Mexican Corn Salad: Everything You Need to Know

Let’s be honest, corn salad sounds like the weirdest possible combo in the universe. The thought of mixing corn and salad may just make you want to gag, but don’t knock it until you try it! Before we get into how fantastic this salad truly is, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about Mexican corn salad so you can make it for your family and friends, too.

This delicious dish has three main ingredients – fresh corn kernels, red bell pepper strips, and sliced black olives – which provide tons of flavor and texture.

Veggies and corn
Veggies and corn

Mexican Corn Salad: Ingredients and Preparation

  1. 6 ears of corn (or 2-3 cups cooked)
  2. 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  3. 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  4. 1/2 cup chopped red onion (about 1 small onion)
  5. 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves or parsley leaves, plus more for garnish if desired.
  6. 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 large lime)
  7. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil -Salt and pepper to taste
  8. Optional toppings: chopped avocado, shredded cheese, jalapeños.

In a large bowl, combine the corn kernels with the beans, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper then drizzle on the olive oil. Mix well to coat everything evenly then cover with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate at least one hour before serving so flavors can marry together before adding any additional toppings that are desired on top of the salad. Serve cold or at room temperature. If you want your Mexican Corn Salad to be warm, simply add it all to a large pan and heat it until everything is heated through about five minutes. Enjoy!

Serving Ideas


This Mexican corn salad is a great side dish or can be served as the main dish with a dollop of sour cream and grated cheese on top. It’s best served cold, but if you want to warm it up, just put it in the microwave for a minute or two. One serving has about 50 calories and 2 grams of fat.

This Mexican corn salad is a great side dish or can be served as the main dish with a dollop of sour cream and grated cheese on top. It’s best served cold, but if you want to warm it up, just put it in the microwave for a minute or two. One serving has about 50 calories and 2 grams of fat.

The easiest way to make this salad is with canned sweet corn, frozen whole-kernel corn, or fresh raw corn kernels. If using canned sweetcorn use whole kernel; canned yellow will work too but tastes more like creamed corn.

This recipe uses 1 15-ounce can of white shoepeg whole kernel sweetcorn, which makes 8 cups when drained, so 1 cup equals 8 ounces. If using frozen or fresh raw instead of canned sweetcorn use 3 cups (12 ounces) and adjust seasoning accordingly.

If using fresh raw corn kernels measure 1/2 pound by volume (1/2 pint) per 6 servings–the yield should be right around 4 cups of uncooked kernels per 1 pound of fresh raw kernels (about 4 quarts). Be sure to rinse the kernels off well under running water before cooking.

To prepare: In a large pot cook over medium heat add 1 tablespoon of butter, melt and then add the corn kernels stirring often until they turn golden brown. Add salt, pepper, sugar (optional), ground cumin seeds (optional), cayenne pepper powder, red pepper flakes, and onion powder stirring well. Pour in rice vinegar or lime juice and stir until coated evenly.

Let cool completely before adding the remaining ingredients or refrigerating. In a small bowl whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, olive oil, white wine vinegar, and mustard. Stir in basil leaves, green onions, and jalapeno peppers.

Mix together corn mixture from the stovetop with an immersion blender or potato masher (or finely chop finely) until all kernels are crushed but not mushy. Combine the mayonnaise mixture with the blended corn mixture stirring well until combined. Refrigerate one hour before serving for flavors to meld into one delicious appetizer!

Storage Tips

Corn and veggies
Corn and veggies

Storing your corn salad in the fridge is a good idea if you plan on eating it within a day or two. It will stay fresh for up to four days. If you’re storing it for longer, freezing is the best option. If you freeze your corn salad, be sure to let it thaw before eating it, and then store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

You can also use plastic wrap to cover your bowl of salad so that it doesn’t dry out as much. And keep in mind that freshly cooked corn does not taste like what we get from canned or frozen. That being said, I still recommend using canned or frozen if you need to store your salad for more than one day because it’s going to taste better than anything else!

How Long Will This Last in the Fridge?

This Mexican corn salad will last up to five days in the fridge. If you want it to last longer, store it with an airtight lid. What Can I Serve It With?: One of the best things about this salad is how versatile it is. For a heartier meal, add a protein like shredded chicken or grilled shrimp. It also pairs well with beans and rice for a vegetarian dish that’s packed full of flavor.

How Can I Change Up The Recipe?

  1. If you don’t have any fresh cilantro, try subbing in some finely chopped parsley or a teaspoon of cumin.
  2. You can use canned corn instead of frozen if that’s what you have on hand.
  3. This recipe is vegan, but feel free to add some shredded chicken or sliced ham for a meaty addition.
  4. For an even healthier salad, use rice wine vinegar instead of regular white vinegar and up the number of jalapeños to two or three depending on your spice preference.
  5. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator so all of the flavors can meld together. The next day, just give the salad a good stir before serving.

What Can I Substitute for Something Else In this Recipe?

  1. If you don’t want to use mayonnaise, substitute it with yogurt, sour cream, or Mexican crema.
  2. If you want a spicy version of the salad, add jalapeño or serrano peppers and hot sauce.
  3. Add cooked bacon for a smoky bacon flavor that compliments the sweetness of the corn kernels and adds a bit of saltiness.
  4. Add fresh cilantro for some brightness and clean flavors that balance out all the other bold flavors in this dish.
  5. Use more lime juice if you want an added zing of citrus flavor that will brighten up your whole dish!


One thing I will mention is that the salad can be made ahead of time, but since it’s best cold, I recommend making it at least an hour before serving. I also think that this would make for a great side dish for a bbq or a potluck! The recipe yields about 8 servings and the prep time was about 25 minutes. If you’re looking for more recipes from my kitchen, feel free to check out my blog!

Also, check out the latest articles “Funnel cake” and “Egg noodle recipes

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