Fresh corn is one of those summer vegetables that we wait for all year long and, once it arrives, it makes an appearance on plenty of family tables at least a couple of nights a week. (Right?) If you’re anything like me, you mostly serve simple, buttery cobs and with good reason. But the sweet farmer’s market staple is also delicious tossed with a few simple ingredients, which is why I’ve put together these fantastically fast and easy corn salad recipes.
Get your kids shuckin’ and you’ll be done even sooner. Yum.
Related: How to boil corn on the cob perfectly.
If you’ve ever had—or wanted to have—Mexican-style street corn but thought that it was too fussy to make at home, this Mexican Corn Salad from Bon Appetit (above) is the answer. The simple dressing can be made ahead up to 2 days and the corn grilled ahead up to 1 hour. Then throw everything in a big bowl with cojita cheese that adds a salty decadence while keeping it light, then serve. If your market doesn’t carry cotija, feta is a great substitute.
This Grilled Romaine Salad with Corn and Avocado from the Floating Kitchen is downright irresistible. Not only is the corn grilled, but romaine heads are quickly charred as well. The lettuce halves make a perfect base for the corn and avocado, which are complemented by a light miso dressing. I look for smaller lettuce heads and take off the outer layers (or just use romaine hearts) when making this stunning side. Throw a skirt steak on the grill and dinner’s done.
It truly doesn’t take much to make those sweet little kernels sing as a delicious side. At The Tart Tart, Quinoa with Corn, Mint, and Scallion are tossed with a lemony butter that enhances corn’s natural sweetness. Mint and scallion make for a fresh and flavorful salad that comes together in minutes. This salad travels well, too, so it’s a good one to keep in mind when attending a potluck.
For a slightly spiced up side dish, try the Grilled Corn Salad with Avocado and Lime Yogurt Dressing at Healthy Aperture. A hint of cumin, chili pepper, and turmeric give this salad a kick, which works beautifully with the cooling, creamy yogurt dressing. Use leftover corn to whip up this fast combo, which also makes a delicious topping for tacos. Or make it for dinner and set some aside for easy breakfast tacos in the morning. Yum!
Corn can be a shining star, but it can also play a supporting role in a heartier salad such as this Grilled Shrimp Salad with Black Bean and Corn at Yahoo Food. This recipe comes from Caribbean Potluck, a wonderful cookbook written by two Jamaican sisters I met a few years back in their home country. They are creative with ingredients and always hit the perfect balance of flavors. While this recipe calls for canned corn, this time of year I would most definitely replace it with fresh kernels straight off the cob.
Once again, Ree Drummond nails it with a Grilled Chicken Salad with Feta, Fresh Corn, and Blueberries from The Pioneer Woman. I adore that unexpected ingredient combo. You could even replace them with strawberries if that’s what you have on hand, and rosemary could be used instead of the dill. Make this salad ahead and you’ve got a satisfying salad supper for any night that’s too hot for turning on the stove.
Whether I’d like to admit it or not, everything is better with bacon is a much repeated motto in our family. So I would be remiss if I didn’t include at least one corn salad with bacon. I mean really, bacon, corn, and avocado is one of the most comforting combinations. I do try to buy quality cured meats: My kids especially like Neuske’s applewood smoked bacon, which comes from my birth state of Wisconsin. Recipe Girl features a recipe for a Bacon, Corn and Avocado Salad from Gaby Dalkin’s Absolutely Avocados cookbook that I swear by.
Who needs mac and cheese when you’ve got avocado and bacon?