Mexican Street Corn Kale Salad
Published Jul 27, 2020, Updated Oct 14, 2022
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This Mexican street corn kale salad turns esquites into a meal-sized salad with shredded kale, grilled chicken, avocado and tortilla chips!
Now that I shared my Mexican street corn salad recipe, I want to share my favorite way to turn it into a full meal… Mexican street corn kale salad. It’s packed with veggies, protein and has so much flavor.
If you’ve been an EBF blog reader for a while, you probably know that I despise boring salads. I like to keep my salads interesting by combining different textures, temperatures and obviously flavors! When I first made this Mexican street corn salad, I basically wanted it on everything (including salads) so that’s how this kale salad recipe was born!
One taste of this combo with the Mexican street corn, grilled chicken, avocado over massaged kale and I was hooked. It honestly reminds me of a salad you’d get from a casual chain like Chopt or Sweetgreen.
Street Corn Kale Salad Ingredients
Here’s what you need to make this epic kale salad:
- shredded kale – any variety of kale will work but I used regular curly kale for this salad
- grilled chicken – you can grill your chicken on an outdoor grill or use a grill pan
- Mexican street corn salad – if you prep the street corn in advance, this salad comes together really fast
- tortilla chips
- cotija cheese – this cheese is already in the street corn salad, but you can add an extra sprinkle on top after plating for even more cheesy goodness
- sriracha – this is optional, but I love the flavor and spice it adds
How to Grill Chicken Breasts for Salad
You can totally put plain, raw chicken breasts on the grill and grill them up, but I like to spice them up a little bit! If you have time, this apple cider vinegar chicken would be perfect for this salad. The end result is a flavorful, moist chicken breast.
I also like adding dry rub to my chicken before grilling. It takes basically no prep time and results in a super flavorful grilled protein! You could use my blackened seasoning recipe or just a mixture of chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper to play off the seasonings in the street corn salad. Simply rub the mixed spices over the chicken breast before grilling.
When you’re ready to grill, preheat the grill. When it’s around 400ºF, place the chicken on the grill and cook for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Use a meat thermometer to check the chicken after cooking – you want the inside temperature of the breast to be at least 165ºF.
Once the chicken has been cooked, allow it to cool before chopping and using in the salad recipe. The chicken can be grilled up to 3 days in advance.
How to Assemble the Salad
For this kale salad I like to divide the avocado and use one half to massage the kale, along with lime juice and salt. This softens the kale and is essentially like a dressing for the salad.
Once the kale is massaged, simply add all the chopped ingredients and mix them together in a big bowl. Another option is to use a salad chopper bowl! This chopper/bowl combo is one of my most used kitchen accessories. To prep the salad using the salad chopper, simply massage your kale, add all remaining ingredients to the bowl and then use the rolling knife (similar to a pizza cutter) to chop the ingredients up and mix everything together.
Once you’ve tossed the salad, portion it into bowls. Add a drizzle of sriracha, if using and dive in!
More Mexican-Inspired Recipes to Try:
- Healthy Chicken Enchiladas
- Southwestern Quinoa Salad
- Vegetarian Enchilada Bake
- Slow Cooker Cheesy Mexican Quinoa Casserole
- Healthy Mexican Layer Dip
- Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
- Mexican Sweet Potato Chicken Soup
- Mexican Quinoa Casserole
- Taco Soup
Kale Mexican Street Corn Salad
- 4 cups shredded/chopped kale
- 1 avocado, chopped into chunks and divided
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced or chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1 1/2 cups Mexican street corn salad
- 1/3 cup crushed/chopped tortilla chips
- cotija cheese, for topping*
- sriracha, optional
- Add kale, 1/2 avocado and lime juice and sea salt into a large bowl. Use your hands to massage the kale with the avocado, lime juice and salt until all the pieces of kale are coated.
- Add chicken, street corn salad, remaining avocado chunks and tortilla chips into a bowl. Use salad tongs or a spoon to gently toss.
- Portion into three bowls. Sprinkle on a little cotija cheese and drizzle with sriracha, if using.
- If you don’t have cotija cheese you can use queso fresco, parmesan or feta.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.