Vegan Mexican Street Corn Recipe – A Symphony Of Bold Flavors!

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

A culinary masterpiece awaits in the bustling heart of vibrant markets— Vegan Mexican Street Corn Recipe. Perfectly charred kernels, basked in a homemade cashew-based creamy sauce, dazzle with a generous sprinkle of tangy lime and spicy chili powder. Topped with fresh cilantro and dusted with nutritional yeast for a cheesy finish, it’s a universal rule that this dish captivates the palate, offering a symphony of bold flavors.


  • Plant-Based Perfection: Utilizes cashew cream and nutritional yeast for a dairy-free, cheesy delight.
  • Zesty and Spicy: Lime juice and chili powder blend for an authentic, tangy kick.
  • Easy Pantry Picks: This recipe relies on simple, accessible ingredients like canned corn, making it a breeze to prepare.
  • Texture Twist: The charred kernels introduce a smoky crunch, elevating the dish’s sensory appeal.
  • Fresh Finishes: Topped with cilantro, this dish marries homemade charm with street food flair.
  • Universal Appeal: Perfect for vegans and non-vegans alike, offering a delicious twist on a classic.

Don’t have time to read the full blog post? JUMP TO THE RECIPE HERE!

Craving the smoky allure of street-side eats but struggling to find plant-based options that don’t skimp on flavor? You’re not alone. As someone who has navigated the vibrant but often meat-centric world of street food, the quest for a dish that’s both satisfying and aligned with a vegan lifestyle seemed daunting.

Enter the vegan Mexican street corn recipe, a game-changer that promises to revolutionize your culinary repertoire. This dish masterfully combines the rich, creamy textures and bold spices that define traditional Mexican cuisine while adhering to plant-based principles.

By turning to this innovative recipe, you’ll experience the joy of cooking and indulging in food that’s kind to your palate and the planet.

vegan mexican street corn recipe

What Is Vegan Mexican Street Corn?

Vegan Mexican street corn, or “elote,” is a plant-based take on a classic Mexican street food staple. Traditionally slathered in a creamy sauce made from mayonnaise and cheese,

this vegan version instead uses a rich, homemade cashew or almond cream blended with tangy lime juice and spicy seasonings like chili powder and smoked paprika.

The corn is then grilled to smoky perfection, coated in this dairy-free dressing, and sprinkled with nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor, making it a guilt-free, flavor-packed delight that captivates vegans and non-vegans alike.

Fact– Nutritional yeast, a staple in vegan cuisine, is rich in B vitamins and provides a cheesy flavor, making it perfect for enhancing dishes like vegan Mexican street corn.

vegan mexican street corn

Recipe Directions

  • Prepare the Corn: Fill a large pot with water and boil. Carefully add the corn cobs and boil for exactly 3 minutes. Remove the corn from the water and let it cool until it can be handled comfortably.
  • Cut the Corn: Stand each cob up on its end and use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off it. Be careful not to cut too close to the cob.
  • Combine Ingredients: In a large salad bowl, combine the cut corn kernels, mixed vegetables, vegan mayonnaise, vegan feta cheese, chopped cilantro, chopped parsley, chili powder, apple cider vinegar, and lime juice.
  • Toss the Salad: Gently toss everything together until the corn and vegetables are evenly coated with the dressing.
  • Season and Serve: Sprinkle Tajín seasoning generously over the top of the salad. You can serve the salad warm or cover it and chill in the fridge for a refreshing cold dish. I find it exceptionally delightful when chilled.
  • Spice It Up: If you’re a fan of a little extra kick, don’t hesitate to bring your favorite hot sauce to the table and add it to your serving.

Recipe Directions

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings


  • Grilled Avocado: Halve avocados, remove the pit, and grill face-down for a smoky addition.
  • Quinoa Mix-In: Add cooked quinoa to the corn salad for a hearty, protein-packed version.
  • Spicy Mango: Incorporate diced mango and a sprinkle of chili powder for a sweet and spicy twist.


  • Black Beans: Rinse and drain black beans to add protein and fiber.
  • Pickled Red Onions: Add homemade or store-bought red onions for a tangy crunch.
  • Roasted Sweet Potato: Cube and roast sweet potatoes for a filling addition.
  • Charred Bell Peppers: Grill or char bell peppers for a smoky flavor and vibrant color.
  • Zesty Lime Crema: Drizzle with a vegan lime crema made from soaked cashews, lime juice, garlic, and water.

