Mexican-inspired grilled corn salad with cotija

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Mexican-inspired grilled corn salad made with grilled summer corn, tajin (chili-lime spice), and cotija cheese, just made lighter, with no mayonnaise.

Grilled corn salad with cojita
Grilled corn salad with cotija

If you need some easy side dishes this summer, you’ll love these Grilled corn salad with cotija. It’s inspired by elote, Mexican grilled corn on the cob coated in mayonnaise and topped with chili powder, lime juice and cheese. For this Mexican street corn salad, I take the corn on the cob, omit the mayonnaise, and toss everything together for an easy summer side dish. This dish goes great with air-frozen salmon, grilled chicken, shrimp, fish, rice, etc. making it the perfect side dish for any summer BBQ. If you prefer Mediterranean flavors, you might like this Grilled Corn Salad with Feta and Mint, or try this Avocado and Tomato Corn Salad.

grilled corn

Ingredients for Grilled Corn Salad:

This healthy Mexican corn salad uses all of Elote’s ingredients but without the mayonnaise.

  • corn on the cob – Grill husked corn right on the grill for a charred, smoky flavor that adds flavor to this salad. If you want to use frozen, that’s no problem.
  • spring onions Any onion will do here, but I love spring onions in this salad. You can also use red onions or chives.
  • Cotija cheese – Cotija is usually used for Elote. You can also use crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese if you like.
  • coriander – for freshness, but if you don’t like the taste, you can use chives instead.
  • Chili Lime Spice – like Tajin or Trader Joe’s Everything But The Elote Seasoning
  • lime wedgesto serve, squeezed over the salad for flavor and acidity.

frequently asked Questions

Can you grill corn ahead of time for corn salad?

Yes, you can prepare your corn in advance. You can peel, grill and remove the kernels from the corn the day before preparing the salad.

How do you remove the corn from the cob?

I recommend laying the corn on the cob upright on a clean tea towel. Then cut off the cores with a knife. The towel catches all the seeds and then pours them all into a bowl.

How to grill corn for salad

  1. To grill the corn for this salad, first remove the husk and heat your grill to medium-high.
  2. Then grill the corn for 10 to 12 minutes, turning the corn on the cob so all sides are touching the grill.
  3. Once charred in places, remove the corn from the grill to cool.

If you don’t have a grill, you can use the same method to cook your corn in a pan on the stovetop.

How to make corn salad

  1. After the corn is grilled and cool, remove the kernels from the cob. The easiest way is to place the cob in a large bowl and cut off the seeds with a sharp knife.
  2. Add the spring onions and cotija to the bowl with the corn and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Stir in tagine, coriander, salt and pepper.
  4. Sprinkle with more tajin and serve with lime wedges, if you like. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to four days.


  • Cheese – Sub Queso Fresco or Feta for Cotija.
  • No grill, no problem! If you don’t have a grill, you can use a grill pan. If you’re making this salad outside of the corn season, you can use frozen corn.
  • onions – Swap spring onions or chives for red onions.
  • Addons: Add diced avocados, tomatoes, canned black beans, or chopped jalapenos to flavor.

How to make grilled corn salad

More Summer Corn Salad Recipes You’ll Love:

Preparation: 15 protocol

Cook: 15 protocol

In total: 30 protocol

Yield: 8th portions

Serving size: 3 /4 cup

  • Set the grill to medium high. Shell the corn.

  • Grill for 10 to 12 minutes, turning frequently, until charred in spots. Transfer to a cutting board and set aside to cool.

  • Cut the seeds off the cob. Place corn, scallions, and cotija cheese in a medium salad bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and mix.

  • Add the tajin (chili lime spice) and coriander and mix again. Season with salt and pepper and adjust as needed.

  • Serve garnished with more chilli-lime spice and fresh lime wedges, if you like.

Last step:

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Portion: 3 /4 cup, Calories: 117 kcal, Carbohydrates: 13 G, Protein: 4 G, Fat: 6.5 G, Saturated Fatty Acids: 2 G, Cholesterol: 7.5 mg, Sodium: 211 mg, Fiber: 1.5 G, Sugar: 4 G

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