This 15-minute Spicy Mexican Street Corn Salad recipe is the perfect side dish at any summer BBQ. Known as Esquites and sold in small cups, this popular Mexican Street Food is delicious! Sweet, tangy, and refreshing, with a hint of spice, I love this salad as a side, especially with my Steak in Air Fryer Oven, my Bihari Kebab, and my Pakistani Chicken Steam Roast.
My first taste of this Mexican corn salad recipe was as a side at Morton's Steakhouse. Always looking for new and innovative sides, this is my light, spicy, and easy salad version. I love pairing it with my Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef and my Oven Baked Chicken Quesadillas for dinner.
Why you'll love this recipe
- The perfect side - Serve this as a side with grilled tandoori lamb chops, tacos or on Thanksgiving!
- it’s a great make-ahead option - Make this a day ahead and refrigerate it for your next cookout or picnic!
- Easy & quick recipe - 15 minutes from start to finish is a win for sure!
- Delicious leftovers - The leftovers make a great meal for the next day! I love them as a snack with tortilla chips or as part of a lunch bowl.
- Corn - I used white frozen corn kernels in this recipe but yellow sweet corn works just as well.
- Jalapenos - I would suggest using 2 jalapenos as they provide much-needed flavor to the salad. If you want the salad less spicy just deseed the peppers.
- Red Onion - This adds a pop of color and flavor to the Mexican Corn Street Salad.
- Green Onions - Green onions add flavor, texture, and color to the corn salad.
- Lime Juice - This is essential and if possible try and stick to fresh lime juice versus lemon juice.
- Cilantro - Mexican food isn't complete without fresh cilantro.
- Mayonnaise - I use Kraft Olive Oil mayonnaise for most of my recipes but feel free to use your favorite brand.
- Sour Cream - The mayonnaise and sour cream combined create the taste of Mexican mayonnaise, which is similar to creme fraiche.
- Frank's Hot Sauce - I use Frank's Hot Sauce but any other hot sauce you like and have will work.
- Garlic Powder - Plain garlic powder is what I use. If you use garlic salt then you may have to adjust the salt in the recipe.
- Red Chili Powder - This puts the spicy in this recipe and is a necessary ingredient.
- Cayenne Powder - Cayenne has a different taste than plain chili powder and the two used together create the perfect flavor.
- Black Pepper - Black pepper adds yet a different type of heat to the recipe and the result is fantastic!
- Trader Joe's Chili Lime Seasoning - The final touch is a sprinkle of this seasoning. Ideally, if you have and can access Tajin I would recommend it. But if not, then Trader Joe's seasoning works.
Substitutes & variations
- Swap out the cheese - Whereas the original Mexican street version of this salad includes Cotija cheese, it's notalways easy to source. You can swap Fresh Cotija cheese with Feta cheese, Parmesan cheese or Romano, depending on the flavor you're looking for.
- Try Greek yogurt - Want a healthier version of the street salad? Try using Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise for a lighter version of the salad.
- Use grilled corn - Grill a fresh corn cob or two for this Mexican street salad and use the charred corn kernels for a slightly smoky taste.
Step 1 - Stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, and all of the seasonings in a large bowl.
Step 2 - Add the lime juice to the creamy sauce.
Step 3 - Whisk the creamy lime dressing to mix everything well.
Step 4 - Chop the green onions and cilantro.
Step 5 - Chop the red onions and Jalapenos.
Step 6 - Mix the dressing, corn, red onions, and jalapenos. Stir in the green onions to the corn mixture, and sprinkle with the chili lime seasoning, cilantro, Frank's red hot sauce, and Cotija.
- I like to mix my creamy dressing with my Mexican salad right at the end. I feel it keeps my Spicy Mexican Street Corn Salad Recipe tasting a lot more crisp and fresh.
- Similarly, I add all the garnishes to my perfect summer side dish at the end for maximum freshness.
Elote is an entire corn cob that is grilled and topped with a creamy, spicy lime-flavored dressing. Esquites, on the other hand, is the deconstructed version of the former, typically served in a cup.
This Mexican Street Corn salad works as a great vegetarian main or as a side with tacos or goat cheese pizza with peaches.
Mexican Mayonnaise is similar to Creme Fraiche. The mayonnaise and sour cream mix to help create something similar.
While we wouldn't recommend freezing any leftovers, this salad will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days. Just make sure to top it with extra cotija and fresh cilantro when you break back into it.
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Spicy Mexican Street Corn Salad
- 6 cups frozen corn
- 2 chopped jalapenos
- ½ diced red onion
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 juiced lime
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp tajin
- ½ cup cilantro
- 2 green onions
- 2 tbsp frank's hot sauce
- cotija cheese Optional
- Measure your corn into an oven safe dish and add 1 cup of water.
- Cook in the microwave for 5 minutes, remove and stir and cook for an additional 3 minutes (cooking times may vary from one microwave to the next). Drain any excess water and set aside.
- Chop and add the Onion and Jalapenos.
- Stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice and all of the seasoning and mix into the corn mixture.
- Stir in the green onions
- sprinkle with the tajin, cilantro, cotija and frank's red hot sauce