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Easy Spicy Frito Corn Salad with Cheese

Easy Spicy Frito Corn Salad with Cheese is a simply delicious fresh side dish that you and your guest will not be able to stop eating. A dump and mix recipe perfect for picnics, barbecues, pot lucks, and family parties but can be made year-round.

When corn is in season you can make the recipe by cooking fresh corn and removing the kernels.  I love to cook my fresh corn cooked simply in the Instant Pot. Check out the complete recipe for Making Corn in the Instant Pot. 

The dressing adds the creaminess the corn, peppers onion, and celery adds the veggies that give you a pack of fiber. The Fritos add the crunch and spice no extra spices are needed.

This side dish is great as also a dip for football parties or any family gathering. You can up the crunch by using a Frito dipper chip to get all the goodness in one bite. Creamy, fresh, and loaded with fresh vegetables this recipe will disappear in minutes.

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Freto corn salad on a yellow and green timed white plate with a piece of cooked salmon and fork on a while counter with a green bowl in the top left with the salad with pink spoon.

How to make Frito Corn Salad for your Families Tastes

  • So simple to make you can customize it to your family’s tastes. Use green, yellow or red peppers. Add as little or as much onion as you like.
  • The recipe calls for shredded cheddar cheese, but you can also use the shredded Mexican blend you find in the store. I have been making the recipe without the cheese when I am looking for a lighter side dish.
  • I use fresh corn on the cob that I cook in the Instant Pot for 4 minutes. This way my recipe has the freshest corn and has the most fiber. But you can use frozen or can corn to make it super simple if you are in a hurry. Because the recipe calls for a mayo base I like to have all the veggies packed with as much nutrition as possible. You can also cook the corn in boiling water, a the corn and again cook for 4 minutes.
6 ears of corn in a instant pot inner pot on a white counter
  • You can use Chili Cheese-flavored Frito Chips as I did or use the BBQ or Ranch flavored corn chips.
  • Serve the Easy Spicy Frito Corn Salad with grilled chicken, steak, or fish.
a white plate with fresh chopped corn, green pepper, celery and white onion on a white counter with a ear of corn in the husk on the right

How to make Easy Spicy Frito Corn Salad the Day Ahead of Your Party

  • Cook the corn the day ahead, in the Instant Pot, and remove the corn kernels with a corn zipper and refrigerate overnight.
  • Have all your veggies chopped and in a container in the refrigerator. This way you will only be mixing the dressing and mixing it together on the day of your party.
  • Make sure to leave the Frito’s to the last minute before serving. Do not mix them in the day ahead.
  • Leave half of your bag of Frito’s out of the recipe to let everyone add how many Frito’s they want on top. My husband likes lots of Frito’s on the top to make the salad extra spicy. (when my husband and I were growing up Fritos were a special treat that was served with lunch.  We did not have them very often, so now having Frito’s makes us remember our childhood)
green leaf bowl with freto corn salad a pink spatula in the bowl, one ear of corn in the husk on a white counter

What Kind of Corn Can you use in an Easy spicy Frito Corn Salad?

  • The freshest salad is made with fresh corn on the cob. So easy to cook in the Instant Pot. 1 cup of water, a pinch of salt, and set to high pressure for 4 minutes. If you want more crunch to your corn you can use only 3 minutes. When the time is up, remove and use the corn zipper to quickly take the kernels off the cob for your salad.
  • A bag of frozen corn is also a simple way to make the salad. Frozen corn is usually processed right after picking. You will have the second best fresh corn if you use frozen. You can let the bag thaw in the refrigerator or slightly defrost in the microwave.
  • The third option is to use 2 cans of 15.25 oz of corn.  If you are in a hurry this works just as well but will not be as fresh.
close up of Frito corn salad in green bowl
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close up of Frito corn salad in green bowl with pink spoon and ear of corn on a white table

  • Author: Crafting a Family Dinner
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4
  • Total Time: 19 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Instant Pot


Prepare to be delighted by the zesty and addictive flavors of our Easy Spicy Frito Corn Salad! A delightful combination of sweet corn, crunchy Fritos, vibrant veggies, and a kick of spice, all tossed in a creamy dressing.


Units Scale
  • 6 fresh corn on the cob ears, or 2 cans of corn
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 of a medium onion chopped small
  • 2 green peppers chopped small
  • 3 stocks of celery chopped small
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup mayonnaise (or 1/4 cup of mayonnaise and 1 container of plain zero fat plain yogurt)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, optional
  • 1/2 cup Fritos spicy for in the salad
  • 1/2 cup of Fritos on top of each serving.
  • salt pepper


  1. Β If using fresh corn on the cob, remove the outer husk from the ears.
  2. Put 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt in the inner pot of the Instant Pot
  3. Next, add the ears of corn and set them on the lid, to seal
  4. Set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 4 minutes
  5. When the 4 minutes are done, do a quick release.
  6. Let the corn cool enough that you can handle and with a corn zipper or a sharp paring knife remove the corn.
  7. Chop the onion, peppers, and celery into small bite size pieces.
  8. When the corn and all the veggies are ready mixes together.
  9. Mix together the mayonnaise and warm water to thin out the mayonnaise a little
  10. Add the mayonnaise to the veggies a little at a time. You may not need all the mayonnaise depending on how many veggies you have or you may need to add a little extra.
  11. Combine with the cheddar cheese if desired.
  12. Add the Frito’s just before serving and add extra Frito’s on top and in a side bowl to add to each serving.


  1. If adding the frito’s to the recipe serve at once. I also leave them out of the bowl and add to each persons serving so they do not get soggy.Β 
  2. ❀️ 2023 Summer: To make this recipe more heart healthy I have changed the dressing to 1/4 cup of mayonnaise and 1 container of plain zero fat plain yogurt.
  3. Our family loves this corn salad without the cheddar cheese, it is refreshing and light for a side with any main dish or as a take along to any party, picnic, or family party.
  4. Traditionally the cheddar cheese is added, it is up to you, whatever you like.
  5. If making ahead of time, do not add the Frito’s until just serving as they will get soggy.

Keywords: Easy Spicy Frito Corn Salad with Cheese

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