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Prepare your grill, rinse out your coolers, and save room for the ultimate cookout side: Grilled Corn Salad. A blissed-out blend of grilled corn, creamy avocado, bright fresh tomatoes, and peppery arugula tossed in a honey-lime dressing, is the perfect corn salad for summer. 

Grilled corn salad with cilantro lime dressing on a white plate

If you’re looking for a slam-dunk side to add to any summer spread, this grilled corn salad is IT.

  • It goes with just about anything
  • It’s easy to make ahead
  • Because this is a corn salad without mayo, it’s safe to serve (and tastes fab) at room temperature
  • It can easily be scaled to any quantity
  • It tastes like a warm, sunny day served on a plate.

Likewise, in the realm of easy, healthy side dishes you can add to your weeknight 30-minute meals, grilled corn salad has you covered too.

corn, tomatoes and avocado served on a white plate

Ideas for Serving Corn Salad

I love the versatility of this corn salad. 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.

Serve this corn salad:

  • With any of your favorite grilled beef, pork, or chicken entrees. These grilled Chicken Kabobs are one of my current go-to’s. 
  • As a dip or chunky salsa with chips. 
  • On top of tacos (like these meatless Tempeh Tacos or mouthwatering Salmon Tacos) for a bright burst of flavor and color.

5 Star Review

“We made this for a party and it was so delicious that we made it again so we could have it all to ourselves!!! The flavor of the dressing perfectly complements all of the ingredients.”

— Tracy —

Why You’ll Love this Corn Salad for Summer

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. Make it once, then serve it throughout the week.
  • Grilled Corn. While corn may taste bland in a raw corn salads or canned corn salads, 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.


The Ingredients

  • 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.

TIP

If you’re using early-season corn that’s not quite at it’s peak, you may blanch the corn for 3-5 minutes in salted, boiling water before placing it on the grill. While not entirely necessary, it’s an extra step that can help plump and tenderize the corn.

  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Arugula. I love the lightly peppery flavor of arugula with sweet fruits and vegetables.

Market Swap

Feel free to choose another salad green of your choice, like chopped spinach or kale, if arugula isn’t your thing. Season with additional black pepper to taste.

  • Red Bell Pepper. Adds a wonderful crunch and color to the salad.
  • Green Onions + Cilantro. Fresh, tasty additions.

Market Swap

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.

The Directions

  1. Grill the corn, cut the kernels from the cob, and place them in a bowl. Add the remaining salad ingredients.
  2. 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 tomato and avocado salad on a white plate

Recipe Variations

  • Grilled Corn Salad with Feta. Add a shower of crumbled feta over your finished corn 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.

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.
  • To Freeze. I don’t recommend freezing corn salad once it has been dressed and tossed with arugula.

Storage Tips

Note that the arugula will wilt and the avocado will brown slightly when you store this corn salad 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.
  • Stretch your leftovers even further by tossing them with fresh arugula.

Pair Grilled Corn Salad with

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

Grilled Corn Salad with Avocado

4.92 from 37 votes
Grilled corn salad with avocado, and sweet fresh corn. Simple, delicious, and perfect for summer barbecues and easy weeknight dinners.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 7 minutes
Total: 25 minutes

Servings: 6 servings (about 6 cups total)

Ingredients
  

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:


Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6), about 1 cupCalories: 230kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 5gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gPotassium: 656mgFiber: 5gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 1650IUVitamin C: 58mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 2mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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Recipe Rating




87 Comments

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  1. This corn salad looks absolutely wonderful, and reminds me of one I make with black beans for a light vegetarian meal. Cilantro tastes dreadfully like soap to me, being a genetic Supertaster, so instead I use fresh flat leaf Italian Parsley from my garden.

  2. Sounds delish..except I wouldn’t eat arugula with someone else’s mouth! Can you suggest an alternate suitable green? Thanks!

    1. Hi Cat, you can leave it out or use any other green you enjoy! Spinach would probably be the easiest substitute. You may need to add a little more pepper since arugula contributes some pepperiness to the salad. I hope you love the recipe!

  3. Love grilled corn!! The caramelization adds so much flavor and nuttiness This is an awesome healthy salad. I also love the avacodos in it.5 stars

  4. I made this for Memorial Day and it was a hit. My grocery store was out of Arugula so I substituted spinach. I forgot to shuck the corn as well as put olive oil, salt, and pepper on the corn but it turned out fine lol. Thanks for another yummy recipe! Will definitely make it again!5 stars

    1. Christy, I am so glad this recipe was a hit! Thanks so much for trying it and for sharing this wonderful review too.

  5. We made this for a party and it was so delicious that we made it again so we could have it all to ourselves!!! The flavor of the dressing perfectly complements all of the ingredients. For leftovers one night I added extra arugula, topped with grilled salmon and extra dressing and it was also amazing! Everyone should try this! Thank Erin :)5 stars

    1. HOORAY Tracy! I’m so happy to hear the salad was a winner. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this awesome review! (Adding grilled salmon sounds so delicious.)

    1. Hi Suzanne! You could try experimenting with roasting the corn at a high temp, but I’d definitely grill it if you can. It adds a lot of flavor and is definitely worth the effort!

