Mexican Cucumber Salad
This simple cucumber salad is inspired by our favorite street food, Mexican street corn. With crunchy cucumbers, sweet corn, cotija cheese, and a creamy dressing, it's an easy side dish with a bit of kick to complement any Mexican-style meal. Buen provecho!
If you're going to make a salad to go with your next Mexican meal, let it be this Mexican cucumber salad. It's fresh, crunchy, customizable, and easy to make. It's a salad that speaks to our soul.
Elote (pronounced eh-loh-teh), or Mexican street corn, is the inspiration for this salad. We use many of the same ingredients to transform the popular street snack into a salad that has all the flavors we love. It's sweet corn, crunchy cucumbers, and a perfectly creamy dressing with cotija cheese, lime, and just the right amount of kick.
Serve it as a delicious side with grilled steak or fish, or use it as a taco filling with Mexican pork carnitas, or your favorite protein.
What is Mexican street corn (elote)?
Mexican street corn (elote) is a Mexican snack of charred corn on the cob slathered in a creamy mayo dressing and topped with cotija cheese, chili powder, and lime. It's messy to eat but well worth it for the mix of amazing flavors!
How to make Mexican cucumber salad
This cucumber elotes salad is the perfect Mexican side dish and it's so easy to make. Here's how it comes together in just two simple steps:
- First, stir together the dressing ingredients. Mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, cheese, lime zest and juice, chili powder, and garlic together in a bowl.
- Then add the cucumbers, thawed corn, cilantro, and minced red onion and mix everything together well. That's it!
Full recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
Ingredients for Mexican cucumber salad
Here's what you'll need to make the creamy elotes salad dressing:
- Sour cream + mayonnaise – for the tangy creamy dressing.
- Cotija cheese – a traditional Mexican crumbly cheese. Feta cheese makes a good substitute.
- Lime – both zest and juice for lots of fresh tang.
- Chili powder – for seasoning and a bit of kick.
- Garlic – for its unique pungent flavoring.
This is everything you'll need for the cucumber salad:
- Cucumbers – refreshing cucumbers make this salad oh-so crunchy, too.
- Frozen corn – slightly sweet and classically Mexican.
- Cilantro – for its fresh taste and pop of green color.
- Red onion – the slightly sweet red onion adds a pop of purple color.
- Sea salt – is a flavor enhancer to make everything come together.
Mexican Cucumber Salad: Frequently Asked Questions
In a pinch! We find frozen corn to be a bit fresher but canned corn can work as well.
Definitely, just be sure to use a full-fat plain yogurt so it will be equally creamy.
You should be able to find it along with other cheeses at most well-stocked grocery stores.
Feta makes a good substitute for cotija cheese.
Yes! You could easily make it dairy-free by swapping the sour cream for a dairy-free alternative and using a dairy-free cheese similar to feta.
How to serve this elote-inspired cucumber salad
Serve this Mexican cucumber salad anytime you're making a Mexican-style meal. Here are some ways we love to enjoy it:
- Tucked into tacos with our Mexican pork carnitas, grilled steak tacos, or blackened rockfish tacos
- Used in place of the crunchy carrot slaw in these crockpot pork tacos
- As a side with our favorite grilled chicken, cilantro lime chicken, juicy grilled pork chops, or our Mexican chicken marinade.
- With our spring veggie enchiladas, or vegetarian skillet enchiladas
- Complete the street food experience and serve it with our loaded food truck Mexican nacho fries!
Did someone say fiesta? Mexican food is perfect for serving at parties. Make this salad and serve it up family-style with a few of your other Mexican favorites (like our fizzy lime margarita!) for a festive meal everyone will love!
Popular cucumber salad recipes
Mexican Cucumber Salad
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- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, can be light
- 2 tablespoons cotija cheese, see notes
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 6 mini cucumbers, sliced thin
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- ¼ cup cilantro, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- Sea salt, to taste
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, cheese, lime zest and juice, chili powder, and garlic.2 tablespoons sour cream, 2 tablespoons cotija cheese, 1 lime, ½ teaspoon chili powder, 1 clove garlic, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- Add the cucumbers, thawed corn, cilantro, and minced red onion to the bowl. Mix the salad ingredients until everything is well combined. Season to taste with salt.6 mini cucumbers, 1 cup frozen corn, ¼ cup cilantro, 2 tablespoons minced red onion, Sea salt