Mexican Street Corn Salad: A new side dish is only a few ingredients away and this corn salad, with grilled corn, cherry tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, and a creamy chile lime dressing will be your new summer side dish winner in an instant!
Every summer, I set out to make a few new side dishes. You know, things that go well with chicken, ribs, and steak on the grill.
And I have one caveat to my yearly summer cooking tradition: the sides must not be green salad-based. Because for my family, we do green salad BIG. As in, main course entree salads.
In the realm of summer side dishes, I recently made a taco pasta salad that, while filling enough to eat as an entree, the salad could also be pared down into smaller serving sizes for a really nice side dish.
Years ago I made mini potatoes braised in butter and fresh herbs that we’ve eaten more times – in winter AND summer – than I can count. OMG those potatoes are so good!
So because corn just happens to be one of our 2 favorite vegetables, I try to make the most of our short corn season every year. The grilled corn I made with BBQ compound butter earlier in June was a smashing hit.
What can I say? We love our grilled corn!
On the heals of that grilled corn, comes this Mexican street corn salad. It’s another grilled corn dish but it’s different in so many ways.
So many GREAT ways! At its base, this sounds like a basic sort of corn salad with grilled corn, cherry tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, and cojita (Mexican cheese). But it’s also got the most outstanding creamy chile lime dressing I’ve ever eaten.
I developed the dressing from the sour cream-mayo mixture that coats my Mexican street corn and added a whole slew of spices along with some punchy lime juice. The spices and lime juice turned that delicious mixture into an unforgettable dressing.
The chile lime dressing coats all of the salad components in to a big street corn hug and basically doesn’t let you go until you’ve finished eating it. It’s that delicious!
And you’re probably going to want to eat this street corn salad as a main course. I say go ahead! I mean, it’s a fresh summer salad full of the best stuff you’ll find at the summer farmer’s markets, after all!
It’s a lot like the corn salad I toppled this avocado toast with so you can also take it in that direction too if you’re looking to make a meal out of it.
If you’re worried about the calories in the chile lime dressing, you can certainly make a quick adjustment. Just make it with low fat or fat-free sour cream and mayo. Easy enough, right?
BUT! If you want to serve this as a side dish, it would be absolutely delicious served alongside this chipotle honey glazed chicken, these margarita grilled fish tacos, these crab cakes, and this honey lime grilled shrimp.
My Mexican street corn salad couldn’t be an easier side dish to make and it’s absolutely perfect to prepare ahead and bring to your next potluck too!
- 4 ears sweet corn, husks and silks removed
- ¼ cup mayonnaise (see note below)
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ½ tsp ancho chile powder
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp hot smoked or sweet paprika
- ¼ tsp Kosher salt
- 2-3 cranks of fresh black pepper
- Juice of 1 lime
- 8 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 oz queso fresco or cotija cheese, crumbled small
- Small handful cilantro, chopped
- To grill the corn: Preheat grill to medium-high.
- Place the corn on the grill. Grill the corn for 8 to 10 minutes, turning every couple of minutes so all sides are cooked fairly evenly. Transfer corn to a platter and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- To make the dressing: While the corn grills, stir the mayonnaise, sour cream together, spices, salt, pepper, and lime juice together in a small bowl.
- To assemble the salad: When the corn has cooled a bit, slice it off the cobs directly into a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, scallions, cheese, cilantro, and dressing. Mix everything up until the salad ingredients are well-coated with the dressing. Serve immediately, at room temperature, or refrigerate and serve cold later.
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