Fiesta Avocado Corn Salad with fresh herbs, jalapeño, toasted pumpkin seeds, and creamy dressing. A slam-dunk summer side dish, this 30 minute avocado and corn salad will be the star of any cookout or potluck.
Why You'll Love this Avocado Corn Salad
Today, we’re serving up a flavor fiesta of a salad that’s guaranteed to be a hit at all of your summer gatherings. This palate-pleasing salad is made with simple, fresh ingredients, and comes together in just 30 minutes.
It's also easy to make ahead, tastes fab at room temperature, and can be scaled to any quantity, making it perfect for a cookout. Serve this goes-with-anything salad with any grilled protein, such as chicken, burgers, shrimp, or tofu. Alternatively, use it a chunky dip, or spoon it over tacos.
With its bright flavors and tempting display of textures, you’ll want to eat it every which way. And thanks to its nutritious ingredient lineup, you can feel great about enjoying it on repeat.
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions:
- Corn: Sweet corn is one of summer's greatest pleasures. I use using fresh ears of corn, however you can also use canned or frozen in a pinch. The key is only charring half of the corn so there is a mix of textures in the salad.
- Avocado: Because of its cool, creamy texture, avocado is the perfect complement to sweet corn. Plus, it's a highly nutritious fruit, offering potassium, fiber, and healthy fats to make the salad more satisfying.
- Jalapeño: As long as you remove the seeds and ribs from jalapeño, the heat is quite mild. In this salad, it adds just enough kick to balance the sweetness of the corn.
- Shallots: The zesty bite of sliced shallots also helps add dimension to the salad. Alternatively, you can use chopped red onion.
- Cheese: In classic street corn style, Cotija cheese (a Mexican cheese made from cow's milk) is salty in flavor and crumbly in texture. Alternatively, you can use crumbled feta or goat cheese.
- Herbs: A mix of chopped basil and mint add summer-fresh flavor. Alternatively, you can cilantro, green onion, or chives.
- Dressing: A bright blend of mayo, rice vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and sumac. It’s balanced, zesty, and totally addictive.
Step 1: Char Half of the Corn
Add 1 Tbsp. of the oil to a large cast-iron skillet (or grill pan) over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 3 ears of corn, roll in oil, and let set, undisturbed for 4 minutes, until bottoms are lightly charred. Toss, and continue cooking in 3 minute intervals, until the corn is charred to your liking. Set aside and let cool. *Note: the remaining two ears of corn remain raw, which gives the salad more texture.
Step 2: Prepare Dressing
While the corn cools, prepare dressing by combining remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil, rice vinegar, mayonnaise, shallots, garlic, sumac (or paprika), salt, and pepper in a bowl; whisk to combine.
Step 3: Combine Corn Salad Ingredients
Once the charred corn is cool enough to handle, carefully cut the kernels from the cob and transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Cut the kernels from the remaining 2 ears of raw corn and add to bowl, along with diced avocado, jalapeño, basil, mint, pumpkin seeds, Cotija cheese, remaining ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. black pepper.
Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Garnish with extra herbs, seeds, and cheese, if desired.
How do you Take Corn off the Cob?
There are many ways to remove corn kernels from the cob, however I find this method to be the easiest and cleanest:
- Place a small bowl upside down inside a large bowl.
- Stand the corn on top of the smaller bowl, and use a sharp knife to slice down along the cob.
- As you cut, the kernels will collect inside of the larger bowl instead of flying everywhere.
- Black Bean Corn Salad: Reduce corn to 3 ears, and add 1 (15-oz.) can black beans. Drain and rinse 1 can of black beans, and stir them into the salad right before serving.
- Mexican Corn Salad: Swap the mint and basil for fresh cilantro, and use lime juice instead of rice vinegar in the dressing.
- Corn Tomato Salad: Reduce corn to 4 ears, and add 1 cup of chopped cherry tomatoes right before serving.
What to Serve with Avocado Corn Salad
- Burgers: Whether you choose beef burgers, turkey burgers, or my Chipotle Black Bean Burgers, this salad is a fabulous complement.
- Salmon: The flavors of this Pesto Salmon will pair perfectly!
- Chicken or Shrimp Skewers: Use chicken or shrimp in these Skewers with Goes-With-Everything Tahini Sauce.
- Tofu: Chili-Lime Tofu and Peach Skewers are summer cookout stars!
Corn Salad Make-Ahead and Storage Tips
- To Make-Ahead: Char and cut the corn kernels 1 day ahead. You can also prepare the dressing 1 day ahead, and store in a covered jar in the refrigerator.
- To Store: Avocado and corn salad will last in the refrigerator for 3 days. I like to make a little extra dressing and store it separately, then splash it over individual portions.
