Grilled Corn Salad

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Fun, bright, and vibrant, this easy to make grilled corn salad is a perfect side to make this summer!

A bowl of corn salad

This corn salad is bright, fun, and vibrant—just like sunny a summer’s day! We love it because it’s so simple to make, can be prepped ahead of time, and goes with virtually 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 the heavier ingredients (mayonnaise, crumbled cheeses, etc) in order to keep it feeling fresh and lively.

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

Select 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 long it sits around 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’s the star of the show, try to use the best corn you can find.
  • Play around with different tastes, textures, and colors. Corn salad should be exciting, vibrant, and fun.
  • Keep all the ingredients roughly the same size. This will ensure everything stays properly mixed together.
  • If you’re making 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) right before serving in order to prevent them from going bad or getting all smashed up.
  • Wait until right 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 it’s grilled, boiled, or reheated from frozen, use the best corn you can find. Our preference is grilled corn on the cob!

Cherry Tomatoes: Bright pops of color and bright summer flavor. The smaller the tomatoes the less cutting you’ll need to do to.

Cucumber: We love the crunch and cooling factor cucumbers bring to corn salad. English or Persian cucumbers have tender skin that can be left on, but for regular 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 mellow out a little bit—similar to doing a quick pickle.

Fresh Herbs: Chopped parsley, cilantro, scallions, mint, or basil are great options.

Avocado: Avocado lends 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 entirely if you’re not into spicy.

Crumbled Cheese [Optional] Feta or cotija are both great options. Mix in right before serving.

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

Salt & Spices: Sea salt and cracked pepper.

Dressing in a bowl surrounded 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 zinger of a recipe that uses just a couple of basic pantry ingredients: In a large bowl, add your (good) olive oil, lime juice, honey, salt and pepper. Vigorously mix with a fork to dissolve the honey and salt.

Add the Red Onion: We like to chop our red onions and add it to the dressing. Raw onion can be a little overwhelming, so we like to let it mellow out in the dressing. The acidity from the lime juice acts as sort of a quick pickle.

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

Prepare Your Corn

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

Grilled (Husk On): While it takes a little more time, we think grilled corn is the best way to go for corn salad. You get a little smoky flavor and some charred kernels, which add a new level of flavor. Place it over your grill or campfire, husk on, and rotate frequently for about 20 mins. Shuck then return to grill for a few more minutes to brown the corn. Read all about how to make perfectly grilled corn.

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

If you want some charr on your boiled corn, sheer off the kernels with a sharp knife and add them to a hot skillet with some oil. Stir frequently with a spatula until you achieve light browning.

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

Chop Your Mix-Ins

You have your dressing chilling, you corn has been prepared, now it’s to start preparing your mix-ingredients. Our recipe below calls for few items we think are essential, but you really do have a lot of room to be creative here.

The vibe we are going for with this corn salad is bright, vibrant, and summery – so we opted for tomatoes, cucumber, minced jalapeño, and a bunch of chopped fresh herbs. Try to chop everything to be roughly bite sized. Nothing to big or too small.

Hold the avocado (for now!) Wait to cut up and add the avocado until you’re ready to dress the salad (right before serving). The lime juice and olive oil will prevent the avocado from turning brown.

Left: Scooping avocado. Right: Pouring 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 that, wait until your ready to serve, then add the dressing, slice in your avocado, toss, and enjoy!

Hands holding a bowl of corn salad
Corn salad with avocado, tomatoes, and cucumber

Grilled Corn Salad

Fun, fresh, and vibrant, this easy to make corn salad is a perfect side to make this summer!
Author: Fresh Off The Grid
4.50 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate Save
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
6 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 ears of corn on the cob
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • ½ cup diced cucumber, english
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • ½ cup fresh herbs, parsley, basil, mint, cilantro all work well
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño, optional
  • ½ cup crumbled Feta or Cotija, optional

Dressing

  • ½ red onion, diced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, add the olive oil, lime juice, honey, salt and pepper. Vigorously mix with a fork to dissolve the honey and salt. Add the diced red onion. Set aside (can be made ahead).
  • Cook the corn–
    Grilling: Place corn over your grill or campfire, husk on, and rotate frequently for about 20 mins. Shuck then return to grill for a few more minutes to brown the corn.
    Boiling: Remove the husk and silk, boil in salted water for 10 minutes, and then dunk in an ice bath to rapidly cool the corn down.
  • Chop the tomatoes and cucumbers into bite sized pieces. Roughly chop the fresh herbs. Mince the jalapeno (if using). Shave the corn kernels off the cob using a sharp knife. Transfer all the ingredients to a large bowl.
  • Right before serving, add cubed avocado and gently mix in the dressing.

Nutrition (Per Serving)

Serving: 6servings | 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 provided by a third-party nutrition calculator
Side Dish
Camping

Tis’ the season!

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Tis’ the season!

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a camper, hiker, or outdoors-loving person on your list, you’ve hit the jackpot! We have a gift guide for everyone, so take a look and find the perfect gift.

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