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Summer Corn Salad – The Real Food Dietitians


Enjoy this vibrant summer salad made with fresh cherry tomatoes, diced avocados, and roasted corn. It is bursting with garden-fresh flavors! With an easy homemade vinaigrette to give it a chili-lime flavor and jalapeno to add just a little kick, this Summer Corn Salad will elevate all your backyard BBQ get-togethers.

Summer Corn Salad Made Easy

When summertime is in full swing and the garden bounty is plentiful, this Summer Corn Salad recipe needs to be on your table. Full of juicy ripe tomatoes, crisp cucumber chunks, smoky and golden roasted corn kernels, and a chili-lime vinaigrette, this is one summer salad you won’t want to miss out on. Made gluten-free and vegan, it’s an all-around wonderfully healthy all-veggie side dish.

Overhead view of a corn and avocado salad served in a white bowl topped with cilantro and lime wedges

Smoky Corn Salad with Chili-Lime Vinaigrette

As much as we adore all of these ingredients on their own (nothing tops the burst of a ripe cherry tomato, are we right?), mixing them together and adding in a homemade chili-lime vinaigrette elevates each ingredient to its fullest, creating an irresistible summer salad.

Let’s talk about this chili-lime vinaigrette, shall we? Made with only 4 ingredients (plus a pinch of salt and pepper), it’s insanely easy to make and you’ll be kissing store-bought dressings goodbye for good. One trip into vinaigrette-making-land and you’ll be patting yourself on the back! Truly so easy to make, clean ingredients, and the chili-lime flavor will be dancing on your tongue with each and every bite!

Ingredients to make Avocado Corn Salad

  • Corn – fresh corn on the cob gives the best fresh flavor for this salad; you’ll need 2 to 3 ears of corn. You can sub in frozen corn, thawed or canned corn, drained (you’ll need 1 1/2 cups of kernels)
  • Cucumber – any variety of cucumber will work for this salad; leave the peel on for color and added nutrients
  • Tomatoes – use grape or cherry tomatoes for this Summer Corn Salad. A variety of tomato colors will give this salad a more eye-catching appeal
  • Cilantro – chopped fresh cilantro works best for this salad rather than dried
  • Avocado – use a firm to barely soft avocado to ensure the diced pieces hold their shape and do not “mush” into the salad
  • Red onion – a yellow onion will also work in a pinch
  • Jalapeño – use a small jalapeño with the seeds and membranes removed for less heat

What You Need to Make Chili-Lime Vinaigrette:

  • Avocado oil – extra-virgin olive oil will also work
  • Lime zest and juice – first grate the peel from the lime for the fresh lime zest, then cut the lime in half and squeeze to get the juice
  • Garlic – mince a garlic clove or use minced garlic from a jar
  • Chili powder – can sub smoked paprika in a pinch
  • Salt and Black pepper

How to Make Summer Corn Salad with Chili-Lime Vinaigrette

To make the Corn Salad:

  1. To prepare the corn, rinse the husked ears under running water then pat dry. Cut the corn kernels from the cob and discard the cobs.  
  2. Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is very hot (almost smoking), add 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl the pan to coat.
  3. Add the corn kernels to the pan and cook 5-6 minutes or until the corn starts to char and smells very fragrant, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Remove the corn from the pan and place it in a bowl to cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. 
  5. While the corn is cooling, prepare the other vegetables (cucumber, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, onion, and jalapeno) adding them to the bowl with the corn once the corn is cool. 

To make the vinaigrette:

  1. Make the vinaigrette by combining 2 tablespoons oil, lime zest and juice, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk well. 
  2. Pour vinaigrette over vegetables and toss gently to combine. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

Chili-Lime vinaigrette being drizzled over a corn, avocado, cucumber salad

How to Prep this Corn Salad Recipe Ahead of Time

Incredibly easy to prep, this salad will take 2 minutes to toss together right before you want to serve it. To prep this corn salad recipe ahead of time follow the directions below. Prep the ingredients up to 2 days ahead of time.

