Avocado Corn Salad
on Aug 10, 2023
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This avocado corn salad is a wonderful choice for a cookout or potluck side dish. It’s just the way to celebrate corn season besides only eating corn on the cob. When you grill ears of corn and then slice off the kernels, you can combine them with avocados, tomatoes and honey lime dressing to make this simple salad. I also make space on the grill for a poblano pepper that adds more smoky flavor.
If you’re looking for another salad with more summer vegetable staples, try this Zucchini Corn Salad.
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love This Salad
The salad has a tasty combination of smoky and savory flavors with a hint sweetness. It also has the right mix of fresh crisp bites of grilled corn with creamy diced avocados and juicy tomatoes.
You can grill the corn and poblano pepper and make the dressing all in advance. This is very helpful for meal planning. If I already have the grill fired up for one recipe, I will go ahead and grill the ingredients for another one especially they are going to end up in a salad that’s doesn’t need to be served warm.
It’s a side dish and salad in one recipe. More than any other season, with grilled and summer ingredients you don’t need lettuce for an awesome salad. When you skip leafy greens, it blurs the difference between salad and side dish. Use that to your advantage and serve this avocado corn salad either way depending on what else you’re having with it.
This is what you need:
- Corn: When you’re selecting fresh corn, look for ears that have husks that are tightly wrapped, which keeps the moisture in and prevents the corn kernels from drying out. The silk at the end should feel damp. Whenever I grill corn I peel off the husks because I like it to make direct contact with the hot grates.
- Poblano peppers are mild to medium when it comes to spiciness and not as hot as jalapeños. They are smoky and grilling brings that out even more.
- Avocados add their signature creaminess, which is different than the other ingredients that are crisp. Overall, they are mild in flavor, but they add richness.
- Tomatoes: You can use either grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes and just slice them in half. What I like about small tomatoes is that they don’t fall apart when you toss them in a salad.
- Red onions give the salad a nice sharpness.
- Cilantro makes sense for fresh herbs with lime juice, corn, avocados, cilantro and poblano peppers.
- Cheese: You can use either feta cheese or cotija cheese. They both have salty, milky flavor and a drier texture that makes them easy to crumble.
- Olive oil, salt and pepper: You will need these for grilling the corn and in the dressing.
- Honey lime dressing has a very subtle sweetness that gives a nice contrast to the overall smoky grilled taste. It has fresh lime juice, honey, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. You can substitute with maple syrup to make it vegan.
This salad recipe is fantastic as written, but you can add:
- Bell peppers: Stir in a diced orange, yellow or red bell pepper.
- Black beans: Drain and rinse a can of black beans to make the salad more filling and add protein.
- Tortilla chips: Crumble the chips in your hands and sprinkle them on top for a crunchy finish.
- Romaine: Combine the salad with chopped romaine to transform it into a southwest salad.
How To Make This Avocado Corn Salad Recipe
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill on high heat
1. Grill the corn. First rub it with olive oil and season it with salt and pepper. Grill it until it is lightly charred all over, about 5-7 minutes. Grill the poblano pepper. You can grill it with the corn. It will take 2-3 minutes per side for it to get charred and blistered. Then put it in a bowl and cover it.
2. Slice the kernels off the ears of corn. Use a sharp knife to do this.
3. Rub the skin off the pepper, discard the stem and seeds and chop it.
4. Combine the salad ingredients in a big bowl that includes the grilled corn, poblano peppers, avocados, tomatoes, onions, cilantro and feta.
5. Make the dressing. Whisk the garlic, honey, salt, pepper, fresh lime juice and olive oil in a small bowl.
6. Drizzle the dressing into the salad, stirring it to combine everything.
If you have the grill heated for a protein such as chicken or salmon, you can serve this salad as a side dish. For a vegetarian main dish, pair it with these Barbecue Tofu Veggie Skewers.
Make-Ahead Tips, Leftovers & Storage
You can grill the corn and pepper up to 2 days in advance. After you finishing grilling them, slice the corn off the cobs and peel and chop the poblano pepper. Then you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Also, you can whisk together the dressing 2 days ahead of time and keep it in a mason jar in the fridge. Just let it sit out at room temperature for 15 minutes before pouring it into the salad.
You can store leftover salad in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days. The avocados may brown the longer you keep them. The lime juice in the dressing will prevent some of that browning from happening.
Use ripe tomatoes and avocados. Besides corn, these are the main ingredients, so it’s important that they are ripe, so they have the best flavor.
Get to know the hot spots on your grill. Don’t hesitate to move around the vegetables you are grilling if they start to get grill marks too quickly. My grill has an area that’s hotter than the rest of it, so I use that space when I need it and move to the the cooler spots too.
Use a sheet pan to transport the corn and pepper from your kitchen to your grill. A pan is handy for more than roasting and baking in the oven. I always use one to carry things to the grill and stay organized.
Yes. You can roast the corn and pepper in a 400-degree F oven. Slice the corn off the cobs. Then toss those kernels with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and spread them across 2 sheet pans. Put the pepper on a piece of foil directly on one of the oven racks. Roast the corn and poblano pepper for 25-30 minutes flipping the pepper halfway through roasting. The corn should be lightly browned and crisp.
If you don’t like cilantro, you can add more onion flavor instead. Thinly slice 3 scallions and stir them into the salad.
More Corn Recipes
Roasted Corn Salad
Southwest Pasta Salad
Mexican Chopped Salad
Roasted Poblano Corn Chowder
Blueberry Corn Salad
Grilled Corn Couscous
Grilled Zucchini, Squash & Corn
Grilled Peach Corn Salad
Avocado Corn Salad
For corn and poblano pepper
- 5 ears corn
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 poblano pepper
- 2 avocados diced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes halved
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onions
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta or cotija cheese
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Juice of 2 limes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat a gas or charcoal grill on high heat.
- Rub the corn with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grilled the corn until it is charred on all sides, about 5-7 minutes.
- While the corn is grilling, grill the poblano pepper until it is charred and blistered, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer it to a bowl and cover.
- When the corn is cool enough to handle, slice the kernels off the cobs.
- Use a towel to rub off the skin of the pepper. Discard the seeds and stems and roughly chop the pepper.
- Combine the poblano peppers, corn, avocados, tomatoes, onions, cilantro and feta in a large bowl.
- For the dressing, whisk together the garlic, honey, salt, pepper, lime juice and olive oil in a small bowl.
- Drizzle the dressing into the salad, tossing to combine.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.