Mexican Street Corn, also known as elotes, is a treat. This street cart delicacy blends the bright and roasted flavors of summer by covering aromatic roasted corn with a layer of chili and lime. It’s finished off with herbaceous cilantro and salty, crumbled cotija cheese. Sound good? It is, but unfortunately, it’s super messy to eat. The corn is often coated with a layer of mayonnaise to help the toppings stick, so it’s not exactly healthy, either. If you love the flavors but are looking for a fun new spin on the classic, dive into this Elote Tomato Avocado Salad!
Street Corn Made Better
I have a confession to make. For starters, I adore roasted street corn. Second, I admit to eating it on the cob and on the go, which can be quite messy. With this in mind, you can imagine that I tend to wear at least part of my meal on my shirt, especially when it comes from a food truck or cart. After experimenting a bit, I created a way to enjoy my favorite street food in a much tidier way!
Less Mess, More Flavor
This Elote Tomato Avocado Salad recipe blends roasted corn, minus the cob, with the right amount of spices and textures. You’ll end up with a crunchy, creamy, cool yet spicy salad that’s great for lunch.
It all starts with brushing the corn on the cob with olive (or avocado) oil, salt, chili powder, and pepper. After that, roast the corn to a toasty, golden brown. Remove it from the cob and just like that, the hardest part is done!
Next, elevate the corn by mixing it into a bright salad that’s bursting with flavor. Stir in chopped tomatoes, creamy avocado, and green onions. If that weren’t flavorful enough, you’ll also add even more flavor by incorporating fresh cilantro, lime juice, and lime zest. Finally, finish the salad by crumbling in some salty cotija cheese or queso fresco.
There you have it: You’ve achieved crunchy, creamy, sweet, salty, and slightly spicy, all in one bowl. Now all you have to do is grab your spoon and dig in!
Elote Tomato Avocado Salad
For the Elote (Roasted street corn):
- 8 ears fresh corn husks and silks removed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoon. ground chili powder (not chili pepper)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the salad:
- 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes halved
- 1/4 cup finely diced green onions (scallions)
- 1 large avocado pitted and cubed, peel removed
- roasted corn (see above), cut off of cobs
- 2 teaspoons minced cilantro
- 2 limes zested and juiced
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, or avocado oil
- 1/4 cup crumbled cotija or queso blanco
For the elote (roasted corn):
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Mix all the ingredients, except the corn, in a small bowl.
- Rub each ear of corn with the seasoning mixture.
- Place the corn on a sheet pan and roast it in the oven for 15-20 minutes, checking occasionally to be sure corn isn't burning. Cook in 5 minute increments after 20 minutes if corn isn't roasted enough.
- Remove the corn from oven and allow it to cool.
- Once cooled, use a sharp knife to remove the kernels from the cob.
Assemble the salad:
- Place the cooled corn kernels in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the tomatoes, green onion, avocado and stir.
- Mix in the cilantro, lime zest and juice, and olive oil or avocado oil.
- Top the salad with crumbled cotija or queso blanco and stir to combine.
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