Mexican Street Corn Salad with Black Beans
This Mexican Street Corn Salad recipe 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 like Carne Asada.
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!), 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.
Dishes like this Moroccan Spiced Carrot Salad or Warm Brussel Sprout Salad with Crispy Goat Cheese aren’t the norm.
(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, salty cotija cheese, chili powder, and cilantro. It is often sold by street vendors, and it’s SO GOOD.
Here we’re taking most of those elements and turning it into an incredibly delicious salad with fresh flavors.
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 sweet 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.
Step by Step Overview:
To get started, making the dressing.
Whisk to combine fresh lime juice, olive oil, mayonnaise, chipotle chile powder, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl:
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 creamy 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 fresh corn kernels cut off the cob (from 4 ears of corn), rinsed and drained canned black beans, crumbled cotija cheese, jalapeno, and fresh 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 an outdoor grill.
Toss all the salad ingredients together:
Try to let the salad sit for at least an hour, to let the flavors meld together.
I love serving it with Mexican Shredded Beef, Mexican Rice, and a big scoop of homemade Guacamole. It is the perfect side dish.
You could also make this a great party food by serving it with tortilla chips. Enjoy!
Recipe FAQ and Tips
Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
While fresh corn that’s grilled is the very best for flavor, you may also use frozen corn. Cook completely in boiling water according to package directions, then drain thoroughly, otherwise the excess water will dilute the creamy sauce. You may also use cans of corn. Rinse and drain thoroughly as well.
Here are some of my favorite ways to change things up from the original recipe, if you’d like to switch it up next time.
Sour cream – For an extra creamy dressing, add 1 tablespoon of sour cream as well. This adds a nice tang.
Onion – If you want the bite of onion added to this, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of finely minced red onion, or 2 green onions, thinly sliced.
Cheese – If you can’t find cotija cheese, crumbled queso fresco is another Mexican cheese that tastes great too. Most grocery stores will carry one or the other.
Tomatoes – Though it changes the nature of the salad, tomatoes have a strong flavor affinity with the other ingredients here. Add halved cherry tomatoes to the bowl.
Lime zest – For a more pronounced lime flavor and aroma, zest the limes first before juicing them, and add the lime zest to the dressing.
Did you enjoy the recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.
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)*
- 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
Pairing Ideas for Serving:
- 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!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
8 Comments on “Mexican Street Corn Salad with Black Beans”
Super easy and amazingly delicious!
I made this recipe tonight and actually made double – it is FABULOUS! I will absolutely make this again! I’m very grateful that I found this recipe because I was asked to bring a mexican-ish salad to a friend’s house and this was perfect.
For double the ingredients, one serving of the dressing was plenty (fyi for anyone making this). Love, love, love this versatile salad! (Husband-approved also)
I can’t get over how good this is. The queso fresco is perfect here too. I added more jalapeño to increase the heat and also added more cilantro. Fantastic!
Can you just used canned corn?
I haven’t tried it but if you like canned corn, it’d probably be great!
I love your dressing! Husband gorged on this salad.
In off season, when fresh corn is unavailable I have two tricks for fresh taste: roast frozen corn on the cob, in the oven at 450. Once roasted to your liking, cut from the cob.
Another suggestion is to blanch frozen corn kernels in boilng water 3 to 4 minutes to keep the corn crisp. Drain the water and let it cool before using in salad.
This. Is. So. GOOD. Mine didn’t look as pretty as your picture, once the dressing was tossed on, but the flavor! The small amount that was left, was gobbled up at the lunch the next day. The kiddoes weren’t quite as impressed as my husband and I were, though.
Hi Yanica, I’m SO happy to hear you loved it so much! It’s one of my favorites too. Enjoy!