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

3.54 from 50 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!

  • Reply
    2 Sisters Recipes
    August 21, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Your Mexican corn salad sounds wonderful! Easy too! And your photos are always stunning!

  • Reply
    Sarah | Broma Bakery
    August 20, 2015 at 6:50 am

    Completely agree about the warm/cool contrast. It’s perfect for late summer. I have some farm arugula that is dying for the elote treatment!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    August 20, 2015 at 5:49 am

    Great salad Sue and so pretty to look at, too ๐Ÿ™‚ Must try this as corn is at it’s best here right now.

  • Reply
    Toni | BoulderLocavore
    August 19, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    I love Elote and making it into a salad is brilliant Sue! Adding arugula would be the best, very clever. Since I have grilled the elote I’ve made I love having a mid winter option of roasting! Thank you for that.

  • Reply
    Alison Phill
    August 19, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Oh boy does that look yummy ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    August 19, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    You really did it now Sue – this looks fantastic! The crema dressing is the icing on this cake salad! Beautiful photos too – sharing and pinning ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Angi[email protected]'s+Recipes
    August 19, 2015 at 11:35 am

    The salad sounds and looks fabulous! I need to get some more fresh corns before the season is over.

    • Reply
      August 19, 2015 at 11:57 am

      Thanks for stopping by Angie — they’re practically giving corn away here these days ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Liz @ Floating Kitchen
    August 19, 2015 at 9:32 am

    I am over the moon in love with this salad! This is the perfect way to savor summer – I’m not ready for apples and pumpkins yet (although I keep seeing them everywhere!).

    • Reply
      August 19, 2015 at 11:59 am

      I’m guilty of the apples and pumpkin thing…I can’t help it, I want it all!

  • Reply
    [email protected]+Riffs
    August 19, 2015 at 9:17 am

    This is really creative! I often eat grilled corn with cotija, but never thought to deconstruct the dish, then reconstruct into a salad. Really like this — thanks.

    • Reply
      August 19, 2015 at 11:59 am

      Thanks John!

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    August 19, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Yummmmmm…..! I love this version Sue, it sounds fantastic and would be a total meal for me -although it would go so nicely with anything off the grill too!

    • Reply
      August 19, 2015 at 9:16 am

      Thanks Chris, we really enjoyed it, and it introduced me to a new way of cooking corn on the cob — no more boiling vats of water for me ๐Ÿ™‚

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