Look no further than this delicious Corn Salad recipe for the perfect summer side dish. Fresh corn, bacon, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, feta, and onion are tossed with a light, lemony, garlicky, herby sauce that just screams “summer.”
Is there anything better than fresh corn in the summer? When I see it start to show up at stores and farmers markets I get sooooo excited, thinking of all the ways to eat it. And I think this summer corn salad is my new favorite. So sweet, juicy, crunchy, tart, healthy, and filling — it’s everything you love about summer food all wrapped into one.
Here’s How You Make It
- Corn on the cob — Any medium to large-sized corn is great. Remove the husk first before grilling.
- Bacon — Cook the bacon first, use any kind of bacon you like, sometimes I even use turkey bacon.
- Cherry tomatoes — Any good cherry tomatoes (any color) will work here.
- Cucumber — Peel the skin if it’s thick or you prefer it that way. I like to use English cucumbers too because they have such thin skin and small seeds.
- Red onion — Any good-size red onion works well here.
- Feta or goat cheese — Whichever kind of cheese you prefer — both work great and are very tasty in this feta corn salad.
- Olive oil — I use extra virgin olive oil, as I’ve found it allows for a more smooth dressing flavor.
- Water — I just use straight-up tap water. Nothing fancy here.
- Lemon juice — Fresh lemon juice tastes best, but if you don’t have fresh, you can also use bottled.
- Garlic — Minced garlic from a jar is fine but you can also mince your own.
- Chopped fresh herbs — Use any herbs you have on hand. My favorites are basil, dill, and parsley, but you can mix and match however you like.
- Salt and cracked black pepper — Any kind of salt and pepper that you have is fine here. Use to taste.
Step By Step Instructions
- First, rub the corn with a little bit of olive oil, then place it on a grill to cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, turning it every 2-3 minutes, or until kernels begin to char. Allow the corn to cool slightly before using a sharp knife to slice the kernels off of the cobb into a bowl.
- In a large bowl, combine the cut corn, crumbled bacon, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and cheese.
- Next, combine all the dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse the dressing for 20-30 second intervals until smooth. (Alternately, you can combine in a jar and shake vigorously.)
- Finally, pour the dressing over the salad and toss it to combine, then serve.
Note: If making this tomato corn salad ahead of time, cover the veggies tightly and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it. Also, leave the dressing off until just before serving, pour on, and toss to combine.
Why This Recipe Works
So tasty — One bite of this roasted corn salad and you’ll be hooked. All the flavors come together perfectly!
So easy — The hardest part about this recipe is roasting the corn, and even that’s not very hard! It’s mostly a mater of cut, mix, shake dressing, pour, mix, dive in!
Picnic perfect — I love taking salads like this fresh corn salad to picnics, potlucks, backyard BBQs, you name it! If you are making this salad to take somewhere for later, simply get all the veggies together, then mix the dressing separately. Keep it all in the fridge till you’re ready to eat then mix the dressing in and serve. It’ll be nice and fresh and crispy.
Versatile — Don’t like cucumbers? Don’t add them to this feta corn salad. Prefer blocks of mozzarella or fresh Buffalo mozzarella balls in this salad? Add those. This salad would be great with kalamata olives, raw zucchini dices, bell peppers, and more.
What Is a Good Dressing for Corn Salad?
The great thing about this corn salad is you can use the dressing I have listed below, or you can make your own, or you can use a bottled dressing too for that matter.
I’ve found the best dressings involve a blend of the following: a good oil, like olive oil; an acid component like lemon juice or vinegar; garlic (because always); salt and pepper to taste; and an herb blend.
Often recipes will also call for a sweet component (like a touch of honey or maple syrup) or another tangy ingredient to add more depth of flavor (like a Dijon mustard or mustard powder).
I’ve found when you start with the base ingredients, it’s fun to add a bit of this and a touch of that and just keep tasting to see what you like till you’ve got the perfect corn salad dressing for you.
Can I Use Bottled Dressing?
By all means, if you want to add a bottled dressing go for it. It saves ingredients and time. If you’re using a bottled dressing in this roasted corn salad, I’d suggest using a Greek or Italian dressing or even a lemon vinaigrette.
What Are Good Toppings for Corn?
Interested in more ideas for what goes great on top of cooked corn? Try these ideas:
- A combination of mayonnaise, queso, and Tajin spice.
- Bacon and sour cream.
- Butter and chives.
- Bacon and basil.
- Sour cream and cheddar cheese.
- Sriracha and green onion
- Not sure what herbs to use? I always just use what I have on hand! For this corn salad, I used basil, dill, and parsley but cilantro, oregano, and thyme are great additions too.
- If you don’t have fresh herbs, substitute 2 teaspoons of a dried herb blend like an Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence (my favorite).
- Feel free to add or swap any favorite summertime vegetables in this salad. Zucchini and yellow squash are some of my favorite swaps!
- The dressing for this corn salad recipe is also great on just about any other salad too. I often keep it in my fridge to pour over a mixed greens salad.
- Not sure how to cook the corn? My favorite method is to grill the corn (as written) but you can easily broil the corn in the oven or even boil it if you like.
- To make this fresh corn salad ahead of time, simply toss all ingredients except for the dressing. Cover tightly and keep in the fridge until ready to serve – toss with the dressing just before serving.
- This roasted corn salad will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days (though it will start to get soggy after about 3). I wouldn’t recommend freezing this dish at all.
More Recipes You’ll Love
- Chicken Avocado Corn Salad
- Baked Parmesan Creamed Corn
- Mexican Street Corn Chicken Pasta Salad
- Grilled Corn with Chimichurri Butter
If you make this Steak with Mushrooms and Onions recipe, please come back and let me know what you think by leaving a comment and rating the recipe! And be sure to snap a photo and email it or tag me on social media, I love connecting with you and seeing your CDLC creations!
Corn Salad Recipe
- 6 ears corn on the cob - husks removed
- 4-6 slices of bacon - cooked til crisp, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes - halved or quartered
- ½ cucumber - peeled and chopped
- ¼ red onion - diced
- ⅔ cup crumbled feta cheese - or goat cheese
Corn Salad Dressing
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 4 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs - see note
- ½ teaspoon salt
- cracked black pepper - to taste
- Rub the corn with a little bit of olive oil, then grill over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, turning every 2-3 minutes, until kernels begin to char. Allow to cool slightly before using a sharp knife to slice the kernels off of the cobb.
- In a large bowl combine corn, crumbled bacon, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and cheese.
- In a food processor or blender, combine all dressing ingredients. Pulse for 20-30 seconds until smooth. (Alternately, you can combine in a jar and shake vigorously).
- Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine, then serve. If making ahead, cover tightly and keep in fridge until ready to serve – leave dressing off until just before serving.