Grilled Mexican Corn Salad with Avocado Recipe (no mayo)

This delicious Mexican corn salad with avocado incorporates the flavors of sweet corn, salty cotija cheese, and spicy jalapenos for an awesome-tasting salad.

A plate full of mexican corn salad with a fork and slice of lime

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Grilled corn salad is a perfect side dish for the summertime. It’s a quick recipe and it pairs well with cilantro lime shrimp or even grilled flank steak!

With the smoky goodness of grilled corn kernels as the base of this salad, it will become your new favorite side for any occasion.

Why you will love this corn salad recipe

  • Fresh corn salad is an easy summer salad, perfect to make ahead of time, in fact it tastes better if it’s been made a few hours before serving!
  • It’s a great recipe to bring to your next pot luck! There is no mayonnaise, so it is safe to serve at room temperature.
  • It’s a great way to use up leftover corn.
the ingredients for corn salad, cotja cheese, diced avocado, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil garlic and corn kernels

Here is What You Will Need

This is a brief summary of the ingredients needed to make this corn salad recipe and a convenient shopping list from my Instacart affiliate link. For a printable recipe card with exact measurements and detailed instructions, scroll down to the recipe card section.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Ingredients

  • Corn
  • Olive Oil
  • Jalapeno Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Fresh Lime Juice
  • Cotija Cheese
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Avocado

🥄Equipment

How To Make Grilled Corn Salad

Prepare the ingredients: Husk the corn, rinse and pat it dry.

Chop the jalapeno peppers, cilantro, avocados and mince the garlic – place the peppers, cilantro, avocados, and garlic in a medium bowl.

Preheat a gas or indoor grill at medium-high heat.

charred grilled corn on a cutting board

Step 1. Brush ears of corn with a little bit of oil and place them onto a hot grill; and cook them until they become charred.

Step 2. Once the corn has cooked and cooled, cut the corn kernels off of the cob with a sharp knife and place them into a large bowl with the peppers, avocado, cheese and cilantro.

overhead shot of ingredients in a bow
corn slaad ingredients in a bowl with lime juice being poured in

Step 3. Use a citrus juicer to extract the lime juice and pour it over the ingredients in the bowl.

Step 4. Mix everything together and store in the refrigerator. Serve corn salad chilled or at room temperature.

an overhead view of the corn salad mixed in a glass bowl

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

Corn – Any variety of fresh corn on the cob from your favorite farmer’s market or grocery stores will work (white, yellow or bi-color).

Look for fresh corn that has bright green corn husks and are tightly wrapped. The tassels should be brown and slightly damp. Peel the husk down just a tiny bit to check for bright and plump kernels.

Substitute fresh corn on the cob with frozen corn, see instructions for how to make corn salad without a grill below.

Cotija cheese is very similar in flavor and texture to feta cheese and can easily be substituted with feta cheese or parmesan cheese.

Jalapeno peppers can be substituted with any hot pepper, and if you don’t like heat, replace them with green or red bell pepper or mild poblano peppers.

Fresh Cilantro can be substituted with any of your favorite fresh herbs such as oregano, basil, or parsley.

Mexican Street Corn Salad in a bowl close up

Storing and Using Leftovers

Store leftover avocado corn salad in an airtight container for up to five days.

Leftover Idea! Serve leftover corn salad as a dip with tortilla chips.

Serving Suggestions

This grilled corn salad recipe tastes great with your favorite grilled protein such as grilled chicken, shrimp fajitas, or pork chops. It’s also the perfect side dish for nachos, tacos or quesadillas.

How to Make Grilled Corn Salad Without a Grill

If you don’t have an outdoor grill, you can make this delicious corn salad with fresh or frozen corn on top of the stove in a cast-iron skillet. It may not have the same smoky flavor as grilled corn but it’s still good.

If you are using fresh corn, remove the corn husks and rinse the corn off. Add the corn into a pot of boiling water; cover the pot, and reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and rinse the corn in cold water to cool it off.

Grab a cutting board and a sharp knife and cut the kernels off. If you are using frozen corn, open the bag, and add it straight to the pan.

Heat a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium to high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the corn kernels and cook them until they cook through and have a slight char on them.

Add the corn kernels to the mixing bowl with the other ingredients and mix everything together.

an overhead shot of corn salad on a white plate with a fork

Recipe Variations

More veggies, toss in any combination of a handful of chopped cherry tomatoes, black beans, red onion, or sweet peppers such as green or red bell peppers.

