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Mexican Street Corn Barley Salad

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This Mexican Street Corn Barley Salad is packed with the flavors of the street cart favorite, but in a great side for a picnic, potluck or BBQ. Make it ahead for a fun side dish!

serving bowl filled with corn and barley salad topped with cilantro

It’s Cinco de Mayo week everyone! Of course that calls for a fiesta and plenty of delicious food. So grab a margarita and get comfy because some of my blogger friends and I have been cooking up a storm in preparation for the fiesta!

We love Mexican food in our house.   Really I doubt much of what we have is very authentic at all. Maybe it’s more Tex-Mex.

Perhaps it’s Mexican fusion? At the very least it’s Mexican inspired. Yeah, we’ll go with that!

Serving bowl filled with pearled barley and corn salad topped with cilantro.

I am not disciplined enough to actually follow through on a weekly food tradition, but if I was Taco Tuesday would be a strong contender.

We all love them (and fajitas, nachos, enchiladas, burritos, chimichangas and more!) MiMi sometimes does taco bars for family dinners too and that is always a hit.

cast iron skillet with blistered corn.

So it was hard to narrow down what I wanted to share with you for #MexicanRecipes week. In the end, I decided to kick the week off with a flavorful side dish.

As the weather is turning warmer, I have fresh produce on the brain. This is inspired by the street vendors who grill corn on the cob and do it up right.

Of course we don’t have fresh corn on the cob quite yet in the Midwest, but some frozen corn toasted in a hot skillet works almost as well!

Serving bowl filled with Mexican corn and pearled barley salad ready to serve.

This is perfect served alongside some tequila lime chicken or would make a great take along for a picnic or potluck. You can make it ahead which is always a bonus too.

I made a big batch and served it as a side for dinner. Then I stirred in some beans and leftover chicken for quick lunches at work during the week. It was great both ways!

Yield: 12 Servings

Mexican Street Corn Barley Salad

Serving bowl filled with Mexican corn and pearled barley salad ready to serve.

Mexican Street Corn Barley Salad is packed with the flavors of the street cart favorite, but in a great side for a picnic, potluck or BBQ. Make it ahead for a fun side dish!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Pearled barley
  • 1 Tablespoon bacon grease or vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds frozen corn, defrosted
  • 2-3 green onions
  • 1 can green chiles
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 5 oz. queso fresco
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Cook barley according to package directions, or bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add barley and return to a boil. Drop heat to low, cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tablespoon of bacon grease or vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add corn in batches and and cook until there are dark brown bits. Remove the corn and keep toasting the corn until it has all taken a turn in the pan. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together green onions, chiles, cilantro, mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, garlic powder, chili powder and salt. Add barley and corn and stir to coat.
  4. Crumble queso fresco and stir into barley mixture.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste.Serve with additional cilantro and queso fresco if desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 277mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 5g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

Mexican Street Corn Barley Salad is packed with the flavors of the street cart favorite, but in a great side for a picnic, potluck or BBQ. Make it ahead for a fun side dish!

Share with your friends!

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