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Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)

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This Mexican Corn Salad {Esquites} is one of the most amazing side dishes I have ever had. Use grilled corn or canned! It only takes minutes to make and is perfect for Cinco de Mayo! 



Have you ever wondered what to serve with your main course on Taco Tuesday?

Or rather, have you ever wondered if there was any other side dish options to serve with Mexican food?

We certainly have.

The fall back has always been a rice dish.  

Generally speaking, we tend to make Cilantro Lime Rice, Authentic Mexican Rice or even Mexican Sour Cream Rice as our typical side dishes to any Mexican themed recipe.

However, sometimes you want something that isn’t rice.

That is where this corn Esquites, Mexican Corn Salad comes into play.



Have you ever heard of Mexican Street Corn?

The country went crazy for it a few years ago and I saw just about every possible recipe for it on social media.

This Esquites recipe, is a twist on Mexican Street Corn. Also known as Mexican Street Corn Salad, this side dish is easy and delicious!

Instead of serving this on the cob, this salad takes the best of Mexican Street Corn off the cob, into a bowl and adds a few of my favorite ingredients with it.

The fire roasted corn is the classic trademark flavor of this dish.

By grilling or charring the corn, your entire dish transforms into a fuller flavor that really pulled the entire dish together.

I’m not sure about your famliy, but corn is the universal vegetable that my entire family can agree upon.



It is our favorite vegetable and one that I don’t have to argue with my kids about.

We all love corn because it’s so sweet that it tastes more like a treat than a vegetable.

We love corn on the cob and corn bread and I have been known to add corn to just about any dish I’m making.

So when we were looking for a non rice side dish to a Mexican dish we were making, this Esquites, Mexican Corn Salad was the perfect answer.

Interestingly enough, over the many years I’ve been making this, I have always adapted it to what I’ve had on hand.  

Some times I add jalapenos, and other times I do not. 

I love avocados and add that if f I can find a good one.



Having said that there is one key ingredient that you cannot skip out on.

Fresh lime juice.

Fresh lime juice is what really gives this dish a pop of flavor and pulls the entire dish together.

I love the flavors of cilantro and lime and believe they can make any dish shine.

If you’ve never had Mexican Corn Salad, you should really whip up a batch.

This Mexican Corn Salad is an upgrade to traditional Mexican Street Corn, which is a corn cob slathered in mayonnaise and sprinkled with some yummy ingredients!

What I love most about this dish is that I’ve taken it to a variety of Cinco de Mayo parties and potlucks and it’s always a hit!



If you are trying to win a work contest or impress someone, this Mexican Corn Salad is the recipe for you!

It’s another tasty side dish that brings a little life to your Cinco de Mayo Party!

If you love corn and the flavors of Mexican food, give this tasty Mexican Corn Salad a try!

We are so glad we did!


Of course you can.  However, the spice of a jalapeno is in the seeds, not the skin.  The skin itself has flavor but does not pack any heat.  I suggest using the skins of your jalapeno only and tossing the seeds.  If you do this, you’ll get the flavor of the pepper without the spice.  However if you want to get rid of the jalapenos all together, you certainly could. 




I do not recommend it.  Personally, the whole idea of the jalapenos is the flavor they bring to the dish.  Bell peppers are a sweet pepper and though you could use them I wouldn’t.  I personally would go with no peppers than adding bell peppers.


Does mayonnaise make you nervous?  You aren’t alone.  Traditional Mexican Street Corn is smothered in mayonnaise.  This is why mayonnaise is the ingredient chosen to make this creamy.  

However if you really don’t want the mayonnaise, then you can substitute Greek yogurt in place of the mayonnaise.




Mexican Street Corn is a very simple side dish that is packed with flavor.  Fresh ears of corn, grilled or baked until tender, then while hot, smothered in mayonnaise, cojita cheese, chili powder, garlic powder, cilantro, and lime juice.  The toppings can be adapted but traditionally this is what you’ll find when eating Mexican Street Corn. 

