This vegan Mexican street corn salad recipe is healthy, easy to make, and a perfect summer side dish for potlucks and picnics! Smoky, creamy, and just 30 minutes required.
My family and I love the movie Nacho Libre with Jack Black. It was the first time I ever saw what is known as “Mexican Street Corn.” Once we saw the movie we started making it and going to every county fair within a 100-mile radius just to enjoy it. We couldn’t get enough.
But, we went plant-based and I had to make changes. So, I began creating my own vegan street corn using my cashew mayo and some spices. It was delicious and simple.
Now, that summer is upon us we decided to turn one of our favorite foods into a salad and it is amazing. This Mexican street corn salad is dairy-free, gluten-free, oil-free, and so freaking good!
Delicious roasted corn in a zesty and creamy dressing with a blend of smoky spices makes this one of the best and most delicious comfort foods you and everyone around you will LOVE!
Table of Contents
Origin of Mexican Street Corn
Corn on the cob is very popular street food in Mexico, which is how Mexican Street Corn got its name. But, in Mexico, it’s known as “elote,” which literally means corn cob. This wonderful food is SO flavorful, vibrant with color, and usually topped with crumbled cotija cheese, spices, and herbs. (resource)
Mexican Street Corn Salad Ingredients
Here’s all you’ll need to make this easy and delicious summer corn salad.
- Corn: authentic Mexican street corn involves roasting whole ears of corn on a grill. Yes, grilled corn on the cob is delicious but the goal here is to be simple. So, for that reason, my recipe uses easily attainable canned corn and cooks it in a skillet on the stove. Frozen corn is also an option.
- Red Onion: the flavor and crunch of red onion add a depth of flavor and a little extra crunch.
- Red Bell Pepper: red bell peppers are great for adding more crunch but also a hint of sweetness.
- Jalapeños: you can use fresh jalapeños if you wish, but that involved chopping and deseeding. I prefer to use the little cans of already diced jalapeños or a jar of sliced jalapeños.
- Cilantro: I love the brightness fresh cilantro adds to a dish like this, but feel free to leave it out if it’s not for you.
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese: because we’re keeping it healthy and plant-based we’re obviously not using cotija cheese or feta. But, my homemade vegan parmesan steps in and fills that void extremely well.
- Vegan Mayonnaise: my homemade Creamy Cashew Mayo was made for this dressing. It’s also much healthier than store-bought vegan mayo.
- Lime Juice:
- Spices: garlic powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, and cumin
Vegan Mexican Street Corn Salad Instructions
Alright, alright, alright. This is the easy part so let’s do it!
Bake the corn for 20 minutes then let it cool for 5-10 minutes.
Place the corn in a large bowl and add the red onion, bell pepper, jalapeños, and chopped cilantro. Toss the ingredients together.
Now, make the dressing by adding the cashew mayo, vegan parmesan, lime juice, and spices to a small bowl then whisk together. Pour the dressing over the corn mixture and stir until everything is well combined.
Taste and adjust any of the flavors as needed. You may want to add a little sea salt and black pepper. Just sayin’…
Serve and top with a drizzle of lime juice, a bit of lime zest, vegan parmesan, and smoked paprika.
Mexican Corn Salad Notes and Substitutions
- Flavors: Try replacing the cashew mayo with my cashew sour cream or vegan sriracha mayo. I like mixing up the flavors from time to time.
- Lower the fat: Wanna cut back on the fat? Try using my tofu vegan sour cream or tofu mayonnaise. They’re both delicious, simple to make, and will still yield a wonderfully creamy result.
- Protein: If you wish to make this recipe a bit more hearty add black beans. You can also toss on some crumbled tofu which makes a nice feta replacement.
- Veggies: add colorful and crunchy vegetables for flavor and texture. Cucumber, tomatoes, shredded carrots, and avocado are delicious add-ins.
How To Cook Fresh Corn
If by using “fresh corn” you mean grilling it with the husks and the whole shebang, the answer is “Yes.” Again, I’m all about simplicity but here are a few cooking options if you want to be all authentic and complicated.
- Grill It: Be sure the grill is HOT, usually around 425-450˚F. Leave the corn in their husks and set them on the grill. Cook the corn for 20 minutes and rotate about every 5 minutes. Once the corn has finished grilling let it cool, remove the husks and silk, then slice off the corn kernels.
- Oven Roasted: Preheat your oven to 430˚F, leave the corn in the husks, and set the corn directly on the middle rack. Cook for 30 minutes. When the corn has finished cooking let it cool, remove the husks, and slice off the corn kernels.
If you simply want the cool grill marks you can boil the corn, drain it, and cook on a nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat. Rotate the corn consistently until you get the look you desire. Then, simply slice the corn off the cob.
This Mexican street corn salad is perfect for any occasion, especially for summer BBQs. It’s great as a side but can also be enjoyed as a healthy main dish.
You can store Mexican street corn salad in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. But, it cannot be kept in the freezer.
More Vegan Corn Recipes
I hope you enjoy this Vegan Mexican Street Corn Salad. Please leave a comment below with a star rating. And, be sure and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #shaneandsimple. I want to see your work. Enjoy!Print
- 3 cans (15-ounce) of sweet corn (low-sodium or no salt added)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- ½ red onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup diced pickled jalapeños
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- ⅓ cup cashew mayo
- ⅓ cup vegan parmesan
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- ½teaspoon chili powder
- Salt to taste
- Preheat your oven to 425˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drain and rinse the corn, spread evenly on the prepared pan, and pat down with a paper towel.
- Place in the oven and bake it for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Place the corn in a large bowl and add the red onion, bell pepper, jalapeños, and chopped cilantro. Toss the ingredients together.
- To make the dressing add the cashew mayo, vegan parmesan, lime juice, and spices to a small bowl and whisk. Pour the dressing over the corn mixture and stir until everything is well combined.
- Taste and adjust any of the flavors as needed. You may want to add a little sea salt and black pepper.
- Serve and top with a drizzle of lime juice, a bit of lime zest, vegan parmesan, and smoked paprika.
Protein: If you wish to make this recipe a bit more hearty add black beans. You can also toss on some crumbled tofu which makes a nice feta replacement.
Veggies: add colorful and crunchy vegetables for flavor and texture. Cucumber, tomatoes, shredded carrots, and avocado are delicious add-ins.
- Prep Time: 10 mins.
- Cook Time: 25 mins.
- Category: Vegan Salads
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Vegan
- Diet: Vegan
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 181
- Sugar: 8.2 g
- Sodium: 123.7 mg
- Fat: 7 g
- Carbohydrates: 27 g
- Fiber: 3.5 g
- Protein: 7.5 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: grilled corn salad, mexcian street corn salad, vegan mexican street corn, easy vegan recipes, oil-free plant-based recipes