Spicy Street Corn Salad


This salad takes its cues from the classic Mexican street food, elote, which is grilled corn rubbed with spices and cheese.

Spicy Street Corn Salad in a serving dish with a spoon.
Taking inspiration from elote, the classic Mexican street of grilled (almost charred) corn smothered in cheese and spices, this irresistible snack becomes a meal when tossed with pinto beans, herbs, jalapeno, and heaps of arugula. The best part? It comes together in a snap since the corn stays raw.  Get the recipe:Spicy Street Corn Salad. Photo: Jen Causey
Hands On Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins

Here, the corn is easier to eat since it's off the cob, and it's mixed with arugula and beans for a filling, fresh summer salad. Because you're eating the corn raw, try seeking out fresh corn from a local stand or farmers' market. Serve this salad alongside grilled proteins like fish, chicken, or steak, or serve with hard-cooked eggs for a vegetarian twist. If you can't find cotija, you can substitute parmesan or aged Cheddar.


  • ½ cup mayonnaise

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, plus ½ whole leaves and tender stems

  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped 

  • 1 tablespoon lime zest plus 1/4 cup fresh juice (from 3 limes)

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt 

  • 6 ounces cotija cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/3 cups), divided

  • 1 (15.5-oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (from 4 to 5 ears)

  • 3 cups loosely packed arugula


  1. Whisk together mayonnaise, chives, chopped cilantro leaves and stems, jalapeño, lime zest and juice, chili powder, pepper, salt, and half of the cheese in a large bowl until combined. Add beans, corn, arugula, remaining cheese, and whole cilantro leaves and stems and toss to combine.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

386 Calories
24g Fat
32g Carbs
13g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 386
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 36mg 12%
Sodium 858mg 37%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 12%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 13g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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