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings


  • Crushed Tortilla Chips: For added crunch, sprinkle over some crushed tortilla chips.
  • Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds): Toasted pepitas offer a nutty crunch and a protein boost.
  • Vegan Parmesan: A sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese adds a nutty, cheesy finish.
  • Fresh Herbs: A generous handful of chopped cilantro or parsley can freshen up the dish.
  • Radish Slices: Thinly sliced radishes provide a peppery bite and crisp texture.
  • Sliced Jalapeños: For those who love heat, additional fresh or pickled jalapeños kick it up a notch.

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings

Vegetable Substitutions

  • Zucchini Ribbons: Thinly sliced, they add a delicate, almost noodle-like texture that’s perfect for absorbing the creamy dressing.
  • Avocado Chunks: Offers a creamy richness and a contrast in texture, making the dish more filling and nutritious.
  • Black Beans: Rinse and drain them to add protein and fiber, enhancing the heartiness of the dish.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: Halved or quartered, they introduce a sweet, juicy burst in every bite, complementing the smoky flavor of the corn.
  • Red Onion: Finely chopped, it adds a sharp, aromatic kick that balances the creaminess.
  • Jalapeño Peppers: Diced and deseeded for those who enjoy a spicy kick without overwhelming heat.
  • Roasted Red Peppers: Their sweet, smoky flavor pairs beautifully with the charred corn.
  • Radishes: Thinly sliced, they offer a peppery crunch, enhancing the salad’s texture contrast.
  • Spinach or Arugula: These leafy greens can be lightly tossed in for added color and a nutritional boost, making the salad more vibrant and wholesome.

Quick Tip– Try grilling the corn instead of boiling it for an extra layer of flavor in your Vegan Mexican Street Corn. The char marks add a smoky depth!

Vegetable Substitutions

Best Side Dishes

  1. Black Bean Salad A refreshing mix of black beans, avocado, tomato, and cilantro, dressed in lime juice, perfectly complements the corn’s richness.
  2. Quinoa Tacos Stuff tacos with cooked quinoa, mixed vegetables, and a splash of lime for a protein-rich companion to the creamy corn.
  3. Guacamole The creamy texture and rich flavors of guacamole are a delightful contrast to the spicy and tangy corn.
  4. Cilantro Lime Rice A light and zesty rice dish that balances out the creaminess of the corn with its fresh, citrusy undertones.
  5. Vegan Refried Beans A hearty, flavorful side that adds depth and smooth texture, rounding out the meal.
  6. Pico de Gallo This fresh tomato salsa adds freshness and a slight acidity that enhances the corn’s flavors.
  7. Vegan Tortilla Soup A spicy and comforting soup can start the meal on a warm note, paving the way for the vibrant corn dish.
  8. Chips and Salsa Verde Crunchy tortilla chips paired with a tangy salsa verde offer a textural contrast and a punch of flavor.
  9. Stuffed Peppers Bell peppers are filled with rice, beans, and spices and baked until tender, creating a satisfying and nutritious side.
  10. Sweet Potato Fries Baked or air-fried, these provide a sweet and crispy counterpoint to the savory and creamy corn.

Best Side Dishes

How To Serve?

  • As Elote: Serve the corn on the cob slathered with the vegan creamy sauce, sprinkled with chili powder, nutritional yeast, and fresh cilantro, and provide lime wedges for squeezing over the top.
  • In a Cup (Esquites): Cut the kernels off the cob and mix them with the sauce and seasonings. Serve in small cups or bowls, topped with extra sauce, a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, and a dash of Tajín seasoning.
  • Corn Salad: Combine the grilled or boiled corn kernels with diced avocado, black beans, red onion, and the creamy dressing. Serve chilled as a refreshing salad.
  • Taco Toppings: The seasoned corn kernels make a flavorful topping for vegan tacos filled with your favorite fillings, such as black beans, lettuce, and avocado.
  • Loaded Nachos: Scatter the corn kernels over a bed of tortilla chips, drizzle with vegan cheese sauce, and add toppings like jalapeños and vegan sour cream for a crowd-pleasing appetizer.
  • Stuffed Avocados: Fill halved avocados with corn kernels, vegan mayo, lime juice, and spices for a visually appealing and nutritious snack.
  • Corn Pizza: Spread the creamy corn mixture over a vegan pizza base, add bell peppers and onion slices, and bake until crispy. This is a unique twist on traditional pizza!
  • Corn Dip: Blend the corn with vegan cream cheese, nutritional yeast, and spices until smooth. Serve as a dip with tortilla chips or veggie sticks.
  • Grilled Corn Skewers: If you prefer individual portions, skewer the corn cobs, grill them, and then brush generously with the sauce and seasonings for a fun, hands-on eating experience.
  • Corn Lettuce Wraps: Spoon the creamy corn mixture into lettuce cups and top with sliced radishes and avocado for a light, crunchy dish.

