Mexican Street Corn Chicken
This super flavorful Mexican Street Corn Chicken is an easy and tasty dinner recipe that makes a perfect weeknight meal. I’m obsessed with this street corn topping – you’re going to want to put it on everything! The sweetness of the corn kernels mixed with creamy queso fresco cheese, fresh lime juice, and savory chili powder just make me want to gobble it up with a spoon. You’ll miss out if you go that route though, because as good as it is on its own, I think the topping is especially delicious when paired with chicken breast cutlets seasoned with an easy homemade Mexican rub. Trust me, this pairing is so good. Better still, this recipe comes together quickly and is just 292 calories or 7 Green, 3 Blue or 3 Purple WW SmartPoints per serving!
If you’re unfamiliar with Mexican Street Corn (or Elote), it’s a Mexican street food offering that traditionally consists of corn on the cob slathered in a sauce made from mayo, chili powder, and lime juice and topped with cilantro and Cotija cheese. In this Mexican Street Corn Chicken recipe, I stripped the corn from it’s cobs to make it into a topping for chicken! I also swapped the Cotija cheese for Queso Fresco because it’s a bit more widely available in my experience, and also a bit lighter/lower in WW SmartPoints. I think you’ll find my recipe gives you all the Mexican Street Corn flavors you seek, making it into a tasty main dish!
Fresh or Frozen Corn
Luckily for me, corn is in season and there is a fresh corn stand right around the corner from my house. The perks of living in the exurbs! Because of this, I used fresh corn kernels I cut right off the cob. I also freeze fresh-off-the-cob corn kernels this time of year to use when fresh corn is less available. However, this recipe will be delicious anytime of year, and you can definitely just buy a bag of frozen sweet corn and defrost some if you don’t have cornfields in your neighborhood. That should work just fine!
- Cheese: As I mentioned above, I chose to use crumbled Queso Fresco in this recipe, but you could also use Cotija cheese, or another crumbly cheese like Feta.
- Sauce: I used a mix of light mayonnaise and light sour cream in my topping and I loved the blend of the two. If you don’t have both on hand, you could definitely just use one or the other. I know y’all are going to ask about substituting Greek yogurt, and you definitely can, though in my opinion it will change the flavor profile. I prefer mayo and sour cream in this recipe.
- Cilantro: The cilantro adds a little freshness to the topping, but if you are a cilantro hater, by all means, feel free to omit it!
I often buy a big pack of boneless, skinless chicken breasts at the store and then use kitchen shears to trim them down to make 5-6 oz cutlets to use in recipes. Everything I cut off to make the cutlets gets cut into chunks to make chicken bites, such as my Nashville Hot Chicken Bites, Lemon Pepper Chicken Bites, or Blackened Chicken Bites. It’s easy to weigh out 1 lb or 1.5 lb of chicken chunks and some 5 oz cutlets and freeze them for later in quart size freezer bags. That way, I always have some cutlets and some chicken bites on hand! Buying the bulk packs of chicken breasts is cost-effective, and cutting them into cutlets and bites ensured I have what I need on hand when I go to make a recipe. I find that kitchen shears make this task go quicker and easier than using a knife, so I highly recommend using shears like these (affiliate link).
Looking for more tasty, lightened up chicken recipes like this Mexican Street Corn Chicken? Check out my Cheesy Broccoli Stuffed Chicken, Lemon Pepper Chicken Bites, Baked Chicken Tenders, Crispy Onion Dip Chicken, Nashville Hot Chicken Bites, Crispy Chicken Parmesan, Apple and Brie Stuffed Chicken, Maple Dijon Chicken and Squash Skillet, Strawberry Balsamic Grilled Chicken, Blackened Chicken Bites, Ricotta Stuffed Chicken Bake, Lemon Garlic Chicken and Beans Skillet, Cream Cheese and Herb Stuffed Chicken, Tuscan Olive Chicken, Barbecue Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders, Pimento Cheese Stuffed Chicken, Cream Cheese Stuffed Everything Chicken, and many more in the Chicken section of my recipe index!
Mexican Street Corn Chicken
- 2 teaspoons chili powder, divided
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ + ⅛ teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- a pinch cayenne pepper
- 4 (5 oz each) thin chicken breast cutlets, (if you buy large breasts, trim them to 5 ounces each and pound them thin)
- 3 teaspoons canola oil, divided
- 1 ½ cups fresh (or thawed from frozen) corn kernels, (about 2 cobs worth)
- 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon light sour cream
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 oz cumbled queso fresco, (recommended, but see above for substitution options)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
- In a small dish, stir together 1 ½ teaspoons of the chili powder, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon sugar, ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, and a pinch of cayenne.
- Lay the chicken breasts on a cutting board and sprinkle about half of the seasoning mix from step one over the breasts and rub it in a bit. Flip the breasts over and repeat with the other half of the seasoning mix on the other side.
- Drizzle 2 teaspoons of the oil into a large sauté pan and bring to medium-high heat. Lay the chicken breasts in a single layer in the pan. Cook for about 4 minutes until golden on the bottom. Flip the breasts and cook for another 3-5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from heat.
- Drizzle the remaining teaspoon of oil into a skillet and bring to medium-high heat. Add the corn and cook, allowing it to slightly char/brown, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon of chili powder to the corn and stir to coat. Cook for another minute and then transfer the chili-coated corn to a mixing bowl. Add the tablespoon of mayonnaise to the corn and stir until well combined. Add the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, the tablespoon of sour cream, and the teaspoon of lime juice and stir together. Add most of the crumbled queso fresco and chopped cilantro (I like to reserve a little of both to sprinkle over the top because it’s pretty)and stir to combine.
- Serve each seasoned chicken breast with a ¼ cup of street corn mix over the top.
7 per (1 chicken breast + ¼ cup topping) serving (PP calculated using a Weight Watchers PointsPlus calculator and the nutrition info below) Nutrition Information per (1 chicken breast + ¼ cup topping) serving: 292 calories, 13 g carbs, 5 g sugars, 11 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 36 g protein, 2 g fiber, 176 mg sodium (from myfitnesspal.com) spice rub adapted from Lord Byron's Kitchen