by Olena

Mexican Street Corn Salad

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 7 votes

My healthy version of Mexican Street Corn Salad where fresh or frozen corn is tossed with light yogurt mayo lime dressing, cilantro and sprinkled with feta cheese. It is an easy summer salad and perfect for a potluck.

Love corn in salads? Check out our corn avocado salad and healthy taco salad.

Mexican Street Corn Salad

Mexican Corn Salad

This Mexican street corn salad is my healthy version of elotes – grilled corn slathered in mayo, crema (something between sour cream and crème fraîche), cotija cheese, cilantro and chile (chili) powder.

We saw elotes sold on every major street corner while living in Cabo for a month. Can we call it esquites? Um, yeah, probably not since mature corn boiled in salted water and then sautéed in butter is not involved.

Let’s just say this Mexican corn salad is summer-y, sweet, creamy, cheesy, easy healthy corn salad. It will disappear fast at any gathering!

Ingredients You Will Need

  • Corn: I recommend fresh corn. But frozen corn works just as well.
  • Feta cheese: Feta cheese is a great substitute to traditional Mexican cheese cotija (I find feta more salty). It adds essential creaminess and saltiness to the salad.
  • Yogurt and mayo: I added just the right proportions of mayo and yogurt because Mexican street corn salad recipe is not complete without mayo. And too much mayo makes it unhealthy and too much mayo-ey.
  • Spices: Cayenne pepper, lime, salt and pepper. Make salad as spicy as you like.

Tip: You can absolutely add a few diced avocados. They add more creaminess. Also juicy tomatoes would be good. Especially in July-August when corn is at its prime.

cooked corn, feta cheese, cilantro, mayo and yogurt in a bowl

How to Pick Fresh Corn at the Store

There is nothing better than local juicy, sweet, plump and bright yellow corn.

  • Check corn for quality right at the store – shucking a bit at the top or completely. Many stores provide garbage bin solely for this purpose.
  • Look for corn that is wrapped tightly in its green husks.
  • Corn silk should be soft, perky and moist.
  • Pick only good looking ears with white or yellow kernels in tight rows that are plump.

corn cooking in Instant Pot

How to Cook Corn and Make Salad

Mexican corn salad can be made with grilled, charred, roasted or boiled corn.

To cook corn:

  • On the stove: Add corn to a large enough pot so it is fully submerged in water. Salt water generously to help bring out corn’s flavor. Cook corn by boiling it for 10 minutes.
  • In Instant Pot: This is by far my favorite method to cook corn. No need for large pot, lots of water and waiting it to boil. Just add corn and 1 cup water to electric pressure cooker and cook on High Pressure for 2 minutes with Quick Release. Keeps house cool in summer too.
  • On the grill: Grill corn without the husk on medium heat for 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes or so.

To make salad:

  • Remove kernels from cooked corn on the cob. Let ears of corn cool down enough so you can hold it. Using a sharp knife, stand kernel upright and cut off kernels as close to the core as possible.
  • Combine all ingredients like corn, mayo, yogurt, feta, cilantro, lime juice, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper in a large bowl. No need to make dressing separately and  just gently toss to coat.

Serving Suggestions

I love this salad both warm and cold. But probably warm a tad bit more. Hot corn melts the feta cheese adding to the creaminess of the dressing with delicious spices. Yum! Makes me feel like I’m eating a jar of mayo but we are not. However, leftovers taste just as good cold.

Serving suggestions:

Mexican corn salad served with turkey meatballs and spaghetti

Make Ahead and Leftovers

You can definitely prepare this easy Mexican corn salad ahead. In fact, the longer salad sits, more flavorful it becomes.

Make ahead: If you like salad warm, refrigerate all ingredients in a bowl covered for up to 48 hours. Add warm cooked corn right before serving and toss. If you don’t mind cold Mexican corn salad, you can refrigerate salad assembled but not stirred for up to 48 hours.

Store: Leftovers will keep well for up to 48 hours in the fridge. I feel like this easy Mexican corn salad is very hard to mess up. Firm outer shell corn kernels are so forgiving and there are no soggy vegetables involved.