  1. Prepare the corn, then cook and cool it.
  2. Chop all other vegetables except for the avocado. Place them in a Tupperware dish with the cooled corn, place the lid on the container, then keep in the fridge until right before serving.
  3. Chop the cilantro, place in a container with a lid, then keep in the fridge.
  4. Make the vinaigrette.  Keep in a covered container in the fridge.

To assemble the salad in just 2 minutes, take out the three containers of prepped items. Place the prepped vegetables, chopped cilantro, and chili-lime vinaigrette in a mixing bowl and toss together. Dice the avocado and add to the salad, gently toss to mix together. Your summer corn salad is ready for serving!

Overhead view of creamy avocado corn salad in a bowl mixed with chili lime dressing and topped with cilantro and jalapenos

A Healthy Summer Salad Recipe

When it comes to making a garden-fresh summer salad, you know it’s going to be packed with healthy nourishing ingredients. And that’s exactly what we did with this vegan side dish.

  • Corn – corn is a whole grain that boasts a bunch of B vitamins, as well as fiber and eye-protective carotenoids.
  • Cucumber – eating cucumbers with the peel on gives the maximum amount of benefits, including vitamins C and K, fiber, and antioxidants.
  • Tomatoes – this juicy fruit that comes in an array of colors is bursting with antioxidants (think reduced risk of heart disease and some cancers), vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.
  • Cilantro – an easy-to-grow herb, cilantro is high in antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties along with some heart-health and brain-boosting effects.
  • Avocado – this healthy fruit contains more potassium than a banana, ounce for ounce, and a plethora of good-for-you monounsaturated fats; avocados are also an excellent source of gut-healing fiber.

Roasted corn salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, and cilantro tossed in chili lime dressing and served on a white plate

How to Store Corn Salad with Avocado

This corn salad will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Keep in a covered container.  The avocados may turn brown from oxidation, which is a natural occurrence and they can still be eaten. To keep a fresh vibrantly colored salad, add the diced avocados right before serving.

More Garden-Fresh Side Dish Recipes to Try:

Recipe

Summer Corn Salad

Take advantage of summer’s bounty with this salad featuring smoky, roasted corn, creamy avocado, and a zesty chili-lime vinaigrette. Made with healthy veggies, it’s a gluten-free and vegan summer salad!

Prep: 20 minsCook: 6 mins (+10 mins cooling time)Total: 45 mins

Servings: 6 cups (6 servings) 1x


Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups corn kernels, from 2-3 medium ears; 6 ½ – 7 ½ inches long x 2” diameter (~285 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • 1 cup diced cucumber with peel still on (~155 grams)
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (~270 grams)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • ½ cup finely diced red onion (~57 grams)
  • 1 small jalapeno, finely minced (seeds and membranes removed for less heat)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (½ large lime)
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated or finely minced
  • ¾ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. To prepare the corn, rinse the husked ears under running water then pat dry. Cut the corn kernels from the uncooked cob and discard the cobs.  
  2. On the stovetop, place a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is very hot (almost smoking), add 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl the pan to coat. 
  3. Add the corn kernels to the pan and cook 5-6 minutes or until the corn starts to char and smells very fragrant, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Remove the corn from the skillet and place it in a bowl to cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. 
  5. While the corn is cooling, prepare the other vegetables (cucumber, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado*, onion, and jalapeno). Add the chopped veggies to the bowl with the cooled corn. 
  6. Make the vinaigrette by combining the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, lime zest and lime juice, garlic, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk well. 
  7. Pour vinaigrette over vegetables and toss gently to combine. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

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Notes

*If not serving this salad until later, wait to dice the avocado and add it to the salad just before serving.

Any leftover salad may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 170
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Sodium: 212 mg
  • Fat: 11 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 18 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Dietary

© The Real Food Dietitians

Recipe By: Jess Beacom

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Three images for Summer Corn Salad; all ingredients for corn and avocado salad, corn kernels being charred in a cast iron skillet, and corn salad tossed in chili-lime vinaigrette in a mixing bowl

Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Rachel of Half Acre House.

All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!





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