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Corn Salad

This EASY Corn Salad recipe has fresh Mexican flavors and is tossed with the most flavorful dressing! It makes a perfect side dish for a Potluck.

Bonus: Make it with fresh, canned, or frozen corn! Be sure to try my Thai Chicken Salad recipe next!

Corn Salad in a glass bowl with vegetables, cilantro, and dressing.

Corn Salad

This Corn Salad recipe is the ultimate fresh summer snack or side dish! There is no better way to make use of fresh corn on the cob, (although canned or frozen may be used if needed).

The fresh flavors in this recipe make it the perfect side dish for a potluck as it pairs perfectly with burgers, hot dogs, pork, tacos, and more! 

It’s also a healthy summer snack to have on hand in the fridge when it’s hot out, I love to serve it with crunchy Pita Chips for dipping! 

PS- The dressing in this salad is incredible. Wait until you taste it!

Labeled ingredients for making a Corn Salad with a white background.

How to Make It

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Boil the corn for 4 minutes, then transfer to a colander and rinse with cold water until cool.

Corn on the cob in a steaming bow of water and corn in a colander.

Cut the corn off the cob and transfer it to a large bowl along with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions, cilantro, and cotija cheese.

(See PRO tips below for other cheese alternatives and ingredient additions.)

Cutting corn off the cob and putting it in the glass bowl with Corn Salad ingredients.

Add the dressing. (Dressing ingredients are listed in the recipe card at the bottom of this blog post.) Toss to combine and serve immediately or chill for up to 1 day prior to serving. 

Adding dressing to Corn Salad and tossing to combine in a glass bowl.

Using Frozen or Canned Corn

If at all possible, fresh corn is definitely the winner here. But alternatives can be used:

  • Canned Corn: Drain well and pat dry, then combine with other ingredients. You’ll want to use 2 (15 oz.) cans. 
  • Frozen Corn: Cook according to package instructions, let cool completely, then combine with other ingredients. You’ll want about 3 cups.
  • Feel free to grill the corn and cut it off the cob from there! 

Make-Ahead Method

  • This recipe can be prepared up to 1 day ahead of time! Store it in an airtight container until ready to serve.
  • Be sure to pat the diced vegetables dry with paper towels for ultimate fresh and crisp results.
  • Optional: You may want to add the dressing and cheese just before serving. 
  • Pro Tip: If stored separately, the dressing may separate and partially solidify in the fridge overnight. Just let it sit out at room temp for 20 minutes or so and give it a good shake prior to serving!

Pro Tips

  • Salt the water well when cooking the corn, it gives it flavor and brings out its natural sweetness. I use 2 heaping tbsp. kosher salt.
  • I like to place the diced veggies on paper towels to absorb excess moisture for fresh and crisp results.
  • English cucumbers are ideal for this salad. They’re sweeter, smoother, and have thinner skin, which means you don’t have to peel them. They also have thinner seeds and less water content when compared to regular cucumbers.
  • Cheese: Soft Mexican cheeses like Cotija or Queso Fresco are perfect in this salad. Feta also makes a great choice and is a little saltier. Mozzarella and Parmesan may also be used.
  • Finding Mexican Cheese: Check the specialty cheese section (typically near the deli) for fresh Cotija. Feta should be there as well. I’m able to find Queso Fresco right at Walmart where the bagged shredded cheeses are. 
  • Optional additions include: Avocado, jalapenos, black beans, chickpeas, green onions, and bacon. 
  • My Cowboy Caviar recipe is similar to this but uses canned corn, avocado and black beans. Be sure to try my Chickpea Salad and Mango Salsa recipes as well! And if you have more fresh corn to use up, definitely try my Chicken Corn Chowder!

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Overhead view of Corn Salad in a glass bowl with a spoon on the side.

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Corn Salad with a Mexican dressing tossed with vegetables and cilantro.

Corn Salad

5 from 7 ratings
This easy Corn Salad recipe is loaded with fresh Mexican flavors and is tossed in the most flavorful dressing! It makes a perfect side dish for a potluck or healthy summer snack!

Ingredients

  • 4 large ears of fresh corn, see notes
  • 1 ½ cups diced bell pepper, I use red and green
  • 1 pint tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup English cucumber, diced
  • ½ cup red onions, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh Cotija cheese, see notes for subs

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil, or extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup lime juice, can sub lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: salt, dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon EACH: cumin, garlic powder, chili powder

Instructions

  • Note: If preparing a day ahead, consider adding the dressing/cheese just before serving.

Prep Work:

  • Combine dressing ingredients in a container with a lid and shake to combine. Refrigerate while you cut/dice remaining ingredients for the salad. I like to place the veggies on paper towels to absorb excess moisture for extra fresh/crisp results.

Cook the Corn:

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once a boil is reached, salt the water generously. (I use 2 heaping Tbsp. kosher salt.) The salt flavors the corn and brings out its natural sweetness.
  • Add the corn and let it boil for 4 minutes. Set a timer to ensure you don’t overcook it.
  • Transfer the corn to a colander and rinse it with cold water until the cobs are fully cooled.

Make the Salad

  • Cut the kernels from the cob. (I place the cob flat-side-down and slide a sharp knife down the side.) Transfer to a large bowl along with remaining salad ingredients. Toss to combine.
  • Shake the dressing again and pour it over the salad. Toss until well combined.
  • Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 1 day.

Notes

Pro Tips
  • Corn: 4 large ears of fresh corn equals about 3 cups or 2 (15 oz.) cans.
  • Cheese: Soft Mexican cheeses like Cotija or Queso Fresco are perfect in this salad. Feta also makes a great choice and is a little saltier. Mozzarella and Parmesan may also be used.
  • Finding Mexican Cheese: Check the specialty cheese section (typically near the deli) for fresh Cotija. Feta should be there as well. I'm able to find Queso Fresco right at Walmart where the bagged shredded cheeses are. 
  • Optional additions include: Avocado, jalapenos, black beans, chickpeas, green onions, and bacon. 
  • If you make the dressing ahead of time: it may separate and partially solidify in the fridge overnight. Just let it sit out at room temp for 20 minutes or so and give it a good shake prior to serving!
  • My Cowboy Caviar recipe is similar to this but uses canned corn, avocado and black beans. Be sure to try my Chickpea Salad and Mango Salsa recipes as well! And if you have more fresh corn to use up, definitely try my Chicken Corn Chowder!

Storage
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

The nutritional information provided is an estimate and is per serving. There are 5 servings in this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 252kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 752mg, Potassium: 609mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 2519IU, Vitamin C: 81mg, Calcium: 137mg, Iron: 1mg
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16 comments on “Corn Salad”

  1. I made this corn salad and loved it. I then made it for my son and his wife that just gave birth to our baby grandson that will carry on the Niffenegger name and they loved it. I told my sister about it and she is a Cozy Cook follower. She made it and her family loved it too. I can’t wait to go to a cookout and bring this for a side. 

    • Hey Penny!! Congratulations on your new baby grandson!! I’m so happy that this corn salad was a hit, this is 100% one of my favorite summer recipes, I LOVE when it’s corn season so that I can go to town! 🙂 Thank you so much for telling your sister about it too, I’m glad she’s a follower as well! You made my day, thank you!! ❤️❤️❤️

  2. I make this all the time. I have a friend who eats almost the entire recipe amount! I’m currently making it again for company tomorrow night. I serve it on butter lettuce and use ramekins for different toppings. Smashed avocado, salsa, green onions, sliced limes, sour cream and corn chips so people can use it for a dip ( like a do-it-yourself). Sometimes I use “Good Seasonings” italian dressing. The flavor is excellent. It is great when made and after it sits overnight. I cannot recommend this recipe enough. It’s great with shredded lettuce and using this corn salad as the rest of the salad. Try it! You will not regret it!

    • HI Leslie!!! Thank you sooo much for taking the time to share what you think about the corn salad! This is a huge favorite of mine as well, and it deserves some extra credit that you gave it! I really appreciate that and I love the way that you serve it! DELISH! Thank you!! -Stephanie

  3. This salad is delicious, the dressing has a great flavor!  I will definitely make this salad again!

  4. This was so good! Made enchilada suiza w/ hatch green chili verde sauce and this to go along with it. It was definitely the star of dinner. There may be a brawl in the morning to see who gets the leftovers. Big thanks for another great recipe.

  5. New favorite! Love all your recipes! The flavor of the dressing is brilliant! I added Fresco Cheese!!!! O M G flavor boom!!!

    • Hi Carol!! I’m so happy that you love this recipe!! I know- I LOVE the dressing too, and I love that you added Fresco cheese- genius! Thank you so much for the review, you’re the best! -Stephanie

  6. I tried this recipe with some left-over corn on the cob from last night. We don’t usually have that much corn left over but this time we did and it worked out perfectly for this dish. My family is big on fresh Summer veggies when we BBQ a few times a week so I was so happy when I stumbled upon this recipe. I never tried Cotija cheese before but you were right–it was easy to find in the specialty cheese section of the store. It is a fabulous addition to this salad. The dressing is also incredible and we have no leftovers for my lunch today…BOO! I am planning to make this again in a few days for the 4th and honestly, we will probably be eating it all Summer. It is healthy, fresh, and delicious! Thank you so much!

    • I’m so happy this was such a hit Sophia! It’s the perfect side for your summer BBQ’s. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!💖

  7. Made this last night and it was absolutely delicious. I had never had Cotija cheese before. It was easy to find at my local grocery store and so good. Will definitely incorporate it into recipes more often. And the dressing was so YUM!! You never disappoint. Thank you!

    • I am so happy to hear that Barbara, and I’m glad that you were easily able to locate the cheese- SCORE!! I know, I just love the dressing here too. I use it for a few different summer salads, its the best. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, you’re the best! -Stephanie

  8. my family really dislikes cilantro, can you sub parsley or something else?

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