It’s CORN! Summer bbq season is upon us, and we need a side dish for our watermelon margaritas, mediterranean grilled chicken salad, and healthy summer fruit crisp. Add this simple and delicious Mexican street corn salad to that lineup and you’ve got yourself a killer summer meal!

This recipe’s specifically for those people who enjoy their corn off the cob. It’s all the incredible flavors of Mexican street corn added to one big bowl, perfect for sharing and much easier to eat! Fresh (or frozen) corn, cilantro, paprika, and cotija cheese come together to make this super flavorful and surprisingly healthy salad.

Ingredients laid out for Mexican street corn salad recipe.

What You’ll Need to Make Mexican Street Corn Salad

Corn: Fresh corn is recommended, but if it’s not in season you can use frozen corn instead! And if you opt for fresh corn, follow the instructions below on how to cut the corn off the cob before using it in this recipe.

Fresh Cilantro: Finely chopped cilantro adds a refreshing burst of herbaceous flavor to the salad, complementing the other ingredients beautifully.

Cotija or Feta Cheese: Crumbled cotija cheese lends a salty, tangy flavor to the salad, while feta cheese can be used as a delicious alternative.

Jalapeño: For a spicy kick, add finely chopped jalapeño to the salad. Omit or adjust the amount according to your heat preference.

Mayonnaise: Creamy mayonnaise binds the ingredients together and adds richness to the salad, while also balancing the flavors.

close up image of Mexican street corn salad in a bowl.

How to Cut Corn Off The Cob

  1. Shuck the corn by peeling off the outer leaves and removing as much of the tassel (the stringy stuff) from the corn as possible.
  2. Stand the corn upright on a cutting board, then carefully slide a knife down one side of the cob, slicing off the corn kernels as the knife moves down the cob. Continue this process all around the cob until all corn kernels have been removed.
  3. Place the corn kernels in a large bowl, then repeat steps 1 and 2 with remaining ears of corn until all corn kernels have been removed. Discard the corn cobs and use just the kernels in this recipe.

Tips and Tricks

Char the Corn: Achieve the perfect smoky flavor by char-grilling the corn kernels in a hot skillet. Stir occasionally to ensure even charring and caramelization. Or, if you can grill whole corn, then remove the charred corn kernels from the cob and use it in this salad.

Customize the Spice Level: Adjust the amount of jalapeño according to your preference for heat. For milder palates, use just half a jalapeño, or no jalapeño at all!

Make-Ahead Option: Prepare the salad ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to serve. The longer this salad sits, the more flavorful it will get!

Mexican street corn salad in a bowl with fresh limes.

Adjust This Recipe to Your Dietary Needs

Make it Dairy-Free: To make this salad dairy-free, use your favorite non-dairy feta instead of cotija cheese. I’ve used and love this Violife dairy-free feta.

Make it Vegan: For a vegan Mexican street corn salad, take the dairy-free option above and use vegan mayo in place of the regular mayo.

Mexican Street Corn Salad

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Samantha Course: SidesCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Easy


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This Mexican street corn salad is the perfect addition to any summer meal! It’s fresh, delicious, packed with flavor, and surprisingly easy to make.


  • 4 ears fresh corn, shucked and kernels removed (or 2 10-ounce bags frozen corn)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • pinch of salt

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup scallions (green onion), sliced

  • 1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese or feta cheese

  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • zest and juice of 1 lime

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, or chipotle chili powder


  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat until the oil is shimmering. Add corn kernels to the skillet (fresh or frozen) and a pinch of salt. Cook corn for about 10 minutes, stirring about every 2 minutes, until it’s nicely charred.
  • Remove corn from the heat and add to a large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients to the bowl with the corn. Toss to combine, then give it a taste and adjust any seasoning as desired.

Recipe Video


  • Either serve this Mexican street corn salad immediately, or cover the bowl and store it in the fridge for up to 8 hours before serving!

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