Inspired by Mexican street corn, Mexican Corn Salad (Esquites) stars fresh summer corn with a great supporting cast of chili powder, limes and cotija cheese.
Gluten free, vegetarian and healthy Mexican food? Yes!
Low in fat and cholesterol, this tasty dish scores high marks for vitamins, minerals and fiber.
(See nutrition label below recipe.)
Roast corn in the oven or on the grill with just a little butter or oil and salt.
For an easy last- minute salad, plan a few days ahead.
Prepare corn, measure and combine sour cream through cheese in a mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to heat and serve.
If you can’t find Mexican cheese, substitute with feta or parmesan.
Warm alongside sliced steak or chicken.
Cold for a late summer picnic or brown bag lunch.
Other grains: Replace corn with equal parts cooked rice, barley or pasta.
Spice and herb blends: Instead of chili, lime and cilantro, experiment with your favorite combinations of citrus, herbs, spices and cheese:
Meyer lemon + pepper + dill + feta
Lemon + oregano + basil + mozzarella
Swiss chard or spinach + thyme + asiago
Add protein: Toss in roast chicken, salmon or your favorite protein for a complete meal.
Canned or frozen: When corn season is over, use drained canned or frozen corn.
Try some of my other favorite corn recipes: easy sour cream cornbread, caesar salad with cornbread croutons, savory zuchinni pie ( gluten free and vegetarian)
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Inspired by Mexican Street corn, called Esquites, this colorful corn dish can be served spicy or mild, warm or cold. Make variations of this salad with other grains, such as rice, pasta or quinoa.
- 8 ears of corn, silks and husks removed
- Olive or avocado oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- *1 large or 2 small limes, juiced and zested
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ancho or chipotle chili powder
- (may substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons regular chili powder + pinch each cayenne and smoked paprika)
- *1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley leaves, chopped
- *1/4 cup finely grated cheese (choose either cotija, parmesan or hard feta cheese)
- 2 or 3 bell peppers (red, orange, green))
- *set aside extra lime wedges, herbs and cheese for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Soak the corn in large bowl of cold water for 30 minutes, then drain and pat dry.
- Place corn on baking sheet and rub with oil and a little kosher salt.
- Roast in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, turning the ears halfway through baking time.
- Alternatively grill corn on high heat until charred on all sides, about 8 – 10 minutes, then remove.
- While corn is cooking, in a medium bowl, stir together sour cream, lime juice, zest, chili powder, black pepper, chopped herbs and grated cheese.
- Cut bell peppers, remove membranes and seeds and slice as thinly as possible into long strips. Pat dry with paper towels and set aside to use as a “bed” for the warm corn salad.
- Use a sharp knife and cutting board to cut kernels off the cob.
- Just before serving, heat corn and sour cream mixture on the stove or in the oven until cheese is melted and corn is heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings. (You may want to add more salt or pepper, chili powder, lime or cheese.)
- Place bell peppers on a serving plate and pile warm corn on top.
- Garnish with lime wedges, extra chopped herbs and plenty of grated cheese.
- Serve with your favorite main course, such as steak, chicken, burgers, barbecue or fish.
Adapted from Bobby Flay’s Grilled Corn Salad with Lime, Red Chili and Cotija