Quick Tip– Add the lime juice and seasoning before serving to keep your Vegan Mexican Street Corn salad fresh. This prevents the salad from becoming soggy!

How To Serve

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Refrigerate Promptly: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It stays fresh for up to 3 days.
  • Keep Components Separate: Store the dressing and corn separately for optimal freshness. Combine just before serving.
  • Make Ahead: The dressing can be prepared two days before, enhancing its flavors. Corn can be boiled or grilled a day ahead and kept chilled.
  • Revitalize Before Serving: If made ahead, lightly toast the corn kernels in a pan to rejuvenate their texture and warmth before mixing with the dressing.
  • Freezing Not Recommended: Due to texture changes, freezing the assembled salad or dressed corn is not advised.

Fact– “Elote” comes from the Nahuatl word “elotitutl,” meaning tender cob. This reflects its deep roots in traditional Mexican cuisine and its adaptation to vegan versions today.

vegan mexican street corn recipe

Time-Saving Tips

  1. Use Frozen Corn: No time to shuck and boil corn? Frozen corn is a great shortcut. Just thaw and pat dry before using. For a charred effect, quickly pan-fry the kernels in a hot skillet.
  2. Prep in Advance: Dice your vegetables, such as red onion, jalapeño, and red bell pepper, ahead of time. Store them in the fridge in airtight containers until you’re ready to use them.
  3. Bottled Lime Juice: While fresh lime juice is ideal for flavor, bottled lime juice can save time and is perfectly acceptable for dressing the salad.
  4. Store-Bought Vegan Mayo and Feta: Save time on homemade sauces and dressings by selecting quality store-bought vegan mayonnaise and feta cheese.
  5. Use a Food Processor: AA food processors can save manual chopping time by allowing you to chop herbs and vegetables quickly.
  6. Microwave Corn: If you’re short on time, you can cook corn quickly in the microwave. Wrap the ears of corn (husk on) in a damp towel and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes per ear.
  7. Assembly Line Style: When combining ingredients, assemble an assembly line for efficient mixing. This is especially helpful if you’re making a large batch.
  8. One Bowl for Mixing: To minimize cleanup, use one large bowl for mixing your salad. Mixing the dressing directly with the veggies and corn can save washing extra dishes.
Vegan Mexican Street Corn Recipe - A Symphony Of Bold Flavors!

Vegan Mexican Street Corn Recipe – A Symphony Of Bold Flavors!

Recipe by Julia

This Vegan Mexican Street Corn recipe transforms a classic street food into a plant-based delight. Featuring charred corn slathered in a creamy, spicy cashew dressing and sprinkled with nutritional yeast for a cheesy kick, it’s a vibrant dish that doesn’t skimp on flavor. Perfect for summer barbecues or as a bold side dish, it promises to be a crowd-pleaser for all palates.

Course: Side Dish
0 from 0 votes


Prep time


Cooking time




Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on

Ingredients List

  • 4 4 Large ears of corn, husks removed

  • ½ Cup ½ Red bell pepper, diced

  • Cup Red onion, diced

  • 1 1 Jalapeño, diced

  • Cup Vegan mayonnaise

  • Cup Vegan feta cheese, crumbled (e.g., Violife)

