Prepare your grill, rinse out your coolers, and save room for the ultimate summer side: Grilled Corn Salad with Avocado and Tomato. A blissed-out blend of grilled corn, creamy avocado, bright fresh tomatoes, and peppery arugula tossed in a honey lime dressing, this goes-with-anything, palate-pleasing salad feels right at home wherever you serve it.
If you’re looking for a slam-dunk side to add to any summer spread, this grilled corn salad is IT.
In the potluck arena, it’s easy to make ahead, tastes fab at room temperature, and can be scaled to any quantity, making it perfect for a cookout.
In the realm of easy, healthy side dishes you can add to your weeknight dinners, grilled corn salad has you covered. It tastes like a warm, sunny day served on a plate.
Serve this salad with any of your favorite grilled entrees like chicken, steak, or shrimp. Dip it as a chunky salsa. Use it to top tacos.
With its bright flavors and alluring array of textures, you’ll want to eat it every which way. And thanks to its nutritious ingredients, you can feel great about eating it too.
Why You’ll Love This Fresh Summer Salad
In addition to a lineup of fresh ingredients, reasonable prep time, and universal taste appeal, here are a few other reasons you’ll love grilled corn salad:
- It will last a few days in the refrigerator, so you can make it once, then serve it throughout the week.
- Grilled Corn. While corn may taste bland in a raw corn salad or canned corn salad, grilling it takes the flavor to the next level. (If you don’t have a grill, see below tips to cook it in the oven or on the stovetop instead).
- Fresh and Fabulous. Unlike the heavier corn salads with mayo or Fritos that I grew up eating, this grilled corn salad with cilantro lime dressing is light and lovely.
- Bright, Colorful, Cool, and Creamy. The perfect salad for warmer days.
How to Make Grilled Corn Salad
Once you combine the sweet, grilled corn with the other ingredients and top it with the dressing, this salad becomes something truly special.
To turn this corn salad into a showstopper, I added avocado (never a bad choice) and livened up the dressing via paprika and lime juice. Bell peppers and tomatoes give the salad color and crunch.
- Corn. Summer corn is a pleasure in life. This popular produce gets a flavor upgrade once lightly charred on the grill. Even veggie skeptics enjoy the sweet, buttery goodness, and corn contains fiber, potassium, and folate.
- Cherry Tomatoes. Little bursts of juicy, sweet joy. Plus, tomato and avocado taste delicious together (I also use the combination in this Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad).
- Avocado. I knew I wanted to make this a grilled corn salad with avocado because of its cool, creamy texture and nutritional value. Avocado is high in potassium and fiber and healthy fats, and it makes the salad more satisfying.
- Red Bell Pepper. Adds a wonderful crunch to the salad.
- Arugula. I love the lightly peppery flavor of arugula with sweet fruits and vegetables.
- Green Onions + Cilantro. Fresh, tasty additions. If you don’t care for cilantro, you can substitute fresh basil or parsley.
- Dressing. A bright blend of lime juice, olive oil, honey, paprika, salt, pepper, and onion powder. It’s balanced, zippy, and totally addictive.
- Grill the corn cobs for 7 minutes at 400 degrees F.
- Cut the kernels from the cob, and place them in a bowl. Add the remaining salad ingredients.
- Prepare the salad dressing, then pour it over the salad ingredients. Toss, and ENJOY!
More Ways to Cook Corn for Salad
- Oven Method. Cut the corn kernels off the cob, and spread them on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the kernels with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, tossing to coat. Roast them in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 15 to 20 minutes. To help them brown, broil the kernels for about 3 minutes at the end of the cooking time. Watch carefully so they don’t burn.
- Stovetop Method. Cut the corn kernels off the cob. Heat a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Sauté the corn kernels with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir and let cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until browned.
If you’re looking for a corn salad that you don’t have to cook, this Black Bean Corn Salad is for you.
- Grilled Corn Salad with Feta. Add a shower of crumbled feta over your finished salad for a creamy, cheesy element.
- Southwest Corn Salad. Make this as a corn salad with black beans. Mix one 15-ounce can of rinsed and drained black beans in with the other salad ingredients.
- Mexican Grilled Corn Salad. Try my Mexican Street Corn Quinoa Salad, but cook the corn cobs on the grill instead of in a skillet.
What to Serve with Grilled Corn Salad
- Salmon. For a light, healthy meal, I love to serve it with Baked Salmon in Foil.
- Burger. Make your cookout ultra delicious by serving this salad with Italian Turkey Burgers. For a vegetarian option, try serving it beside (or on top of) a Super Food Black Bean Vegan Burger.
- Steak or Chicken. Grilled corn salad with flank steak (maybe these Flank Steak Tacos?) or grilled chicken would be scrumptious.
- Grilled Shrimp. This simple Grilled Shrimp Seasoning is my go-to.
Corn Salad Storage Tips
- To Store. Corn salad will last in the refrigerator for 3 days. I like to make a little extra dressing and store it separately, then splash it over individual portions.
- When you store the salad, the arugula will wilt and the avocado will brown slightly, but the salad will still taste delicious. If you’re concerned about the avocado browning, you can add it to each portion instead of mixing it in with the entire salad.
- I also like to stretch my leftovers further by tossing them with fresh arugula.
More Healthy Potluck Sides for a Cookout
Recommended Tools to Make Corn Salad
- Grill Tongs. The ultimate grill master’s tool.
- Non-Slip Cutting Board. This one will stay in place while you chop.
- Mixing Bowl. Mix and serve your salad in the same bowl.
Grilled Corn Salad with Avocado
For the Grilled Corn Salad:
- 5 ears fresh corn husked with silks removed
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes about 2 cups
- 2 cups packed arugula
- 1 medium avocado peeled, pitted, and diced
- 1 small red bell pepper cored and finely chopped
- 4 green onions finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
For the Dressing:
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice from about 2 limes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- Preheat the grill to medium (about 400 degrees F). Rub the corn with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the corn for 7 minutes, turning every few minutes, until ears are lightly browned. Remove from the grill and let cool.
- Carefully cut the kernels from the cob and transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Add the cherry tomatoes, arugula, avocado, bell pepper, green onions, and cilantro.
- In a small bowl, stir together the lime juice, olive oil, honey, paprika, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Pour over the salad and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. The arugula will wilt and the avocado will brown slightly, but the salad will still taste delicious. If you are concerned about the avocado browning, you can add it only to the part of the salad that you intend to serve that meal.
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