Mexican Street Corn Salad

Mexican Street Corn Salad

Mexican Street Corn Salad is a must-try before the summer’s out. It’s patterned after the popular Mexican street food ‘elote’, which is basically seasoned corn on the cob. The corn is boiled or grilled, then slathered in a creamy sauce, and showered with cheese, chili powder, fresh lime juice, and cilantro — the flavors are striking and unusual.

Mexican Street Corn Salad is a fiesta in a bowl!

Mexican Street Corn Salad in a wooden bowl

Mexican street corn (elote) in a healthy salad for summer picnics and barbecues.

This salad version takes it from the street inside to the table, but doesn’t lose any of the panache of the original. I love the contrast of the warm roasted corn with the cool arugula, so I like to serve it immediately after stripping the roasted kernels from the cobs.

Striking Mexican Street Corn Salad with crema dressing

You’ll want a few authentic Mexican ingredients for this street corn salad

  • One is crema, which is a very lightly cultured, pourable cream. If you can’t fine it, you can thin down regular sour cream or creme fraiche with water. Many large supermarkets carry it, so be sure to ask.
  • The other thing you’ll need is cotija cheese…it comes in a block, and it’s salty, dry and easily crumbled. If your store has an Hispanic section, you will find it there, otherwise, you can, in a pinch, substitute feta.

Roasting corn for Mexican Street Corn Salad

Cilantro and lime are a potent Mexican flavor combination

They really make this dish, if you ask me. The roasted corn and the peppery arugula back them up beautifully. It’s definitely a fiesta in a salad bowl!

Mexican Street Corn Salad

Mexican Street Corn Salad with arugula

More south of the border inspired recipes to try

3.60 from 52 votes

Mexican Street Corn Salad

Mexican Street Corn Salad is patterned after the popular Mexican street food 'elote', this grilled corn salad is healthy, authentic, and delicious!
Course Salad
Cuisine American /Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Calories 205kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 4 handfuls fresh baby arugula, or one per serving
  • 4 ears corn on the cobs
  • 1/2 cup Mexican Crema, (substitute thinned down sour cream or creme fraiche)
  • several fresh limes
  • 4 oz cotija cheese
  • handful of fresh cilantro
  • chile powder or smoked paprika for garnish


  • Roast the ears of corn over a hot grill, or on the stove top. You can remove the husks, or keep them on, it doesn't matter. Roast them over high heat for about 15 minutes or so, turning every once in a while, until they start to steam and char. Put them aside to cool, just enough to handle.
  • Mix the Mexican cream with the juice of 2 limes. Stir well and taste. If you like, you can add more lime juice for more of a citrus kick. If the mixture is too thick to drizzle, add a touch of water.
  • When the corn is cool enough to handle, remove the husks, if necessary, and slice the kernels off with a sharp knife.
  • Arrange the arugula in a wide shallow salad bowl. Scatter the warm corn over the top of greens, then crumble the cheese over the corn. Scatter the cilantro over all, and then drizzle with the crema dressing. Garnish with a sprinkle of chile powder, and serve with wedges of lime.
  • Enjoy immediately because the warm corn will eventually wilt the arugula. If you want to make this slightly more ahead of time, chill the corn before adding it to the salad.


Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 452mg | Potassium: 268mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 468IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 192mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.



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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Jane Campbell
    August 22, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Hi Sue! What could I substitute for the Cotija cheese? Feta?

    • Reply
      May 3, 2018 at 5:57 pm

      You can use feta, or farmer’s cheese, or really any crumbled cheese you like, even blue.

  • Reply
    Joel Cherrico
    August 22, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Love how simple this recipe is. Just picked up fresh corn on the cob from the farmers’ market and I’m excited to make this tonight!

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