Easy Elote Salad {Healthy & Delicious}

Mexican Street Corn Salad, or Esquites, is CREAMY, SPICY, and TOTALLY delicious. Perfect when FRESH corn is in season and easier to eat than on the cob!

street corn in a bowl with a spoon

If you’d rather skip my essential cooking tips and tricks and get straight to this delicious recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.

Mexican Street Corn

Also known by the names esquites or elote, it is an easy, healthy, salad that will change the way you think about corn.

I love to eat it as a main dish but it is delicious served alongside BBQ, burgers, or pulled pork. Think about how delicious this is with Pork Carnitas!!

What is Equites?

And what is Elote? And how are they related?

Elote is the name for a Mexican dish that consists of grilled corn on the cob. It is traditionally served on a stick or with the husks peeled down and topped with a creamy dressing and Cotija cheese.

It is a popular treat sold by street vendors and at various festivals.

What is the difference between Elotes and Esquites?

Esquites is the same dish but the corn is stripped off the cob and served in a cup. You can eat it with a spoon like a civilized person but I prefer it on the cob so it’s nice and messy:)

How do you eat Esquites?

First off, I never thought I would think to eat corn with mayo, but I have to say that it really works!

Just prepare the grilled or charred corn as usual, strip it off the cob, and add the rest of ingredients. Stir to combine and eat as you like.

This street corn recipe will be your new favorite vegetarian and gluten free meal. Perfect for Meatless Mondays!

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If you’d rather skip my essential cooking tips and tricks and get straight to this delicious recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.

ingredients for esquites

Ingredients for Mexican Street Corn Salad

  • butter (unsalted)you get enough salt from the cheese
  • cornuse fresh, frozen, canned, grilled, or roasted
  • red onionfinely chopped for a little bite
  • limesbright contrast to creamy dressing
  • red bell pepperfor a fresh crunch and bright color contrast
  • cilantrooptional fresh flavor addition
  • jalapeñoeverything needs a little spice
  • sour creammakes an easy creamy dressing
  • Cotija cheesetangy and salty for a great balance

What kind of corn do I use?

Fresh is best but it’s not always available. Feel free to use frozen or canned because you will be charring it in a pan.

Traditional elotes is grilled which adds a touch of smokiness!

What is Mexican Crema?

It’s Mexican version of sour cream which is thick and tangy. Feel free to substitute Mexican crema, plain Greek yogurt, lowfat mayonnaise, or French crème fraîche.

What can I use as a substitute for Cotija cheese?

Feta cheese is the best alternative but also try Queso Fresco, Parmesan, or Romano. Just make sure it’s crumbled or grated to give the salad that signature texture!

How to make street corn

STEP ONE: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter and the frozen corn. Cook for 8-10 minutes stirring often until the corn is cooked through and has a charred look to it.

STEP TWO: Remove from skillet and place in a large bowl. Add the red onion, lime juice, lime zest, bell pepper, cilantro, and jalapeño. Stir to combine.

STEP THREE: Add the sour cream and the Cotija cheese. Stir to complete. Serve immediately or chill and enjoy when ready.

Looking for more comfort food? Follow LTB on Pinterest!

mexican street corn in a bowl

Is it served hot or cold?

Esquites is traditionally served warm or hot but I love it as a cold salad. Especially for topping my tacos or nachos

How to get corn off the cob?

You can cut the corn off the cob with a sharp knife but this corn cob tool is easier and safer!

Ways to enjoy street corn

Serve it as a side dish, as a topping for tacos and nachos, in empanadas, or in wonton cups for a delicious and fancy appetizer!

How to store corn esquites

Keep it in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

If you are storing for later I would recommend leaving out the Cojita cheese until you are ready to serve. Otherwise it looses it’s yummy texture.

I would not recommend freezing this recipe. The sour cream and cheese won’t hold up well and it will get mushy and watery. No one likes that!

Tips for No Leftover Mexican Corn Salad

  • want more veggies? add black beans and avocado slices!
  • more spice? try a dash of chili powder, cumin, Southwest seasoning, taco seasoning, or Tajin.
  • mix it with coleslaw or cooked pasta for a new salad twist.
  • let it sit in the fridge for an hour to allow the flavors to fully mix before serving.
  • serve with lime wedges if people prefer more brightness.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

collage of corn with text "mexican street corn"

Other delicious salads to make

Mexican Corn Recipe

square photo of corn salad in a white bowl

Mexican Street Corn Salad

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
  • 5 cups corn (I use the frozen white shoepeg variety)
  • 1/2 red onion (chopped fine)
  • 2 limes (zested, juiced, juice reserved separately)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 jalapeño (ribbed, seeded, and diced fine)
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 3/4 cup Cojita cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter and the frozen corn. Cook for 8-10 minutes stirring often until the corn is cooked through and has a charred look to it. Remove from skillet and place in a large bowl.
  2. Add the red onion, lime juice, lime zest, bell pepper, cilantro, and jalapeño. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the sour cream and the Cojita cheese. Stir to complete. Garnish with more cilantro or sliced green onion and a little lime zest.
  4. Enjoy with friends and a margarita!

Notes

*If you love this recipe as much as I do, leave me a comment and rate it 5 stars. Thank you!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 145Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 81mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 5g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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One Comment

  1. JOSIE ANN Kenkel

    This was PERFECT with the homemade enchiladas I made last night! Great recipe!

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