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Easy Southwestern Summer Corn Salad

  • Author: Jen Elizabeth's Journals
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes (30 minutes Inactive time)
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes (30 minutes Inactive time)
  • Yield: 6 side dish servings 1x
  • Category: Salads/Sides
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Mexican/Southwestern Inspired


Celebrate late summer with an easy Southwestern corn salad with smoky, sweet, and salty notes, fresh herbs, a homemade lime dressing, and cotija cheese!



For the Corn Salad:

  • 4 ears corn, husks removed
  • 1 cup diced zucchini, cut into small quarter-inch pieces
  • 2/3 cup diced red bell pepper, cut into small quarter-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (or substitute parsley)
  • 1/3 cup Cotija cheese, crumbled

For the Lime Dressing:

  • 3 Tablespoons safflower oil
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed from 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt


For the Corn Salad:

  1. Prepare grill for medium heat. Place corn cobs on grill. Cover grill. Cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned and tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Cut kernels from cobs into large mixing bowl. Add the bell pepper, zucchini, and Lime Dressing (recipe below) to the bowl. Stir until well combined. Place in refrigerator until chilled, at least 30 minutes.
  3. Immediately before serving, top corn salad with chives, cilantro, and crumbled Cotija cheese.

For the Lime Dressing:

  1. Add all of the Lime Dressing ingredients to a bowl. Season with salt. Whisk until well combined.


  1. Try to cut the bell pepper and zucchini into very small pieces so that they are similar in size to the corn kernels.
  2. I’ve found that since the Cotija cheese is very salty, the corn salad doesn’t require any additional salt. I just add a bit of salt to the Lime Dressing, and that seems to be enough.
  3. Top this corn salad with grilled chicken to create a complete meal. Or serve it as a side with grilled fish or burgers.

Keywords: corn, summer, healthy, corn salad, lime dressing, Mexican, Southwestern, salad, side