Esquites {Mexican Street Corn Salad}

Take traditional Mexican street corn salad for a healthier spin with this lightened up version made with low-fat Greek yogurt. The perfect party food paired with tortilla chips or side dish for your next Taco Tuesday!

Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad) | This lighter version of a classic Mexican street food is made with low-fat plain yogurt instead of mayonnaise to save on calories without sacrificing flavor. Serve as an appetizer with corn chips or as a side dish for your next Taco Tuesday. Recipe @jlevinsonrd.

I was compensated for writing the original article, “Sweet Summer Corn,” and developing the recipe found in the August 2016 issue of Today’s Dietitian. I was not compensated for sharing the column or magazine with readers on my blog. All opinions are my own.

Corn is at it’s prime right now and I’m loving it! There are so many delicious ways to enjoy sweet summer corn – grilled on the cob, tossed into my lunch salad, added to salsa or grain saladsstuffed into avocados, pureed into soup, used to make savory pancakes. I’ll even add corn kernels to stir fries and my summer shakshuka for more color, flavor, and nutrition.

On that last note, let’s talk for a minute about the nutritional value of sweet corn. It’s unfortunate that corn gets a bad rap considering what a delicious vegetable it is and how good it actually is for you. One large ear of corn is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and potassium. It’s also a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, phytonutrients linked to reduced risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, which are common in the aging population.

Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad) | This lighter version of a classic Mexican street food is made with low-fat plain yogurt instead of mayonnaise to save on calories without sacrificing flavor. Serve as an appetizer with corn chips or as a side dish for your next Taco Tuesday. Recipe @jlevinsonrd.

Now, let’s get to this recipe! Traditional Mexican street corn, also known as elote, is served on the cob. It’s quite delicious – they serve it at one of my favorite restaurants, BarTaco – but it can be a mess to eat! Enter Esquites, the off-the-cob, salad/dip version. Traditionally, elote and esquites are made with mayonnaise and can cost you anywhere from 120 to 300 calories per serving – and trust me, you may very well eat more than one serving, that’s how good it is!

To keep you from using up all your calories on one dish alone (after all, you need to save some room for your tacos!), I made a lightened-up version using nonfat plain Greek yogurt. The result – a creamy, smoky, tangy, sweet, and mildly spicy appetizer or side dish for only 78 calories per 1/2 cup serving.

Serve this delicious, flavor-packed (and gluten-free) recipe as an appetizer with corn tortilla chips at your next party (Labor Day BBQ anyone?) or as a side for Taco Tuesday!

Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad) | This lighter version of a classic Mexican street food is made with low-fat plain yogurt instead of mayonnaise to save on calories without sacrificing flavor. Serve as an appetizer with corn chips or as a side dish for your next Taco Tuesday. Recipe @jlevinsonrd.

Esquites {Mexican Street Corn Salad}
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
This lighter version of a classic Mexican street food is made with low-fat plain yogurt instead of mayonnaise to save on calories without sacrificing flavor. Serve as an appetizer with corn chips or as a side dish for your next Taco Tuesday.
Author:
Recipe Type: Side Dish, Appetizer, Gluten-Free
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • Cooking spray or oil for grill grates
  • 4 medium ears of corn, husks and silks removed (or 16 oz frozen)
  • ¼ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup chopped scallions
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño pepper, seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup crumbled cotija cheese (or feta)
Instructions
  1. Spray grill grates with nonstick cooking spray or brush them with oil. Heat grill to 400° to 450° F.
  2. Place corn on the grill and cook 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes until evenly grilled and kernels are tender. Remove corn from the grill and set aside to rest until cool enough to handle.
  3. While corn is cooking and resting, whisk together yogurt, garlic, lime juice, chili powder, and salt.
  4. Using a serrated knife, cut corn kernels off cob and place in a large bowl. Add scallions, jalapeño pepper, cilantro, and cheese to corn.Toss with yogurt sauce and season with more salt and chili powder if desired.
Nutrition Information
Serving Size: ½ cup Calories: 78 Fat: 3 g Sat Fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 11 g Sugar: 3 g Sodium: 231 mg Fiber: 1 g Protein: 4 g Cholesterol: 9 mg

Have you ever tried Mexican Street Corn?

What’s your favorite healthier recipe makeover?

Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad) | This lighter version of a classic Mexican street food is made with low-fat plain yogurt instead of mayonnaise to save on calories without sacrificing flavor. Serve as an appetizer with corn chips or as a side dish. Recipe @jlevinsonrd.
Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad) | This lighter version of a classic Mexican street food is made with low-fat plain yogurt instead of mayonnaise to save on calories without sacrificing flavor. Serve as an appetizer with corn chips or as a side dish. Recipe @jlevinsonrd.
Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad) | This lighter version of a classic Mexican street food is made with low-fat plain yogurt instead of mayonnaise to save on calories without sacrificing flavor. Serve as an appetizer with corn chips or as a side dish for your next Taco Tuesday. Recipe @jlevinsonrd.
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19 Responses to Esquites {Mexican Street Corn Salad}


  1. This is such a brilliant recipe makeover and so much easier to eat than elote! The first time we tried elote was at a Mets game at Citi Field and we fell in love with it, but it was definitely a mess!

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks so much Sonali! I had been wanting to make it at home for a long time, so I’m glad I finally got around to it. No better time than the height of corn season! Elote is definitely a mess, but so worth it 😉

  2. Kaleigh says:

    I made this last night (with some avocado…yum!) for my parents and my hubby as a side. It was SO good! Very much dad and hubby approved! 🙂

    • Jessica says:

      Yay, so happy to hear that! I bet it was extra creamy and delish with the avocado! I’m making it again this week and I have some avocados that are about to go bad, so think I’ll do the same!

  3. This looks delish! Kids will definitely enjoy making these little cups of yumminess 🙂 Thanks!

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you! Hope the kids enjoy!

  4. Laura says:

    This sounds SO delicious!

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you so much! Hope you try it and enjoy!

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