The summer of 2020 has been the Summer of Grilling for my husband and I. He was gifted a beautiful grill and smoker for his birthday in April, and we have been having a great time experimenting with ribs, chicken, burgers, potato packs, and grilled veggies. It has been a blast to get outside and spend time in the yard, especially since we can’t go anywhere until Miss Rona is contained.
One dish that my husband has been obsessing over is Elote. He grills the corn whole in the husk, and I top each cob with a slather of mayo, lime juice, Cotija cheese, cilantro, and cayenne pepper. It is delicious, and my husband is infatuated. He made a run to the store last week for Cotija because we were fresh out and he wanted Elote for the second day in a row.
I have been doing my best lately to eat healthy, natural foods that are good for me, and make me feel good too. I wanted to turn Elote into a dish I could eat every day and feel good doing it. Plus, I already had all of the ingredients since we are currently buying them in bulk. While my husband had a big, steaming bowl of pasta the other night (jealousy ensued), I decided to make myself an Elote Salad. It was so good, I made it again the next night and added chicken too. This recipe was so good, it was blog worthy.
Start the Elote Chicken Salad by cooking your boneless, skinless chicken breast. Use spices that you associate with Mexican cooking, such as cilantro/coriander, cayenne, or oregano. Bake the chicken at 350 for up to 30 minutes until cooked through.
Next, prepare all your salad ingredients. I used romaine, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, corn (obviously) and crumbled Cotija. I also added some cilantro leaves for good measure. You can use whatever salad ingredients you prefer. Avocado would be great in this!
Finally, make your dressing. I dressed up prepared ranch dressing with lime zest and juice, cayenne, and chopped cilantro. Toss all elements together after shredding your cooked and cooled chicken. And in no time, you have an amazing dinner that is great for you.
Check out the full recipe below. Thank you for reading!
Elote Chicken Salad
For the Chicken:
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tsp Mexican oregano, dried
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
For the Salad:
- 1 heart Romaine lettuce, sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, chopped roughly
- 1/2 cucumber, sliced into half-moons
- 1 cup baby carrots, sliced
- 1 large tomato, such as heirloom or beefsteak, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed and drained
- 1 cup Cotija cheese, broken into small pieces (save some for topping!)
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
For the Dressing:
- 1 cup prepared ranch dressing
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- Handful of chopped cilantro
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- Begin with cooking your chicken. Preheat the oven to 350.
- Lay your chicken out on a foil-lined baking sheet. Cover in the oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper and cayenne. Massage the chicken so the spices are distributed evenly. Add the olive oil to coat the chicken. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until completely cooked through, but not dried out.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Being slicing your vegetables for the salad. Prepare the lettuces, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes and add them to a large bowl. Warm your frozen corn kernels in the microwave and drain all water once defrosted. Add the corn, Cotija and cilantro and toss the salad together and set aside.
- Lastly, make the dressing. In a small bowl, take prepared ranch and add lime zest and juice, cilantro, and cayenne. Mix together until homogenous.
- When everything is ready, shred your cooled chicken using two forks. Toss it into the salad and mix. Finally, add enough dressing to evenly coat the salad. Do not add too much dressing otherwise it will become wet. We want just enough to coat every lettuce leaf.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and top with additional Cotija, lime wedges, and cilantro leaves as needed. Serve immediately and enjoy!