Chili Verde Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 10 min. + cooling


8 servings

Updated: Jul. 20, 2023
Chili verde sausages add a wallop of flavor in my version of esquites, a kicked-up Mexican corn salad. We leave half the kernels raw for crunch, and quickly pickle shallots and chilis in lime juice for brightness. Half the Cotija cheese gets added for creaminess while the mixture is hot, and the other half is added as a topping once it’s cooled down slightly. —Cara Nicoletti, Seemore Meats & Veggies
Chili Verde Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad) Recipe photo by Photography by Emily Kan


  • 5 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 medium ears sweet corn, husked
  • 2 shallots, sliced into rings
  • 1 serrano pepper, sliced into rings, optional
  • 1 package (12 ounces) Seemore Fully Cooked Chicken Chili Verde Sausages
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup Cotija cheese, crumbled and divided
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  1. In a large serving bowl, whisk together lime juice and olive oil. Cut kernels off corn cobs. Add half to the serving bowl; stir in shallots and, if desired, serrano. Set aside.
  2. Crumble sausages into small pieces. In a large cast-iron or stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat, cook and stir sausage in canola oil until golden brown, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to paper towel.
  3. In same pan, add remaining corn to drippings; cook over high heat, not stirring, until lightly charred on 1 side, 2-3 minutes. Transfer corn to shallot mixture; add sausage and 1/4 cup Cotija cheese. Toss to combine; let stand until cooled to room temperature, 15-20 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup cilantro. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cilantro and 1/4 cup Cotija cheese.
Chili Verde Esquites Tips

Can you use frozen corn to make chili verde esquites?

While fresh corn is best for this salad, you can use frozen corn in a pinch. You’ll want to thaw the corn completely and make sure it’s as dry as possible, then proceed with the recipe as directed.

If I can't get the chili verde sausage, what else can I use?

Fresh Mexican chorizo may be used in place of the chili verde sausage. Cook chorizo fully before adding to salad.

What else can you put in chili verde esquites?

Traditional recipes use corn, mayonnaise, cilantro, lime, Cotija cheese and chili powder, but you don’t have to limit yourself to just those ingredients. Try adding crumbled feta for the Cotija cheese. Swap lemon for the lime, toss in some chopped tomatoes and even green onions if you have some. If you like it spicy, try adding chopped jalapeno peppers or even something hotter! Have fun!

Is esquites served hot or cold?

Most esquites are served just slightly warm, from the corn that's just come off the grill. It's also very delicious at room temperature. If you make your esquites ahead of time and refrigerate it, let it sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving.

What can you serve with chili verde esquites?

In Mexico, you can find street vendors selling cups of esquites as a snack to enjoy all by itself. That's one of our favorite ways to enjoy it, but we've also been known to serve it alongside other Mexican dishes or at a backyard barbecue.

James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor

Nutrition Facts

3/4 cup: 229 calories, 14g fat (3g saturated fat), 40mg cholesterol, 364mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 2g fiber), 12g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 2 fat, 1 starch.