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This elote corn salad is the perfect side for your favorite Tex Mex and Mexican meals. Sweet corn is coated with a tangy, creamy dressing and topped with fresh cilantro and salty, crumbled cotija cheese. Spice it up with a sprinkle of chile lime seasoning.

Serving bowl filled with creamy elote corn salad.


Why we love this Elote Corn Salad…

  • Fun and Easy Side: this Mexican elote inspired corn salad has all of the things we love about the Mexican grilled corn, the tangy dressing, the crumbled cheese, the fresh crisp corn, and the herby bite of fresh cilantro. All in an easy to eat salad version.
  • Perfect Side Dish for Mexican Meals: this quick and easy salad is great for pairing with tacos, meats, and enchiladas.


Ingredients needed to make an elote mexican street corn salad laid on the counter.
  • Corn: This salad recipe can be made with fresh, frozen or canned corn. But for the best flavor use fresh! Read this for help with how to cut corn off the cob.
  • Mayo & Sour Cream: Substitute for plain greek yogurt if desired.
  • Jalapeño: if concerned about the amount of heat you can substitute for a green bell pepper. For more heat use a serrano.
  • Cotija: this is a crumbly Mexican cheese, made from cow’s milk. It can be found in most markets in the dairy section. This can be substituted with queso fresco or feta cheese if needed.

How to Make

How to make elote corn salad showing sautéing the corn in a skillet with jalapeno.
  1. Cook the corn, cut the corn off of the cob and sauté it in some butter along with the jalapeño. If you would prefer grilled corn, simply butter the corn on the cob and grill for several minutes, turning to get a nice coloring on all sides.
  2. Cook until the corn and jalapeño are softened and the corn is brighter in coloring.
  3. After letting the corn cool, coat it in a quick and easy dressing made of mayonnaise and sour cream.
  4. Season and flavor with salt, green onion, fresh cilantro, and cotija cheese. Sprinkle with chili powder or tajin as desired.
How to make elote corn salad showing adding mayo and sour cream to the corn, then adding the cilantro, green onions and cotija.

Commonly Asked Questions

What is the difference between elotes and esquites?

Elotes is a Mexican Grilled corn that is coated with a mayonniase & crema dressing and seasoned with chili powder or tajin and topped with cilantro and crumbled cotija. Esquites is the same ingredients, except instead of serving the corn on the cob, the corn is cut off and served in cups.

What is the red powder on elotes?

Typically elotes is served with a sprinkling of tajin or chili powder.

What to serve with Elote Corn Salad?

This elote corn salad is a great Mexican or Tex Mex side dish. Serve this corn salad alongside some carne asada, carnitas, or fajitas.

Up close image of mexican corn salad topped with fresh cilantro.

More Corn Recipes

Elote Corn Salad

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Serene
Quick and easy, this elote corn salad comes together with fresh ingredients in a creamy, tangy dressing.
Serving bowl filled with creamy elote corn salad.


  • 4 cups corn (5 large ears)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 jalapeño seeds and membranes removed, diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • ¼ cup cotija cheese crumbled
  • ½ bunch cilantro diced
  • 1 green onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice freshly squeezed

Toppings (optional)


  • Remove the husks and silk from the corn cobs. Cut the corn off the cob.
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the corn, jalapeno, and salt. Cook for 6-8 minutes until the corn and jalapeno are softened. 
  • Remove the corn and jalapeno to a large bowl and add in the mayonnaise and sour cream while corn is still warm. You can add more if you desire a creamier texture. 
  • Stir in the crumbled cotija, diced cilantro, green onion and fresh lime juice. Taste and adjust salt/lime juice as needed. 
  • Serve in a large bowl with desired toppings. Can be served warm or cold.


  • Canned or Frozen Corn: Thaw the corn completely and pat dry, then continue with the recipe. For canned corn, drain and pat dry, then continue with the recipe. Only sauté to heat the corn as needed. 
  • Mayo and/or Sour Cream: can be subbed with plain greek yogurt. 
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the salad ahead of time and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Serve cold.
  • Storage: Store the leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It is not recommended to freeze this dish. 


Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 537mg | Potassium: 381mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 820IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Photography by the talented

Welcome to my kitchen!

Welcome to the House of Yumm!! My name is Serene. I’m the food photographer, recipe developer, and official taste tester around these parts.

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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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