Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad with Harissa Ranch

5 from 15 votes
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Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad with crispy chickpeas and Harissa Ranch Dressing. This summer-fresh salad is full of satisfying textures and bold flavors for a hearty, healthy lunch.Romaine, corn, chickpeas and avocado with ranch dressing in a serving bowl

With its bright flavors and tempting array of textures, this summer salad will become a staple. And thanks to its nutritious ingredient lineup, you can feel great about enjoying it on repeat.

Much like my Fiesta Avocado Corn Salad, this recipe leans on simple, fresh ingredients with big flavor impact. The combination of sweet, crunchy corn with creamy avocado and crispy chickpeas is the ultimate salad trio.

The Harissa Ranch Dressing, however, is what really takes things over the top.

The combination of herb-y, zesty ranch paired with smoky-sweet harissa is a match made in heaven. I strongly suggest double batching the dressing to keep on hand throughout the week.

How to Make Corn and Avocado Salad

Crispy chickpeas stand in for croutons to add satisfying crunch to each bite. They also pump up the protein of the salad, making it a satisfying meal on its own.Corn and avocado salad being tossed in a wooden bowl

The Ingredients

  • Corn: Sweet corn is one of summer’s greatest pleasures. I use using fresh ears of corn, however you can also use frozen fire-roasted corn in a pinch. Grill the corn on an outdoor grill or over the flames of a gas stovetop.
  • 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. 
  • Romaine: Chopped romaine is crisp and crunchy – the perfect summer salad base.
  • Cheese: I prefer using queso fresco or cotija cheese (a Mexican cheese made from cow’s milk), which are delightfully salt and crumbly. Alternatively, you can use crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • Chickpeas: Budget-friendly, plus a fab source of fiber and plant protein. Be sure to drain, rinse, and dry the chickpeas before roasting to get them extra-crispy.
  • Red Onion: Their zesty bite adds dimension to each spoonful.
  • Harissa: A North African spice paste that looks like a mix between tomato paste and tomato sauce. Harissa has a slightly smoky spiciness with bright acidity and earthy undertones.
  • Yogurt + Mayo: Using a mix of full-fat Greek yogurt and mayonnaise is the perfect balance of creamy richness and tangy flavor.
  • Herbs: A mix of fresh dill and chives lend the classic herbaceous ranch flavor.
  • Spices: I love using paprika and cumin to spice the chickpeas, however the spice options are endless. You can also toss it some chili powder, za’atar, and garlic powder.

The Directions

Step 1: Season and Roast the Chickpeas

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Drain and rinse chickpeas, and pat them try with a paper towel. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. paprika, 1/2 tsp. ground cumin, and 1/4 tsp. each salt and black pepper.

Bake for 30 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through.Sheet pan of crispy roasted chickpeas

Step 2: Prepare Harissa Ranch Dressing

In a medium bowl, combine Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, harissa, lemon juice, dill, chives, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper; whisk to combine.Harissa ranch dressing mixed in a small white bowl

Step 3: Combine all Ingredients

In a large bowl, combine chopped romaine, corn, avocado, red onion, and cheese. Add half of chickpeas and about two-thirds of dressing; toss to combine. Scatter remaining chickpeas overtop (crouton style) and drizzle with remaining dressing. Romaine, chickpeas, avocado, and grilled corn being topped with harissa ranch dressing in a mixing bowl

How to Grill Corn for Corn Salad

  • In a Pan: Add 1 Tbsp. of the oil to a large cast-iron skillet (or grill pan) over medium-high heat. Once hot, add corn and roll in oil; let cook, 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. 
  • On the Grill: Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Brush corn cobs with oil, and grill for 10 to 12 minutes, turning occasionally, until kernels are lightly charred. 
  • Over a Gas Range: Heat burner to medium-high heat. Lightly spray corn cobs with cooking spray, and place directly over flame for 6 to 8 minutes, turning to char all sides.

Once cool enough to handle, cut corn kernels from cob.

Recipe Variations

  • Black Bean Corn Avocado Salad: Omit the chickpeas and toss salad with 1 can of rinse and drained black beans instead.
  • Chicken Avocado Corn Salad: Omit chickpeas and add 1 to 2 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken instead.
  • Corn and Avocado Tomato Salad: Reduce corn to 1 cob and add 1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes to the mix!

