenne pepper and chili powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pour the dressing over the corn mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle with additional cilantro and Cojita cheese, if desired. Serve immediately
  5.  

Recipe Notes

Salad can be made up to 8 hours in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.

Nutrition Facts
Mexican Street Corn Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 189 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 19mg6%
Sodium 283mg12%
Potassium 180mg5%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 535IU11%
Vitamin C 5.8mg7%
Calcium 117mg12%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

20 comments on “Mexican Street Corn Salad Recipe (Esquites Recipe)”

  1. What would be a substitute for cojita cheese?

  2. I luh-uhve this dish! Nothing beats summer corn (I don’t want to wait, so glad you’ve sharing this now), and this salad looks amazing! Love the zing, too!

  3. I can’t wait for summer sweet corn! This salad sounds so good!

  4. I just cannot wait for summer to arrive but I’m just thankful for the sweater weather after the long drawn out winter. This corn salad is the bomb! I could eat this all up…I can’t wait for summer now ^_^

  5. Love all the fresh flavors going on! This Mexican Street Corn Salad will be a great side for summer barbecues too!

  6. Oh my goodness! Made this for our Cinco De Mayo party tonight and don’t want to share it!! I bought the Trader Joes frozen roasted corn as a time saver. This will definitely go on summer BBQ rotation. 

  7. Its “cotija” cheese….sort of a hard and crumbly but very mild Mexican cheese. It’s in a lot of traditional Mexican recipes. Just a little mix up of the T and the J. I cant wait to try this recipe for the 4th of July!

  8. Can it be made ahead of time?

  9. Fabulous! I had to “vegan” it for my husband so didn’t add any cheese and used vegan sour cream and vegan mayo. With all the spices and onions I didn’t even notice the “vegan” part.
    Thank you. (Can’t wait to make for my gfs where I can make it as is, but honestly it’s good as a vegan recipe.

  10. I doubled the recipe. The dressing was very limey and watery/thin. I only used 1/8 tsp cayenne, as a tsp can be very hot. I had to add more mayo, sour cream, chili powder and salt to thicken the dressing and reduce the over powerful lime taste.  After that, it was very good. . 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.