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Spicy Frito Corn Salad

This Spicy Frito Corn Salad is a simple summer salad recipe loaded with sweet corn, crisp veggies, chili heat and zesty, creamy dressing. Finished off with the generous crunch of cheesy, spicy Fritos! Brace your taste buds for a flavor bomb of epic proportions.

Super Simple Corn Salad Recipe

We’re big fans of Southwestern flavors in my house. From Spicy Chipotle Lime Chicken Soup, to Skillet Frachos, there’s never a dull moment. And come summertime when the weather is warm, no Mexican night or cookout is complete without this simple and spicy Frito corn salad.

I say simple, yet the flavors of this summer corn salad are just out-of-this-world yum. If you love Tex Mex recipes, and easy salads, then you’re gonna love this creamy Southwest-style salad topped with crunchy spicy Fritos just as much as I do. This corn salad recipe is a definitive flavor bomb that you can serve next to tacos, as a BBQ side, or all on its own for a fresh and light weekday meal.

What You’ll Need

The list might seem a bit long, but I promise the ingredients for this Mexican corn salad are super easy to come by! And the flavor payoff is next level. Here’s the overview of what you’ll need (refer to the recipe card for detailed amounts):

  • Corn: I use canned corn for convenience. Don’t forget to drain it!
  • Tomatoes: Ripe Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced.
  • Roasted Red Peppers: I love the depth of flavor that comes from roasting the peppers beforehand.
  • Green Bell Peppers: For their crisp texture and juicy flavor.
  • Jalapeños: In true Southwestern style, I include diced jalapeños for a nice kick.
  • Red Onion: Diced. You could also use another variety of onion, like white or yellow.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cilantro: Fresh chopped cilantro. You can substitute another herb like basil or parsley, if cilantro isn’t your cup of tea.
  • Adobo Sauce: I use the sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo. Use any leftover chilies and sauce for Slow Cooker Taco Truck Chili
  • Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed.
  • Mayonnaise: Adds creaminess and flavor to the dressing. You can also sub in Miracle Whip, sour cream, or ranch dressing if you prefer.
  • Cotija Cheese: I toss crumbled cotija cheese in the salad, with extra for garnish. You can 
  • Chili Cheese Fritos: Coarsely crushed. 

Can I Use Fresh Corn?

You can definitely use fresh corn in place of canned corn in this recipe. Shave the corn kernels from the cob, or make this salad with grilled corn.

How to Make Spicy Corn Salad With Fritos

Get ready for the EASIEST salad you’ll ever make. I’d give a countdown from 10, but then you could already have this salad prepped by then!

Combine: Apart from the Fritos (for now), toss all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.

Chill: Cover and refrigerate for an hour, or longer if you’d like. This lets all those spicy flavors mingle and develop.

Serve: Take your salad out of the fridge and stir in the crushed Fritos. Give the corn salad an extra garnish with cotija cheese, then serve right away. 

Tips for Success

There isn’t much that can go wrong when making this super easy corn salad! But to make sure you enjoy this salad at its best, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Serve Immediately: The Fritos will lose their crunch the longer the salad sits, and while the flavor is still amazing, nothing beats this salad served fresh with crunchy Fritos!
  • Don’t Over-Crush the Fritos: I’ve found that the easiest way to lightly crush the Fritos is with a gallon freezer bag and a rolling pin. Alternatively, you can squeeze the bag a couple of times. Try not to crush the chips too fine, as you’ll wind up with powdery bits and smaller pieces that will turn soggy faster.
  • Adjust the Heat: There are ways you can tone down the spice levels of this salad for milder palates. One is to omit the jalapeños, another is to use less adobo sauce. You can also use plain Fritos instead of the spicy chili cheese variety. 
Spicy Frito corn salad topped with cotija cheese and sliced jalapeños in a large white salad bowl.

Variation Ideas 

Here are just some of the many ways that you can change up the flavors and ingredients of this spicy Frito salad:

  • Different Chips: I use the chili cheese Fritos for my spicy salad, but you can use other varieties like plain Fritos or BBQ Fritos, or even corn chips if you prefer.
  • Different Cheese: You can use any variety of Tex-Mex-style cheese in this recipe. Try cheddar, Pepper Jack, Monterey Jack, or Colby Jack in place of the cotija cheese. 
  • Add Beans: Feel free to toss in a can of black beans or pinto beans (rinsed) to make this corn salad extra hearty.
  • More Veggies: The best thing about a salad is that you can use up any veggies that might be kicking around in the fridge. For this corn salad, I would recommend sticking to heartier vegetables that will hold up in the dressing. Yellow bell peppers, chopped kale or cabbage, chopped asparagus, radishes, and carrots are good options. 

What Goes With Frito Corn Salad?

From Taco Night to entertaining, there are countless ways to turn this easy salad into a meal. Here are some suggestions for how to serve Frito salad:

Spicy Frito corn salad topped with cotija cheese and sliced jalapeños in a large white salad bowl with a serving spoon.

Storage Instructions

Leftover Frito salad can be stored airtight in the fridge. Bear in mind that the Frito pieces will become soggy and lose their freshness over time, though. The flavors will still be awesome, but the texture won’t rival Fritos that are fresh and crunchy!

For this reason, if you plan to make this salad ahead of time, or if you know you’re going to have leftovers, mix all the salad ingredients together and leave off the Fritos until you’re ready to serve.

More Foolproof Summer Salads to Try

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Spicy Frito corn salad topped with cotija cheese and sliced jalapeños in a large white salad bowl with a serving spoon.

Spicy Frito Corn Salad

  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Chilling Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No-bake
  • Cuisine: American, Mexican

Description

This Spicy Frito Corn Salad is a simple summer salad recipe loaded with sweet corn, crisp veggies, chili heat and zesty, creamy dressing. Finished off with the generous crunch of cheesy, spicy Fritos!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 (15.25 ounce) can corn, drained
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 3/4 diced roasted red peppers
  • 1/3 cup diced green bell peppers
  • 1 small jalapeno, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons Adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cups coarsely crushed chili cheese Fritos

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients except the Fritos Stir to combine. 
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. 
  3. When ready to serve, mix in the crushed Fritos and stir. Top with more cotija cheese to garnish. Serve immediately.

Notes

Serve immediately, as the Fritos do lose their crunch as the salad sits. It will still be good with the softer Fritos, but the crunchy Fritos are delicious and the ideal way to enjoy this salad!

Keywords: mexican corn salad, summer corn salad, summer salad recipes

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2 comments on “Spicy Frito Corn Salad”

  1. Why not put the Fritos in a separate bowl beside the corn salad and let each person add their own when they spoon up the salad.

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