For a lettuce-less salad that hits the spot, Healthy Mexican Street Corn Salad is the perfect recipe. Great for a crowd and made with fresh corn kernels, bell pepper, cotija cheese, and more!
The perfect appetizer or main course
Sometimes I find myself craving lots of veggies. You know, a big bowl filled with all of my favorites. But at the same time, a regular salad doesn’t always cut it! That’s when something like this healthy Mexican street corn salad comes in.
It’s healthy, it’s veggie-packed, and it’s full of flavor. And there’s no piece of lettuce in sight! It’s a win-win. Plus it does not use mayo or sour cream, keeping it light and fresh.
Mexican street corn salad is made using tasty ingredients like red bell pepper, onion, Greek yogurt, and jalapeños, of course! It’s an easy, straight to the point recipe that will totally satisfy cravings. It makes 10 servings, so it’s great for crowds!
And the best part? It also doubles as the best side dish!
Ingredients needed for Mexican corn salad
Healthy street corn ingredients are made up of the salad items, and the dressing fixings. Each part is bursting with strong flavor components and seasonings to ensure that we’re working with the most flavor possible!
- Corn: For the base of the salad, use 4 cups of corn. Fresh or frozen will work, but thaw the frozen corn before using.
- Avocado Oil: 1 tbsp of avocado oil will help the corn brown in the skillet.
- Red Bell Pepper: For a bit of crunch, color, and flavor, include 1/2 of a red bell pepper.
- Red Onion: Use 1/2 of a red onion to get a slight bite.
- Jalapeño: For a dash of heat, include 1 jalapeño (deseeded and diced into small pieces).
- Cilantro: Include a bit of herbs with 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro.
- Greek Yogurt: 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt will form the base of the dressing.
- Lime: Add a zesty, tangy flavor to the dressing by including the juice of 1 large lime.
- Salt: To pull everything together, add 1 tsp of salt.
- Spices: Add flavor with 1 tsp of each of chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika.
- Crumbled Cotija Cheese: Finally, finish things off with 1/3 cup of crumbled cotija cheese (and set aside extra to sprinkle on top if desired).
What you’ll need to create this dish
This recipe calls for minimal amounts of utensils. Just grab a cutting board, knife, a large bowl, a small bowl, and a skillet, and you’re good to go!
For measuring, you’ll need the following sizes: 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, 1 tbsp, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup and 1 cup.
How to make healthy Mexican street corn salad
This salad comes together in only 5 easy steps! You’ll need about 30 minutes from start to finish.
First, heat a large skillet over high heat with the avocado oil. Once hot, add the corn. The corn should be slightly charred so that it has a roasted flavor and some brown bits mixed in. This will take about 4-6 minutes. Be sure to toss the corn occasionally.
Next, pour the corn in a large bowl and let it cool.
Prepare the rest of the vegetables (peppers, onion, and cilantro) by chopping them. Once chopped, add them to the bowl with the corn.
Take the small bowl and whisk together the Greek yogurt, lime juice, salt, chili powder, cumin, and paprika. When done, stir in the cheese.
Add the yogurt sauce to the large bowl and stir, combining everything until well incorporated.
Finally, top it off with more cheese and cilantro. We love to serve this with tortilla chips!
Storing your dish
Healthy Mexican street corn salad recipe will stay fresh for up to five days in the fridge. I recommend keeping it sealed in an airtight container to maintain freshness. If you can store the dressing separately, that’s even better!
Make the dish your own
Want to switch things up a bit? Here are some easy ways to adjust the flavor depending on what you like.
- More heat: Try adding more heat to the salad by introducing another jalapeño. Of course, you can always cut back on the jalapeños if spice isn’t your thing! Just give it a taste and see what you think.
- Extra veggies: Sneak in extra veggies by adding chopped green pepper or green onions! You can also add black beans in to make it more packed with protein!
- Add avocado: Avocado always makes dishes (especially salads!) that much better. Add a bit of slices to the top of your bowl for extra flavor!
- Cheese: Switch out the cotija for your favorite cheese, I think a feta cheese would be great here!
Origins of Mexican Street Corn
Doing some research, I found this article from Julee Ho all about the origins of Mexican Street Corn. ‘In modern day, the Mexican street corn that we’re familiar with has roots in Mexico City. Known widely for its street food, most specifically antojitos (little cravings), corn serves as a primary ingredient for the city’s street vendors. Unsurprisingly so, elote is served covered in butter, mayonnaise, cotija cheese and chili powder.’
Street food vendors are very popular in cities like Mexico City and they serve many dishes, just like elote.
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
Dying for some more tasty salad recipes? Here are some delicious ways to sneak in your veggies and enjoy doing so.
- Pear Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
- Mexican Quinoa Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Easy Curry Chicken Salad
- Cranberry Quinoa Salad
Recipe by Erin Morrissey and Photos by The Mindful Hapa
- 4 cups corn, can be fresh or frozen (I’ve used canned and on the cob – if frozen, thaw first)
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, deseeded and diced small
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 large lime, juiced (about 3 tbsp)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/3 cup crumbled cotija cheese + more for sprinkling on top
- Heat a large skillet over high heat with avocado oil. Once hot, add corn in. You want to char your corn slightly so it has a roasted flavor and some brown bits. This will take about 4-6 minutes, toss occasionally.
- Pour into a large bowl and let cool.
- Prepare the rest of your veggies (peppers, onion, and cilantro) by chopping. Once chopped, add them to the bowl with the corn.
- In a small bowl, whisk together Greek yogurt, lime juice, salt, chili powder, cumin, paprika. Stir in cheese.
- Add yogurt sauce to bowl and stir to combine everything well.
- Top with more cheese and cilantro.
- Store in fridge for up to five days.
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