Gorgeous Grilled Corn Salad with Avocado

It’s sweet corn season, AKA one of the most classic summer veggies to cook up. I remember during the summers when I was little we would lay out a big picnic blanket and eat ears and ears of grilled sweet corn all buttered up and salted to perfection. There’s truly nothing better (or nostalgic) than sweet corn during the summer and I’m here to re-share an easy recipe that elevates the average ear of corn into something truly fabulous.

This beautiful grilled corn salad is filled with creamy avocado, crunchy veggies, a little tang from goat cheese (or sub feta!), and a perfectly sweet and spicy hot honey vinaigrette to pull it all together. I thought about going with a simple cilantro lime dressing or a more basic vinaigrette, but one taste of this hot honey version and I was HOOKED (and you will be, too).

The best part about this lovely salad is that it doubles as the perfect side dish or appetizer for your BBQs and potlucks! I enjoyed it straight from the bowl but it would be perfect as an easy, flavorful dip with chips. Add your fav protein to make it a nice hearty meal, and remember to check out the full post for more ways to customize.

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Everything you’ll need to make this grilled corn salad

This sweet and spicy grilled corn salad is bursting with fresh summer produce and flavors. Many corn salads have a mayo-based dressing, but we’re keeping this salad nice and light! Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Produce: the base of this gorgeous salad is made from grilled fresh corn (of course), cherry tomatoes, avocado, red onion, and fresh basil.
  • Goat cheese: I love the creamy, tangy flavor that goat cheese adds when mixed in with all of the veggies.
  • Hot honey dressing: we’re making a homemade hot honey vinaigrette with avocado oil, honey, cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt & pepper.

pouring hot honey vinaigrette into a bowl of grilled corn salad

Grill perfect corn every time

You’re going to LOVE the sweet, slightly charred flavor that grilled corn adds to this salad. Get all of my tips and tricks for grilling corn here! You’ll slice the corn kernels off of the cob and throw them right into the salad.

No grill? No problem

If you don’t have access to a grill you can easily cook the corn on the stovetop or in the oven! Here’s how to do it:

  • On the stovetop: carefully cut the kernels off of the corn cob. Heat the avocado oil in a nonstick skillet and add the kernels with salt and pepper. Cook until slightly charred and tender, about 10 minutes.
  • In the oven: preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with tin foil. Carefully cut the kernels off of the cob and toss them with the avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the kernels out on the baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes until tender.

spicy grilled corn salad in a bowl with tongs

Simple ingredient swaps

This delicious summer corn salad recipe is easy to customize to your taste preferences and what you might already have on hand. Here’s what I can recommend:

  • For the goat cheese: feel free to use feta cheese or cotija cheese instead, or omit the cheese to keep the salad vegan.
  • For the red onion: diced green onion works just as well, or feel free to add extra veggies like red bell pepper or zippy arugula!
  • For the basil: if you’re out of basil you can easily swap in some fresh cilantro.
  • For the dressing: feel free to use your favorite hot sauce instead of cayenne pepper, and fresh lime juice instead of apple cider vinegar if you’d like.

healthy grilled corn salad in a bowl

Looking to add a boost of protein?

This grilled corn salad would be perfect with grilled honey mustard chicken, shrimp or salmon, or you could keep it vegetarian by adding a can of black beans and simply scoop it up with some tortilla chips (YUM!).

easy grilled corn salad in three bowls

Delicious ways to enjoy this grilled corn salad

Abra and I couldn’t stop sneaking bites of this grilled corn salad straight from the bowl, but it’s also incredible in a variety of different ways:

  • With your fav tortilla chips for dipping
  • As a topping for homemade tacos
  • Piled on top of a plate of nachos

The options are truly endless!

grilled corn salad in three bowls

How to store this grilled corn salad

Store this fresh grilled corn salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. If you plan on making it ahead of time I’d recommend leaving the avocado and goat cheese off until you’re ready to serve it so that it doesn’t get brown.

More recipes using fresh corn

Get all of my corn recipes here!

I hope you love this grilled corn salad with avocado! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!

cover of the ambitious kitchen cookbook

Ambitious Kitchen

125 Ridiculously Good For You, Sometimes Indulgent, and Absolutely Never Boring Recipes for Every Meal of the Day

Grilled Corn Salad with Avocado, Goat Cheese & Hot Honey Vinaigrette

grilled corn salad in a bowl

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Total Time 35 minutes

Serves6 servings

Wonderful grilled corn salad with avocado, tangy goat cheese, and a sweet & spicy hot honey vinaigrette. This fresh, easy grilled corn salad comes together in a few simple steps and makes the perfect summer lunch or side dish! Enjoy it on its own or add your favorite protein for a full meal.


  • For the grilled corn:
  • 4 ears of corn
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper
  • For the salad:
  • 1 ½ cups halved cherry tomatoes (i love heirloom cherry or grape tomatoes!)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • cup goat cheese crumbled
  • ¼ cup diced red onion or sub green onion
  • 6 large leaves basil, julienned
  • Hot Honey Vinaigrette:
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper OR 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce of choice
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (or sub fresh lime juice)
  • ¼ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • teaspoon garlic powder
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste


  • Preheat grill to medium high heat.

  • Drizzle corn with oil and rub all over. Season with salt and pepper. Place the corn directly on the grill and turn occasionally until the corn is charred and cooked, about 20 minutes.

  • Allow corn to cool then cut the corn from the cob and place in a large bowl. Add tomatoes, avocado, goat cheese, red onion and basil. Toss together to combine.

  • Make your hot honey vinaigrette: in a mason jar or small bowl add honey and cayenne or hot sauce; microwave for 10-15 seconds until the honey is hot. Remove and add in the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon, garlic powder and salt and pepper; put a lid on the mason jar and shake well to combine. You can also whisk together in a small bowl if preferred. Taste and add more hot sauce or cayenne if you want it spicier! Pour over the corn salad and toss to combine. Season the salad with salt and pepper to taste.

  • Enjoy the corn salad immediately. If you are making ahead of time, I recommend leaving the avocado and goat cheese out until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

Feel free to use feta instead of goat cheese and/or cilantro instead of basil.
See the full post for our favorite ways to customize this corn salad.
Store this fresh grilled corn salad in an airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you plan on making it ahead of time I’d recommend leaving the avocado and goat cheese off until you’re ready to serve it.


Serving: 1serving (based on 6)Calories: 167calCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 4.1gFat: 12.8gSaturated Fat: 3.2gFiber: 2.3gSugar: 5.9g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

This post was originally published on June 28th, 2022, republished on July 18th, 2023, and republished on June 25th, 2024.


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