Tender kale, sweet corn, cotija cheese and red onion are all tossed in a creamy cilantro lime dressing and topped with avocado! It’s everything you love about Mexican corn – just in a bowl!
Anyone else trying to keep summer alive as long as possible right now? (Of course that’s not too hard to do here considering it’s been in the high 90’s-100’s lately!😳 …Thank the Lord for AC!) So needless to say the summer salads are still going strong in this house. And this easy Mexican street corn kale salad is giving off all those summery vibes and more! It’s bright and vibrant, fresh and tangy, creamy and full of Mexican flare!
Some of you might be wondering, what exactly is Mexican street corn? Well I’m glad you asked! Basically it’s grilled corn on the cob that’s been slathered with mayo, sprinkled with cotija cheese and few other Mexican spices with a squeeze of lime over the top. (Trust me, it’s delicious!) But it can also be a little on the “not so healthier” side too. Which is why I LOVE making this salad because I still get all the flavors of this delicious dish but with healthier, better for you ingredients!
- Kale: I used regular green kale for this recipe but any type of kale should work. (You can also use regular greens instead too if kale isn’t really your thing.)
- Fresh corn on the cob: I would NOT suggest using frozen corn for this recipe. Frozen corn carries a ton of moisture and can really water down your salad.
- Cotija cheese: Can be replaced with feta.
- Red onion
- Cilantro lime dressing: Recipe is below.
How do I massage kale?
If you’re sticking to kale as the base for this salad, then you definitely need to massage it! Massaging the kale helps to soften it’s leaves making them easier to eat and digest and also brings out it’s tender flavor too! (Most people don’t know that you need to massage kale before eating it, but trust me it makes all the difference!)
- Cut the kale leaves off the stem or “rib”. Then cut the leaves into bite sized pieces.
- Drizzle 1 tsp of olive oil and the juice from 1/2 lime over the kale. (Sometimes I’ll use avocado oil spray instead of olive oil. Just use a few squirts.)
- Rub the kale together with your hands to fully incorporate the oil and lime juice throughout. Do this for 5 minutes. (The kale should begin to soften and turn a bright vibrant green color. You’ll also notice that the amount of kale you have will“shrink” as well.)
- At this point, the kale can be stored in the fridge until your ready to use it. It should last for up to 1 week.
How do I cook corn for Mexican street corn kale salad?
In all honesty, you really don’t need to cook the corn at all for this salad. (It’s perfectly fine for you to eat raw corn cut off the cob.) But just in case you’re a little iffy on it, here’s an easy way to boil your corn that comes out perfect every single time!
- Place a large pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil. In the meantime, shuck the corn and remove all the little “wispies’ from the cob. Once the water is boiling, add the corn to water and place a lid over the pot to bring it back up to a boil. Boil the corn for 1-2 minutes. Take the corn out of the pot and discard the water. Wait for the corn to cool completely before cutting the kernels off the cob.
You can also cook the corn and store it in the fridge a few days before making your kale salad to help cut down on prep time!
How to make cilantro lime dressing
This is quickly becoming one of my favorite salad dressings! I just modified the recipe slightly from my cilantro lime pasta salad recipe and it was absolutely perfect for this dish! It’s creamy, tangy and has just a little bit of spice at the end!
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (leaves and stems are fine)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cayenne (omit if you don’t want it spicy or season to taste)
- Place all of these ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Storage: Store this dressing in a sealed container in fridge until you’re ready to use it. Dressing should last for 1 week.
What do I serve with Mexican street corn kale salad?
So now you have this amazing salad but are wondering what to serve with it right?! I got you covered! This salad goes so well with so many things but I’ve listed a few of my favorites below for you.
- Carne asada/pollo asada
- Grilled/baked chicken
It’s also perfect to take to a barbecue or potluck too because it holds up well after sitting out for a while. (Just don’t add the avocado until right before serving! 😉 )
More recipes like this:
- Strawberry Kale Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
- Cilantro Lime Pasta Salad
- Summer Peach & Blueberry Kale Salad
- Summer Corn Salad with Avocado
[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my social media @kalefornia_kravings – I love seeing what you create!]
Mexican Street Corn Kale Salad
For the salad:
- 1 bunch kale, leaves cut off the stem and cut into bite size pieces
- 2 ears of corn
- ½ cup cotija
- ¼ cup red onion
- Avocado, diced
- 1 tsp avocado oil or olive oil (for massaging the kale)*
- ½ of a lime, juiced (for massaging the kale)
For the cilantro lime dressing:
- ½ cup plain greek yogurt
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped (leaves & stems are fine)
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp cayenne (omit if you don't want it spicy or add it to taste)
To make the dressing:
- Place all of your ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Store it in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the salad.
To make the salad:
- Shuck the corn cobs and bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove. Once the water begins to boil, add your corn to the pot, cover it with the lid and boil for 1-2 minutes. Remove the corn from the pot and let the cobs cool completely before cutting the kernels off.
- Place the kale leaves in a large bowl and drizzle with your avocado oil and lime juice. Rub the kale together with your hands for 5 minutes until it begins to soften and turns a bright green color.
- Add your cooled corn kernels, onion and cotija cheese to the kale and toss the salad with your dressing. Top with diced avocado right before serving.