Mexican Street Corn Kale Salad

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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.

Close up photo of a white bowl and gold fork with a Mexican street corn and kale grilled chicken salad. The salad is topped with slices of avocado. Ingredients in the salad are sprinkled on the table.

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
  • avocado
  • 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
Glass mixing bowl with ingredients for a salad including kale, Mexican street corn salad, crushed tortilla chips, avocado and grilled chicken.

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.

Glass mixing bowl with a gold spoon in a kale salad made with Mexican street corn, grilled chicken, avocado and crushed tortilla chips.

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!

Two white bowls filled with kale Mexican street corn salad with grilled chicken and topped with slices of avocado. Two gold forks are resting on the side of the plates. On the table, cilantro, a bowl of cheese, slices of jalapeno and lime and tortilla chips are scattered.

More Mexican-Inspired Recipes to Try:

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐ star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below.

4.37 from 38 votes

Kale Mexican Street Corn Salad

This Mexican street corn kale salad turns esquites into a meal-sized salad with shredded kale, grilled chicken, avocado and tortilla chips! 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 3 servings

Ingredients  

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

  • If you don’t have cotija cheese you can use queso fresco, parmesan or feta.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/3 of recipe | Calories: 460kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 21g | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: street corn kale salad
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

More about Brittany
Chicken fajita filling on a sheet pan with a wooden spoon. Tortillas are resting on the bottom of the sheet pan.
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36 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time tonight and it was a huge hit. Followed the recipe but didn’t have cilantro and still loved it. Wonderful combination of textures, tang, and creaminess. A perfect summer dish.

    1. Yay! So glad you loved this recipe, Aimee. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

  2. 5 stars
    My fiancé and I made this and we devoured it all. My new favorite way to eat kale! We will be making this all summer long. Thank you!

    1. Yay! So glad this salad was a hit, Nicole! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it.

  3. 5 stars
    I just made this for the fourth time in the last 2 weeks. I also made it a bunch when I was pregnant last year. It is AMAZING!! I crave it. My mouth waters just thinking about it. I love knowing I’m getting so many nutrients from the kale! It’s so flavorful and perfect! Thank you thank you for this recipe!

    1. Excellent! I am so glad this recipe is a hit and that you are loving it, Diana. Thank you so much for sharing your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

  4. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner last night served with fresh margaritas. And it was delicious. We did it without meat. It was amazing and filling for two.

    1. Woo! I’m glad this recipe was a hit, Kathleen. Thank you for sharing your review, I really appreciate it!

    1. Yay! So happy to hear this salad was a hit, Julie! Thanks so much for the review. It means the world to me!

    1. Woo! So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Sarah! Thanks so much for making it and coming back to leave a review. It means so much to me!

    2. 5 stars
      This was amazing! I love kale and love finding new ways to use it. I omitted the chicken and it was still so good. Also used canned corn and roasted it a little in a pan. I can’t wait to share this with people I love!

      1. Hi Nicole – I am so glad that you are enjoying this recipe. Thank you for coming back to leave a review and star rating, I really appreciate it.

    1. So glad you loved this salad, Heather! Thanks for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

    1. So glad this salad was a hit! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it, Cynthia.

  5. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time last week and am making it again tonight! Packed with flavor and healthy ingredients! Delicious!

    1. So glad you’re loving this recipe, Donna! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    This recipe is perfect for summer, fresh corn makes all the difference and adding the siracha was the perfect end 👌

    1. So glad you enjoyed this salad, Whitney!! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. The reviews are super helpful for other readers so I appreciate it. 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    I just heard of your blog on a pregnancy forum about healthy meal and snack suggestions and started following immediately. Made this tonight and it was delicious! The corn salad on its own was fantastic and I’m excited to make it again, and making it into a filling delicious dinner with this recipe was perfect. Very impressed and I’m excited to try more of your recipes!

    1. Hey Valerie! I’m so glad you found my blog on the pregnancy forum… congrats to you! And thank you so much for not only trying this recipe but coming back to leave a comment and star rating. I appreciate it so much and can’t wait for you to try more of my recipes.

  8. 5 stars
    This is a fool-proof recipe! I do not usually leave reviews or comments, but I was so impressed with this recipe. It takes a while to chop all of the ingredients (Mexican street corn included), but it is so worth it. Perfect salad to bring to a dinner party as a side or have for dinner on a week night. Would recommend!

    1. Ahh that makes me so happy yo hear, Kayla! I’m so glad this recipe was a hit. 🙂 Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!!