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Nothing says summer quite like the fresh crunch of sweet corn! This Vegan Mexican Street Corn Salad is a perfect summer dish that takes full advantage of fresh corn on the cob. Inspired by the traditional Mexican dishes elote and esquites, this veganized version is lightened up while still packing a flavorful punch.
Elote is a traditional Mexican dish typically sold by street vendors. Cooked corn on the cob is covered in mayonnaise and lime juice, then sprinkled with chili powder and queso fresco or cotija cheese. Similar in flavor, esquites is a Mexican corn salad. Taking those dishes as inspiration, this raw vegan version gets its creaminess from a silky cashew butter sauce spiked with lime juice, chili powder, and smoked paprika. Vegan feta cheese is a perfect salty and creamy stand in for the traditional cotija cheese.
- Cashew butter – I love using Artisana Cashew Butter because it’s raw, minimally processed, and doesn’t contain any added sugars, oils, or salt.
- Lime Juice
- Chili Powder
- Salt – For the most pure flavor without any additives, I love using Redmond Real Salt.
- Smoked Paprika – As the name suggests, this spice adds a delicious smoky undertone to the sauce.
- Corn – This recipe is a perfect showcase for fresh ears of summer sweet corn. If corn isn’t in season when you’re making this recipe, substitute 2 cups of frozen corn instead. Simply thaw and drain the corn instead of cooking so it’s still crisp. Avoid canned corn since it’s mushier and generally full of sodium and preservatives.
- Jalapeño peppers – Be aware that the spiciness can vary greatly from pepper to pepper, so use caution if you’re sensitive to spice! To reduce the heat, slice the peppers in half lengthwise, then remove the seeds inside before continuing to chop.
- Green Onions
- Vegan feta cheese – I recommend Violife Just Like Feta, which is a delicious vegan cheese option. If you can’t find this at a store near you, you can substitute with a different vegan cheese of your choice, simply omit from the recipe, or make a homemade version instead.
- Ground Black Pepper
It’s so quick and easy to make this flavorful salad! First, in a small bowl, whisk the cashew butter, lime juice, water, garlic, and seasonings together to make a thick sauce.
Next, slice the corn kernels off the cobs and place in a large bowl, along with the jalapeños and green onions. Then, add the sauce and stir until the sauce is well combined with the vegetables.
Next, add the cilantro and gently toss to combine. Finally, top with crumbled vegan feta cheese and freshly ground pepper and serve.
See how simple it is? You’ll definitely appreciate the fact that you don’t even need to turn on the oven or stovetop to create this raw vegan recipe.
- Make sure to use a sharp knife to slice the corn kernels off of the cobs. Alternatively, you can use a tool such as a corn peeler in order to easily remove the kernels.
- Once you’ve cut off the kernels, don’t throw away the used corn cobs! Instead, save them to make a flavorful vegetable stock.
This salad would be a welcome addition at your next cookout and would pair wonderfully with your favorite veggie burger! To turn this salad into a meal, serve it on a bed of arugula or other salad greens, add some black beans, then top with sliced avocado.
Refrigerate leftovers in a closed storage container and use within 3 to 5 days. This salad is wonderful served cold or at room temperature.
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This Vegan Mexican Street Corn Salad is a perfect summer dish that takes full advantage of fresh corn on the cob. Inspired by the traditional Mexican dishes elote and esquites, this raw vegan version is lightened up while still packing a flavorful punch. A silky cashew butter sauce spiked with lime juice, chili powder, and smoked paprika is a perfect counterpoint to sweet, crisp kernels of corn.
- 1/4 cup raw cashew butter
- 2 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 1/2 Tbsp water
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 ears of corn, kernels removed
- 2 jalapeño peppers, finely diced
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
- 4 oz vegan feta cheese, crumbled
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- In a medium bowl, combine cashew butter, lime juice, water, garlic, and seasonings, and whisk until well combined and creamy. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine corn with jalapeño peppers and green onion. Add cashew sauce and mix well until sauce is well distributed and vegetables are coated.
- Add cilantro and gently toss to combine. Top with vegan feta crumbles and pepper, if desired, and serve.
Keywords: raw, vegan, salad