Mexican Street Corn Salad (Esquites)

corn salad in a glass bowl on a wooden table

I have to give credit to my daughter, Zoe for introducing me to Mexican Street Corn.  When it’s served on the cob, it’s called Elotes.  Think a piping hot ear of summer sweet corn slathered with the most delicious tangy and citrusy sauce with a sprinkling of Cotija cheese.  I mean – come on!  There is nothing wrong with that.  Well, except it’s kinda hard to eat – and there is no doubt you’ll have corn stuck in your teeth…and since it’s classic Mexican Street food, you may be at a loss for floss.  This is a diner friendly version – off the cob and in a bowl, but nonetheless delicioso!  As always, the recipe is bendy – meaning you can swap out any hard-to-find ingredients.


Serves:  Four
Time:  20-minute prep; 30-minute chill time

6 ears of ripe summer sweet corn OR three cans of whole kernel corn (not creamed!)
2 tbs vegetable oil
½ cup low-fat mayonnaise
½ cup low or non-fat Greek plain yogurt
1 tbs Tajin
2 tbs crushed garlic (or about 2 cloves)
Juice and zest of two limes (or one large super juicy one)
1 tsp cayenne pepper powder
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup crumbled feta, queso blanco or cotija cheese
Salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste


If using corn on the cob, carefully remove kernels with a sharp kitchen knife and gather into a bowl.  If using canned corn, drain and rinse corn.

Heat a large skillet and add vegetable oil until shimmering.  Add corn.  Cook for about 12-15 minutes over medium high heat until kernels start to char a bit.  Set aside.

Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, garlic, spices, lime zest and juice and cilantro in a medium-sized bowl.  Taste for seasoning.  Add crumbled cheese.  Toss with cooked corn.  Chill for 30 minutes.

Just before serving, toss corn again to mix and garnish with a bit more chopped cilantro.

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A great day for me is preparing great meals for friends and family. I enjoy experimenting with new ingredients and also updating classics that I've enjoyed for years. I love to travel and try lots of new cuisines - and wouldn't be anything without the love of my family!

2 thoughts on “Mexican Street Corn Salad (Esquites)

  1. Just read your article in the TU and then followed you on Instagram. I’m definitely going to get some of that Tajin seasoning. This recipe for Mexican street corn sounds great. Can’t wait to try it. Wondered if you’ve ever made it with corn on the cob that had already been boiled?

    1. Hi Laura – sorry for the super late reply! To answer your question, no I’ve not made esquites from boiled corn…but I think it would work just fine! Please let me know if you did do that and how it turned out!

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