Easy Corn Salad Recipe (Perfect Cookout Side Dish)

This Easy Corn Salad recipe with tomatoes, feta, and basil is the perfect make-ahead dish for a party. Using frozen, canned, or fresh summer corn makes this recipe versatile and ready to serve all year long. A delicious blend of flavors, textures, and colors makes this salad a must-add to your list of summer side dish recipes.

easy corn salad side dish for a bbq

Easy Corn Salad

There may be no better time for a backyard bbq than the summer. And whether you make this corn salad for a family side dish or pot luck cookout, it’s going to add so much freshness and flavor to the meal.

This summer salad if full of ingredients that you may have growing in your garden right now. The dressing is light with an olive oil base so you don’t have to worry too much about serving it in the heat. I served it for our alfresco dinner party along with burgers and it was a delicious meal.

This dish is highlighted by the process of caramelizing the corn. That gives a light crust to the kernels and brings out the natural sweetness. The addition of cool tomatoes and crunchy cucumbers makes this a symphony of flavor and texture.

Add this recipe to your dinner party menu ideas, a ladies luncheon, or to summer entertaining ideas

corn salad close up

Double this recipe for a crowd

You can easily double the recipe for a crowd. It’s a good make-ahead side dish for a cookout party because it keeps well in the fridge overnight.

What to Serve with Corn Salad

This versatile dish compliments almost any entree. Especially grilled meats.

corn on the cob close up

How to make corn salad

Although corn is the star ingredient of this salad, all the flavors combine so nicely together it really is a perfect balance.

The crunch of the cucumber, the sweetness of the caramelized corn, the acidity of the tomato, all topped with salty feta, fresh basil and a lovely citrus dressing with just a hint of heat!

  1. Prepare the dressing by combining oil with lime juice, salt, and hot sauce. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, add oil and heat. Add corn and cook until the corn begins to caramelize, stirring often. Transfer to a salad bowl and let cool.
  3. Add tomatoes, cucumber, and onion to the corn and drizzle dressing over salad ingredients and toss to combine.
  4. Cover and chill so flavors can combine.
  5. Top with feta and chopped basil when ready to serve.

COOK’S TIP: Use pickled onions in the salad to take the bite out of raw onion. Make them several days ahead if you want to save time when making the easy corn salad.

Do I need to caramelize the corn first?

One thing I love about this salad is that caramelizing the corn brings out the sweetness. However, if you’re wondering what to bring to a cookout last minute, you can make this salad with canned corn without caramelizing it.

corn salad plated with hot dogs

Can I substitute the type of cheese?

Feta brings a nice salty bite to the salad but there are a couple of other cheeses you can swap it for if you like.

  1. A crumble of goat cheese would work well here.
  2. Try freshly shredded Parmesan to add a mild salty-nutty flavor.
  3. Small balls of bocconcini would be a nice compliment to the basil and tomatoes.
  4. Or even small cubes of sharp cheddar.
  5. And if you are looking for a dairy-free version, just omit the cheese completely!

side dish salad for a cookout

Side Dishes for a Cookout or BBQ

Salad side dishes are one of the best options for food for a cookout party. Try any of these great tried and true recipes.

This side dish salad recipe brings out the best in fresh ingredients. It’s quick to make and goes with everything! Best of all, it’s so easy to make and you can whip up in no time

COOK’S TIP: Use basil-infused olive oil (affiliate link) to add even more fresh herb taste. It gives it a tremendous pop of flavor!

I think it’s worth the purchase of basil olive oil because you can use it later for pasta, for other side salads, or to dip bread into. But you can also make basil oil on your own if you like.

easy corn salad recipe

Easy Corn Salad recipe

Yield: about 6

This summer corn salad is bursting with flavor! The sweetness from the corn combines with salty feta cheese, fresh basil, and crunchy cucumbers. This is a side dish all your guests will love.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup finely chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Dressing:

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil {try this recipe with basil-infused olive oil for a fantastic burst of flavor}
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (Tobasco)

Instructions

  1. Prepare dressing by combining 4 teaspoons oil with lime juice, salt, and pepper sauce. Set aside. 
  2. In a large skillet, add 1 teaspoon oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add corn and cook until the corn begins to caramelize, stirring often.
  3. Transfer to a salad bowl and let cool.
  4. Add tomatoes, cucumber, and onion to the corn.
  5. Drizzle dressing over salad ingredients and toss to coat.
  6. Cover and chill for about 2 hours so flavors can combine.
  7. Top with feta and chopped basil when ready to serve.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts

4 Comments

  1. Savannah, I’ve updated and linked it in the post. It’s so good.

    If you want to make your own, you can do a Google search for directions. 🙂

  2. Yummy! Fabulous salad! What is this basil-infused olive oil? How is it made? Can i make it at home?

Comments are closed.