This creamy corn salad is so simple and made with a creamy greek yogurt sauce in place of mayo or sour cream. Black beans, ripe avocado slices, and diced red onion are added to the mix and topped with crumbled cotija cheese for the ultimate easy side dish for your summer bbq.
Warmer weather is here and I can practically smell the summer cookouts! A creamy mexican street corn salad is a must this time of the year. It's filled with fresh herbs, bold flavors, and zesty lime juice making it a great side dish to accompany burgers, fish, or bbq.
Why I love this creamy corn salad recipe
I'm a huge fan of the "dump everything in a large bowl and mix" type of easy recipe and that's just what we have here! Other than the simplicity, this fresh corn salad is also always a hit at gatherings. This healthy side is kid friendly, packed with amazing fresh flavor, takes little time to whip up, and is easy to serve. What's not to love?!
- Corn - The base of this summer corn salad recipe. You can use canned corn, ears of corn, or frozen corn. For best results, use sweet corn on the cob and take a sharp knife to shave the crisp corn kernels off the cob. Canned whole kernel corn is also a great option and faster to prepare, just make sure to drain the corn.
- Black beans - This is not usually used in cold corn salad but I like using it in my recipe to add some additional protein to the refreshing side dish. The combination of corn and black bean and avocado makes this a well rounded side dish.
- Cherry tomatoes - Plump cherry tomatoes are in season over the summer and hard to pass up! Make sure to wash them and cut them into halves or quarters for your salad. A red bell pepper can also be used.
- Red onion - Adds a little crunch to extra pop of flavor. You can easily swap this for green onions for a more mild flavor.
- Avocado - I added avocado chunks to this avocado corn salad to provide some additional healthy fat. The creaminess of the avocado pieces pairs great with the crispy corn kernels.
- Greek yogurt - Make sure to use plain flavored. This is used in place of creamy mayonnaise and trust me, you don't even miss it. The yogurt adds some extra protein too and is mixed with chili powder and paprika for some added spice.
- Cotija cheese - This is traditional mexican cheese that is sprinkled on top of the corn mixture. It's soft and crumbly and adds the perfect amount of bite to the dish. Crumbled feta cheese can also be used.
How to make creamy corn salad
You will need a large mixing bowl to mix the ingredients together and separate small bowl to prepare the creamy sauce.
Step 1 : Mix the main ingredients together
In a large bowl, add the corn, black beans, diced tomatoes, chopped red onion, and avocado chunks. Gently toss the ingredients together to mix it up in the bowl.
Step 2 : Prepare the sauce
Use a small bowl to mix together the greek yogurt, olive oil, lime juice, paprika, chili powder, and sea salt. Mix well until the yogurt has thinned out and turned a light orange color.
Step 3 : Toss the corn mixture with the sauce
Pour the sauce into the large bowl with the other ingredients and mxi well with a serving spoon or rubber spatula to incorporate the sauce.
Step 4 : Add the cheese
Sprinkle the cotija cheese into the bowl and lightly mix to disburse into the corn dish.
How to serve
This dish is best served chilled. Transfer the corn salad into a serving bowl, wrap with saran wrap, and chill in the fridge for at least an hour until ready to serve. Sprinkle the dish with extra cotija cheese and chopped cilantro when ready to serve. Slice a serving spoon into the side of the bowl to allow guests to scoop the salad onto a plate.
How to store
Store the corn salad in an air-tight container in the fridge where it will keep for up to 3 days. Because this salad has avocado chunks mixed in, it's important to keep it in a container with a lid to prevent the avocados from browning.
Recipe variations and dietary adaptations
You can easily add extra mix-ins to make this creamy corn salad your own. Try diced jalapeños for an extra kick or crispy bacon for some more crunch.
To make this recipe dairy free, use a dairy free greek-style yogurt. Again, make sure it's plain flavored. You will also want to omit the cotija cheese.
Can I Make This Recipe Ahead of Time
Yes, this recipe is actually a great dish to make ahead of time! If preparing for later in the day, go ahead and prepare the recipe as directed and chill until ready to serve. If you're making this for the next day, go ahead and add the corn, black beans, tomatoes, and red onion to a bowl and cover and place in the fridge. Prepare the greek yogurt sauce in a separate bowl as well and refrigerate. The Next day, add the avocado chunks and toss with the dressing. Then sprinkle with the cotija cheese and cilantro and serve.
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Easy Creamy Avocado Mexican Corn Salad (no mayo!)
- 30 oz whole kernel corn - this is 2 15 oz cans, drained
- 15 oz black beans - drained and rinsed
- ⅓ cup red onion - diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes - diced
- 2 avocados - small, chopped into chunks
- ½ cup greek yogurt - plain
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ cup cotija cheese - plus more for topping
- Cilantro - for toppig
- Add the corn, black beans, red onion, cherry tomatoes, and avocado chunks to a bowl and gently toss to mix with a large spoon or rubber spatula.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the greek yogurt, lime juice, olive oil, paprika, chili powder, and sea salt. Mix well until the yogurt has thinned out and turned a light orange color.
- Pour the greek yogurt sauce into the bowl with the corn and mix well to coat all the ingredients with the sauce.
- Sprinkle the cotija cheese into the bowl and toss again lightly to distribute.
- Transfer the corn salad into a serving bowl and place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour until ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle more cotija cheese on top along with the cilantro leaves and serve cold.