Mexican Corn and Quinoa Salad

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Let me preface this by saying when I make Mexican Corn and Quinoa Salad at home, I have 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 or Poppy) will eat it.


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 street 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.

Mexican Corn and Quinoa Salad from (@whatsgabycookin)

Mayo can be substituted for avocado in 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!

Mexican Corn and Quinoa Salad from (@whatsgabycookin)

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

Mexican Corn and Quinoa Salad from (@whatsgabycookin)

Mexican Corn and Quinoa Salad (aka Esquites with Quinoa)

Author: Gaby Dalkin
4.9 from 45 votes
If you've ever had Esquites or Elote and you're a fan... imagine it with quinoa and then prepare to make this your new fav lunch. It's true perfection.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Salad, Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 people


  • 1 cup red or white quinoa
  • 3 cups corn about 4 ears, cut from the cob
  • ½ 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
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 avocado
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook the quinoa according to the package directions.
  • Once cooked, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


You can grill your corn, but I'm a huge fan of raw corn when it's perfectly in season!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 200mg | Potassium: 795mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 682IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 187mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @WhatsGabyCookin or tag #whatsgabycooking!

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


  1. Hi, Question on amount of quinoa. It says one cup of quinoa. When I cook the 1 cup it turns into 3 cups. Do you use the 3 cups or take one cup out of that for the salad.

    Thank you!

    1. I cook 1 cup of raw quinoa and then use all of it!! If you just want to use 1-2 cups once it's cooked, totally allowed too!

  2. Looks delicious! Unfortunately, I am not a cilantro fan. Do you think it would be just as good leaving it out or substituting with parsley? Anything else? Thank you!

  3. 4 stars
    Okay, I agree with others that this IS super delicious. But, I also agree with those who ate it with chips - feels more like a salsa than a salad.

    1. I’ve done that too! I also have added grilled chicken to it and made it more of a grain bowl!

  4. 5 stars
    OMG!!! This is, by far, the BEST recipe. I made it today and my husband and I are having it for dinner as I write this review. I did add grilled chicken to it. It really doesn't need anything added, I just wanted to. Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe. I'll definitely be making this again.

  5. 5 stars
    Well this was delish! I didn't have avocados so I threw in some spicy guac and watered it down a bit. The corn is the best part!!

  6. i think you mean avocado is a sub for mayo/mayo can be subbed by avocado? the recipe says it the other way around.

  7. 5 stars
    I have made this so many times, but mostly with frozen organic corn. I absolutely love fresh corn, but the silk, not so much! The frozen corn removes that work and tastes fabulous! Everything else about this recipe is so good, my daughter and I make it when she is here, and I make it all the time for my husband and me. He was not a fan of quinoa before this recipe. Really appreciate all the hard work that went into your "overnight" success! Enjoy! Priscilla

4.87 from 45 votes (12 ratings without comment)

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