When the warm weather hits and the grill is fired up, there’s nothing more delicious than a fresh salad packed with grilled vegetables and bright flavors. This summer grilled corn salad is delicious, healthy, filling, and the perfect compliment to any barbeque. Grilled corn is cut off the cob, tossed with sweet grilled red onions, fresh tomato, avocado, fresh herbs, bright lime juice and delicious seasonings. Put this on your summer meal rotation for a quick and easy side dish.
What you’ll need to make summer grilled corn salad
Here’s a list of ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe:
- corn on the cob
- I recommend using corn on the cob here, so that you can grill the corn for ultimate flavor. If you do not have access to corn on the cob, you can use frozen or canned corn kernels here, but I recommend either roasting them or sautéing them for some flavor.
- red onion
- olive oil spray
- kosher salt
- plum tomatoes
- lime juice
- cayenne pepper
How to make summer grilled corn salad
Grilling the corn and red onion
The first step to make this salad is to grill up some fresh corn on the cob and red onion. This step is so important to this salad, because grilling vegetables gives them so much flavor. The corn becomes smoky, and the onions become sweet and tender. I do not recommend using raw onion here, it will totally overpower the salad flavors.
As noted above, if you do not have access to corn on the cob, you can use frozen or canned corn. I would advise either roasting the corn kernels (on a sheet pan, at about 400F for 15-20 minutes) or heating them through on a frying pan to give them some flavor and color. Just using plain, canned or frozen corn isn’t enough here. Trust me!
Also, Trader Joe’s makes an excellent frozen roasted corn that would also work beautifully here as a shortcut.
To grill the corn on an indoor a grill pan, like I did here, put the heat on medium. Spray the grill pan with olive oil spray, and add the corn on the cob to the grill. Spray the tops with more olive oil spray. Cut the onion into thick slices, at least 1/4″ thick. You want the slices thick enough to be able to hold up to grilling and flipping.
The corn will take up to 25 minutes to get tender on an indoor grill pan (flipping frequently), and the onions will take a few minutes less than that (also flipping frequently). Of course, you can do this on the barbeque too!
Once the vegetables are grilled, remove them from the grill pan to cool, while you prep the other ingredients.
Prepping the other ingredients
Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds and wet pulp. If you add this to the salad, it will make the salad watery and mushy. Instead, just use the firm outside of the tomatoes. Then, chop them up.
Chop up the scallions and cilantro. Then, chop up the cooked red onion.
To remove the corn kernels from the cob, invert a small bowl inside of a larger bowl. Use this as a stand, and cut the kernels off. The kernels will fall into the larger bowl.
Add the vegetables to a large mixing bowl. Add the spices and lime juice, and toss to coat. If serving immediately, add the avocado. Otherwise, you can leave the avocado out until right before serving, if preferred.
How to serve and store this salad
This salad pairs perfectly with any grilled protein for a delicious lunch or dinner (steak, chicken, or shrimp all work perfectly here). This also makes a great meal prep! You can really pair this salad with anything. A burger would be excellent too, alongside this salad.
To store, keep this salad covered in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to a week, and in fact, the flavors will become more concentrated and delicious as time goes on.
As noted above, you can leave the avocado out of the salad and add it right before serving, to avoid it turning brown on you.
Summer Grilled Corn Salad
- grill pan
- mixing bowl
- 3 pieces corn on the cob yields: 2 cups of corn kernels
- 1 red onion medium in size
- olive oil spray
- pinch kosher salt
- 2 plum tomatoes
- 4 oz avocado
- 2 scallions
- 1/4 cup cilantro fresh
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper you can omit or reduce this for less kick
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- Slice the red onion into 1/4" thick rounds (to hold up to grilling).
- Spray a grill pan with olive oil spray (or you can use an outdoor grill).
- Spray the corn and onion rounds with olive oil spray. Sprinkle the onion rounds with a pinch of kosher salt.
- Grill the vegetables on medium heat for a slow cook. Rotate the vegetables frequently to get an even char.
- The onions will take about 20 minutes to get soft, and the corn will take up to 25 minutes to be cooked.
- Once cooked, remove the vegetables from the grill pan.
- Place a small bowl upside down in a larger mixing bowl, and use the bottom of the small bowl as a stand to cut the kernels off the corn.
- Chop the cooked onion.
- Scoop the seeds and pulp from the inside of the tomatoes and discard. Chop the remaining parts of the tomatoes.
- Chop the scallions and cilantro. Chop the avocado.
- Add the corn kernels, onion, tomato, avocado, cilantro, and scallions to the bowl.
- * Note: you can leave the avocado out until right before serving, in order to prevent browning.
- Add the paprika, kosher salt, cumin, and cayenne. Add the lime juice.
- Toss to combine the flavors, taste for seasoning.
- 2 WW Points (blue and purple plans)
- 4 WW Points (green plan)
Check out these other great barbeque side dishes: