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This Mexican Street Corn Salad recipe, sometimes called elote salad or esquites, is made with canned corn in a creamy dressing. This easy side dish is perfect for taco night or your next cookout.

Mexicans street corn salad in a serving bowl topped with cotija cheese and cilantro

Mexican corn salad is basically an off-the-cob version of elote, or Mexican street corn. My family is crazy about this popular Mexican street food, but like any corn on the cob recipe, it’s messy to eat. And, if you’re like me, you worry about getting corn kernels stuck in your teeth!

For a traditional elote recipe, you make corn on the cob on the grill and add your favorite toppings. Sometimes, I make an Instant Pot Mexican Street Corn by cooking the corn in the pressure cooker and grilling it afterwards.

You can make this elote salad with fresh corn, but this elote recipe with canned corn is even easier! It is super easy to assemble and even easier to eat!

canned corn, mayo, sour cream, cilantro, lime, Cotija cheese, peppers, onion and chili powder


You only need a few simple ingredients for this easy Mexican street corn salad recipe. They should be easy to find in your grocery store.

  • Canned corn — Use whole kernel yellow corn or white corn or sweet corn. You can use shoepeg corn or Mexicorn if you can find those.
  • Peppers — I like the added flavor from a diced Anaheim chile pepper and a red bell pepper.
  • Mayonnaise — Traditionally slathered over street corn, this is the base of the salad dressing
  • Sour cream — along with fresh lime juice to make crema for the dressing
  • Lime — for the dressing
  • Cotija cheese — look for this Mexican cheese in the cheese section or international section of the store.
  • Red onion — adds flavor and crunch to the salad
  • Cilantro — Chopped fresh cilantro for freshness and flavor
  • Ancho chili powder — adds a touch of smokiness

How to Make Elote with Canned Corn

First, chop up the peppers and onion, and drain and rinse the corn.

Then, cook the corn and Anaheim chili pepper in a large skillet over medium high heat until the corn has a slight char and the pepper is soft.

I used a little olive oil in the skillet, but you can use butter if you like.

roast canned corn in skillet with chopped peppers

Next, let the roasted corn cool down while you make the simple dressing.

Add the mayo, sour cream and lime juice to a large bowl. Mix until well combined.

mix mayonnaise, sour cream and fresh lime juice in mixing bowl

When the dressing is completely mixed, add the corn and remaining ingredients to the bowl.

Then, mix all ingredients together. You can adjust the seasonings to your own tastes or wait until the flavors have blended.

mix corn and salad ingredients with dressing in large bowl

How to Store Corn Salad

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container and place in your refrigerator until ready to serve.

Mexican style street corn salad should last for 3-4 days. This salad does not freeze well.

closeup of Mexican corn salad with cilantro in serving bowl

What to Serve with Elote Salad

Elote corn salad is the perfect side dish for almost any Mexican main course — especially during the summer months. Serve with your favorite Mexican dishes, such as Tacos, carnitas, chicken enchiladas, Sonoran hot dogs or steak quesadillas.

It also makes a great dip for tortilla chips along with homemade queso and pico de gallo.

For elote en vaso or esquites, serve the salad in individual plastic cups or paper cups.

Mexican street corn dip in Tostitos chip

Recipe Variations

You can make this skillet Mexican street corn with frozen corn or fresh corn off the corn cob. It’s a great way to use up leftover grilled corn.

If you can’t find Cotija cheese, use feta cheese or Parmesan cheese. Queso fresco has a milder flavor but is also a good substitute. You can also use Greek yogurt instead of the sour cream.

If you aren’t a fan of cilantro, fresh parsley will work. You can use either smoked paprika or regular paprika instead of chili powder. Use a poblano pepper, jalapeño pepper or a can of diced green chiles instead of the Anaheim pepper.

I like to add more dressing ingredients to make easy Mexican street corn dip. Try upping the mayo and sour cream to 1/2 cup each.

5 from 9 votes

Mexican Street Corn Salad

By: Dee
This Mexican Street Corn Salad recipe, sometimes called elote salad or esquites, is made with canned corn in a creamy dressing. This easy side dish is perfect for taco night or your next cookout.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 15.25 oz cans corn drained and rinsed
  • 1 Anaheim pepper seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup Mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup Sour cream
  • 1 small lime juice of
  • ¼ tsp ancho chili powder or smoked paprika
  • ½ cup red onion diced
  • ½ cup bell peppers diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro chopped
  • ¼ cup Cotija cheese crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste
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  • In a large skillet, saute the corn and Anaheim pepper in olive oil over medium high heat until corn is slightly charred and peppers are soft. Allow to cool
  • Add the mayo, sour cream and lime juice to a large bowl, and stir until well combined
  • Add the corn mixture and remaining ingredients, and mix until well combined. Top with additional Cotija cheese and cilantro if desired. Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator.


Cotija cheese is salty, so add salt and black pepper if you want to.
You can sub feta cheese or Parmesan cheese for Cotija, parsley for cilantro and Greek yogurt for sour cream.
Frozen corn or fresh corn off the cob will also work. Use canned green chiles in place of the Anaheim pepper or omit if desired.


Calories: 101kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 126mg, Potassium: 60mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 417IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 37mg, Iron: 0.2mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine: American, Mexican American
Like this? Leave a comment below!

I hope you enjoy this easy street corn recipe as much as we do. It’s a family favorite that goes with just about anything!

Please leave a star rating and/or comment if you try this easy elote corn recipe!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Andrew B says:

    This Mexican street corn dip is delicious and not at all hard to make. I made it for my family as a dip and we all enjoyed it a lot. Next time I make it I think I’ll use jalapenos for extra spice. Great recipe!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thank you so much for the wonderful review, Andrew.

  2. Beverly says:

    Had to try this one right away! Delightfully simple a light flavor! Street corn but no mess!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      So glad you liked the corn salad — thanks!