Make-Ahead and Storage Tips:

  • Make-Ahead: The Harissa Ranch Dressing can be made up to 5 days ahead. Store in covered jar or container in the refrigerator.
  • Store: The salad is best enjoyed the day of. If you do store leftovers, note that the avocado will brown slightly and the chickpeas will soften, however it will still taste delicious.

Corn and Avocado Salad topped with crispy chickpeas and harissa ranch in a serving bowl

More Corn Salad Recipes to Try:

Creamy Macaroni Salad with Corn and Arugula

Peach and Corn Quinoa Salad with Cilantro Ranch

Fiesta Avocado Corn Salad

If you give try this corn and avocado salad, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your 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.

5 from 15 votes

Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad with Harissa Ranch

Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad with crispy chickpeas and Harissa Ranch Dressing. This summer-fresh salad is full of satisfying textures and bold flavors for a hearty, healthy lunch.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Large rimmed baking sheet
  • Mixing bowls

Ingredients  

  • 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. each kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 hearts romaine, chopped (about 4 to 5 cups)
  • 2 ears corn, grilled*
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco (sub cotija, feta, or goat cheese)
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion

Harissa Ranch Dressing

  • 1/4 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. mild harissa (I use Mina brand)
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. each kosher salt and black pepper
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Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF. Drain and rinse chickpeas, and pat them try with a paper towel. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. paprika, 1/2 tsp. ground cumin, and 1/4 tsp. each salt and black pepper.
    Bake for 30 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  • While chickpeas roast, prepare Harissa Ranch Dressing. In a medium bowl, combine Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, harissa, dill, chives, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper; whisk to combine.
  • Carefully cut the kernels from the corn cobs and transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Add chopped romaine, avocado, red onion, and cheese; season salad with a pinch of salt. Add half of chickpeas and about two-thirds of dressing; toss to combine. Scatter remaining chickpeas overtop (crouton style) and drizzle with remaining dressing. 

Notes

Options for grilling corn:
  • In a Pan: Add 1 Tbsp. of the oil to a large cast-iron skillet (or grill pan) over medium-high heat. Once hot, add corn and roll in oil; let cook, undisturbed for 4 minutes, until bottoms are lightly charred. Toss, and continue cooking in 2 minute intervals, until the corn is charred to your liking. 
  • On the Grill: Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Brush corn cobs with oil, and grill for 10 to 12 minutes, turning occasionally, until kernels are lightly charred. 
  • Over a Gas Range: Heat burner to medium-high heat. Lightly spray corn cobs with cooking spray, and place directly over flame for 6 to 8 minutes, turning to char all sides.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 365kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 700mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 4g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!
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Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. Brittany says:

    5 stars
    SO GOOD! will be making this one again! I even forgot to add Feta and it was still epic without it! that’s how good it is!

  2. Leisa says:

    5 stars
    Amazing recipe, per usual! This will definitely be a regular at our house

  3. Kayla says:

    5 stars
    This was an incredible salad. I had to sub sriracha for the Harissa and it ended up being fairly spicy but was a huge hit at our dinner party, with a request for the recipe afterwards!!! I really loved this gluten free salad. Crunch, spice and really filling!

  4. Morgan says:

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! A super simple one with minimal clean up and her dressings are always so packed with flavor. I use gouchang instead of harissa because I can’t usually find it and the taste is still great, If a little more tangy and a little less spicy. I’ve added this recipe to my consistent rotation!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Morgan! I’m so glad you enjoy this one. Thank you so much for taking the time to come back and leave a review!

  5. Stephanie says:

    5 stars
    So good! Thank you!

  6. Katy Bartow says:

    5 stars
    This salad is INCREDIBLE!! My whole family raved about it. Thank you for another delicious DOH recipe! Keep them coming!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Katy – I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!

  7. Maura Downey says:

    5 stars
    This was fantastic!! My husband (a big meat eater) suggested we make it again asap !

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Maura – I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!

  8. Annie says:

    5 stars
    This was awesome! Even my 10 year old said, “yum!” with her first bite. Would definitely make again!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Annie – I’m so glad it was a hit! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!

  9. Christy says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! I added more harissa than called for and used the spicy kind. But that was just my preference! This salad really was delicious. I used feta and it was great!!

  10. Diane says:

    5 stars
    I could 3at 5his everyday. Fresh, delucious, filling and healthy!