Skip the mess and grab a spoon for the best recipe for Elote Corn Salad made with fresh or frozen corn.

The best Elote Corn Salad topped with fresh herbs and Cotija cheese

How do you prefer eating corn?

  • A. On the cob
  • B. Off the cob

As simple as the question may seem, we really do have a second tier of questioning to undergo for all those in the “A” camp.

Small glass bowls containing elote corn ingredients

Do you eat it in a circle going round and round? Do you eat it from side to side like a typewriter? Do you eat it randomly from place to place based on where the butter is most plentiful? I have so many questions!

If it was up to me, we wouldn’t ever mess with the cob, save the few seconds it takes to shave the corn off of it. My family, and especially my husband, are strictly off-the-cob folks.

Glass bowl containing corn, red onion, cilantro, Cotija cheese and pepper

This Elote Corn Salad is for all the off-the-cob lovers out there. It can be made with fresh or frozen corn, and aside from the star ingredient, really only requires a few additional items. It’s tangy, smoky, creamy and perfect for serving as a side salad or a taco/chicken/steak topping. Minimum mess, maximum flavor and no floss required!

Easy Elote Corn Salad with lime wedges and crumbled Cotija cheese

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Elote Corn Salad

Skip the mess and grab a spoon for the best recipe for Elote Corn Salad made with fresh or frozen corn.
5 from 10 votes
The best Elote Corn Salad topped with fresh herbs and Cotija cheese
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 4 servings


  • 8 ears corn, husks removed
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Cotija cheese


  • Cook the corn on a grill or grill pan then use a sharp knife to slice off the kernels.
  • Add the kernels and diced onion to a large bowl, and while it is still warm, stir in the butter, sour cream, lime juice, smoke paprika, cumin, cilantro, Cotija cheese, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Taste and season the salad with additional salt and pepper as desired. Serve immediately.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


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Calories: 279kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 35mg, Sodium: 245mg, Potassium: 537mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 950IU, Vitamin C: 17.4mg, Calcium: 111mg, Iron: 1.4mg

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  1. Excellent salad, worth the effort using fresh corn from the cob. My guests, who don’t love Cilantro, ate it all and loved it!

  2. 5 stars
    This was delicious!! Have already been asked to make it again! I don’t care for Cotija cheese so I substituted some pepper jack. Amazing

  3. 5 stars
    Fantastic recipe it’s a crowd pleasure and is so different to what is serve in my country that I have never had leftovers. I have made it with fresh corn and frozen. Thank you

  4. How much frozen corn should we use for this recipe?

    Thanks so much for all of the excellent info. you share!!! We greatly appreciate YOU!!!

  5. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious, I could eat this all day long. I used frozen corn because that is what I had on hand. Also I cut back on the amount of corn because it’s only me and my husband at home. I left all the other ingredients as is, we both really enjoyed this recipe. Definitely will be making this again!

    1. Hi there! It’s not necessary but if you’d like to char the corn kernels, heat a cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat, then add the corn and sauté 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until kernels are lightly charred. :)

  6. I signed up for this website because you advertise nutritional information. Cannot find that information anywhere. Plus I signed up and keep getting asked to sign up.

    1. Hi Mary! Apologies! There is a temporary glitch with nutritional info now showing up. We are working to resolve that now. Thanks for your patience!

  7. 5 stars
    Elote is one of my absolute favorite things. I don’t cook at all but this, I think I can do. Thank you so much for giving me something delicious to contribute to my next social event!

  8. This sounds delicious! I’m not familiar with cotija cheese. I googled it and find it can be purchased fresh, or aged. Which form are you using in this salad?

  9. Pinned and am definitely making using fresh sweet corn. I’d bet it would be amazing with a little minced jalapeno in it too