4 Healthy Street Food Recipes You Can Make From Home

Written by Cristina Powell, PN1, ME-3, CMS

Street Food Corn

The Food Truck industry has grown in strength over the last several years, and there isn’t any sign of it slowing down any time soon. Once a simple street corner cart found outside downtown offices or carnivals offering hot dogs or ice cream, food trucks are ubiquitous; they can be found at birthday parties, airports, shopping centers, gas stations, empty parking lots, and more.

The “street food” recipes and options are both endless and delicious, but they’re not always the healthiest. So, we decided to put a healthy spin on some of the most popular street food recipes, which you can prepare for you and your family without leaving home.

Fun fact #1: In 1872, Walter Scott from Providence, Rhode Island, decided to park his “lunch wagon” in front of a local newspaper office to sell sandwiches to the employees. Thanks to Mr. Scott, the concept of the food truck was born.

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Fun fact #2: While food trucks have been moderately popular since their inception, it wasn’t until the recession in 2008—when many restaurant chefs were forced out of brick-and-mortar establishments—that the market for food trucks took off.

4 Healthy Street Food Recipes

Street Food Recipes Hot Dog

Hot Diggity Dog

Once upon a time, hot dogs were reserved for backyard barbecues. Tired of the same old, same old hot dog smothered in ketchup and yellow mustard, food truck vendors have introduced several unique twists to the coney to satisfy patrons’ taste buds. One of the awesome things about street food is that it often has a geographical influence, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with these gourmet dogs. Just add the toppings below to your preferred link (all-beef frank, chicken sausage, etc.)!

Chicago Dog

  • Yellow mustard
  • Sweet pickle relish
  • Chopped onion
  • Tomato wedges
  • Pickle spear

North Carolina Dog

  • Chili
  • Chopped onion
  • Cole slaw
  • Mustard (varies depending on locality)

California Dog

  • Sliced avocado
  • Chopped red onion
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Chopped tomatoes

Low Country Dog

  • Diced potatoes cooked with Old Bay seasoning
  • Steamed corn kernels

New York Dog

  • Sauerkraut (or sliced onions)
  • Spicy brown mustard

Who let the dogs out?

These can be eaten with or without a bun. Thinking outside of the bun, you could wrap your hot dog in lettuce or a tortilla. Gluten-free? Try coconut or jicama tortillas. Of course, you can simply make a hot dog “bowl” and layer the toppings on sliced meat.

These flavor combinations work well on hamburgers also.  A great party idea is to make sliders out of any of these street food recipes, mixing and matching the toppings to create a regional theme. Or, you could pit two of them together for a sporting event.

Street Food Tacos

Run for the Border Street Tacos

Perhaps one of the most popular forms of street food recipes is the taco. They come in all shapes and sizes with more fillings than you can imagine. With so many options, you can enjoy tacos virtually every day of the week—not just on Tuesday. Here are just a handful of options. Serve in your favorite tortilla or shell or simply enjoy in a bowl.

Fish Taco

  • Fresh fish (a mild white, flaky fish like Mahi Mahi works best)
  • Shredded cabbage slaw
  • Greek yogurt
  • Jalapenos
  • Lime juice
  • Cilantro

Adobo Taco

  • Shredded pork
  • Adobo seasoning
  • Crushed pineapple
  • Chopped tomato
  • Chopped onion

Mission-Style Taco

  • Shredded chicken or beef
  • Black or pinto beans
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Shredded cheese
  • Salsa

Breakfast Taco

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Shredded cheese
  • Chorizo
  • Diced potatoes
  • Salsa

Street Food Corn

Street Corn

While traditional Mexican street corn (Elotes) is slathered with a chili- and lime-spiked creamy sauce made with sour cream, mayonnaise, and cotija cheese, you can make a “skinny” version substituting Greek yogurt and feta cheese.

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  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 4 ears corn, shucked
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


  1. Combine Greek yogurt, feta cheese, chili powder, garlic, and cilantro in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
  2. Grill corn, rotating occasionally until cooked. You will notice a slight char on the outside. Remove from the grill and put on a serving plate.
  3. Brush corn with the Greek yogurt mixture.
  4. Squeeze a lime wedge on each ear of corn and serve immediately.

Street Food Barbeque Pork

This Little Piggy Stayed Home

When it comes to barbeque sauce, the style is shaped by region. After all, there’s vinegar-based, tomato-and­-vinegarbased, tomato-and-sugar-based, mustard-based, and even mayonnaise (aka, the “white sauce).

The following is hands-down the easiest barbecue sauce recipe you will ever find, and you can pretty much use it on anything and everything. This recipe is low-carb and gluten-free, and it’s even suitable for the Paleo diet.

Easy Peasy BBQ Sauce

  • ¾ cup tomato paste (no sugar added)
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp honey

Here are a few other options:

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Asian Barbecue Sauce

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 ½ tsp ginger, minced

Caribbean Barbecue Sauce

  • ¼ cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Dry Rub

  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ¾ tsp dry hot mustard
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves

For each of these street food recipes, combine all the ingredients and coat your meat of choice, marinating in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When it comes to barbeque, there are two other choices you have to make: 1. The cut of meat; and 2. How you’ll cook it. In the case of the latter, low and slow is best, and you can make great barbeque by slowly cooking a good cut of meat in a slow cooker, oven, or smoker.

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