This Healthy Mexican Street Corn Salad recipe is an easy, flavour packed recipe inspired by elote- the delicious Mexican street vendor corn perfect for your summer BBQ needs!
It is officially JUNE which means it's summer! TECHNICALLY summer doesn't start until June 21st and it's currently June 10th but in my mind summer begins on the first day of June. So now that we got THAT cleared up and we are all on the same page that it's time for summer recipes I can introduce my new favourite summer salad: The healthy Mexican street corn salad.
I am not kidding you when I say that this salad is AMAZING. My 21 year old younger brother who does not like salads tried this, loved it proceeded to take the leftovers to work the next day and then texted me THREE times telling me how much he loved it. So if that didn't convince you enough to try this healthy summer salad then I don't know what will.
What is Mexican Street Corn?
Mexican street corn, otherwise known as elote is an incredibly flavour packed version of corn on the cob. You can find it all over Mexico and even the US from street vendors. Traditionally, it is grilled corn on the cob, slathered with a mayonnaise and sour cream sauce, rolled in cotija cheese, seasoned with spices and served on a stick and it is AMAZING. I first tried elote at a little Mexican restaurant downtown Toronto a few years ago and I have been obsessed with it ever since.
I loved it so much that I decided I needed to create a way to be able to eat it as part of a healthy, easy lunch! That is how the healthy Mexican street corn salad was created. It is the perfect lightened up version of the classic elote, using greek yogurt as a base, packed with vegetables, beans and flavour. PLUS it's easy to make!
What ingredients do I need for healthy Mexican street corn salad?
- Dressing: Traditional elote is coated in a mayonaise based sauce. However for this recipe I decided to lighten it up slightly by replacing half of the mayonnaise with plain non fat Greek yogurt!
- Corn: For this healthy Mexican street corn salad you can use frozen, canned or fresh corn! I personally love using fresh corn on the cob in the summer since we have great local corn in Ontario however any of those options will work. If you decide to use frozen or canned corn just make sure you drain/ defrost the corn first!
- Black Beans: We use black beans for a great protein and fibre boost perfect for creating a filling salad! I typically use canned beans because it's easiest but if you prefer dried and cooked beans then the choice is yours! You can also sub any canned bean you have on hand (kidney and pinto beans also work great).
- Cucumber: For added vegetables and a little crunch!
- Cherry Tomatoes: I love adding sliced cherry tomatoes to this salad for a burst of fresh flavour.
- Arugula: A great leafy green base for this summer salad. Arugula adds a little spice to the salad as well which I love. If you prefer a different leafy green you can also sub romaine lettuce or spinach both are great and still contain those vitamins and minerals!
- Red Onion: A flavour booster and tang to help balance out the flavours!
- Cilantro: As someone who has been personally victimized by cilantro in the past I promise the cilantro in this recipe actually tastes good!! It really helps elevate the flavour profile. If you REALLY hate cilantro you can choose to leave it out but the taste won't be as good.
- Cotija or Feta Cheese: To keep the traditional elote flavours, use cotija cheese if possible, however crumbled feta cheese as a great option if you are unable to find it.
- Flavour Elevators: Lime, paprika, jalapeno, chili powder, salt and pepper bring it all together into a flavourful combination you won't be able to stop eating.
- For a little crunch: crushed tortillas! These are optional but I love the little crunch they add to this salad.
Some of my favourite ways to eat this healthy Mexican street corn salad include:
- As a take on a grilled pico de gallo with tortilla chips!
- In a air fryer tortilla bowl (this is my FAVOURITE way to eat this salad).
- As part of your quesadilla or burritos.
- Over quinoa as a great burrito bowl!
- As a side dish to your favourite grilled steak, or barbecued chicken.
- On it's own as a great summer potluck salad.
- With crispy tofu , vegetable protein fritters or pulled chicken for a protein packed lunch!
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make this healthy Mexican street corn salad don't forget to tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic or leave a comment below!
Healthy Mexican Street Corn Salad
- 4 ears (3 cups) corn shucked and cleaned
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups arugula or other leafy green of choice
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced
- 1 can 225g black beans rinsed and drained
- ½ cup coijta cheese crumbled, see above for substiutions
- ½ cup red onion thinly sliced
- 1 small jalapeno finely chopped and seeded
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- 1 medium avocado diced
- ½ cup cucumber quartered
- 1 medium lime just the juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoon mayonnaise
- ¼ teaspoon dried paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a medium pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and corn. Allow corn to brown by stirring often this should take about 10 minutes. Once the corn looks slightly charred it is ready!
- In a large bowl combine corn, arugula, cherry tomatoes, black beans, cheese, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, avocado, and cucumber.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients until smooth.
- Drizzle sauce over the salad and toss to combine! See serving suggestions in the post above.