This flavorful Zesty Grilled Mexican Street Corn Salad is perfect to enjoy on a hot summer day. The spicy, sweet flavors are sure to please your taste buds and the crunchy ingredients will keep you coming back for more!
This dish makes a great side or appetizer for any occasion. It can be made ahead of time and tastes just as yummy cold, too!
This post is sponsored by The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) and Land O’Lakes. All opinions are my own. For more inspiration during #JuneDairyMonth, be sure to check out delicious ideas from NFRA at EasyHomeMeals.com or Land O’Lakes at landolakes.com #JDM2021
When you think of Mexican food, what do you usually think? A hot plate of spicy tacos with a side of rice and beans? Well, this recipe is not your typical Mexican dish. This grilled corn salad has all the flavors and spices that we love in Southwest cooking. The zesty fresh lime juice complements the sweet, caramelized corn kernels beautifully while leaving your tongue tingling with its spice. It’s perfect for summer because the corn is briefly cooked on the grill, then tossed with the other salad components in the kitchen.
This dish is great as an appetizer or served alongside proteins like grilled chicken or steak for a delicious meal any night of the week! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as our family does! It is bold and sure to make your taste buds dance.
Although I have prepared several corn salad recipes over the years, this one stands out thanks to the flavor of the freshly grilled corn. Our secret ingredient for the BEST grilled corn on the cob is Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil which produces flavorful grilled corn.
Before starting this recipe, you’ll want to verify that you have the following ingredients:
- Fresh Corn on the Cob – 4-5 ears of corn shucked, husked, and soaked in water for 10 minutes.
- Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil – A delicious, spreadable butter from the trusted Land O Lakes brand. Formed in 1921, Land O’Lakes is a dairy cooperative, working together to make high-quality dairy products.
- Cotija Cheese – A Mexican-style cow’s milk hard cheese. It can be found in blocks and packages at grocery stores nationwide as well as specialty markets. You can also use feta cheese, but I prefer cotija.
- Jalapeno Pepper – Adds a nice kick to this recipe.
- Cilantro – A popular Mexican herb that adds wonderful flavor and color to this salad.
- Red Bell Pepper – Adds color and sweet flavor.
- Red Onion – Adds pretty color and flavor.
- Garlic – One large clove or two smaller ones add bold, fresh flavor.
- Chives – Add for color and mild flavor.
- Mayonnaise – Used to make tangy dressing for the corn and vegetables.
- Limes – This recipe features the juice of two large limes (1/4 cup) and is used to make the tangy dressing the corn is tossed with.
- Nonfat Greek Yogurt – Used to make the tangy dressing we toss the corn and vegetables in. You can also use sour cream.
- Spices – Cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper add flavor and flair.
Equipment and Supplies Needed
We used the following equipment and supplies to make this recipe. Items that are optional or can be substituted will be noted.
- Grill – Ensure the grill grates are clean before grilling.
- Large mixing bowl – to mix the salad.
- Cutting board & knife – to chop/dice veggies.
- Gloves – for cutting and cleaning out the jalapenos.
How to Grill Corn on the Cobb
Step 1: Preheat your oven or outdoor barbecue for 10 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit before you start cooking the corn.
Step 2: Place your freshly husked and shucked sweet corn ears in a shallow dish and cover them with enough water to submerge them. Allow them to soak for ten minutes before patting them dry.
Step 3: Spread your ears of corn with Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil. I used a butter knife to coat all surfaces.
Step 4: Place your ears of corn onto the gas grill and cook for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally until you see some char marks. You’ll know they’re done when there are some blackened spots around each side. The corn juices will boil out and scorch the corn to caramelize its natural sugar content for an irresistible sweetness! The charred kernels will be sweet but not starchy, which is why we love this technique. Set corn aside to cool before removing corn kernels.
Step 5: Place a knife at the top of the ear and slice down, keeping it close to your fingers so you don’t cut yourself. Rotate ear to remove kernels from the entire cob, then repeat. Add all kernels to your large mixing bowl and toss with additional ingredients. See recipe card for everything you need to know to recreate this recipe.
This recipe is easy to make if you know the right tips and tricks! Here are my tips for ensuring your Zesty Grilled Mexican Street Corn Salad comes out perfectly.
Butter with Canola Oil
We have made this corn in the past without butter, and it wasn’t as good. By using Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil, it is truly a breeze to coat each ear before cooking. I really think it enhances the grilled corn flavor and makes this salad perfection!
This recipe tastes best with cotija cheese, but I have made it with feta cheese and queso fresco. Both are good alternatives for this corn salad recipe with mayonnaise.
The beauty of this salad is that you can eat it right away or after it has been chilled. It tastes amazing either way! We actually love the flavor most the next day! Allowing the flavors to meld for 24 hours really makes this salad drool-worthy!
If you want to store your Zesty Grilled Mexican Street Corn Salad, just follow this easy step.
- Store all leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator for best taste.
Follow the recipe below to make Zesty Grilled Mexican Street Corn Salad! This recipe makes 8 servings, but you can adjust the recipe card for other serving sizes.
Zesty Grilled Mexican street Corn Salad
- cutting board & knife
- Shallow dish
- Butter knife
- large mixing bowl
- wooden spoon
- 5 ears Fresh Sweet Corn
- Water *To soak the corn before grilling. You will need enough to cover the corn- may vary.
- ¼ cup Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil
- 1 small Red Bell Pepper diced
- ¼ cup Red onion diced
- 1 Jalapeno Pepper seeded, ribbed, and diced
- 2 cloves Garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons Fresh Cilantro chopped
- 2 tablespoons Fresh Chives minced
- ½ cup Cotija Cheese
- 2 tablespoons Mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons Nonfat Greek Yogurt
- ½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon Paprika
- ¾ teaspoon Ground Cumin
- Place your freshly husked and shucked sweet corn ears in a shallow dish and cover them with enough water to submerge them. Allow them to soak for 10 minutes before patting them dry.
- Preheat your oven or outdoor barbecue for 10 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit before you start cooking the corn.
- Spread your ears of corn with Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil. I used a butter knife to coat all surfaces.
- Place your ears of corn onto the gas grill and cook for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until you see char marks. You’ll know they’re done when there are some blackened spots around each side. The corn juices will boil out and scorch the corn to caramelize its natural sugar content for an irresistible sweetness! Remove corn from grill and cool.
- Place a knife at the top of the ear and slice down, keeping it close to your fingers so you don't cut yourself. Rotate ear to remove kernels from the entire cob, then repeat. Add all kernels to your large mixing bowl.
- Add all veggies, fresh herbs and cheese to the bowl with the corn.
- Add the fresh lime juice, mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, and spices to a smaller bowl and whisk to combine.
- Combine the dressing with the cheese and vegetables and toss to combine. Cover the bowl and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat it. Enjoy!