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A light, fresh, and easy Summer Corn Salad is the perfect way to enjoy the season’s produce! Corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, smoky bacon and fresh herbs come together with a creamy mayonnaise and sour cream dressing. Serve the flavorful side dish with grilled BBQ chicken, hamburgers, fried chicken, pulled pork barbecue, fried shrimp, grilled steaks or crab cakes. It’s a potluck picnic favorite!

Overhead image of corn tomato salad in a blue bowl with bacon on top

Corn Salad with Mayo

This corn salad with mayo is the perfect summer side dish! While we love a Black Bean and Corn Salad alongside Mexican food, this versatile creamy salad is a refreshing companion for almost any of our favorite warm-weather meals. The sweet flavors of fresh summer produce like corn, tomatoes and bell peppers are highlighted by herbs such as basil and dill, smoky, salty bacon, and a smooth and tangy mayonnaise base. It’s quick, simple, summertime perfection!

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a cold corn salad. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Sour cream, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and ground mustard: for the creamy, tangy dressing.
  • Corn: fresh is best! When it’s available in the summer, definitely use fresh corn cut off the cob. In a pinch, frozen corn kernels will also work.
  • Tomatoes: we like sweet, halved cherry tomatoes, but any variety of diced tomatoes is fine.
  • Green bell pepper: or another sweet bell pepper in any color.
  • Red onion: adds a zesty flavor and a beautiful purple hue.
  • Bacon: thick-cut bacon is my preference, cooked until it’s nice and crispy.
  • Basil and dill: fresh herbs add bright flavor and complement the fresh vegetables. You can substitute with a smaller amount of dried herbs, when necessary.
  • Kosher salt and black pepper: enhance the other flavors in the dish.

How to Make American Corn Salad

This easy corn salad recipe comes together in just minutes! Make it ahead for a convenient side dish at your next cookout, potluck picnic, or family dinner.

  1. Steam or boil the corn until it’s crisp-tender, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Whisk together the dressing.
  3. Toss together the corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, bacon, basil and dill.
  4. Stir in the dressing, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Mayo and sour cream dressing in a glass measuring cup with whisk
Process shot showing how to make summer corn salad
Square shot of a serving spoon in a bowl of easy corn salad recipe

What to Serve with Creamy Corn Salad

Similar to homemade coleslaw, cucumber salad or creamy potato salad, this fresh corn salad is a refreshing side dish that goes well with almost any of your favorite summer or meat-based entrees. Here are a few delicious options:

Close overhead shot of a bowl of summer corn salad with mayo

Make Ahead

The salad can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve. If making the salad the day before, it’s best to wait to stir in the basil, dill and bacon at the last minute.

Storage

Leftover summer corn salad will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. It tends to get watery and soft as it sits, so it’s best when enjoyed within 1-2 days of preparation. Do not freeze corn salad, since the vegetables will be mushy and soggy when thawed.

Recipe Variations

  • While fresh is my preference, you can substitute with frozen corn. I find that thawed, frozen corn is softer than fresh corn, so you might not need to cook it as long. In fact, you might prefer to just use the thawed frozen corn without cooking it at all.
  • Add diced avocado to the salad.
  • Stir in some crumbled feta cheese for a salty, tangy, creamy addition to the salad.
  • Fresh herbs are always best, but you can substitute with dried herbs in a pinch. You’ll need about 1 teaspoon of dried basil and ¼ teaspoon of dried dill.
  • Feel free to use different herbs as well! Chives, thyme and parsley would all be great!
  • If you’re using regular bacon instead of thick-cut bacon, increase the amount to 3 slices.
Overhead shot of fresh corn salad in a blue bowl with a side of bread

Tips for the Best Corn Salad Recipe

  • Make this fresh corn salad recipe during the summer months when you have access to the best, most flavorful produce.
  • Cook the corn just until it’s crisp-tender. I find that 3 ½ minutes is my preference in the microwave, but your corn may need anywhere from 3-5 minutes. It’s a matter of personal taste, but you don’t want to overcook the corn or it will be soft and mushy. Some firm texture and a little bit of sweet crunch is ideal!
  • If making the salad in advance, wait to stir in the basil, dill and bacon until just before serving. This way the bacon doesn’t get soggy and the herbs stay bright green.
Bowl of creamy corn salad on a wooden table with herbs on the side

More Fresh Corn Recipes to Try this Season

Overhead image of corn tomato salad in a blue bowl with bacon on top

Summer Corn Salad

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 4 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 19 minutes
Servings 6 cups
Calories 201 kcal
A light, fresh, and easy summer corn salad is the perfect way to enjoy the season's produce!

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground dry mustard
  • 4 cups corn, fresh or frozen (about 6 medium ears)
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • ½ cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Steam or boil the corn until crisp-tender (about 3-5 minutes). Drain and cool to room temperature.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar and dry mustard until combined.
  • In a large bowl, toss together corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, bacon, basil and dill. Stir in the dressing and toss to coat. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

  • While fresh is my preference, you can substitute with frozen corn. I find that thawed, frozen corn is softer than fresh corn, so you might not need to cook it as long. In fact, you might prefer to just use the thawed frozen corn without cooking it at all.
  • Add diced avocado to the salad.
  • Stir in some crumbled feta cheese for a salty, tangy, creamy addition to the salad.
  • Fresh herbs are always best, but you can substitute with dried herbs in a pinch. You’ll need about 1 teaspoon of dried basil and ¼ teaspoon of dried dill.
  • Feel free to use different herbs as well! Chives, thyme and parsley would all be great!
  • If you’re using regular bacon instead of thick-cut bacon, increase the amount to 3 slices.
  • Make this fresh corn salad recipe during the summer months when you have access to the best, most flavorful produce.
  • Cook the corn just until it’s crisp-tender. I find that 3 ½ minutes is my preference in the microwave, but your corn may need anywhere from 3-5 minutes. It’s a matter of personal taste, but you don’t want to overcook the corn or it will be soft and mushy. Some firm texture and a little bit of sweet crunch is ideal!
  • If making the salad in advance, wait to stir in the basil, dill and bacon until just before serving. This way the bacon doesn’t get soggy and the herbs stay bright green.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 201kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 5gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 324mgPotassium: 301mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 311IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: corn salad, corn salad with mayo, creamy corn salad, fresh corn salad, summer corn salad
Course: Salad, Side, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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