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. 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.

  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. That sounds like something I'd do! Hide it in the back of the fridge. 😉
    Looks delicious, Abby!

  4. haha! you should totally clean out a can of crisco or something and put your future meals in there - i doubt Thomas would open that 😉 i'd LOVE this salad for lunch right now!!

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

  6. This does sound "hide me" worthy, Gaby!!! I need to try this - the flavors sound amazing together! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Love everything about this! I grew up in San Antonio, and we ate that type of corn ALL the time, but we called it elotes. I love that you used avocado instead here, though - yum, yum, yum!

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