It’s easy to make Mexican Street Corn Salad (esquites), and you’re going to fall in love with the flavors!
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Mexican street corn salad, a smoky, sweet, spicy, tangy, and easy to make side dish is also called esquites.
Esquites can be made year-round, inside the house without a grill, using frozen corn. Super easy!
Esquites are the off-the-cob version of elotes (or corn on the cob made Mexican style and usually served on a stick).
Fresh corn on the cob
If you have fresh on the cob corn by all means use that. I love fresh corn, especially in the summer when it’s super sweet and juicy.
Keep an eye out for those corn on the cob summer sales, especially around Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day, you can often find 4 ears for $1 or maybe even better.
Here’s how I like to prepare my corn on the cob. It’s a simple method for grilling on the BBQ. And it’s how I suggest preparing the corn if you have corn on the cob that you’d like to use for this Mexican Corn Salad.
After grilling, simply cut the kernels from the cob using a sharp knife. I’ve tried some of those gizmos for cutting corn from the cob, and I always head back to the classic sharp knife on a cutting board.
How many ears will I need for this recipe if I use corn on the cob?
A medium ear of corn will yield about ¾ cup of kernels. 16 ounces of frozen corn is about 1 & 2/3 cups of corn. So you’ll want roughly 3 ears of corn (which will yield more kernels than you need, but I think it’s always better to have more yummy corn that you can save for another use).
How should I serve this recipe?
It’s a perfect appetizer; serve it with chips like salsa. I brought this dish to the Memorial Day pool party, and it was gone in a flash!
Or serve it as a side dish for any outdoor party or gathering.
Mexican street corn salad is also great in tacos or burritos.
It’s fun on nachos.
Or, try it on my Shrimp and Mexican Street Corn Bowl!
How to make it
For Mexican street corn salad, you simply slather the corn kernels with a creamy, cheesy, lime and chili powder filled dressing.
While the corn is cooking in the skillet, make the mayo-sour cream dressing. The ingredients for the dressing are mayonnaise, sour cream, Cotija cheese, lime juice, fresh cilantro, red onion, and spices.
In case you aren’t familiar with it, Cotija cheese is the traditional Mexican cheese used in Mexican Street Corn salad. It’s a salty cow’s milk cheese. And, you can find it at most grocery stores in the cheese section.
If you can’t find Cotija cheese, queso fresco or feta cheese makes a good substitute.
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Mexican Street Corn Salad (esquites) Recipe
Mexican Street Corn Salad (esquites)
Mexican Street Corn:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 16 ounces frozen yellow corn
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 3 ounces Cotija cheese
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the corn and let cook until the corn starts to char, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- If you are using corn on the cob, grill the cobs until they are nicely charred. Cut the cooked kernels from the cobs.
- While the corn cooks, mix the dressing together in a large bowl: mayonnaise, sour cream, Cotija cheese, cilantro, lime juice, red onion, garlic, and chili powder.
- When the corn is done cooking, fold it into the dressing.
- Serve warm, or refrigerate, and serve cold.