Mexican street corn is such an ideal summer side dish!
It takes one of the best parts of summer (really, really good corn), chars it up on the grill, slathers it in a creamy, tangy, slightly smoky sauce that’s then covered with Mexican cheese and cilantro.
Fresh, flavorful, and GRILLING!
This version is off-the-cob. Partially out of my desire to avoid the messy task of eating a saucy cob that’s covered in cheese.
But also because having Mexican street corn in salad form means it is so versatile! Eat it in tacos, on chips, on a bed of lettuce, or on its own.
Easy for kids and adults to eat, good for taking to parties, and you can make it ahead and eat warm, at room temperature, or chilled.
HOW TO GRILL CORN ON THE COB
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to 400 degrees. Place shucked cobs directly on the grates and cook, flipping every few minutes, until kernels are cooked through and beginning to char – about 10 minutes.
It’s hard to go wrong grilling corn. You can stand by and watch closely or be requested to take the corn off the grill in a few minutes while your husband does bedtime with your son, completely forget for about 20 minutes, and STILL end up with delicious corn. Stakes are low!
This is a great side dish to make in advance! You can grill the corn up to 3 days ahead, then keep it in the fridge on the cob until ready to use.
Up to 8 hours before serving, slice the corn off the cob, toss with the remaining ingredients, and refrigerate. Serve warmed up, at room temperature, or chilled.
This will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, but the texture is best in the first day or so.
WHERE TO FIND COTIJA CHEESE
Cotija is key for any type of Mexican street corn. It is often called Mexican parmesan and really can’t be replaced with any other kind of Mexican cheese (so steer clear of the queso fresco here). It’s salty, crumbly, and adds so much texture and flavor to foods.
It’s sold in wedge form in the cheese or Mexican food aisles of bigger grocery stores (I have yet to see it at Aldi), or you can sometimes find it pre-crumbled in a bag.
Use any extra on tacos, salads, fajitas, etc.
If you can’t find cotjia, you can substitute parmesan.
- A delicious summer salad on its own
- Eating on chips as a Mexican street corn dip
- Making ahead
- Potlucks and parties
- A topping for tacos, fajitas, salads, etc. (sort of like a Mexican street corn salsa)
- Serving in mini cups for an appetizer party
EAT IT WITH:
In addition to anything else you’re grilling up this summer, this is good with:
- The Best Chipotle Chicken
- Smash Burgers
- Sloppy Joes
- This Mexican chicken (perfect for tacos or salads!)
- Sheet Pan Fajitas
- Black Bean Tacos
- Sheet Pan Quesadillas
- Stovetop Black Beans
Mexican Street Corn Salad
- 6 ears of corn, shucked
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese
- 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Zest and juice of 1/2 a lime
- 1 roma tomato, diced
- 1 small jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Preheat grill to 400 degrees. Place the shucked corn directly onto grates and cook, flipping every few minutes, until cooked through and kernels begin to char – about 8-10 minutes.In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, cotija, chili powder, cayenne, and lime zest and juice. Once cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off the cob and add to the dressing along with the tomato, jalapeño, and cilantro. Toss to combine and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.