More Healthy Salad Recipes

Mexican Street Corn Salad

Mexican Street Corn Salad

My healthy version of Mexican Street Corn Salad where fresh or frozen corn is tossed with light yogurt mayo lime dressing, cilantro and sprinkled with feta cheese. It is an easy summer salad and perfect for a potluck.
5 from 7 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 165kcal
Author: Olena Osipov


  • 6 large ears of corn shucked
  • 1/2 cup cilantro finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
  • 1/2 large lemon or 1 lime juice of
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt 2+% fat
  • 3 tbsp mayo I used avocado
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Ground black pepper to taste


  • Cook corn by boiling it for 15 minutes or by grilling on medium heat for 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. Or even better - make Instant Pot corn in 2 minutes! Let cool until safe to handle.
  • Using sharp chef's knife remove corn kernels off the cob by cutting lengthwise. And Ukrainian in me cleaned up those ears pretty clean afterwards - so much food would have been wasted.
  • In a large salad bowl, add corn, cilantro, feta cheese, lemon or lime juice, yogurt, mayo, salt, cayenne and black pepper to taste.
  • Stir gently and serve warm or cold. Welcome to the streets of Mexico!

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 48 hours.

    Make Ahead: If you like salad warm, refrigerate all ingredients in a bowl covered for up to 48 hours. Add warm cooked corn right before serving and toss. If you don't mind cold Mexican corn salad, you can refrigerate salad assembled but not stirred for up to 48 hours.


      Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 396mg | Potassium: 274mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 352IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 1mg
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      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

      22 comments on “Mexican Street Corn Salad

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      1. This recipe sounds great, but, I am one who dislikes cilantro as it tastes like soap. Can I leave it out or what can I substitute?

      2. 5 stars
        I made this yesterday and it was a huge hit with my family. Due to California heat I used the Instant Pot to cook the corn. Super simple, fast and didn’t heat up my kitchen. The corn came out absolutely perfect. The dressing was easy to make with simple healthy ingredients. We actually like this healthy version better than the standard versions. I found that with the last unshucked corn cob that we can just slather the dressing on no problem, if we want to save time. My eldest son finished the leftovers for breakfast!! It true that this is delicious both hot and cold. Thank you Olena for such a wonderful, simple, easy, healthy and delicious recipe site. It is now my go-to!

        1. I’m so happy your family loved the recipe. Thanks for sharing that with me, Amber! Send me some of your heat. We are “dying” from this November summer in Vancouver.

      3. 5 stars
        SO DELICIOUS!!! Everyone raved about it when I made it for a get together!

        On a side note, I want to tell you how much your recipes have revived my love of cooking good food for our family!!! I got into a serious rut of unorganized and hit-or-miss Pinterest recipes from all over the web (with ingredients we don’t normally keep on hand), or trying to make my own “healthy” food from my not-so-healthy favorite cookbook (lots of experimenting), but feeling discouraged by the meals that didn’t turn out quite right. And then I found your website, and I have been cooking SO much delicious food and snacks that my picky kids have LOVED!! I reorganized my recipe binder, and ripped all of my old recipes out, and I’ve printed out TONS of your recipes as my go-to favorites. So, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!!! 🙂

        If you ever make a cookbook, I will be first in line to buy it!

      4. 5 stars
        This was absolutely delicious. Forget anything else on the plate. Even my teeny-weeny 98-lb. mother-in-law, who eats less than a bird, was begging for a second helping! One of the best things I’ve made all year, and I’m even going to include it in our Thanksgiving dinner, because I want to eat it again. 🙂 Thank you for this recipe!

      5. 5 stars
        I love sweet corn and this sounds yummy and I will definitely make your meatballs with it too for more protein.

      6. I love sweet corn and this sounds good. I hate people who leave the corn uncovered in the stores and let them dry out though. That is not good at all. I will definitely try this recipe with your meatballs too for protein. Yum!

        1. That’s a good point! I buy some of that corn because to me it doesn’t look that bad. I’m less picky. Overall, I think it’s not a huge dent on food waste issue.:)

      7. I have a slight fear of corn because I’ve read that it’s one of the most genetically modified foods out there. Do you think local fresh corn is safe? I might be totally wrong on this, so would you please share your thoughts? I could go without regular old corn on the cob, but this salad! I need it! I have everything to make it except the corn! Thanks for so many great recipes.

        1. Usually local corn is non-GMO whenever I asked. In packages in Costco and big giants I’m not so sure, I wouldn’t trust Walmart for sure. But find local stand or even supplier to local store, and ask. What about farmer’s market? Usually it’s non-GMO corn. GMO corn is mainly grown for feed and making vegetable oil. For consumption less chances.:)

          1. Thanks for the feedback. My parents live out in the country and have a neighbor/ farmer who grows corn and sells it. I may still have time to get some before he runs out!

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