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!

Complete your Mexican-inspired meal with some summer veggie grilled steak tacos, blackened rockfish tacos, and a watermelon margarita, of course.

a close up of Mexican Cucumber Salad in a bowl

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!

Mexican Cucumber Salad in a bowl.

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:

  1. First, stir together the dressing ingredients. Mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, cheese, lime zest and juice, chili powder, and garlic together in a bowl.
  2. 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 elote Salad in a serving bowl

Mexican Cucumber Salad: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use canned corn?

In a pinch! We find frozen corn to be a bit fresher but canned corn can work as well.

Can I use yogurt instead of sour cream?

Definitely, just be sure to use a full-fat plain yogurt so it will be equally creamy.

Where can I buy cotija cheese?

You should be able to find it along with other cheeses at most well-stocked grocery stores.

What can I use instead of cojita cheese?

Feta makes a good substitute for cotija cheese. 

Can I make it dairy-free?

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:

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!

Mexican Cucumber corn Salad in a glass serving bowl
Mexican Cucumber Salad in a bowl.

Mexican Cucumber Salad

This simple Mexican 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 love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!

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Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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
    image for recipe instruction
  • 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
    image for recipe instruction

Notes

Feta makes a good substitute for cotija cheese. 
Serving: 1 = ½ cup, Calories: 101kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 164mg, Potassium: 176mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 231IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 60mg, Iron: 1mg
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