This Mexican Street Corn Salad recipe is a healthy, simple take on elote, the delicious Mexican street vendor version of corn on the cob!
When I lived in San Antonio, I was a quick walk away from The Pearl, a trendy neighborhood with a bangin’ Mexican street food restaurant. Which meant that at any point in time I was just 10 minutes away from a margarita/sangria slush and elote.
Elote is a Mexican grilled corn on the cob that’s rolled in cotija cheese and slathered with a sour cream/mayo sauce. They’re heaven.
So I set out to create my own! But in meal form. And a little healthier. This is a healthy Mexican Street Corn Salad, the salad part meaning you can throw it on literally everything. Eggs, tacos, chips, toast, burritos, salad, spoon…they’re all perfect vessels with which to inhale this street corn salad.
Mexican Street Corn Salad Ingredients
You’ll notice a few classic ingredients in here (like the salty cotija cheese), along with a few less traditional ingredients (like plain yogurt). All in all, it’s a quick recipe with simple ingredients that are easy to find!
- Dressing: Traditional elote is served with mayonnaise, but we’re lightening it up by using plain Greek yogurt for a quick spiced dressing. (Sour cream can also be used – explore our Greek yogurt substitutes here)
- Corn: Use corn on the cob or cans of corn, whatever is easiest for you! We’ll briefly cook it to develop those toasty charred flavors.
- Black Beans: Black beans are great, but you could sub any canned bean you have on hand (kidney and pinto beans also work great).
- Bell Pepper: A diced bell pepper adds freshness and crunch to our salad.
- Red Onion: Finely chopped zingy onion brightens things up.
- Cilantro: Don’t skimp on the cilantro, which adds that distinctly Tex Mex flair (the cilantro haters can leave it out if need be).
- Cotija or Feta Cheese: Use cotija cheese if possible, though crumbled feta is a good substitute for cotija cheese.
- Flavor Makers: Garlic, lime, and salt bring it all together into elote salad bliss.
What is Mexican Street Corn?
Mexican street corn, or elote, is a grilled corn on the cob that’s slathered with a spiced sour cream/mayo sauce and rolled in crumbly cotija cheese. Mexican Street Corn Salad is a potluck-ready version of it, throwing in a few add-ins and lightening up the sauce with Greek yogurt!
How to make corn salad
Step 1: Dressing
Mix up the dressing ingredients first (this can even be done hours or days in advance).
Step 2: Cook Corn
Heat oil over medium/high heat in a large saute pan then add garlic and corn. Cook about 15 minutes, flipping frequently, until corn begins to char a bit. This will create a great grill flavor that totally levels up the salad. Gently toss with lime juice and salt.
Step 3: Serve
In a large bowl, combine corn mix, black beans, pepper, onion, cilantro, and cheese.
Drizzle sauce over and serve either warm or cold. Perfect over tacos, as a chip dip, or by itself!
Is Mexican Street Corn served hot or cold?
You can serve this Mexican Street Corn Salad warm (from the grilled corn when you first make it), but it can also be chilled and served cold (perfect for bringing to potlucks!)
Serve It With
This street corn salad is great on its own or served as a condiment!
- Vegan Pulled “Pork” Nachos (or air fryer nachos!)
- Roasted Cauliflower Street Tacos
- Pulled Mushroom Tacos
- Huevos Rancheros
- and Mexican Paletas for dessert!
- ½ cup plain nonfat yogurt* 80 g
- 1 Tbsp lime juice 15 mL
- 1 tsp honey 5 g
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp cumin
- Splash of oil
- 4 ears corn about 3 cups, 285 g of kernels, shucked and kernels removed
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 Tbsp lime juice 30 mL
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup canned black beans 200 g, drained and rinsed
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped
- ½ cup chopped red onion 35 g
- ½ cup packed fresh cilantro chopped
- ½ cup cotija cheese 88 g, crumbled, can sub feta
- Dressing: Mix all dressing ingredients and set aside.
- Cook Corn: Heat oil over medium/high heat in a large saute pan then add garlic and corn. Cook about 15 minutes, flipping frequently, until corn begins to char a bit. Gently toss with lime juice and salt.**
- Serve: In a large bowl, combine corn mix, black beans, pepper, onion, cilantro, and cheese. Drizzle sauce over and serve either warm or cold. Perfect over tacos, as a chip dip, or by itself!