This Esquites, Mexican Corn Salad, is my take on Mexican Street Corn off the cob and into a bowl.  I also add jalapenos and avocados to the salad version.


The Esquites recipe is prepared warm, with the charred corn, however it’s delicious cold as well.  The only thing you need to really keep an eye on are the avocados.  If you are planning on making this in advance, I suggest waiting to add the avocado until just before serving, so that it is as fresh as possible.  


Yield: 6 Servings

Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)

Esquites, Mexican Corn Salad - salad fully made and ready to be eaten.

This Mexican Corn Salad {Esquites} is one of the most amazing side dishes I have ever had. Use grilled corn or canned! It only takes minutes to make and is perfect for Cinco de Mayo! 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 2 (15.25 ounce) cans Fire Roasted Corn, drained
  • 1/2 Jalapeno seeded and diced
  • 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced or 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice (approximately 1 fresh lime)
  • 2 Tablespoons Cojita cheese (or Mexican melting cheese)
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder to taste
  • 1 avocado diced


  1. If using fire roasted corn, then place corn and jalapeno in a skillet and cook until warm.
  2. If using regular canned corn, drain corn and place it in a nonstick skillet. Add 2 Tablespoons butter and cook on high heat until corn begins to get a char layer.
  3. Once corn is charred add jalapeno. Mix well, cook for 2 minutes and remove from heat.
  4. Place corn mixture into a bowl and add mayonnaise, garlic, green onions, cilantro, lime juice, cheese, chili powder and avocado.
  5. Gently fold ingredients until mixed through.
  6. Serve Esquites warm or chilled, your choice. I like them both!
  7. Use within 24 hours as the avocado will start to darken.


If you can't find fire roasted corn, then you can canned corn and char it yourself in a pan with butter

Originally Posted: April 25, 2014

Text & Photos Updated: January 23, 2019


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Sunday 14th of April 2024

The cheese is cotija, but we sub parmesan instead.

Num's The Word

Wednesday 17th of April 2024

Not a bad idea!


Wednesday 23rd of February 2022

Well, my husband was half Mexican and we had a lot of Mexican food, but I've never heard of this one! I find that frying corn makes it tough. A good substitute for the jalapeno would be a small can of diced, green chilies. I am allergic to jalapenos and just the smell of them makes my eyes water and start me coughing! Everything else about this salad sounds good, and I may try it. I live alone and like these kinds of salads to get my vegetables. They keep well in the refrigerator and compliment most main dishes. The 3 bean salad is my favorite and I use Italian dressing in it and Mexican garlic and onion powder, cumin, and a little chili powder. Also add a little sugar or sugar substitute. Uncooked frozen peas, tidbits of cheddar cheese, chopped onion all mixed with mayonnaise and seasonings of your choice is also good. Canned peas could be used, but they are mushy, and I wouldn't recommend. There is a couple of side dish salads you can make ahead and keep on hand. If your fridge is nice and cold, they will keep a couple of weeks, if they last that long without being eaten :)


Wednesday 24th of February 2021

I made this today along with the Easy beef empanadas recipe. I cut the recipe in half because it’s just my husband and I and I had to do a few substitutions. We didn’t have green onions or Cojita cheese at the local grocery store, so I softened some sweet onion in a little oil before adding my corn and jalapeños, and I used manchego cheese. It was sooooo delicious and super easy to make! Thanks for the wonderful recipe, I’m sure we will making this many times in our future!!


Monday 15th of June 2020

We love this recipe. I’ve made multiple times and my husband requests it now. We serve it as a side dish for fish tacos with coleslaw.


Wednesday 8th of July 2020

Thank you so much for your comment! So glad to hear it's a favorite! It really does go great with so many dishes!

pat bradley

Thursday 13th of June 2019

Do you have to add avocado or can I omit it. nobody eats it around


Thursday 13th of June 2019

Pat the avocado can definitely be optional! We've eaten it both ways and it's delicious both ways! Great question!

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