  • Cup Chopped cilantro

  • 3 Tbsp 3 Lime juice

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Distilled white vinegar

  • ¼ Tsp ¼ Chili powder

  • ¼ Tsp ¼ Cumin

  • ¼ Tsp ¼ Salt and pinch of black pepper

  • 1 Tsp 1 Tajin (for serving)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Prepare The Corn
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Carefully add the 4 large ears of corn and boil for exactly 3 minutes. This ensures they’re cooked but still crisp.
  • Remove the corn from the pot and let it cool until it’s manageable.
    vegan mexican street corn recipe 1
  • Cut The Corn
  • Once the corn is cool enough, stand each cob upright on a cutting board.
  • Using a sharp knife, carefully cut down the sides of the cob to remove the kernels. Aim to get as close to the cob as possible without cutting into it.
  • Combine The Salad Ingredients
  • In a large salad bowl, add the freshly cut corn kernels.
  • Mix in the ½ cup diced red bell pepper, ⅓ cup diced red onion, and 1 diced jalapeño (adjust the jalapeño according to your spice preference; remove seeds for less heat).
  • Add ⅓ cup vegan mayonnaise, ⅓ cup crumbled vegan feta cheese, and ⅓ cup chopped cilantro to the bowl.
  • Season with 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar, 3 tablespoons lime juice, ¼ teaspoon chili powder, ¼ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of black pepper.
    vegan mexican street corn recipe 2
  • Toss The Salad
  • Toss all the ingredients together until everything is evenly coated with the dressing and spices.
  • Ensure that the flavors meld together nicely.
  • Finish With Tajín
  • Just before serving, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of Tajín over the top of the salad for an added zesty kick.
    vegan mexican street corn recipe 3
  • Serving Options
  • You can serve the salad warm immediately after preparing it, or for an enhanced flavor experience, cover and chill it in the fridge. Chilling allows the flavors to meld together beautifully. I find it more refreshing when served chilled.
  • If you’re a fan of extra spice, place your favorite hot sauce on the table for guests to add to their liking.

  • Equipment List
  • Large pot
  • Grill or grill pan
  • Blender
  • Mixing bowl
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Tongs
  • Serving spoon
  • Salad bowl


  • Jalapeño Heat: Adjust the amount of diced jalapeño based on your heat preference. Remove seeds for less spice.
  • Chilling Enhances Flavors: Refrigerating the salad before serving allows the flavors to meld together, offering a more refreshing taste.
  • Tajín Seasoning: Sprinkling Tajín adds a zesty lime and chili flavor. Adjust according to taste.
  • Vegan Feta Alternatives: Try crumbled tofu seasoned with lemon juice and salt if vegan feta is unavailable.
  • Serving Tip: Serve with a side of tortilla chips for added crunch and flavor.
  • Storage: Salad keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 days when stored in an airtight container.
  • Corn Cooking: Ensure the corn is not overboiled to maintain its crisp texture.

vegan mexican street corn recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make The Vegan Mexican Corn Salad Ahead Of Time?

Yes, you can make the Vegan Mexican Corn Salad ahead of time. Preparing the salad a few hours later allows the flavors to meld together beautifully. Store the salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for best results. However, add the Tajín seasoning and fresh herbs for the freshest taste and texture before serving.

What Can I Use If I Don’t Have Vegan Feta Cheese?

If you don’t have vegan feta cheese, a great substitute is crumbled tofu. To mimic the tangy flavor of feta, marinate the crumbled tofu in a mixture of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and a pinch of salt for at least an hour before adding it to the salad. Nutritional yeast can also be added to the tofu mix to enhance the cheesy flavor.

vegan mexican street corn recipe

Is This Salad Spicy, And How Can I Adjust The Heat Level?

The spice level of Vegan Mexican Corn Salad primarily comes from the jalapeño and Tajín seasoning. To adjust the heat

  • You can remove the seeds from the jalapeño or use less of it for less spice. You can also use less Tajín or skip it entirely.
  • For more spice, leave the seeds in the jalapeño, add an extra jalapeño, or increase the amount of Tajín seasoning. Adding a dash of your favorite hot sauce adds up the heat.

How Long Does The Salad Keep, And How Should It Be Stored?

The salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The ingredients may release water over time, so it’s best eaten fresh. A quick stir before serving can help redistribute the flavors if it becomes watery. Avoid freezing the salad, as it will significantly alter the texture of the vegetables and dressing.

Can I Grill The Corn Instead Of Boiling It?

Absolutely! Grilling the corn instead of boiling it can add a smoky flavor that complements the creamy, spicy dressing. To grill corn

  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  • Brush the corn lightly with oil and place it on the grill grates.
  • Grill, turning occasionally, until the corn is cooked and has char marks all around, about 10 minutes.
  • Allow the corn to cool slightly before cutting off the kernels and proceed with the recipe.

Leave a Comment

Author picture


Greetings from the heart of Vie De La Vegan, where each dish we share is a chapter in a larger story of discovery, wellness, and the transformative power of a plant-based diet. My name is Julia, and I am thrilled to be your guide on this delightful culinary adventure.

More About Me