Corn and Chicken Salad Subs

Corn and Chicken Salad Subs

This chicken salad is inspired by esquites, a Mexican corn salad, and it’s loaded up into a big sub roll with avocado, tomato, and cheese. There is nothing like eating elote or esquites on a summer day. The refreshing flavor of corn and lime juice with a hint of chili pepper is so nice! Now think of all those flavors in a sandwich. Sounds pretty good, right?

The inspiration for this recipe

I was craving an epic chicken salad sub. To be honest, I am often craving a chicken salad sub, but this time I wanted it to have a twist. It’s the beginning of summer and corn is starting to come around. I had the idea to put corn into the chicken salad. Does that make it epic? Not really. But then I thought about what I could add to the mix, and realized the ingredients in Mexican street corn would translate perfectly to chicken salad!

Prep the corn and chicken

I cooked the chicken in a pan with some oil, salt and pepper, and cooked the corn under the broiler, also with oil salt and pepper. No need to add a ton of seasonings now. There will be plenty in the chicken and corn salad mixture.

corn and chicken in the bowl for the salad

I tried to do pretty much equal parts corn and chicken. I used two breasts, and 8 ears. It made a lot of chicken and corn salad!

corn and chicken in the bowl for the salad

Add the remaining corn and chicken salad ingredients

I added the mayo and lime juice, and a hint of mustard. The mustard is common in chicken salad and I wanted this to feel like chicken salad meets esquites, and not just esquites with some chicken thrown in. Next goes the fresno pepper, scallion, cotija cheese, cilantro, and lots of chili powders! For real though, I used 4 different types of chili powder. Ancho, mexican, tajin, and gochugaru. You don’t need to use them all but I wanted the variety in mine.

add mayo, peppers, cilantro, scallions, and chili powder, everything you like in esquites

Make the corn and chicken salad sub

After the corn and chicken salad cools, it’s time to build the sub! Spread avocado on one side of the bread and add tomatoes to that side. I like to add a small pinch of salt to the tomatoes too. Cheese on the other side, then load up the salad in the middle! This maybe didn’t need the extra cheese since the salad has cotija, but building a sandwich without a slice of cheese felt wrong. I used American, but you could do whatever sandwich cheese you like.

then build the sandwich

Now remember when I said I was craving an epic chicken salad sandwich? This thing satisfied that craving for sure.

corn and chicken salad subs

The corn added such a great texture to the chunky chicken salad. The esquites flavors really came through, and the avocado and American cheese added a perfect creaminess to it.

corn and chicken salad subs

I probably only needed two pictures here of the finished product but I love it so much I had to add another.

corn and chicken salad subs

Twists on corn and chicken salad subs

I made this chicken and corn salad to be inspired by esquites, but if you wanted you could just do your favorite chicken salad recipe and add corn. I also made this with fresh corn because it is the summer, but if it was any time from mid september to may I would probably use frozen. When I use frozen corn, I spread it out on a baking sheet and char it the same way, or you can buy frozen corn already charred!

For a more traditional esquites recipe, I love this one!

For more fun twists on sandwiches, check out my “philly roll” cheesesteak, chicken jalfrezi sub, or this Italian wedding soup sub!

Corn and Chicken Salad Subs

This chicken salad is loaded with corn and other esquites ingredients and tastes so good packed into this sub
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
cooling time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 4 subs
Calories: 1117kcal


Chicken corn salad

  • salt, pepper, olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 8 ears corn
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 4 limes (juice of)
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 3 fresno chili peppers seeds removed, minced
  • 4 scallions diced
  • 3/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • 1 bunch cilantro large stems removed, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon mexican chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon tajin
  • ancho and gochugaru chili powders optional


  • 2 avocados
  • lime and salt
  • 4 sub rolls
  • 8 slices american cheese
  • 2 tomatoes


Chicken corn salad

  • Heavily season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to a frying pan with a little oil. Cover and cook on medium heat to brown on both sides and cook through.
  • Preheat the broiler to high. Season the corn with oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and broil to brown on all sides.
  • When the corn and chicken are cooled, chop the corn off the cob, and dice up the chicken. Add to a large bowl.
  • Add in all the remaining salad ingredients and stir to combine. Taste and add salt, pepper, or more chili powders as needed. Set aside until ready to use.


  • Mash the avocados and stir in some lime and salt.
  • Warm the bread under the broiler and slice it open.
  • Spread avocado on one side and add the tomatoes. Add cheese to the other side.
  • Load the sandwiches up with the chicken and corn salad.
  • You can serve now, but I like to wrap them in parchment paper first to form them before serving.


Calories: 1117kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 82g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 28g | Monounsaturated Fat: 25g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 1866mg | Potassium: 1273mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1689IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 651mg | Iron: 13mg

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