Mexican Street Corn Salad with Black Beans
This Mexican Street Corn Salad with Black Beans is incredibly flavorful, filling, and can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. It’s fantastic for summer potlucks or picnics, as it travels really easily, and serves as a great side dish for lots of different mains.
People always love to ask me what my favorite foods are to make, and even though it isn’t the “sexy answer” (I say this based on the looks of disappointment I always get, hah!), I really love making different types of flavorful salads.
I think a lot of people don’t get excited about salad because their mind may instantly go to the salad bar.
I get the whole “choose what you want” idea of the salad bar, with different types of lettuce, a selection of chopped ingredients, and all the standard dressings, but most salad bars aren’t that exciting. There aren’t any cohesively crafted themes to them.
(I wish they were).
This Mexican Street Corn Salad with Black Beans is a riff on one of the best foods ever, Mexican Street Corn.
If you’ve been wondering how to make Mexican street corn off the cob, this is it.
So, what exactly is Mexican Street Corn?
If you’ve never had it before, it’s a grilled ear of corn slathered in a mixture of Mexican crema, cotija cheese, chili powder, and cilantro.
It’s SO GOOD.
Here we’re taking most of those elements and turning it into an incredibly tasty salad.
I’ve played with this recipe enough to know that something else needs to be in the salad in addition to the corn.
I love adding black beans to add heartiness, and beans and corn are the best of friends in terms of flavor affinity.
As far as what else goes with Mexican Street Corn, avocado is great, as is tomato. But if you’re adding those ingredients, the salad won’t keep for long as leftovers since the avocado will get brown, and the tomatoes will get mealy.
So if I’m making this for a party where I think there won’t be leftovers, I’ll add the avocado, but if I’m making this to keep on hand in the fridge, I’ll stick with the corn and black beans.
To get started, making the dressing.
Whisk to combine fresh lime juice, olive oil, mayonnaise, chipotle chile powder, salt, and black pepper:
If you have 10 minutes to spare, I recommend using homemade mayonnaise for the best flavor.
If you can find authentic Mexican crema to use instead of the mayonnaise, that is more traditional, but we’re using such a small amount that it doesn’t matter a whole lot.
The small dollop of mayonnaise in the dressing is just enough to add a tangy creaminess to the dressing, without giving the salad ingredients a milky coated look.
Next add the salad ingredients, which are corn kernels cut off the cob, black beans, crumbled cotija cheese, jalapeno, and cilantro:
Mexican street corn is typically grilled, but if you have a gas cooktop, there’s a hack to making mexican street corn without the grill.
Steam or boil the corn as you normally would, then turn the corn over an open flame for 1-2 minutes, until smoky and slightly charred on the outside.
If you taste it, you really get the smoky, nutty flavors that you normally would on the grill.
Toss all the salad ingredients together:
Try to let the salad sit for at least an hour, to let the flavors meld together.
Mexican Corn Salad
For the Salad:
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ears fresh cooked corn on the cob, kernels cut off the cob (about 3 cups)*
- 1 15- ounce can black beans drained and rinsed well
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro chopped (1 cup)
- 4 oz Cotija cheese crumbled
- 1 jalapeno seeded and minced
- In a large bowl, whisk to combine the lime juice, olive oil, mayonnaise, chipotle chile powder, salt, and pepper.
- Add the corn kernels, black beans, cilantro, cotija cheese, and jalapeno, and mix well.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving, so the flavors can meld. Enjoy!