This Dairy-Free Mexican Street Corn Quinoa Salad is a fun spin on Mexican Street Corn! With a boost of complete protein from the quinoa and the delicious dairy-free dressing, this is sure to be on your summer picnic side dish rotation!
Growing up, my dad introduced me to corn on the cob slathered with mayo, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and chili powder, then wrapped in foil and grilled on the grill. It was so dang delicious and I completely forgot about this delicious spin on Mexican street corn. I think at one point I had fully prepared to share the veganized recipe here on the blog but the photos didn’t turn out great and then I forgot about it, lol.
It wasn’t until I asked on my Instagram stories recently about what recipe you all would enjoy, and someone mentioned Mexican street corn… while it’s still on my long recipe to-do list, I decided to take that suggestion and turn it into a salad that is perfect to make ahead and take to all of your summer pool parties, picnics, and cookouts!
This Dairy-Free Mexican Street Corn Quinoa Salad recipe is so simple to make! The salad is made with corn, frozen, canned, or fresh is fine to use, quinoa, red onion, dairy-free feta cheese, fresh cilantro, and the spicy dressing! You’ll cook the quinoa, place the corn in a skillet and “char” it for that authentic street corn flavor and then toss everything together in a large bowl.
For this recipe I was able to find vegan feta cheese from the Follow Your Heart brand. Violife makes a plant-based feta cheese as well. If you can’t find it, you can always substitute it with a vegan parmesan, even my homemade Vegan Parmesan Cheese would work! You could also try vegan mozzarella cheese.
This Mexican street corn salad would be great without the quinoa too, but I just love adding a boost of plant-based protein to this recipe! It also “bulks it up” so that it’s more filling (hello fiber!) and will serve more people. You could even enjoy this salad as a meal on it’s own and top it with some plant-based meat!
The dressing is made with vegan mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt. It is a little on the spicier side, I would say medium level spice- but I’m a total wuss when it comes to spicy food, so maybe it’s more of a mild to other people, haha. If it seems like it’ll be too spicy, just cut back on the cayenne pepper.
Simply whisk everything together in a bowl and pour over the rest of the salad ingredients in the large bowl then toss to combine.
You can make this a few hours ahead of time, just be sure to cover and chill until you’re ready to serve.
I’d love to hear what you think of this fun spin on Mexican Street Corn! Leave a comment down below in the comments section, as well as giving it a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ so that others can discover this easy, delicious salad recipe! Tag me on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest!
- 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 3/4 cup water
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups corn (frozen, canned, or fresh)
- 1/3 cup red onion, diced
- 1 cup dairy-free feta cheese (or other non-dairy cheese, like Parmesan)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro minced, a few leaves left for garnish
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, more for garnishing if desired
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Boil 3/4 cup of water in a small saucepan and cook 1/2 cup of quinoa according to package directions, about 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed.
- While the quinoa is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet medium high heat. Add the corn and saute until slightly charred, approximately 7-10 minutes. Transfer the corn to large bowl. Next, add the red onion, cilantro, and 1 cup of the cooked quinoa to the bowl. Mix to combine.
- In a separate small bowl, add all dressing ingredients and whisk/stir until smooth. Pour the dressing into the bowl with the corn, toss to mix well.
- Add 1/2 of the dairy-free feta (or other dairy-free cheese of choice), mix. Let the salad cool for at least 10-15 minutes and then add the remaining half of the cheese and mix. Garnish with more fresh cilantro and feta and serve! You may make this salad a few hours ahead of time, just be sure to cover and chill until you're ready to serve.
*Frozen, fresh, or canned corn all work for this recipe.
**This recipe has a little kick to it... not a whole lot of spice but if you hate spicey food you can cut back on the cayenne pepper to 1/8 teaspoon or just a pinch.
***Charring the corn gives it the authentic Mexican Street Corn flavor