Raw Mexican Street Corn Salad ♥ with Cauliflower Rice

Raw Mexican Street Corn Salad with Cauliflower Rice, another summer salad ♥ AVeggieVenture.com. Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Carb.
An uncooked version of grilled Mexican street corn, served cold as a refreshing summer salad. It starts with equal parts raw corn and raw cauliflower rice, reducing the carbs while remaining entirely a "corn" salad. (Once again the chameleon that is cauliflower disappears into the background!) It's all held together with a light creamy dressing spiked with lime juice, warm spices and touches of cilantro and cotija.

Real Food, Fresh & Casual. Budget Friendly. Great for Meal Prep. Low Carb, Thank You Cauliflower. Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free.

Too Hot to Cook? Then It's Too Hot to Grill.

This northern soul withers beneath the blast of summer sun here in the Midwest. Even at dawn, there's a palpable wall of heat/humidity when opening the door for the dog. Anyone else longing to retreat to some lonesome northern lake with a good book? We can dream!

The "dream" for this easy corn salad was an "off the cob" version of Mexican Street Corn, itself a slithery mess of grilled corn, mayonnaise, lime juice and crumbly cotija cheese.

The "reality" of this salad take-off of Mexican Street Corn? It's too hot to cook and way too hot to venture outside let alone stand over a fiery grill. And thank goodness.

Because uncooked corn is just so wet and sweet and wonderful this time of year. Aren't we always tossing corn kernels into and onto salads and other summer dishes? Remember Summer Green Bean Salad with Corn & Pickled Onion? So simple.

But something else happens when choosing raw corn for this salad, it's like rebirthing Mexican street corn, returning it to its fundamentals, its essentials. Raw is good. And besides, remember, #TooHotToCook.

What You'll Need

Like all my recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. It's not that an ingredient can't be substituted by something else but when choosing the substitute, it's important to understand why the original ingredient was present in the first place.

Corn A corn salad's gotta have corn, fresh sweet corn, sliced right off the cob into a bowl that captures the kernels and "corn milk" both. No dried out ears of corn here, please, no frozen corn either.

Cauliflower! There's a whole pound of cauliflower in this salad but it's grated into cauliflower rice and it almost magically disappears color-wise and taste-wise. An all-corn salad would be too sweet and starchy. An it-tastes-like-all-corn salad? Perfect. Maybe someone with experience with frozen cauliflower rice can chime in on whether you think it would work here? My instinct says no but ... maybe?

Bell Pepper & Green Onion These bulk up the salad, add wet crunch and nice color and a savory contrast to the sweet corn kernels.

The Dressing The dressing binds the salad together without overwhelming the vegetables. I use a mix of common pantry ingredients, just mayonnaise lightened up with Greek yogurt and thinned with a little buttermilk plus lime juice for brightness and spices to deepen the flavors.

Cotija We love this Mexican cheese, it's sort of dry and sour and crumbly, so good in tacos and sprinkled over salads. Cotija is worth seeking out but don't stress about finding it especially for this salad. In fact, I serve it on the side instead of working it right in. Even though cotija is essential for Mexican Street Corn, it's not in the salad version.

Raw Mexican Street Corn Salad with Cauliflower Rice, another summer salad ♥ AVeggieVenture.com. Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Carb.


Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes
Makes 7 cups

1/2 cup (112g) mayonnaise (low-fat works great)
1/2 cup (112g) non-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Frank's Hot Sauce or another hot sauce, to taste

5 ears (about 5 cups/500g) sweet corn How to Cut Corn Off the Cob: Keeping All Ten Fingers, Capturing Every Delicious Kernel and Every Drop of Sweet Corn "Milk"
5 cups (500g) cauliflower rice
1 large (100g) green bell pepper, chopped
6 green onions, white and green parts both, chopped
1/2 cup grated cotija or another dry cheese, optional & may be served on the side
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, optional & best added just before serving

DRESSING Whisk all ingredients in a large bowl.

SALAD Drop all the ingredients into the bowl and stir well.

