This Chicken Avocado Corn Salad is the answer to your sick-of-ordinary-salads prayers. Chock full of tasty chicken, sweet corn, creamy avocado, lime, and chili powder, this is a great dish to share — though you might just want to keep it all for yourself!
If you love salads that are made with ingredients other than your typical greens, then you should also try my recipes for: Broccoli Salad (No Mayo), Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad, and my Quick and Creamy Cucumber Salad.
I know what you’re thinking — and it’s that this salad looks amazing! (Please tell me that’s what you were thinking, because that’s what you should be thinking, if not.) Well, believe me when I tell you that it is, and it’s all because of that sweet, sweet corn flavor, taste, and texture.
I, like you, get tired of the same old, same old veggie side dishes and green salads. Not that there isn’t a time and place for those, I assure you I eat plenty of green salads. But, sometimes it’s also fun to think outside of the romaine, you know what I’m saying?
So think outside the typical greens I did — all the way to yellows! Corn is one of my favorite vegetables, and even though it’s not in season right now, you can still find it (or use canned or frozen in a pinch, which I’ll get into in a bit) in most grocery stores.
A little sweet, a little savory, all filling and nutritious, this salad is great as a main meal for a few or a side for a bunch!
HOW DO YOU MAKE CHICKEN AVOCADO CORN SALAD?
The first thing I do is to get the corn ready for cooking. I shuck it, if it’s not already shucked (or husked, depending on which part of the country you’re in) and brush it with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I put it on the grill (but you can also use a grill pan) over high heat for about 6-8 minutes or until the kernels start to brown. Be sure you keep turning the corn around in the pan/on the grill to cook all sides.
Take if off the grill/grill pan and let it cool until you can handle it, then use a sharp knife to cut the corn off the cob.
Next, add the corn to a bowl with the shredded chicken, avocado, cilantro, and onions (though those are optional).
In another bowl or in a mason jar, whisk together or shake up the dressing ingredients: lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and chili powder (again, optional). Pour the dressing over the corn and chicken mixture and mix up until everything is good and coated. Serve it right away or cover and put it in the fridge for up to 8 hours before serving.
If you, like me, prefer to serve your corn salads slightly room temperature and not super cold, then take it out of the fridge to take the chill off about 30 minutes before you want to serve it.
CAN I USE FROZEN CORN INSTEAD OF FRESH?
If you can’t find whole corn kernels then you can use frozen, no problem. There are several ways to “treat” your frozen corn for preparation in this salad.
- Do nothing. That’s not exactly a treatment but I wanted to include this option in this list. That’s right, pour the frozen (or thawed) kernels in with the chicken and avocado and mix right in. The frozen kernels will thaw in a jiffy.
- Roast the corn. Much like you would with the whole corn cobs, spread the thawed kernels out on a baking sheet, sprinkle with olive oil and salt and pepper, and roast in the oven for about 5-10 minutes, or pop under the broiler for a minute or two if you like those charred pieces.
- Toast it. If you want the corn warmed up but not browned, you can simply heat up the thawed kernels in the oven for about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
CAN I USE CANNED CORN INSTEAD OF FRESH?
The short answer is yes, you CAN use canned corn (ha ha, that was an unintentional pun I made there) but I personally wouldn’t recommend it in this dish.
Why? Well, first of all canned corn is more processed and therefore not as nutritious. Some canned corn also contains salt as an additive (so be sure to check the label for salt-free or low-salt) which can make your dish saltier than you’d like. Also, canned corn will need to be rinsed regardless of salt content or it will taste kinda like the can.
Canned corn is also not nearly as crisp or tasty as fresh or frozen. You can warm it up in the oven, but it won’t have that same plump texture and bite as fresh or frozen. Use it only if you have no alternative, but I’d choose frozen over canned any day.
Chicken Avocado Corn Salad
- 4 ears of corn, husked
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups shredded or cubed cooked chicken rotisserie chicken works great!
- 2-3 medium-large avocados, diced
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/3 cup diced red onion, optional
- 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice t
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder optional
- Brush corn with olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper to taste. Grill over high heat for 6-8 minutes, turning throughout, until kernels begin to char a bit. Use a sharp knife to cut corn off the cob.
- In a medium bowl combine corn, chicken, avocado, cilantro, and onions (if using).
- Whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour over salad and toss to combine.
- Serve immediately, or cover tightly and store chilled up to 8 hours. (If serving after chilling, take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving - it tastes best closer to room temperature)