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This fresh and easy Summer Corn Salad recipe is a rainbow of vegetables together with a sweet honey vinaigrette dressing. This perfect side dish is a delicious addition to your next family dinner, potluck, or cookout with friends!
Table of Contents
- A Rainbow of Fresh Vegetables in Summer Corn Salad
- Ingredients for a Fresh Corn Salad Recipe
- How to Make Summer Corn Salad
- What to Serve with Summer Corn Salad
- Make Ahead and Storage Tips for Summer Corn Salad
- Cook’s Tips and Variations for Your Own Easy Corn Salad Recipe
- More Recipes with Seasonal Vegetables
- Summer Corn Salad Recipe
As the name of my blog suggests, I love to take inspiration from the changing of the seasons and create fast, easy seasonal recipes that my whole family loves. In my mind, nothing is better in the summer months than a fresh corn salad!
Since just about every child will happily consume a plate full of sweet summer corn, I figured that this delicious salad would be a popular side dish with the little ones. I was right, and it also turned out to be a great way to get the boys to eat a lot of other fresh veggies at the same time!
A Rainbow of Fresh Vegetables in Summer Corn Salad
We spent quite a few minutes talking about the salad ingredients creating a rainbow of colors – trying to identify each different veggie that was sprinkled throughout the salad. By combining some “less familiar” fresh vegetables like zucchini and celery with the fresh sweet corn, tomatoes, and peppers in a vibrant, colorful salad, the kids cleaned their plates without even a sideways glance. It’s a quick and easy way to make healthy eating fun while taking the pressure off Mom at mealtime.
Ingredients for a Fresh Corn Salad Recipe
Fresh ingredients are absolutely best for this sweet corn salad recipe. During the summer months, you can get the freshest ingredients from your grocery store or local farmers market. Here is an overview of the ingredients for this simple salad. As always, a complete list of ingredients and directions can be found in the printable recipe card at the end of the post.
- Corn Kernels: the flavor of fresh sweet corn kernels can’t be beat, but if you can’t find fresh ears of corn, thawed frozen corn is just fine.
- Grape Tomatoes: plump and juicy tomatoes add so much flavor to this summer salad.
- Zucchini & Celery: these mild green vegetables add texture to the salad and are readily available any time of year.
- Sweet Bell Pepper: adds crunch and sweetness; you can use any color bell pepper you prefer.
- Red Onion: sharp and sweet, red onions add a pop of vibrant purple color and a nice kick of flavor.
- Vinegar: the base of the salad dressing. I use white vinegar or rice vinegar, but apple cider vinegar also works in this recipe.
- Honey: the sweet element of the vinaigrette dressing that balances out the acidity from the vinegar.
- Salt: to enhance the flavor profile of the whole dish.
Can you eat raw corn in a salad? Is it safe?
Yes, it is absolutely safe – and okay – to eat raw corn in a salad! If the kernels and fresh, juicy, and sweet, go ahead and cut them from the corn cobs and enjoy. If you’re using frozen corn, allow the corn to thaw first, then dry it off with some paper towels to remove excess moisture.
Do I have to cook the corn before adding it to corn salad?
You don’t have to cook the corn or any of the vegetables before using them to make Summer corn salad. However, roasted corn would also taste delicious in this recipe! If you have leftover grilled corn on the cob, you could use that instead of raw corn, and it won’t change a thing.
What other fresh vegetables can I add to Summer corn salad?
The possibilities are endless! If you have a garden, you can add just about anything from your home garden to this recipe. We based our salad ingredients on rainbow colors, but here are some other delicious ingredients you could include:
- English cucumber is light and fresh. These crisp cucumbers will also add a nice crunch to the salad.
- Yellow, green, or red bell pepper – or all three!
- Cherry tomatoes are sweeter and juicier than grape tomatoes and would be delicious if you want more sweetness in this summer salad.
- Creamy avocado is a light and neutral ingredient that adds a different texture to the salad.
How to Make Summer Corn Salad
This recipe could not be easier—the most effort comes from dicing and prepping the fresh vegetables! From start to finish, it takes about 15 minutes before this easy side dish is ready.
- Mix the dressing ingredients together in a jar and shake until combined.
- Toss the fresh vegetables together in a large bowl.
- Dress with the simple honey vinaigrette dressing and toss to coat.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve, or serve immediately.
What to Serve with Summer Corn Salad
This delicious and fresh recipe is the perfect side dish for summer picnics, potlucks, and backyard parties. It’s best served with other delicious summer dishes; here are some great options!
- Fried Chicken, Homemade Chicken Nuggets or Fried Chicken Tenders
- Sloppy Joes
- 20-Minute Bratwurst Sandwiches
- BBQ Chicken Wrap
- Fried Chicken Sandwich
- BLT Sandwich with Basil Mayo
- Honey Lime Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos
- Lemon Garlic Chicken
- Grilled BBQ Chicken Breast, Garlic & Herb Grilled Chicken, or Grilled Chicken Shawarma
Make Ahead and Storage Tips for Summer Corn Salad
This is the perfect Summer side dish to make ahead of time! Even though it takes mere minutes of prep, if you need or want to make it early, it will store perfectly well in the fridge until it’s time to serve. Make this easy corn salad recipe a day ahead of time, and combine it with the vinaigrette dressing when it’s ready to serve.
- To Store Leftovers: store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. This salad is best enjoyed within a few days of making, so for the best flavor, don’t let it sit for too long.
- Can I freeze corn salad? I would not recommend freezing leftovers, as the texture of some of the vegetables might change once frozen. Because this salad is so easy to prep and make, it’s best enjoyed fresh.
Cook’s Tips and Variations for Your Own Easy Corn Salad Recipe
You can vary the ingredients in this dish to suit your family’s tastes or to accommodate the vegetables that you have on hand. Here are a few ideas:
- Mexican Corn Salad: make a Mexican-inspired version of this corn salad by adding black beans, cotija cheese, and lime juice with a soul cream dressing.
- Switch out the honey vinaigrette ingredients for different flavors; you can make a delicious lemon vinaigrette, use your favorite Italian dressing, or a Dijon mustard vinaigrette.
- If you don’t want to make your own dressing, toss the vegetables with your favorite store-bought salad dressing—a light vinaigrette is perfect for a vegetable salad.
- Add cheese! Crumbled feta cheese would pair perfectly with the mild vegetables, as would parmesan cheese.
- Add more flavor with fresh herbs and seasoning. Parsley, cilantro, or fresh basil would complement the fresh vegetables. Of course, salt and black pepper enhance the flavors of any vegetable salad, so season to taste.
- Don’t want to deal with fresh corn on the cob? Use thawed, frozen, or even canned corn! You will want to drain and rinse canned corn before adding it to the salad.
- Add a bit of protein and make it a heartier entree salad by stirring in a can of drained, rinsed black beans or some diced, cooked chicken.
Summer Corn Salad
For the Salad:
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar. Cover with lid and shake until completely combined. Set aside.2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons honey, 3 tablespoons vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt
- Place all of the vegetables in a large bowl. Pour dressing over top and gently toss to coat.2 cups corn kernels, 1 cup halved grape tomatoes, 1 cup diced zucchini, ½ cup diced celery, ½ cup diced sweet bell pepper, ¼ cup diced red onion
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.