Mexican Corn and Quinoa Salad

Mexican Corn and Quinoa Salad from

Let me preface this by saying when I made Mexican Corn and Quinoa Salad this past weekend, I had no intention of sharing it with anyone. It was one of those things I make that I then hide in the back of my fridge and pretend it’s not there so no one else will eat it when they are at my house.

Mexican Corn and Quinoa Salad from copy

Well, it didn’t work out so well this time. My husband found it. And I literally had to fight him for the last spoonful. It got ugly. I lost. And then retreated back to the other room to watch Bravo TV and sulk. #typicalgabybehavior

Have you guys ever had that delicious Mexican style corn on the cob that’s slathered in mayo, chile powder and lime juice? It’s basically the best thing in the world and I’m a total fan. And it’s also known as Esquites. The only thing that bothers me about that dish is there is no avocado anywhere to be found. Well, fear not my friends, I’ve totally solved the dilemma.

Mayo can be substituted for avocado. Easy peasy. Done and done. So that’s what I did. I just took a perfectly ripe avocado and threw it into the blender with a hint of lime juice and a little water and blended it up until it was the same consistency as mayo. And then I went ahead and mixed it in with all my favorite things like quinoa, monetary jack cheese, corn straight off the cob, some cilantro and scallions and then topped it all off with a healthy shake of chile powder and salt and pepper.

You could easily use some sautéed or grilled corn too. It basically is up to you. But I’m kinda into raw corn. And you should try it if you haven’t yet.

Thomas declared it to be the best thing I’ve made in years. Which is why I was so upset when he finished it off without me. Rude. And clearly, next time I hide one of my meals, I’m going to have to get way more creative.




Mexican Corn and Quinoa Salad (aka Esquites with Quinoa)

Mexican Corn and Quinoa Salad (aka Esquites with Quinoa)


  • 1 cup cooked red or white quinoa
  • 3 cups corn (about 4 ears), cut from the cob
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons cotija (or feta), crumbled
  • chili powder to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 avocado
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add the quinoa and raw corn to a large mixing bowl with the chopped jalapeño green onions, cilantro, half of the lime juice, cotija cheese and a dash of chili powder. Toss to combine.
  2. Remove the avocado from the skin and discard the seed. Place the flesh of the avocado in a blender or food processor with the remaining lime juice and blend until smooth. Add a few tablespoons of water as needed to make the mixture smooth, it should be a similar consistency to a mayonnaise.
  3. Remove the avocado mixture from the blender, toss it with the corn and quinoa mixture and top with the shredded jack cheese. Season with salt and pepper as needed and serve.

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  1. This sounds like a wonderful combination. Bring on summer! This will be my new dish to bring and share. So tasty and easy.

  2. This sounds excellent! I’m making it this week. Wouldn’t just a little bit of red onion be good in this salad? Just a thought. It would be terrific without it too.

  3. I haven’t had the opportunity to spend much time on the west coast, so Esquites is new to me. I am not a huge quinoa fan, and since that makes me feel like something might be wrong with me, I keep trying different ways to prepare it. I am definitely looking forward to trying this dish. Looks and sounds delicious, as do all of your recipes.

  4. Gaby! I am eating this right now and it is absolutely to DIE for! I am obsessed! I subbed Greek yogurt for the avocado because I didn’t have enough avocado left… but did have enough to cube some on top! Also added some tequila-lime chicken. Delish!!

  5. Finally got a chance to make this. I can’t stop eating! I was forced to make a few changes, but it still the basic recipe. Like didn’t have cotitja or feta so used some gorgenzola. Also added some seeded roma tomatoes. This is perfect for lunch or dinner in the summer. Tonight it is my main meal and I couldn’t be happier. Oh, also I did slightly brown my corn in broiler, but that how I like it. Thanks Gaby, I will be back!

  6. Words cannot describe my absolute love for this dish…. tried it for the first time pretty much the day it was posted and have made it for different folks a few times since. Like others I use the avocado puree and then cube some in the salad as well because you can never ever have too much avocado. Will be my go-to dish from now on for dinner parties!

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