  6. I am so glad I searched for a recipe that used grilled corn! I have Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Corn and couldn’t figure out what to do with it. It went perfectly with this recipe. I cooked it as instructed, let it cool and then followed the rest of the recipe. I couldn’t find arugula at the store, but subbed in spinach and it was still great. Thank you for posting and sharing!5 stars

    1. Adrienne, I am so happy this hit the spot for you! Thank you for letting me know and sharing this review!

  7. Super delicious! Made yesterday to bring to a friend’s for dinner. Roasting the corn makes it sooo sweet and is worth the extra step. I omitted the tomato and used extra bell pepper and added lime zest and cumin to the dressing to amp the flavor just a bit and it was spectacular. I love how the avocado makes it creamy without dairy. Will definitely be on my summer rotation!5 stars

  8. I served this along with grilled tri-tip and it was a big hit! You were right, it still tasted good the next day!5 stars

  9. I am eating it now! Delicious! The recipe just made a ton! It says 6 one cup servings- seems like more to me. I would make this much to bring to a potluck picnic. If it is just 2 of you eating it, I would suggest cutting the recipe in half unless you plan on eating a lot of leftovers. But it is refreshing & tasty!5 stars

  10. Oh. my. gosh. I love the idea of grilled corn with avocado and tomatoes! My mouth is literally watering just thinking of the flavors. I’m going to pin your recipe right now. Thanks so much for sharing this. We might just be making this for the 4th of July. :)

  11. I made this yesterday and it was a BIG hit! I added the feta as suggested and everybody loved it. They told me it we had to make it again next weekend!5 stars

  12. I have made this for my clients over and over and they love it! (I’m a personal chef)
    Thank you for this fantastic recipe.5 stars

  13. Came out fantastic! I added drained black beans & fresh jalapeños. My family put this right on their tacos!

    *I make my corn in the oven. I buy husk on corn.i trim the ends without breaking the seal. I soak it in the sink for 1 to 2 hours. Drain it & put it directly on the oven rack into a 350°oven for 20 min. Let it cool slightly then dehusk & cut the kernels off for your salad.5 stars

  14. Excellent flavors and so easy to make! I made this ahead of time to let everything marry together in the fridge and then about 10 minutes before eating I add the arugula, to prevent wilting, and offered the avocado on the side.5 stars

    1. Hi Tom! So glad it worked out for you! So glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for this kind review!

  15. This turned out awesome! So good and refreshing. I did add some crumbled feta cheese. Perfect for our 4th of July BBQ!5 stars

  16. This one hit my salad craving soft spot. The avocado always makes a salad in my opinion and I loved hint of cilantro because it did not go overboard as I have experienced with other salads. Thank you for this one! :)5 stars

  17. I made this recipe and liked it but I think it needs a “little” something. Next time I’ll add some lime zest. But it’s colorful and everyone loved it. Also, in the description it says “feta” but there’s no mention in the ingredient list. Just wondering. Thanks for sharing this new and different recipe!4 stars

    1. Hi Trudi! Thank you for this kind review! The wording needs to be fixed, feta is used in one of the recipe variations! Thanks!

  18. This is a delicious summery salad. My picky eater took an uncertain bite & then asked for more on her plate. Winner!4 stars

  19. Turns out so good. Dressing had some extra paprika and olive oil. Used about 2/3 the corn required and a large bell pepper. As well as two avocados. Dressing came to about 6 ounces with a whole tablespoon of paprika. Delicious.5 stars

  20. This was absolutely delicious!! So light and fresh, and the dressing was perfect. Very colorful and easy to make!5 stars

  21. If I’m serving vegans I can’t use honey and I don’t want to use sugar. Would Pure Maple syrup work?

  22. The best summer side!! So bright, vibrant, and versatile – truly goes with anything. A must make during peak farmers market season!5 stars

  23. Delicious! I did make some changes, but b the fundamentals were all there. I grilled poblano peppers and red onion slices with the corn and used those in place of the red peppers and green onions, and I used mikes hot honey in the dressing. Yum!!!5 stars

  24. Great recipe for a summer bbq last night. Balanced out the ribs & potato salad. Definitely making this again.5 stars

  25. I had to try this before I put it in the fridge. Love all of the flavor combinations. Easy, healthy, and so pretty with all the colors. The only thing I did differently was to use Trader Joe’s Roasted Corn.5 stars

  26. Great recipe! One thought…. If you dont think youre going to use it all, put a portion to the side without the avocado. Avocado is the one thing that cant hold up if you want to save any.4 stars

  27. This salad is delicious!! It tastes very fresh and bright. Made the recipe as written with the only exception being that I coarsely chopped the arugula. Great without the feta cheese but elevated to the next level with the cheese. Will definitely make this again!5 stars

  28. My daughter-in-law is Mexican. I served this salad before six of us had a prime rib dinner. Soooo good! I was worried they would be too full. I wish I knew how to send you a picture of it. We all enjoyed it immensely. And had no problem getting down the main course! The dressing was delightful. I’m going to use it for grilled chicken also. YUMMY!!!
    Thanks.5 stars

  29. Wonderful salad, great flavors and easy to make. I’ve Made just as recipe calls for many times. From time to time have added black beans and olives.5 stars

  30. We love this salad. I make it all summer for practically every occasion . The recipe has been passed through all our family and friends.5 stars