Mexican Corn and Quinoa Salad

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

Mexican Corn and Quinoa Salad from (@whatsgabycookin)

No shame in my game – Mexican Corn and Quinoa Salad is so good you won’t want to share it with anyone!

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

Mayo can be substituted for avocado is most any dish in my opinion, so obviously 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 grilled corn too, but I’m really into raw corn as you can probably tell!

Much to my dismay, Thomas discovered it in the back of the fridge and I was forced to share. He did however declare it to be one of the best things I’ve ever made! #winning

Mexican Corn and Quinoa Salad (aka Esquites with Quinoa)

Yield: Serves 4-6

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.

Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking

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  1. This looks amazing! Sadly, my husband is allergic to avocado. Any idea how much mayo would be used to substitute it?

  2. This was delicious! The only change I made was to use frozen corn kernals in place of fresh. Another keeper!

  3. Wow, Gaby, just WOW. I was deeply sceptical about this recipe. And admit I didn’t have cotija cheese or quinoa to hand. I subbed couscous and feta cheese. It was so delicious and infinitely more than the some of it’s parts. And raw corn…what a revelation! Thanks, and I never should of doubted you!!!

  4. Made this tonight as a side dish for salmon and wow, so good! I used canned corn since that’s what I had and it was a huge hit.

  5. I was pretty skeptical about raw corn but omg it’s amazing! I’m not the biggest corn fan because it’s so sweet but keeping it raw totally tones that down and I can 100% get behind it! You are a genius, Gaby!

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