Grilled Corn Salad Recipe

Grilled Corn Salad
Molly Watson
  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
648 Calories
22g Fat
110g Carbs
4g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 648
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 126mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 110g 40%
Dietary Fiber 7g 27%
Protein 4g
Calcium 66mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Most corn lovers would agree: nothing quite beats the crunchy sweetness of barely-boiled corn-on-the-cob doused in butter and sprinkled with salt and pepper (or perhaps a bit of chile margarita) when corn season starts. Yet by the end of summer, even that perfect harmony can start to seem a tad monotonous. That's when this grilled corn salad is ideal.

Grilling corn brings a charred texture and bitter, smoky flavor that perfectly compliments the natural sweetness of the corn. Be sure to use fresh cilantro (aka fresh coriander) and fresh mint—nothing about the dried versions comes close to the flavor and texture of these fresh herbs.

This recipe calls for boiling the corn with the husks on until almost cooked, then grilling them with the husks still on. By pre-blanching or boiling the ears of corn, you avoid having any kernels getting a bit dried out on the grill. Of course, that chewier texture is what a lot of people like about grilled corn, so you may prefer to simply husk the corn and throw it on the grill to cook it—the choice it yours. Make this salad as a clever side for a potluck or serve with tortilla chips and enjoy as a dip at a party.


  • 5 ears sweet corn
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 medium tomato or 10-12 cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup ​fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint
  • 2 avocados (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cotija or feta cheese (optional)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill or a grill pan. Husk the corn and set it on the cooking grate and grill, turning to cook all sides, until grill-marked all around, 15-20 minutes total. Set aside to cool. 

  3. Meanwhile, peel and dice the red onion. Rinse the cut onion in cool water, drain, and lay on paper towels if you want to reduce its pungency. In any case, put the diced onion in a large bowl. Rinse, dry, and dice the tomato. Add it to the onion. Add the olive oil, lime juice, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine. Set aside. 

  4. When the corn is cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to cut off the kernels from the cobs. Add them into the mixing bowl with the onion and tomato. 

  5. Finely chop the cilantro and mint. Add them to the bowl and mix to combine.

  6. If you're using the avocado, cut each in half lengthwise, twist to separate the two halves, and use a spoon to scoop out the pits. Remove the peel, chop, and add the avocado to the bowl. Add more cayenne, salt, and/or pepper to taste, if you like. Mix everything together one last time.

  7. If you're using the cheese, crumble it and sprinkle it over the salad or mix it in to combine, as you like. 

  8. Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 4 hours before serving (if making ahead and using the avocado, peel, chop, and add the avocado right before serving to prevent it from browning).

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