This amazing Spicy Mexican Corn Salad has all the delicious flavors of elotes, or Mexican street corn, with no grilling involved. Just chop and mix and prepare to swoon!

We love using local corn in so many recipes like this Grilled Corn on the Cob with Basil Butter, so make sure to pick up some fresh sweet corn when it’s in season! This delicious Elote Salad does not disappoint!

Spicy Mexican Street Corn Salad in a white tureen with limes and tomatoes.

Why You Must Make

  • I found my inspiration from Mario Batali’s Corn Salad on The Chew’s website. I tweaked it slightly, eliminating the radishes and adding cucumber and red bell pepper to replace the crunch. I also cut back on the cayenne pepper as the hubby has a “sensitive” palate when it comes to heat. Though, I would have been happy to eat his share.
  • It is an amazing summer salad made with lightly steamed, fresh sweet corn cut off the cob and, along with other vegetables, tossed in a spicy, mayonnaise-based dressing.
  • It’s a fun side dish when serving tacos, quesadillas or enchiladas for dinner.
  • This Corn Salad Recipe is one of the top 3 new recipes I’ve made this summer.

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staples – Olive Oil, Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Corn on the Cob – Grilled is preferred, but steamed or boiled is fine. If you don’t have access to fresh corn, defrosted frozen corn will work well.
  • Onion – A red onion will add a touch of color and piquancy
  • Garlic Cloves – Another aromatic to add more flavor
  • Grape Tomatoes – Adds sweetness
  • Cucumber – Adds crunch. English cucumbers or baby cucumbers have fewer seeds.
  • Red Bell Pepper – Adds crunch and color
  • Mayonnaise – Duke’s or Hellmann’s brands; use full fat
  • Sour Cream – Use full fat
  • Lime – Use both the zest and juice for a flavorful dressing
  • Cayenne Pepper and Chipotle Pepper – Contribute heat and/or smokiness
Spicy Mexican Corn Salad in two white tulip bowls.

Expert Tips

  • This elotes corn salad is best made at the peak of corn season so you can utilize fresh, sweet corn on the cob.
  • Use steamed, roasted, or grilled corn on the cob for this recipe. Grilling is traditional and concentrates the sweetness in the corn while adding smoky undertones.
  • Be careful cutting the corn off the cob. I like to hold an ear of corn upright, then slice downward to remove the kernels into a bowl.
  • Cut as close to the cob as you can get so you can have full kernels for your recipe. I also love to add some larger pieces of connected kernels, though feel free to break them apart if desired.
  • Make sure all the salad ingredients are cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • PRO-Tip: One trick is to use a tube or angel food cake pan to collect your corn. Place the small end of the corn cob in the middle opening of the pan, then slice downwards. Most of the kernels should collect in the pan.
  • Remember that this spicy Street Corn Salad has a mayonnaise base for the dressing. You do not want to leave it out at room temperature (or warmer if you’re outside) for more than
    two hours. Keep it chilled until you’re ready to serve to avoid food-borne illnesses AKA food poisoning.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Ingredients are in Elotes?

Elotes are made with charred corn smeared with a creamy, spicy, cheesy sauce. The ingredient list often includes: Olive Oil, Kosher Salt, Corn on the Cob, Onion, Garlic, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Bell Pepper, Cojita Cheese, Mayonnaise, Sour Cream, Cayenne, and Chipotle Pepper.

What’s the Difference Between Elotes and Esquites?

Elotes are served on the cob. And an esquites recipe is served off the cob and in a cup.

What Spices Are Used to Make Elotes?

Chili Powder, Chipotle Powder, and Cumin are used to flavor a Mexican Street Corn Salad.

Can I Add Cheese to this Corn Salad Recipe?

Yes, elotes are coated in Cojita cheese so that would be an excellent addition to this salad. If you can’t find or don’t like Cojita, Feta would be a good substitute.

Spicy Mexican Corn Salad in a white bowl.

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Spicy Mexican Corn Salad

Spicy Mexican Corn Salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 6 servings

A fabulous spicy corn salad that's best made with fresh sweet corn!!!



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 ears of corn, cooked, cooled, and kernels removed
  • ½ medium red onion (peeled, small diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled, minced)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes (cut in half)
  • ½ English cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise and cut into thin slices
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced


  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 lime (zested and juiced)
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. In a medium skillet, add olive oil and onion. Cook until the onion is soft. Stir in the minced garlic, cook for a minute or two; remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  2. In a large bowl, add the onion mixture, corn, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, and red bell pepper.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime zest and juice, cayenne pepper, ground chipotle pepper, and salt.
  4. Add dressing to corn mixture and toss. Serve chilled.


Great use for leftover corn on the cob. If you've grilled it, it's even better!!!
I use Hellmann's or Duke's mayonnaise.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 259Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 299mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 4g


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