Love eating grilled corn in the summer? Step up your game by making this easy Grilled Mexican Corn Salad! It’s perfect for potlucks, bbqs, and parties!

A glass bowl full of grilled corn, red onions, cilantro, crema, cotija cheese and lime juice which makes the best elote mexican grilled corn salad

Mexican Street Corn Salad Recipe

Our post on Grilled Sweet Corn has been going absolutely nuts this summer, so if you haven’t made it yet I really hope you will. This Elote Grilled Mexican Corn Salad should also be on your list. It’s juicy grilled corn that’s been cut off of the cob and tossed with Mexican crema, spices and crumbled cotija cheese, along with fresh lime juice and cilantro. Good mercy it’s good!! Don’t worry, I’m going to explain all of those ingredients, read on!

Every summer, Cade and I visit Rexburg, Idaho. My parents have relocated there where they enjoy a home that fits our big family’s needs, an incredible, huge yard and just as big garden. It is so peaceful to head to Idaho and spend time with my parents. If we time it right, we get to enjoy a small farmers’ market where the food trucks also gather, including one for elote.

We’ve discovered that many farmers’ markets around the country also bring in elote, or Mexican corn. Look one up by you, or you can make our’s at home, Mexican Street Corn.

This elote grilled corn salad is an easy to eat version of Mexican street corn. You’ll make it just the same, but add some red onion, cilantro, lime juice and toss it all together in a bowl instead of eating it on the cob. This street corn salad is a great salad to take to a potluck or bbq!

What Does Elote Taste Like?

Elote tastes like really buttery grilled corn with a dash of spice from the chili powder and that creamy, salty cheese. It’s literally a mouthwatering corn on the cob.

Where Does Elote Come From?

Elote comes mostly from Northeastern Mexico, but corn itself has come from many places like Honduras etc.

A glass bowl full of grilled corn, red onions, cilantro, crema, cotija cheese and lime juice which makes the best elote mexican grilled corn salad

What’s Needed for Mexican Corn Salad?

If you’re in need of a Mexican side dish for a potluck, this is it! Here’s what you’ll need to make this Mexican roasted corn salad:

  • Fresh sweet corn
  • Crema
  • Lime juice
  • Spices (cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper)
  • Cotija cheese
  • Red onion
  • Fresh cilantro

What’s the Best Cheese for Elote Corn Salad?

What cheese should you use for elote corn? Oh boy, this is a tricky question because to be honest, even if there’s one that’s usually used, Chihuahua cheese or Cotija Cheese, not everywhere sells it. We most often use Cotija cheese because  it’s available in all Utah stores, but if you can’t find either we recommend parmesan cheese in the can or fresh parmesan, or even a mild Feta.

read more: Looking for easy potluck sides? Try our BBQ Baked Beans as well!

A glass bowl full of grilled corn, red onions, cilantro, crema, cotija cheese and lime juice which makes the best elote mexican grilled corn salad

How to Make Mexican Corn Salad

This elote salad comes together quickly and requires minimal prep. Here’s how we make this street corn salad:

  1. Grill the corn until slightly charred on all sides. Carefully cut the corn off the cob.
  2. Mix together the grilled corn and remaining ingredients.
  3. Serve warm, or refrigerate for later.

Can I Use a Mexican Crema Substitute?

Crema is the Mexican version of French crème fraîche, a little bit tangy and creamy. Both crema and crème fraîche are slightly soured and thickened cream, milder and less thick than American sour cream as it’s a thin cream instead.

If you can’t find Mexican crema near you, use this substitute instead: 3 tablespoons sour cream + 5 tablespoons mayonnaise.

Can I Use a Cotija Cheese Substiute?

Cotija Cheese is a Hispanic-style cheese that was named after the town of Cotija in the Mexican state of Michoacán. It is a hard, crumbly cheese that’s made mostly from cow’s milk. It is white, fresh, and salty so as to resemble feta cheese, but it does not taste exactly the same.

Grated parmesan, a mild feta, and chihuahua cheese are all acceptable substitutes for cotija cheese. I would personally sample them, which many stores with a gourmet cheese section will let you do before you purchase it. Start with cotija and snack on something in between samples to cleanse the palate.

A glass bowl full of grilled corn, red onions, cilantro, crema, cotija cheese and lime juice which makes the best elote mexican grilled corn salad

Can I Use Frozen Corn Instead of Fresh?

If you can’t get your hands on fresh corn on the cob, don’t panic. You can use frozen corn instead of fresh corn.

Start by placing the frozen corn in a skillet that has been heated to medium high along with a drizzle of oil. Do not worry about defrosting the corn first, just add it to the skillet.

Stir occasionally until it begins to char slightly and remove from the heat. Proceed with the recipe as normal! And yes, we really do this all winter long when we can’t get corn on the cob, so it does totally work. 🙂

Tips for Making Mexican Corn Salad

For a spicier Mexican street corn salad, use extra chili powder or add a few dashes of Mexican hot sauce to the mixture.

This grilled corn salad can be enjoyed as is, or it can be eaten as a dip. It’s also great for topping nachos, tacos, and many other dishes!

This Mexican corn salad can be prepped in advance and eaten later. The corn doesn’t release much moisture, so you can snack on this for days!

How to Make Elote Mexican Corn Salad Video

More CORN RECIPES You’re Sure to Love:

Elote Grilled Mexican Corn Salad

Elote Grilled Mexican Corn Salad

4.48 from 182 votes
Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Description

Love eating grilled corn in the summer? Step up your game by making this easy Grilled Mexican Corn Salad! It's perfect for potlucks, bbqs, and parties!

Ingredients 

  • 6 Ears Sweet Corn, husked
  • 1/3 Cup Crema , *see note for substitution
  • Tablespoons Lime Juice, (fresh is best)
  • 1/2  teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 3/4  teaspoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/4  teaspoon Salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 Cup Cheese, Crumbled Cotija
  • 1/2 Onion, Red, minced
  • 1/3-1/2 Bunch Cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  • Heat a grill to medium heat. Add the corn, turning occasionally until slightly charred on each side.
    6 Ears Sweet Corn
  • Remove from the grill and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  • Holding the corn by the small end, cut off all of the kernels.
  • Place the kernels in a big bowl and add all remaining ingredients.
    1/3 Cup Crema, 4  Tablespoons Lime Juice, 1/2  teaspoon Ground Cumin, 3/4  teaspoons Smoked Paprika, 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder, 1/4  teaspoon Black Pepper, 1/4  teaspoon Salt, 1/2 Cup Cheese, 1/2 Onion, 1/3-1/2 Bunch Cilantro
  • Fold gently with a rubber spatula, seasoning with additional salt as needed.
  • Serve slightly warm, room temperature or cold.

Notes

  • *Crema is like a Mexican sour cream, and is found usually by the meat department with Hispanic items or the cheese. If you can't find it, you can substitute 3 tablespoons sour cream and 5 tablespoons mayonnaise. 
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 73kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 3gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 214mgPotassium: 56mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 536IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 95mgIron: 1mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: America's Best 4th of July Desserts, Recipes and Sides
Cuisine: Mexican

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A glass bowl full of grilled corn, red onions, cilantro, crema, cotija cheese and lime juice which makes the best elote mexican grilled corn salad

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