This healthy Mexican street corn salad with Greek yogurt is spicy and delicious on its own or as a creamy topping for tacos, arepas, burrito bowls, and tortilla chips! It's made without mayo (which is characteristic of some traditional Mexican street corn salad recipes), and instead gets its creamy richness from whole milk Greek yogurt and feta.
In case you've never had it, August sweet corn in Wisconsin is nothing short of a religious experience in and of itself. And when you put it in this creamy, spicy, healthy Mexican street corn salad? You will surely die and go to taco heaven.
That said, when it comes to cultures that know how to treat corn right? Latin America is the top, being a hub for producing incredible sweet corn and making it into some of the best foods we know -- tortillas, arepas, pupusas... and delicious street corn from Mexico.
What is Mexican street corn salad?
In its language of origin, street corn salad is known as esquites or elote en vaso (corn in a cup) and it's a delicious Mexican snack or food sold by street vendors. How street corn salad is made varies across regions of Mexico, but the common denominator ingredients are typically corn (grilled, roasted, sautéed), hot peppers or hot pepper sauce of some kind, cotija, lime, salt, and mayo. This post featuring street food esquites from My Slice of Mexico is my favorite article on street corn salad -- informative, historical, and even provides a traditional street corn recipe.
For today's recipe, we'll be making the traditional version a little healthier by using Greek yogurt instead of mayo.
Whether you're doing gardens (one jalapeño plant on your front porch totally counts), farmers markets, CSAs, or simply grocery stores right now, deliciousness awaits you either way.
- Sweet corn - At its peak in late summer! We're going to roast the corn in the oven to bring out a sweet, roast-y flavor in this street corn recipe, but you can also grill it if you'd like.
- Fresh jalapeños - A fridge staple.
- Red onion - Adds some fresh, zesty flavor.
- Cilantro - Fresh, flavorful, and I never want Mexican cuisine without it.
- Garlic - We'll roast some garlic cloves with the corn, and then slice them up to add to the street corn.
Seasonings and Other Flavors
AKA, everything else that makes this spicy and creamy and what I want to to eat on every taco for the rest of my life.
- Extra virgin olive oil - Adding just a bit of fat with the whole milk Greek yogurt makes an excellent replacement for mayo.
- Whole milk Greek yogurt - 2% works too, but whole milk keeps it extra rich.
- Salt - Always.
- Chipotle seasoning - Smoked paprika will also work if that's what you have on hand.
- Cholula hot sauce - Or any hot chili pepper sauce!
- Feta (or cotija) - Both are delish and add an amazing creaminess to this healthy Mexican street corn salad.
How to Make It
Okay ya'll, now that you have your ingredients, you are one step closer to having healthy Mexican street corn everywhere (but most importantly, in your mouth!).
To make this healthy Mexican street corn salad, you'll start off by roasting the corn, still on the cob, with a bit of olive oil and chipotle seasoning. For this part, just peel the corn and place it on a sheet pan. Then, brush each ear of corn with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt and your favorite chipotle seasoning. If you don't have chipotle, smoked paprika totally works instead!
At this point, I like to throw one or two cloves of garlic on the sheet pan with the corn. Not only does this flavor the corn a bit, but roasted garlic is also delicious diced up into the Mexican street corn salad itself.
While the corn and garlic are roasting, you can prep all the other ingredients:
- Finely dice the jalapeño(s), keeping more seeds if you want it EXTRA spicy.
- Dice red onion.
- Finely chop cilantro.
- Slice up some lime wedges.
- Whisk together Greek yogurt with olive oil, Cholula hot sauce, lime, and more chipotle (or smoked paprika).
- Have some tortilla chips next to you because you're going to want to be eating this ASAP 😉
Once the corn and garlic are done roasting -- about 30-35 minutes (you'll know when the kernels are more saturated in color and getting nicely browned on the sides) -- you'll cut the corn off the cob and dice up the garlic.
Now it's as simple as combining everything! In a bowl, combine your roasted corn kernels, jalapeño, red onion, cilantro, garlic, and feta. Pour in the spicy chipotle Greek yogurt mixture and stir until everything is coated, creamy, and wonderful.
Serve it up warm, with extra lime wedges (always), top with a little more cilantro, and know that eating all of this in one sitting is very much a possibility.
Other Serving Ideas & Tips
My absolute favorite ways to eat this are on... well, EVERYTHING. Specifically: tacos, arepas, salads, burrito bowls, and tortilla chips. Here are a couple other storage and modification tips.
To Store: You can store spicy Mexican street corn salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
To Freeze: I don't recommend freezing this entire recipe because the yogurt mixture will get weird, but I highly recommend freezing roasted corn for future Mexican street corn salad (and other recipes)! To freeze the corn, put the roasted kernels in a zip-top bag and lie it flat and even in the freezer.
Make it Vegan: To make this a vegan Mexican street corn recipe, sub the Greek yogurt for your favorite vegan mayo or plain, unsweetened almond milk yogurt.
Other Uses for Roasted Sweet Corn...
- Late summer veggie pasta salad
- Summery Pulled Pork and Veggie Bowls
- Peach Balsamic Chicken and Goat Cheese Skillet
That, ladies and gents, is healthy Mexican street corn salad. Happy eating!Print
Healthy Mexican Street Corn Salad
This healthy Mexican street corn salad is made with Greek yogurt instead of mayo. It's spicy and delicious on its own or as a creamy topping for tacos, arepas, burrito bowls, and tortilla chips! It gets its spiciness from chipotle seasoning, fresh jalapeños, and a bit of Cholula hot sauce. The creamy richness comes from whole milk Greek yogurt and feta. YUM!
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 35
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: ~3 cups
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Roast; Combine
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 4-5 ears of sweet corn, peeled
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- olive oil, for brushing (+ more for Greek yogurt mixture)
- 3 tsp chipotle seasoning, divided
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 fresh jalapeños
- ½ red onion
- ½ cup fresh cilantro
- ⅓ cup whole milk Greek yogurt
- 2 tsp Cholula hot sauce
- juice from ½ lime
- ½ cup feta
- Roast sweet corn: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Brush the sweet corn with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and chipotle seasoning, making sure to get all the way around each cob. Brush some olive oil onto the garlic cloves as well and place on the pan with the corn. Roast the sweet corn and garlic for 30-35 minutes (or until the corn starts to get a nice char on the sides), turning halfway through.
- Dice veggies: Finely dice the jalapeños, dice the red onion, and chop up the fresh cilantro.
- Make Greek yogurt dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, other teaspoon of Chipotle seasoning, a drizzle of olive oil (~1-2 tsp), hot sauce, and lime.
- Remove corn kernels & dice garlic: Once the corn is done roasting, slice the kernels off the cob into a large bowl. Finely dice the roasted garlic and add to the bowl of corn.
- Combine and serve: Add in diced jalapeños, red onions, and cilantro, the Greek yogurt mixture, and feta. Serve warm with tortilla chips, or a topping for tacos, burrito bowls, salads, arepas, or whatever your spice-loving heart desires.
- Freezing Instructions: I don't recommend freezing the entire street corn recipe because the yogurt mixture texture will get weird. That said, you can freeze roasted corn very easily to thaw and make Mexican street corn salad later! Remove roasted corn kernels from the cob, and freeze in a zip-top bag (lay flat in the freezer).
- Chipotle Seasoning: My favorite is this chipotle seasoning from Penzey's, but any kind will work! If you don't have Chipotle seasoning on hand, you can use smoked paprika instead.
Keywords: street corn without mayo, healthy street corn recipe