Mexican corn salad is a vibrant mix of corn, sliced cucumbers, onions, mayo, cotija cheese, and jalapeños, with ample spices and a bright burst of lime. Add this tasty twist on Mexican street corn to your next potluck or picnic because it’s the perfect summer side dish.
If you love street corn or elote, then you will absolutely love Mexican corn salad. It has the flavor of elote and then some! Mexican corn salad with cucumber is creamy, zesty, and slightly spicy with a nice crunch from an array of veggies. It’s light but filling, making it perfect for warmer weather and the summer.
Why This is the Best Mexican Corn Cucumber Salad Recipe
- Super Easy: Mexican corn salad with canned corn doesn’t involve a grill or stovetop because everything is ready to go. Simply mix and give the dish time to mingle in the fridge so the flavors can meld.
- Delicious: It’s a mouthwatering combination of sweet corn, tangy sour cream, salty cotija cheese, spices, and veggies. The flavor and texture are undeniably tasty.
- Versatile Side Dish: Whip this up last minute and serve it with everything from burgers and grilled chicken to seafood.
- Cucumber: This hydrating vegetable adds a nice crunch when sliced.
- Canned Corn: Opting for canned corn shortens your prep time significantly. All you have to do is drain the corn.
- Red Onion: Diced.
- Garlic Cloves: Minced.
- Cilantro: Use this for a fresh, herby flavor. Finely chop the cilantro.
- Jalapeños: Finely chop this for spiciness throughout the dish.
- Mayonnaise and Sour Cream: This is the lusciously creamy base of the salad. It’s rich and tangy.
- Cotija Cheese: If you are making a Mexican corn dish, this cheese is essential. It’s salty, savory, and crumbly so it clings to the other ingredients, ensuring you get a taste with every bite.
- Lime: Fresh lime juice adds a bright, citrus flavor to the salad.
- Seasoning: Make the seasoning bold with a mix of chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, black pepper, and salt.
How to Make Mexican Corn Salad with Cucumber
Make the sauce: In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, minced garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
Combine the ingredients: Add the corn, diced cucumber, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and cotija cheese. Stir well to combine, making sure that all the ingredients are coated with the sauce.
Let the salad sit for at least 30 minutes so the flavors can marinate. Garnish with a sprinkle of cotija cheese, fresh cilantro, and chili powder when serving.
- Drain the corn completely before adding it to the other ingredients.
- Switch up the spice level by omitting the jalapenos or using a spicier pepper like serrano peppers.
- Add black beans for extra protein to make this a vegetarian meal.
- Cheese: Use feta cheese as a substitute for cotija.
- Vegan: For a dairy-free option, use vegan cheese, vegan mayo, and omit sour cream.
- Grilled Corn: If you want the corn to have the charred flavor of classic street corn, use fresh corn on the cob and either grill it or cook it in a skillet on high heat for 2-3 minutes.
Can Mexican Corn Salad Be Made Ahead?
Yes. It needs at least 30 minutes of chill time in the fridge but you can make it up to one day in advance.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Enjoy cold Mexican corn salad straight out of the fridge.
Can I use frozen corn for Mexican corn salad?
You can use frozen corn if that’s what you have. Just ensure the corn is completely thawed and dried before adding it to other ingredients. We don’t want a soggy salad.
What is the difference between elotes and esquites?
Esquites (Mexican corn salad) is the off-the-cob variation of elote. I prefer it because it’s less messy to eat and you can add way more ingredients.
What goes well with Mexican corn salad?
Serve Mexican corn salad with fajitas, grilled chicken, shrimp, fish, tacos, or fish tacos like this Blackened Salmon Tacos recipe.
More Easy Salad Recipes:
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Mexican Corn Salad with Cucumber
- 1½ cup Cucumber sliced
- 15 oz Canned Corn
- 3 tbsp Red Onion diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic minced
- ¼ cup Cilantro finely chopped
- 1 Jalapeños finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup Cotija Cheese
- 3 tbsp Sour Cream
- 1 Lime juiced
- ¼ tsp Chili Powder
- ¼ tsp Smoked Paprika
- ¼ tsp Cumin
- ¼ tsp Black Pepper
- ⅓ tsp Salt
- In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, minced garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
- Add the corn, diced cucumber, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro and cotija cheese. Stir well to combine, making sure that all the ingredients are coated with the sauce.
- Let the salad sit for at least 30 minutes so the flavors can marinate. Garnish with a sprinkle of cotija cheese, fresh cilantro and chili powder when serving.