Ready in only 10 minutes, this Mexican corn salad is topped with cotija cheese and tossed in a creamy lime dressing. It's inspired by the street food Esquites. This recipe uses canned corn, but you can also use grilled fresh corn.
About This Recipe
Ready in only 10 minutes, this is a quick version of the traditional recipe that requires no cooking because it uses canned corn. You can also substitute fresh corn and grill it before adding it to the salad.
This corn salad is most popular as a side dish or as a dip for chips. It's tasty as an appetizer served with tortilla chips for dipping!
Here's what you'll need to make this recipe. The full recipe and ingredient list can be found at the bottom of the page.
- Canned corn (fire-roasted canned corn is best)
- Green onions
- Red onion
- Chili powder
- Salt & pepper
Here's how to make this recipe in 4 simple steps:
- Add the salad ingredients to a medium bowl: corn, green onions, cotija, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno.
- In a small bowl, stir together the dressing ingredients: mayonnaise, garlic, lime, salt, and pepper.
- Add the dressing to the salad and toss to mix. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Optionally, sprinkle with more cotija before serving. This recipe can be served warm or cold. To serve it warm, heat the corn before making the recipe.
Here's some of the most popular substitutions and additions for this recipe:
- Corn: fire-roasted canned corn is best, but plain canned corn can be substituted. You can also use 4 ears of corn (grilled) or 4 cups of frozen corn (cooked on the stovetop).
- Cotija: if you can't find cotija cheese, the closet substitute is feta.
- Mayonnaise: regular mayonnaise can be swapped for whole milk Greek yogurt. If you do this, you may need to add an extra splash of lime juice to thin the dressing.
- Jalapeno: this gives the salad a hint of spice. If you don't want any spice, leave out the jalapeno or substitute ½ of a bell pepper.
- Avocado: a diced avocado is a tasty addition to this recipe.
- Bell pepper: add a diced bell pepper for some extra crunch in your salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time. You can make this recipe up to a day ahead of time. Before serving it, stir the salad well and sprinkle additional cotija and cilantro on top.
This recipe has a very low spice level. The jalapeno gives the recipe a hint of spice, which is well-balanced by the creamy dressing and sweet corn kernels. If you want to omit spice completely, you can leave out the jalapeno.
Fire-roasted canned corn is a flavor of canned corn that's slightly charred. It has a mild flavor that's perfect for this recipe. You can find it next to the regular canned corn in the grocery store. If you can't find it, use regular canned corn or substitute with fresh or frozen corn.
Traditionally, this recipe is served warm; however, it's also tasty when it's served cold or at room temperature.
Store your leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Stir before serving.
How to Serve
This recipe can be served as an appetizer or a side dish. If you serve it as an appetizer, it can be served with chips as a dip.