Fresh Summer Corn Salad is bursting with fresh sweet corn, bright cherry tomatoes, wholesome black beans, and creamy feta cheese in a delicious homemade lime dressing. Each bite is perfectly balanced with a mix of healthy summer vegetables and creamy feta cheese.
When temperatures soar we are always looking for salads and side dishes that are light and refreshing. So, we love this beautiful, vibrant, summer corn salad which is a perfect side dish for barbecuing, grilling, picnics, and tacos.
It's absolutely one of our favorite ways to enjoy sweet summer corn.
It can be served straight from the fridge or at room temperature, made the day before or a few hours before serving, and is always delicious. To me, this fresh corn salad is its absolute best when allowed to marinate in the lime dressing for at least 2 hours and because there is no mayo, the veggies stay bright and are bursting with fresh flavor.
Why This Recipe Works
There's nothing like a salad of fresh ingredients to cool you down in the summer and this easy corn salad recipe delivers great flavor and variety from the first bite to the last.
It all begins with fresh, sweet summer corn. I don't know if this is a secret, but if you store freshly picked corn cold it stays sweet. So I always try to buy local corn that has just been picked and is iced in large bins at my local market. I then hurry home to shuck the corn and cook it quickly to stop the sugars in the corn from turning to starch.
The rest of the ingredients are always available and easy. Cherry tomatoes bring bright acidity, black beans have great flavor and visual interest, and feta cheese brings creaminess and salty flavors that are delicious with corn.
The crowning touch is the lime dressing that elevates this simple corn salad to serious deliciousness. In short, this salad is the perfect way to celebrate summer in a bowl.
So, let's cook!
Here's what you need for this Fresh Summer Corn Salad with Lime Dressing:
- Corn - Fresh ears of corn, cooked, and quickly cooled are best. But you can use frozen corn too.
- Cherry Tomatoes - Use the sweetest cherry tomatoes for the best flavor.
- Black Beans - These can be canned. Simply drain and rinse before adding them to the salad.
- Feta Cheese - Crumbled feta cheese brings creaminess and salty flavor to every bite.
- Red Onion - Nothing beats a red onion in fresh salads. They are generally sweet, savory, and highly aromatic.
Lime Dressing Ingredients:
- Lime Juice - The flavors of corn and lime go together very well. Always use fresh lime juice for the best flavor.
- Olive Oil - Use the best quality olive oil. I prefer to use one that is cold-pressed and fruity in flavor.
- Honey - The dressing is not supposed to be sweet, but just a touch of honey is needed to soften the acidity of the lime.
- Fine Sea Salt - Salt will bring out the flavors of everything in the salad.
- Black Pepper - Freshly ground black pepper will bring flowery and spicey notes.
- Fresh Herbs - Fresh basil, cilantro, and flat parsley go well with corn and are excellent choices. My favorite is fresh leaves of basil.
Please see the recipe card for exact quantities.
Blanch the Corn. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add the ears of corn and cook for 6 minutes. Drain the ears and add them to cold water with ice to stop the cooking.
Cut the Corn. Use a sharp knife and a cutting board to cut the kernels from the corn cobs. For the prettiest look, cut some kernels into wide strips and separate some.
Prepare the Tomatoes and Onion. While the corn is cooking, cut the cherry tomatoes in half, and finely dice the red onion.
Combine the Salad. In a large bowl add the corn kernels, halved cherry tomatoes, black beans, red onion, and feta cheese. Gently mix and fold with a silicone spatula and set aside.
Mix the Lime Dressing. To a small jar add fresh lime juice, olive oil, honey, sea salt, and black pepper. Cover with a lid and shake the dressing vigorously.
Dress the Salad. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and gently fold to evenly combine everything. Refrigerate the salad in a sealed container for at least 2 hours before serving.
Garnish and Serve. Garnish the corn salad with fresh herbs. Serve and Enjoy!
My Top Tips
♡ Make the Salad in Advance. Although this corn salad is delicious, made just a couple of hours before serving, it is even better a day after making it.
♡ Make the Vinaigrette in Advance. You can also make the vinaigrette the day before mixing the corn salad.
Substitutions & Variations
- Grill the Corn. Instead of blanching the corn, grill it for a smoky flavor.
- Use Frozen Corn Kernels. Instead of fresh ears of corn, you can use frozen corn that has been cooked, drained, and cooled.
- Substitute Mozzarella Pearls. If feta is not available, or not to your liking, mozzarella pearls are delicious too.
- Substitute Queso Fresco. Instead of feta cheese, you can use queso fresco which is also creamy.
- Add Avocado. Add 1 cup of diced avocado. To make a corn salad with avocado, gently toss the avocado with the lime vinaigrette before adding both to the salad.
- Use a Bottled Plain Vinaigrette. Just add a squeeze of lime juice to any plain vinaigrette to use up what you have on hand and/or to save time.
Make-Ahead & Storage
For the best flavor make this salad at least 2 hours before serving. Store it in a sealed refrigerator container for up to 5 days.
If you choose to add avocado, be sure to add it just before serving to keep it bright and green.
More Salads with a Citrus or Vinaigrette Dressing
Fresh Summer Corn Salad with Lime Dressing Recipe
- 5 Ears of Corn, Shucked
- 1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
- 1 Cup Black Beans, From a Can, Drained and Rinsed
- 1 Cup Feta Cheese, Crumbled
- ½ Cup Red Onion, Finely Diced
Lime Dressing Ingredients:
- 3 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Honey
- ½ Teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
- ½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- ¼ Cup Fresh Herbs, Use Leaves of Basil, Cilantro, or Flat Parsley that are Torn or Whole
- Blanch the Corn. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add the ears of corn and cook for 6 minutes. Drain the ears and add them to cold water with ice to stop the cooking.5 Ears of Corn
- Cut the Corn. Use a sharp knife and a cutting board to cut the kernels from the corn cobs. For the prettiest look, cut some kernels into wide strips and separate some.
- Prepare Tomatoes & Onion. While the corn is cooking, cut the cherry tomatoes in half, and finely dice the red onion.1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, ½ Cup Red Onion
- Combine Salad Ingredients. In a large bowl add the corn kernels, halved cherry tomatoes, black beans, red onion, and feta cheese. Gently mix and fold with a silicone spatula and set aside.1 Cup Black Beans, 1 Cup Feta Cheese
- Make the Lime Dressing. To a small jar add fresh lime juice, olive oil, honey, sea salt, and black pepper. Cover with a lid and shake the dressing vigorously.3 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice, 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, 1 Teaspoon Honey, ½ Teaspoon Fine Sea Salt, ½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Dress the Salad. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and gently fold to evenly combine everything. Refrigerate the salad in a sealed container for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Garnish and Serve. Garnish the corn salad with fresh herbs. Serve and Enjoy!¼ Cup Fresh Herbs
Encharted Cook Notes
Per 1 serving. All nutritional information on this site is an estimate. Your results may vary.