Mexican Street Corn Salad (Esquites) – (Gluten Free, Vegetarian)

Mexican Street Corn Salad (Esquites) – (Gluten Free, Vegetarian)
My husband declared this “Maybe the best salad I’ve ever made.”  And I make a LOT of salads.


Granted, it’s basically Mexican Street Corn in a bowl, and a popular dish in Mexico called Esquites.  It is easy to make, filled with rich flavors that play so well off of the sweetness of peak summer corn, and keeps well in the fridge.  Not that I’d know that, because when we make it there is never any left.
corn salad

“what else can I use?”

  • if you don’t have an outdoor grill, you can use either a grill pan or an oven.  roast your corn at 400 or 425 degrees f until browned and cooked through.
  • Cotija is available at many grocery stores today, including Stop & Shop and Trader Joe’s but if you can’t fine it, try parmesan or feta instead.
  • If you are one of those people who doesn’t like cilantro, feel free to use parsley to top instead.
If you make this salad, I’d love to hear from you!  Any questions, message me on Instagram or email me.  I’m here for you and love to see your creations!
corn salad
corn salad

Mexican Street Corn Salad (Esquites)

This delicious, vegetarian corn salad is basically street corn in a bowl, and a popular food you will see on many street corners and in restaurants in Mexico.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Salad, Sides
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 people


  • Outdoor grill, grill pan, or oven


  • 6 ears of corn, husks and silks removed
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Cotija cheese, crumbled can sub parmesan or feta
  • 1/2 cup scallions, sliced, green parts only
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder or paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 lime, juiced and zested


  • Soak husked corn in water for 30 minutes. I do this in my kitchen sink. It can be skipped, but it helps plump the corn before it goes on the grill to keep it from shriveling on you.
  • Prepare a grill on medium-high heat. You can also use a grill pan if you don't have an outdoor grill, or even an oven at 450 degrees. Adjust cooking time appropriately.
  • Grill corn, turning occasionally, until corn is charred in most spots. This will take 10-15 minutes.
  • Transfer to a platter and let it sit until cool enough to handle.
  • Slice off the kernels and reserve. You should have about six cups.

Make dressing:

  • In a large bowl, whisk mayonnaise, garlic, chili powder or paprika, zest and juice of the lime, salt, and half of the cheese to combine.
  • Add reserved corn kernels and toss to coat.
  • Top with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese, scallion, and cilantro, and serve.
Keyword corn, summer, vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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2 thoughts on “Mexican Street Corn Salad (Esquites) – (Gluten Free, Vegetarian)”

  • 5 stars
    Holy cow, this dish is incredible!! Love the flavor combination. I highly recommend you try this 🙂

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