Summer corn salad recipe – fresh from the web

Fun, bright and vibrant, it’s easy to make grilled corn salad is a perfect page to make this summer!

A bowl of corn salad

This corn salad is bright, fun and vibrant – just like a sunny summer day! We love it because it’s so easy to make, can be prepared ahead of time, and goes with just about anything. Perfect for a weekend camping trip, day at the lake or just hanging out with friends in the backyard.

Unlike some other corn salads, this one skips some of the heavier ingredients (mayonnaise, crumbled cheeses, etc.) to keep it fresh and lively.

So if you’ve found quite a few corn on the cob and want to put them to good use, this grilled corn salad is calling your name! Let’s dive into it!

Choose the best corn for corn salad

Fresh, in season, sweet corn on the cob will have the best flavor and texture for corn salad. Buy it and use it within a few days. The flavor of fresh corn fades the longer it sits in your refrigerator. Check out our post on how to make perfect grilled corn.

Corn salad with avocado, tomatoes and cucumber

General tips for making corn salad

  • Use fresh, in-season, sweet corn on the cob. Since it is the star of the show, try to use the best corn you can find.
  • Play with different flavors, textures and colors. Corn salad should be exciting, vibrant and fun.
  • Keep all the ingredients roughly the same size. This will ensure that everything stays properly mixed together.
  • If you make your corn salad ahead of time, hold off on adding the more perishable and/or delicate items. It’s better to add things like avocado or crumbled cheese (feta/cotija) just before serving to prevent them from going bad or getting smashed.
  • Wait until just before serving to add the dressing! Otherwise, the salt from the dressing will cause a lot of your fresh produce to start dumping water.
Ingredients for corn salad laid out on a cutting board

ingredients

Corn: Whether grilled, boiled or reheated from frozen, use the best corn you can find. Our preference is grilled corn on the cob!

Cherry tomatoes: Bright buds of color and light summer flavor. The smaller the tomatoes, the less cutting you need to cut.

Cucumber: We love the crunch and cooling factor cucumbers bring to corn salad. English or Persian cucumbers have tender skins that can stick on, but for plain old grocery store cucumbers, we suggest peeling the skin first.

Red onion: We like to add the red onions to the dressing for a few minutes. This will not only add some flavor to the dressing, but help them soften up a bit – similar to making a quick pickle.

Fresh herbs: Chopped parsley, coriander, scallions, mint or basil are good options.

Avocado: Avocado gives a perfect creamy texture to this salad.

Jalapeños [Optional]: We really like to have a spicy element to our corn salad. You can add as much as you like or skip it altogether if you don’t like spicy.

Crumbled cheese [Optional] Feta or cotija are both good options. Mix in just before serving.

Olive oil: Use the good stuff! An extra virgin olive oil with a lovely flavor will really shine through.

Salt and spices: Sea salt and cracked pepper.

Dressing in a bowl surrounded by my ingredients

Make your dressing and add the onions

The first step is to prepare your salad dressing. We wanted to keep things simple, so we came up with a recipe that uses just a few basic pantry ingredients: Add your (good) olive oil, lime juice, honey, salt and pepper to a large bowl. Mix vigorously with a fork to dissolve the honey and salt.

Add red onion: We like to chop our red onion and add it to the dressing. Raw onion can be a bit overwhelming, so we like to let it soften in the dressing. The acid from the lime juice acts as a kind of quick pickle.

Left: corn in the husks on the grill.  Right: Cut corn kernels off the cob

Prepare your corn

When cooking corn on the cob, you have two methods to choose from:

Grilled (Remember On): Although it takes a little more time, we think grilled corn is the best way to go for corn salad. You get some smoky flavor and some charred kernels which add a new level of flavor. Place it over your grill or campfire, stir and turn frequently for about 20 minutes. Then return to the grill for a few more minutes to brown the corn. Read all about how to make perfect grilled corn.

Cooked (Husk Off): If you don’t have access to a grill or fire, no problem. Boiling your corn is another quick and easy way to use fresh, seasonal corn on the cob. Remove the husk and silk, boil in salted water for 10 minutes, then dunk in an ice bath to quickly cool the corn.

If you want some char on your cooked corn, remove the kernels with a sharp knife and put them in a hot frying pan with a little oil. Stir regularly with a spatula until you achieve a light browning.

Herbs, cucumber, jalapeno and cherry tomatoes chopped on a cutting board

Chop your mix-ins

You’ve got your dressing chilled, your corn has been cooked, now it’s time to start preparing your mix ingredients. Our recipe below calls for a few things we think are essential, but you really have a lot of room to get creative here.

The mood we’re going for with this corn salad is bright, vibrant and summery – so we chose tomatoes, cucumber, chopped jalapeño and lots of chopped fresh herbs. Try to chop everything so that it is roughly mouth-watering. Nothing too big or too small.

Hold the avocado (for now!) Wait to cut up and add the avocado until you are ready to prepare the salad (just before serving). The lime juice and olive oil prevent the avocado from browning.

Left: Scooping avocado.  Right: Pour dressing into a bowl of corn salad.

Dress, toss and serve!

If you are making this salad ahead of time: Do not dress the salad until you are ready to serve.

The salts in the dressing will cause some water to be released. So if you want to limit it, wait until you’re ready to serve, then add the dressing, slice your avocado, flip and enjoy!

Hands holding a bowl of corn salad
Corn salad with avocado, tomatoes and cucumber
  • 6 corn on the cob
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • ½ cup diced cucumber, English
  • 1 avocado, dice
  • ½ cup fresh herbs, parsley, basil, mint, cilantro all work well
  • 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño, optional
  • ½ cup crumbled Feta or Cotija, optional

Bandage

  • ½ Red onion, in dice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoonful salt
  • ½ teaspoonful pepper

Avoid your screen going dark

  • In a medium bowl, add olive oil, lime juice, honey, salt and pepper. Mix vigorously with a fork to dissolve the honey and salt. Add diced red onion. Set aside (can be made in advance).

  • Boil the corn –Grilling: Place corn over your grill or campfire, peel and turn regularly for about 20 minutes. Then return to the grill for a few more minutes to brown the corn.Cooking: Remove the husk and silk, boil in salted water for 10 minutes, then dunk in an ice bath to quickly cool the corn.
  • Chop it tomatoes and cucumbers in bite-sized pieces. Chop the fresh coarsely herbs. Chop it jalapeno (if you use). Barber corn kernels of the flask with a sharp knife. Transfer all the ingredients to a large bowl.

  • Just before serving, add cubes avocado and gently mix in bandage.

Serves: 6portions | Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated fat: 9g | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g

*Nutrition is an estimate based on information from a third party nutrition calculator

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