HOW TO SERVE Serve immediately or refrigerate to serve later. Keeps for several days but freshest on the first day. Makes a great filler for tacos or breakfast burritos or for tucking into frittatas.

MAYONNAISE We were long-time fans of Hellmann's mayonnaise but a couple of years switched to Duke's, long famous in the American South but now widely available at least in the U.S. People have different tastes, of course, but to my taste, low-fat mayonnaise is really good but non-fat, blech.
CAULIFLOWER RICE To make your own cauliflower rice, just run fresh cauliflower across the large holes of a cheese grater. I've had the same four-sided one for years but like the looks of how this two-sided cheese grater (affiliate link) folds flat for storage. Handy!

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Still Hungry?

Quick! Quick! Quick! More Recipes With These Ingredients

corn cauliflower bell pepper mayonnaise buttermilk yogurt cotija

Corn in Salads? So Good!

~ Chilled Zucchini Noodle Salad with Pesto, Sweet Corn & Sun-Dried Tomato ~
~ Corn & Cucumber Salad with Fresh Blueberries ~
~ Succotash Salad with Green Beans, Lima Beans, Corn & Tomatoes ~
~ more corn recipes ~
~ Seasonal Soups & Salads – July ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Fresh Corn & Tomato Salad ~
~ Creamy Ricotta with Tomato-Cucumber-Corn Salad ~
~ Sweet Potato Salad with Roasted Poblano, Roasted Corn & Chipotle ~
~ more corn recipes ~
~ Favorite Summer Salad Recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

Seasonal Eating During the Height of Sweet Corn Season Across the Years

No-Cook Tabbouleh (< a summer staple in my kitchen) Eggplant Sandwiches with Cilantro Hummus Summer Orzo with Radicchio Chipotle Chickpea Salad (< reader favorite!) Avocado Salad with Hearts of Palm BLTs with Avocado King Hill Farms Simple & Sublime Beets (< for beet lovers) Amaranth Greens More Matters: The New Fruits & Veggies Campaign Grilled Eggplant with Balsamic Honey Syrup Romano Beans in Butter-Braised Garlic (< watch for romano beans at the farmers market) Seared Radicchio Weight Watchers Italian Zero Points Soup Tomato & Onion Salad Stacked Ratatouille (< totally versatile!) Sautéed Cucumbers How to Cut Corn Off the Cob: Keeping All Ten Fingers, Capturing Every Delicious Kernel and Every Drop of Sweet Corn "Milk" Corn & Cucumber Salad with Fresh Blueberries Succotash Salad with Green Beans, Lima Beans, Corn & Tomatoes Raw Tomatillo Salad with Blueberries (< lovin' this year's blueberries!) Pretty Ways to Serve Summer's Best Tomatoes Loaded Iceberg Steaks with Homemade Thousand Island Dressing Quick Summer Squash & Tomato Saute Mexican Scrambled Eggs (Huevos Revueltos a la Mexicana)

Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Wish there was a way to print recipes from your website.

    1. Karen~ Your wish is my command! :-) If you look to the very bottom of the recipe, right in the middle, there’s a little rectangle that says “printer friendly recipe”. Click it and print!

      PS And thanks so much for letting me know ...

  2. This salad sounds just plain delicious! I plan to make it tomorrow, but just a comment: I am not going to buy a quart of buttermilk for a recipe that calls for 1/4 cup!!! Will make a substitute using 1 Tbs lemon juice + 1 cup of milk of will just halve it: 1/2 Tbs lemon juice + 1/2 cup milk. You might consider adding a note to the recipe suggesting this substitution! Thanks!

    1. RWCFoodie ~ So glad you like the salad! And your tip is appreciated!

      I’m firm in the all-buttermilk camp, especially for a product that’s inexpensive, keeps for weeks and it's so handy to keep on hand. Perhaps I can tempt you with all the buttermilk recipes???

  3. Oh my gosh! I just made this from corn I just picked up at my farmer's market. It was fabulous! I was out of buttermilk, so used a bit more greek yogurt & the whey. No cheese in it, I'll serve it on the side too. My hubby said it's a keeper.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna