Mexican Street Corn and Kale Slaw

By: Cassy Joy Garcia

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This Mexican Street Corn and Kale Slaw is the perfect summer side or taco topping! Grilled sweet corn is cut off the cob then tossed with shredded kale, cotija cheese, and a tangy chipotle lime dressing for a fun spin on classic Mexican street corn.

kale slaw in a bowl with corn and crumbled cotija cheese in a glass bowl with wooden serving spoons on a marble board

I was first introduced to Mexican street corn on a visit to Monterrey, Mexico when I was young. My dad kept telling me how good it was, but I was very skeptical about the tiny street corn stand mixing mayo, corn, cheese, and spices in a styrofoam cup. It sounded like an odd combination, but after one bite I was hooked! The sweet corn combined with the creamy mayo, salty cotija cheese, tangy lime juice, and spicy chipotle was better than I could have imagined. To this day, I still opt for Mexican street corn almost any time I see it.

With this recipe, we're taking the flavors of street corn and turning them into this delicious veggie side. This kale slaw is a perfect side dish on its own, could easily be turned into a main dish with the addition of a protein like chicken or shrimp, and makes a great topping for tacos. Later this week we will be sharing a recipe for easy grilled adobo beef tacos that are incredible topped with this slaw.

kale slaw in a bowl with corn and crumbled cotija cheese in a glass bowl with wooden serving spoons on a marble board

How to Make Mexican Street Corn and Kale Slaw

Here's what you'll need to do to make this slaw:

  1. Grill the corn. This is the most time-consuming part of the recipe, and while you can boil the corn or use frozen instead, we encourage you not to skip it because the roasted corn is so flavorful! You'll remove the silk from the corn, but leave the husks on, and grill it over medium-high heat for about 20 minutes, then remove it from heat and let it cool. Once cool, you'll remove the husks and cut the kernels off the cob.
  2. Shred the kale. The key to making a kale slaw delicious is to make sure you thinly shred the kale, just like you would with cabbage!
  3. Make the dressing. Next, you'll whip up a quick chipotle lime dressing. Simply mix together mayo, lime juice, chili powder, and garlic powder and you're good to go!
  4. Toss it all together. Add the corn, kale, fresh cilantro, cotija cheese, and dressing to a bowl then toss it all together to combine.

Once you've tossed the slaw, you're ready to serve it! The kale will hold up up to a few hours in advance, or, if you want to make it further in advance you can combine everything and keep the dressing on the side, then add it on when you're ready to eat.

More Slaw Recipes


Mexican Street Corn and Kale Slaw

  • Author: Amber Goulden
  • Prep Time: 00:10
  • Cook Time: 00:30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x


  • 4 ears corn, silks removed and husks on*
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil mayo
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 head lacinato kale, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup queso fresco or cotija cheese, crumbled


  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Once the grill is hot, place the corn on the grill and cook for 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes or so, until fully cooked. Remove corn from the grill and let cool.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, chili powder, garlic powder, lime juice, and water.
  4. Slice the corn off of the cob, then add to a large bowl along with the kale, cilantro, queso fresco, and dressing and toss to combine. Enjoy!


  • If you want to skip making the corn, you can substitute 3 cups frozen corn.
  • If you are making this ahead of time, leave the dressing on the side and toss with the dressing before serving.

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Recipe rating

  1. Katie says:

    This was absolutely delicious and paired great with your BBQ salmon kabobs! I was looking for a way to use up some garden kale and take advantage of summer corn, and this was a perfect combo. Normally I can inhale street corn, but the kale really slowed me down (in a good way)! Super easy to make, this will definitely be added to our summer rotation.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So glad you loved this, Katie! That’s awesome! Thank you for sharing this with us!

  2. Ashley says:

    If using frozen corn, should you let it thaw first before combining?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Yes, let it thaw first, Ashley!