- Enjoy chilled or closer to room temperature.
More Easy Summer Side Dishes to Try:
20 Minute Summer Squash and Corn Salad
Healthy Creamy Pasta Salad
Chopped Greek Pasta Salad
Fiesta Mango Quinoa Salad
If you give this recipe a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Lastly, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.
Fiesta Corn and Avocado Salad
- Large skillet or grill pan (preferably cast-iron)
- Mixing bowls
- 5 ears of corn, husked
- 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- 1 grated garlic clove
- ¾ tsp. ground sumac (sub paprika)
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided
- ½ tsp. black pepper, divided
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced into rings (about 3 to 4 Tbsp.)
- 2 medium (or 3 small) ripe avocados, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 3 Tbsp. fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 3 to 4 Tbsp. crumbled Cotija cheese (sub feta or goat cheese)
- Add 1 Tbsp. of the oil to a large cast-iron skillet (or grill pan) over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 3 ears of corn, roll in oil, and let sit, undisturbed, for 4 minutes, until bottoms are lightly charred. Toss, and continue cooking in 3 minute intervals, until the corn is charred to your liking (about 12 mins total). Set aside and let cool. *Note: the remaining two ears of corn remain raw, which gives the salad more texture.
- Meanwhile, prepare dressing by combining remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil, rice vinegar, mayonnaise, garlic, sumac (or paprika), ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. black pepper in a bowl; whisk to combine. Stir in shallots and set aside.
- Once the charred corn is cool enough to handle, carefully cut the kernels from the cob and transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Cut the kernels from the remaining 2 ears of raw corn and add to bowl, along with diced avocado, jalapeño, basil, mint, pumpkin seeds, Cotija cheese, remaining ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. black pepper.Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Garnish with extra herbs, seeds, and cheese, if desired.
This was so good! I loved the dressing. I added chopped romaine and black olives and ate it on top of quesadillas.
I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Laura! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a rating and review!
Omg this recipe was SO GOOD!! Can’t wait to make it again!
I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Amber! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a rating and review!
Such a good recipe when sweet corn is abundant!! We grilled our corn over charcoal and it added a nice smokey flavor!
Ooh love that! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Wendy!
This was SO GOOD!!! Essence of summer goodness and you always have the BEST flavor combos! I added roasted tomatoes (used the directions from your pesto and tomato orzo!) since I had some getting a bit sad looking, and it was a lovely addition. I didn’t leave any corn raw and the texture was still amazing. Thanks, Jamie!!!
Woohoo! I'm so happy to hear the salad was a hit, Meaghan! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
Yum!! Big hit for 4th of July weekend!
Hi Stacey--Fantastic!! So glad you enjoyed it!
This recipe was so good and so fun to make! My boyfriend and I agreed that it would be a great dish to take to a pot luck. Definitely will be making again. Thanks!
Hi Leslie-- I'm so glad you enjoyed the salad!! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review!
We went with the Mexican variation suggested (cilantro instead of basil and mint, and lime juice instead of rice vinegar) and it was so good! Served with some chicken for dinner, and then used the leftovers for breakfast tacos the following morning. We will definitely make this one again!
Hi Colleen-- I'm so glad you enjoyed the salad!! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review!
I made this dish for a bday potluck and I added the black beans. This dish was a hit!! Everyone asked for the recipe and I shared the blog's name. This will be my go to summer dish this year!
Yay! I'm so glad the recipe was a hit, Marta. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
So good! Light and refreshing. Thank you for another great (and easy!) recipe!
Yay! So glad you enjoyed this one, Stephanie! Thank you for taking the time to leave a rating and review!
My wife made made this for a wedding last weekend. It was gone before the anything else was. This was a huge hit. We already made more of it. Will revisit this one multiple times this summer.
So glad it was a hit! 🙂
Made this corn salad as a topper for some chilean sea bass tacos. The corn salad was perfect as a topper or on its own. We left off the basil and but substituted for cilantro instead and it was the perfect accompaniment for this dish. We ate it for leftovers and once it was gone my husband asked me to make it again haha.
I'm so glad the salad was a hit!! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
This was SO GOOD!! Light, flavorful, and perfect to pair with burgers this weekend.
Woohoo! I'm so glad it was a hit!
YUM! I added spicy chicken to make a terrific lunch. Cooking the corn in an airfryer made it even easier. Great recipe! Thank you💜
So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Erin! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
The perfect summer salad. Thank you so much for this recipe.
Yay! So glad the recipe was a hit!
Just made it and omg it’s amazing!! Love the lightness of the dressing and texture of the salad. Will make again very soon!
So glad you enjoyed this one, Katie! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!