Change up the cheese. Try using shredded pepper jack, queso fresco, or parmesan cheese.

Make it a Meal and add Protein. Stir in 1/2 cup shredded or diced chicken to the salad.

Add Mayo. Add 1/8 cup of avocado mayonnaise with a few tablespoons of Greek yogurt or sour cream for a more authentic street corn salad.

Garnish Ideas. Top your salad with chopped green onions and olives.

Add spices. Stir in a 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder and a 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin for extra flavor.

Tips

  • Don’t husk your corn until you are ready to cook it! The husks keep the corn moist and fresh.
  • This recipe is a great way to use up leftover corn on the cob. Toss the pre-cooked corn on the grill and cook it for a few minutes until it becomes charred.
Is corn salad healthy?

Yes, this corn salad recipe is healthy. It’s made with fresh ingredients and without mayonnaise.

Can I use canned corn to make this salad?

For the freshest tasting salad, canned corn is not recommended. If fresh isn’t available, frozen corn is a better option.

How do I prevent the avocados from turning brown?

For the best results, assembling the salad just before serving will help to keep the salad looking fresh. You can also toss the avocados in a little bit of lemon juice before adding them to the salad.

You Might Also Enjoy These Summer Salad Recipes

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A plate full of mexican corn salad with a fork and slice of lime

Mexican Street Corn Salad

Grilled corn salad is a delicious salad made with grilled corn on the cob and tossed with a tangy blend of ingredients.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes

Click on serving size to scale this recipe

Course: Salad
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 283kcal
Author: Anne
Scale this Recipe 4 people

Ingredients

  • 6 ears of corn
  • 2 jalapeno peppers diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons [olive oil]
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons cotija cheese shredded or crumbles
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 avocado cut into small chunks

Instructions

  • Prepare the Ingredients: Husk the corn, chop the peppers, avocado, cilantro and garlic and place them into a bowl with crumbled cheese. Squeeze the lime juice and set it aside.
  • Heat a gas grill at medium-high heat.
  • Brush the husked corn with olive oil and place them onto a hot grill and cover it.
  • Cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the underside of the corn cobs begin to get char and turn them over. Continue to cook until they become slightly charred on all sides.
  • Remove the corn from the grill set it aside until it is cool enough to handle (you can also place the corn in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process).
  • Once the corn has cooled off; cut the kernels off of the cobs and place them into the bowl with the peppers, garlic, avocados, cheese and cilantro.
  • Add the lime juice and mix all of the ingredients together.

  • Grilled Corn Salad without a Grill

If you don’t have an outdoor grill, you can make this delicious corn salad with fresh or frozen corn on top of the stove. It may not have the same smoky flavor as grilled corn but it’s still good. Here’s how:

  • If you are using fresh corn, remove the corn husks and rinse the corn off and add them to a pot of boiling water. Cover and reduce the heat to low and let them cook for 5 to 8 minutes. Drain them and pat them dry.
  • Grab a cutting board and a sharp knife and cut the kernels off. If you are using frozen corn, open the bag, and add it straight to the pan.
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium to high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the corn kernels and cook them until they cook through and have a slight char on them.
  • Add the corn kernels to the mixing bowl with the other ingredients and mix everything together.

Notes

Substitutions
Fresh corn on the cob can be substituted with a 16-ounce package of frozen corn.
Fresh Garlic can be replaced with 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder.
Cotija cheese can be replaced with feta cheese.
Jalapeno Peppers can be swapped out with a few tablespoons of chopped poblano peppers or mild bell peppers.
Cilantro can be left out or replaced with chopped oregano, basil or parsley.
Variations
Add more veggies, toss in any combination of a handful of chopped cherry tomatoes, black beans or sweet peppers such as green or red bell peppers.
Change up the cheese. Try using shredded pepper jack, queso fresco, or parmesan cheese.
Add Protein. Add ½ cup shredded or diced chicken to the salad.
Add Mayo & Greek Yogurt. Add 1/4 cup of avocado mayonnaise with a few tablespoons for Greek yogurt or sour cream to the salad for a more authentic tasting Mexican street corn salad.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 170mg | Potassium: 650mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 479IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I had some leftover corn and made this yesterday. It was so good I loved the avocado instead of mayonnaise. Thank you!