Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad

Are you looking for a refreshing yet hearty salad that brings a unique twist to your table? Look no further than this delicious Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad. Combining the classic appeal of potato salad with the vibrant flavors of Mexican street corn, this dish is sure to be a hit at any gathering. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to create this flavorful salad, including tips to ensure it turns out perfectly every time.

What Is Mexican Street Corn?

Mexican street corn, also known as ‘Elote’, is a popular street food in Mexico that features grilled corn slathered in a mixture of mayonnaise, cotija cheese, spices, and lime. It’s known for its tantalizing combination of sweet, savory, and tangy flavors, which we’ll be incorporating into our potato salad.

Ingredients You’ll Need

To make this Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Potatoes: 2 pounds of small red or yellow potatoes, which hold their shape well after cooking.
  • Corn: 4 ears of fresh corn or 2 cups of frozen corn, thawed.
  • Mayonnaise: 1/2 cup to add creaminess.
  • Sour Cream: 1/4 cup for extra tang.
  • Cotija Cheese: 1/2 cup crumbled, for authentic Mexican flavor.
  • Lime: Juice of 1 lime, for zest.
  • Garlic: 1 minced clove.
  • Cilantro: 1/4 cup chopped, plus extra for garnish.
  • Chili Powder: 1 teaspoon, or to taste.
  • Paprika: 1 teaspoon for a hint of smokiness.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste.

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Cook the Potatoes

Start by boiling the potatoes. Place them in a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender but still firm, about 10-15 minutes depending on their size. Drain and let them cool slightly before cutting into bite-sized pieces.

2. Prepare the Corn

If using fresh corn, grill the ears on a hot grill or grill pan, turning occasionally until charred on all sides. This usually takes about 10 minutes. Let it cool, then slice the kernels off the cob. For frozen corn, lightly sauté in a pan until they start to char slightly.

3. Mix the Dressing

In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, minced garlic, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.

4. Combine Ingredients

Add the cooled potatoes and corn to the bowl with the dressing. Toss gently to coat. Crumble in the cotija cheese and add chopped cilantro. Mix until everything is evenly combined.

5. Chill and Serve

Let the salad chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld. Serve chilled, garnished with additional cilantro and a sprinkle of chili powder if desired.

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Tips for the Perfect Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad

  • Choosing Potatoes: Opt for waxy potatoes like Yukon Gold or red potatoes as they hold up better in salads and won’t get mushy.
  • Adding Extras: For a protein boost, consider adding chopped cooked bacon or black beans.
  • Make Ahead: This salad can be made a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator, making your event day easier.


This Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad is a must-try for anyone looking to spice up their meal repertoire. It perfectly balances the creamy texture of traditional potato salad with the bold flavors of elote. Whether you’re hosting a summer BBQ, a casual family dinner, or simply looking for a satisfying side, this salad is guaranteed to impress. Enjoy the fusion of flavors and the compliments sure to come your way!

Serving and Storage Tips for Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad

When preparing and presenting your Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad, both serving and storage are crucial elements to ensure your dish remains delicious and safe to eat. Here are some expert tips to help you make the most of this tasty dish:

Serving Tips:

  1. Ideal Temperature: This salad is best served chilled. After preparing, allow it to cool in the refrigerator for at least one hour. This not only helps the flavors to meld together beautifully but also brings a refreshing coolness that is particularly enjoyable on warm days.
  2. Presentation: Serve your Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad in a colorful dish or bowl to complement its vibrant ingredients. Garnishing with extra chopped cilantro, a sprinkle of cotija cheese, and a light dusting of chili powder can enhance its visual appeal and add a burst of flavor.
  3. Accompaniments: This salad pairs well with a variety of main dishes, especially those with a barbecue or grilled theme. It’s a great side for grilled meats, tacos, or fish. You can also serve it alongside a vegetarian barbecue spread to add a hearty element to the meal.
  4. Adjusting Spice Levels: Not everyone has the same tolerance for spicy food, so consider serving the chili powder or any additional spices on the side, allowing guests to adjust the heat to their preference.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration: Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Properly stored, it will last for 3-4 days. Be sure to check the salad before serving again, as the flavors will continue to develop and can change slightly over time.
  2. Avoiding Sogginess: Since the base of this salad is mayonnaise and sour cream, it’s best not to leave it out at room temperature for more than two hours (or one hour if the temperature is above 90°F). This prevents the salad from becoming soggy and ensures food safety.
  3. Reviving Leftovers: If the salad seems a bit dry after storage, try freshening it up with a squeeze of fresh lime juice or a dollop of mayonnaise before serving it again. This can help to bring back the creamy texture and zesty flavor.
  4. Freezing: It is not recommended to freeze this salad. The creamy dressing and cooked potatoes will not hold up well in the freezer and can become grainy and watery upon thawing.
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By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that your Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad is always as enjoyable as when it was first made. Whether enjoying it at a sunny picnic or as a lively addition to a family dinner, this salad is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

1. What type of potatoes is best for making Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad?

  • For Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad, it is ideal to use waxy potatoes such as red, yellow, or Yukon Gold potatoes. These types retain their shape and have a firm texture even after cooking, which is crucial for a good potato salad. Avoid using starchy potatoes like Russets, as they can become mushy and break apart easily in the salad.

2. Can I use canned corn instead of fresh or frozen corn?

  • Yes, you can use canned corn as a substitute for fresh or frozen corn. Ensure to drain and rinse the corn thoroughly to remove any excess salt or preservatives. For best results, you might want to briefly sauté the canned corn in a hot skillet until slightly charred to add more flavor, mimicking the grilled taste of fresh corn.

3. How can I make this salad dairy-free or vegan?

  • To make Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad dairy-free or vegan, replace the mayonnaise and sour cream with vegan alternatives such as vegan mayo or vegan yogurt. You can substitute cotija cheese with a dairy-free cheese option or nutritional yeast for a similar flavor profile. Additionally, ensure all other ingredients used are suitable for vegans.

4. What are some variations I can try with this salad to mix it up?

  • There are several variations you can try to customize your Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad:
    • Protein Additions: Include chopped cooked bacon, grilled chicken, or black beans for added protein.
    • Spice Variations: Experiment with different spices such as cumin, coriander, or even a bit of cayenne pepper for extra heat.
    • Additional Vegetables: Add diced bell peppers, red onion, or avocado for more texture and flavor.
    • Herb Variations: Besides cilantro, try adding parsley or chives for a different herby note.

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