Grilled corn salad drizzled with creamy lime dressing. Fresh ears of corn are roasted on the grill to add a smoky flavor. Serve it alongside your favorite protein for a complete dinner!
As the weather warms up there’s no better time to fire up the barbecue and cook outside. This Mexican-inspired grilled corn salad is made up of ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, bell peppers, radish, avocado, and green onions.
This colorful and crunchy vegetable mix is tossed with a creamy lime dressing that has nice a spicy kick. Serve this side dish with grilled chicken or steak to create easy weeknight dinners. This salad is also perfect to bring to your next potluck.
How to make grilled corn salad
- Shuck fresh corn and brush kernels with olive oil.
- Sprinkle with salt.
- Add to the grill, cover and cook until lightly charred on each side.
- When the roasted corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off the cob.
- In a large bowl combine corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, bell pepper, radishes, avocado, and green onions.
- In a small bowl add crema, lime zest, lime juice, honey, cilantro, serrano pepper, black pepper, salt, and garlic then toss to combine.
Cooking corn on the cob
I like to remove the husk so that the surface sizzles and browns on the grates for instant flavor. Coating the corn with a light layer of olive oil protects it from completely burning.
No grill? Use canned or frozen corn
Corn is at its peak season from June to September, so the remainder of the time canned or frozen corn comes in handy. Simply defrost and drain well, then add to a hot frying pan or cast iron skillet with a little bit of oil or butter. Saute on high heat, stirring every few minutes until the outside of the kernels lightly brown. Allow it to cool then mix the corn into the salad.
Corn salad ingredients
For intense crunch factor, add diced English cucumbers, red and green onions, red bell peppers, and radishes. Ripe chopped tomatoes add some juiciness. If you have cherry tomatoes on hand slice them in half and toss them in.
Pieces of bright green and creamy avocado add some richness and healthy fats to the dish. If you want to add extra protein to this vegetarian recipe, canned or homemade black beans are a great option.
Creamy lime dressing
The base of the dressing is crema, a Mexican table cream. It has a very light tartness, but with a pourable consistency. Sour cream or even plain yogurt would work, but you may need to bump up the sweetener level and add some water to thin out the dressing.
The crema gets whisked together with freshly squeezed lime juice, zest, honey, chopped cilantro, minced serrano peppers, garlic. Season with salt and pepper as needed. I noticed that over time the sauce gets spicier, and lasts for up to 4 to 5 days refrigerated in an airtight container.
Make it ahead of time
This hearty grilled corn salad is great to pack up and bring to a picnic or potluck. The robust ingredients store well, about 5 days. However, I recommend cutting the avocado the day of serving so it does not turn brown.
The recipe makes a large batch for feeding a crowd or meal prepping. Generously top with the spicy lime dressing and your tastebuds will be happy. Enjoy!
More grilling recipes
Grilling corn with the husk removed
Removing the hush and silk allows direct contact with the hot grill to brown the kernels very quickly. When using this method brush the corn with a high temperature cooking oil like olive oil or vegetable oil to create a thin protective barrier so that it chars nicely, but won’t burn.
Grilled Corn Salad
Grilled Corn Salad
- 4 ears of corn, about 3 cups of kernels
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil , plus more for brushing corn
- kosher salt, for seasoning corn
- 1 cup (143 g) diced tomatoes, seeds removed, ½-inch dice
- 1 cup (143 g) diced English cucumbers, seeds removed, ½-inch dice
- ¾ cup (87 g) diced red onions, ¼-inch dice
- ¾ cup (88 g) diced red bell pepper, ¼-inch dice
- ¼ cup (30 g) sliced radishes
- 1 avocado, cut into ½-inch dice
- 1 tablespoon (6 g) sliced green onions
Creamy Lime Dressing
- ½ cup (120 ml) crema, or light sour cream
- ½ teaspoon lime zest
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lime juice
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, plus whole leaves for garnish
- 1 teaspoon minced serrano pepper
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- Remove the husk and silk from the corn, brush with olive oil and season with salt.
- Preheat the grill on high heat about 400 to 450ºF (204 to 232ºC).
- Dip a folded piece of paper towel in some olive oil. Holding it with tongs, use this to grease the grill grates.
- Add the corn to the grill and cover, cook for about 8 to 12 minutes, flipping every 2 to 3 minutes to char each side.
- Transfer the grilled corn to a plate. Once cooled, slice off the kernels.
- In a large bowl toss to combine the grilled corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, bell peppers, radish, avocado, and green onions.
- In a small bowl whisk together crema, lime zest, lime juice, honey, cilantro, serrano pepper, black pepper, ¼ teaspoon salt, and garlic.
- Garnish with cilantro leaves, and season with more salt or pepper as desired.
- Drizzle the corn salad with the creamy lime dressing or serve on the side.