This simple kale street corn salad is made with chopped kale, roasted sweet corn, crumbled cotija cheese, diced red onion, spicy jalapeño, and roasted pumpkin seeds, all tossed in a delicious chipotle- lime dressing.

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This kale street corn salad is a fresh twist on classic street corn flavors. The combination of hearty kale, sweet corn, and spicy dressing makes it a satisfying and flavorful dish! It’s a perfect balance of flavors, with a satisfying crunch from the pumpkin seeds. It’s also packed with nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K, fiber, and protein. While this recipe is simple, there are plenty of variations so you can create your favorite salad!

I also love this recipe because you can make it in advance. Since kale is hearty, you don’t have to worry about it wilting right after you add the dressing. This makes a great recipe for a packed lunch or a potluck!

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Kale – I prefer curly kale for this recipe, but you can use flat leaf dinosaur kale (also called Tuscan kale) if you prefer.
  • Sweet Corn- You can use fresh, canned, or frozen sweet corn. If using canned corn, just make sure to drain it well.
  • Cotija Cheese – This crumbly cheese adds a salty, tangy flavor. You can substitute it with feta or queso fresco if you prefer.
  • Red Onion – Adds a sharp bite and color to the salad. You can substitute with green onions for a milder flavor.
  • Jalapeño – Adds a spicy kick. Adjust the amount based on your spice preference or substitute with a milder pepper if desired.
  • Cilantro– Fresh cilantro adds a slightly sweet, herbal flavor. If you don’t like the flavor of cilantro, you can skip it.
  • Roasted Pumpkin Seeds – Adds a nutty, crunchy element. You can substitute with sunflower seeds or omit for a nut-free option.
  • Tajin– I like to use a little tajin to add an additional layer of spicy flavor. If you want to keep this recipe more mild, you can skip it.
  • Chipotle Chilies in Adobo Sauce – Adds a smoky, spicy flavor. You can adjust the amount based on your spice preference.
  • Mayonnaise – Creates a creamy base for the dressing. You can substitute with Greek yogurt for a lighter option.
  • Lime Juice – Adds a bright, tangy flavor. Fresh lime juice is best, but bottled juice can be used in a pinch.
  • Garlic Powder – Adds a subtle garlic flavor. You can substitute with fresh minced garlic if preferred.
  • Salt – Enhances all the flavors in the dressing.

Variations and Additions

If you want to add even more flavor to this salad, here are a few additions you could make:

  • Black Beans – Beans are an easy way to add a little extra plant-based protein and fiber.
  • Avocado – This is a great way to add healthy fat and it can also help tame the spicy flavor.
  • Tomatoes – Chopped cherry or grape tomatoes work well in this salad.

How to Make a Kale Street Corn Salad