Recipe: Vegan Mexican Street Corn Salad 

This corn salad recipe from "Abuela’s Plant-Based Kitchen" by Karla Salinari puts a delicious vegan spin on elote—Mexican street corn.

by Stephanie Thurow
PHOTO: Liudmyla/Adobe Stock

At the end of each summer, the city of Minneapolis hosts a Festival de la Monarca, a celebration of the 2,300 mile migration of monarch butterflies from Minnesota to Mexico. We celebrate with music, dancing, art, hands-on learning about the butterflies, food—lots of food—and so much more. 

The first time I tried elote (Mexican street corn) was at one of the very first monarch festivals Minneapolis hosted. I fell in love immediately.

If you’ve never had elote before, it’s charred corn on the cob slathered with mayo and lime, rolled in cheese and seasoned with spices. There are variations of how to make it, but that’s the gist of it. The combo together is so, so tasty.  

While paging through Abuela’s Plant-Based Kitchen by Karla Salinari, I found a recipe for Mexican-Inspired Corn Salad, which is Salinari’s vegan twist on elote. I made this recipe the first day I found it. I served it as an appetizer with corn tortilla chips and then again with dinner, as a condiment to top our enchiladas.

Everyone loved it, even the children. 

Yield: 4 to 6 servings 

Subscribe now


  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 4 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen (thaw if using frozen) 
  • 1 roasted jalapeño pepper, chopped and seeds removed 
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped 
  • 3 tbsp vegan mayo 
  • 2 limes, juiced + more for garnishing with 
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped + more to serve with 
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 


Heat the oil in a pan or skillet over medium heat. 

Add garlic and corn and sauté until kernels start to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer the corn mixture to a large mixing bowl.  

Add roasted jalapeño pepper, red onion, mayo, lime juice, cilantro, paprika and oregano, and combine. Season with salt and pepper. 

Serve with additional chopped cilantro and lime wedges. Enjoy! 


Char jalapeños until blistered. Put charred pepper into a paper bag for 5 to 10 minutes, remove and peel away skin, then remove seeds, chop and mix into corn. 

Omit hot pepper if you choose, it’ll still be delicious.  

Abuela’s Plant-Based Kitchen offers 75 plant-based recipes that marry the comfort of nostalgic, cultural dishes with the modern desire for healthy, at-home cooking. Karla Salinari is a certified holistic nutritionist that reconnects people to their favorite cultural dishes in a healthier way. 

This recipe was shared with permission of Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *