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Smoky, savory and creamy: this grilled corn salad is out of this world! A spin using the flavors Mexican street corn, it’s a salad that makes everyone rave.

Grilled corn salad
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Sure, you can make corn salad…but why not make grilled corn salad? This spin on the traditional summer salad will absolutely blow your mind. The smoky flavor in each bite makes it impossible not to take another bite! The flavors here are reminiscent of Mexican street corn: a creamy sauce flavored with mayo, lime, chili powder and cumin. Mix in a few colorful veggies and a bit of feta cheese if you’d like, and you’ve got a sweet savory salad that’s bursting with summer flavor.

Don’t want to grill? Try Classic Corn Salad.

Ingredients for grilled corn salad

This grilled corn salad is bursting with flavor from a small collection of ingredients. While the flavors are based on Mexican street corn, it’s not overwhelmingly Mexican in its vibe. It’s just drop-dead delicious.

  • Fresh corn ears: make sure it’s fresh and in season! Frozen corn doesn’t work, since you’ll be grilling the corn.
  • Red onion
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Sour cream or Mexican crema
  • Mayonnaise or vegan mayo
  • Chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin
How to grill corn

How to grill corn: and a few tips!

The only “hard” part of this grilled corn salad, if there is one, is grilling the corn. Keep in mind it takes about 30 minutes total, including preheat time. You can use the preheat time to mix up the dressing and prep the other vegetables. Here are the secrets behind our perfect grilled corn method: it’s very easy once you know the basic grill temperature and timing.

  • Preheat to medium high heat: that’s 375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Shuck the corn and place it directly on the grates. You don’t need the husk: just set it right on the grill!
  • Grill 12 to 15 minutes total, turning so that it gets evenly blackened on all sides.

Got a smoker? You can also make Smoked Corn on the Cob for this recipe.

Grilled corn salad

Prep tips: make day of, or grill corn in advance

Because this grilled corn salad takes a bit of time to grill the corn, it’s easiest to make it when you already have the grill fired up to make other grilled vegetables or mains. The only trick is getting the timing to work so that it finishes in time with the other food. Here are some prep tips for whether you make it day of or in advance:

  • Day of: Chop the veggies and make the dressing in advance. Grill the corn, then immediately when the grilling is done, cut the corn off the cob and mix it with the veggies and dressing.
  • Next day: Throw on some corn at the end of making a grilled meal. Cut it off the cob and save it for the next day when you can make up the salad.
Grilled corn salad

What else to serve with grilled corn salad

Grilled corn salad is the perfect recipe for picnics, barbecues, patio parties, cookouts, and happy hours. Here are a few examples of ways to serve it for each:

Grilled corn salad

More corn recipes

Corn makes the best summer recipes! Here are a few more ways to cook corn and corn recipes to try:

Grilled corn salad
Make it vegan and leave off the feta!

This recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, use vegan mayo or cashew cream in place of the mayo and sour cream, and omit the optional feta cheese.

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Grilled corn salad

*Best* Grilled Corn Salad

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
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Smoky, savory and creamy: this grilled corn salad is out of this world! A spin using the flavors Mexican street corn, it’s a salad that makes everyone rave.


  • 6 ears corn (about 5 cups kernels)
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (or vegan mayo)
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream (more mayo or cashew cream for vegan)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon each chili powder, garlic powder, cumin
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Feta cheese or Cotija cheese crumbles (optional)


  1. Grill the corn: Heat a grill to medium high heat (375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit). Shuck the corn. Use your hands to rub oil on each corn cob evenly. Place the corn directly on the grill grates and cook until it begins to blacken, then turn. Cook about 12 to 15 minutes total, until blackened on all sides. (Alternative method: Use a smoker to make Smoked Corn.)
  2. Cut the corn off the cob: Find a bundt pan, or large rimmed baking sheet or pan. Place the corn into the hole in the bundt pan or hold the corn vertically inside the baking sheet, then use a chef’s knife to slice down and remove the corn from the cob (the sides of the pan catch the kernels that fly when cutting; more details here.)
  3. Prep the vegetables: Mince the onion. Dice the cherry tomatoes. Finely chop the cilantro.
  4. Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, mix together the sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and kosher salt.
  5. Serve: Mix together the grilled corn, vegetables, and dressing. If desired, top with feta cheese crumbles (though they’re not needed for flavor!).
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Mexican American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Joe says:

    Is this served hot cold or either?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      We usually serve room temp, but it’s good either way!