Mexican-inspired Grilled Corn Salad made with grilled summer corn, Tajin (chili-lime seasoning) and cotija cheese, only made lighter with no mayo.
Grilled Corn Salad with Cotija
If you need some easy side dishes to make this summer, you’ll love this Grilled Corn Salad with Cotija. It’s inspired by elote, Mexican corn on the cob covered in mayo and topped with chili powder, lime juice, and cheese. For this Mexican street corn salad, I take the corn off the cob, skip the mayonnaise, and mix everything together for a light summer side dish. This dish is great with air fryer salmon, grilled chicken, shrimp, fish, rice, etc., making it the perfect side for any summer BBQ. If you prefer Mediterranean flavors, you might like this Grilled Corn Salad with Feta and Mint or try this Corn Salad with Avocado and Tomatoes.
Ingredients to make grilled corn salad:
This healthy Mexican corn salad uses all the ingredients of elote but without the mayo.
- Corn on the cob – grill peeled corn directly on the grill for a charred, smokey flavor that elevates this salad. If you want to use frozen, that will be fine.
- Scallions – any onion works here but I love scallions in this salad. You can also use red onion, or chives.
- Cotija cheese – cotija is typically used on elote, you can also use crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese if you prefer.
- Cilantro – for freshness, although if you detest the flavor you can use chives on their place.
- Chili-lime seasoning – like Tajin or Trader Joe’s Everything But The Elote Seasoning
- Lime wedges, for serving which get squeezed over the salad for tang and acid.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you grill corn in advance for corn salad?
Yes, you can prep your corn in advance. You can husk, grill, and remove the kernels from the cob the day before making the salad.
How do you remove the corn from the cobb?
I suggest placing the corn cobb on a clean dish towel holding it upright. Then use a knife to cut the kernels off. The towel will catch all the kernels, then pour them all into a bowl.
How to Grill Corn for Salad
- To grill the corn for this salad, start by removing the husks and heating your grill to medium-high.
- Then grill the corn for 10 to 12 minutes, turning the cobs so that all sides touch the grill.
- Once they’re charred in spots, remove the corn from the grill to cool.
If you don’t have a grill, you can cook your corn in a skillet on the stove using the same method.
How to Make Corn Salad
- After the corn has been grilled and has cooled, remove the kernels from the cob. The easiest way is to stand the cob up in a large bowl and use a sharp knife to slice the kernels off.
- Add the scallions and cotija to the bowl with the corn and drizzle with olive oil.
- Stir in the Tajin, cilantro, salt and pepper.
- Serve topped with with more Tajin sprinkled on top and lime wedges, if desired. Leftovers will last in the fridge for up to four days.
- Cheese – Sub queso fresco or feta for cotija.
- No grill, no problem! You can use a grill pan if you don’t have a grill. If you’re making this salad when corn isn’t in season, you can use frozen corn.
- Onions – Swap scallions or chives for red onion.
- Add ons: Add diced avocado, tomato, canned black beans or chopped jalapeno, for spice.
More Summer Corn Salad Recipes You’ll Love:
- Warm Mexican Corn Salad
- Summer Tomatoes, Corn, Crab, and Avocado Salad
- Corn Tomato Avocado Salad
- Chilled Lobster Salad with Summer Corn and Tomatoes
- Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
Grilled Corn Salad with Cotija
- 6 large ears of corn, or 7 medium, 6 cups
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup queso Cotija, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon Tajin, Chili Lime Seasoning or Trader Joes Everything But the Elote seasoning, plus more for topping
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- lime wedges, optional for serving
- Set the grill to medium-high. Husk the corn.
- Grill 10 to 12 minutes, turning often, until charred in spots. Transfer to a cutting board and set aside to cool.
- Cut the kernels off the cobb. Put the corn, scallions and cotija cheese in a medium salad bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss.
- Add the tajin (chili lime seasoning), cilantro and toss again. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed.
- Serve topped with more chili lime seasoning and fresh lime wedges if desired.
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