This light and refreshing Mexican Avocado Corn Salad recipe is bursting with fresh flavors! It features sweet corn, creamy avocados, juicy tomatoes, crisp peppers, and fresh herbs tossed in a luscious honey lime vinaigrette! It’s healthy, so simple to prepare, can be made in advance and travels well! It’s a crowd pleasing recipe that you and your family will love!
This sweet corn salad is perfect for summer barbecues, potlucks, picnics, healthy lunches and easy weeknight dinners! It’s the perfect side dish to pair with Mexican casseroles, burgers, grilled chicken, shrimp ceviche and so much more!
If you love fresh summer sweet corn and flavorful salads (sans any sad, wilted lettuce), I’ve got the perfect dish for you!
This sweet corn salad has quickly become one of my favorite summer salads! It’s light, bright, refreshing, healthy, bursting with bold flavors and full of fresh ingredients! Essentially, it’s a salad I feel good eating!
Mexican Tomato Avocado Corn Salad
Chock-full of flavorful, fresh-from-the-garden goodness, this blissful salad is anything but boring or bland!
This Mexican salad is loaded with sweet corn, creamy avocados, juicy tomatoes, crisp bell peppers, spicy jalapenos, sharp onions and delicate fresh herbs. It’s generously tossed and glistening in a silky, luscious, zippy Mexican vinaigrette featuring bold flavors such as tangy lime, warm cumin, earthy cayenne and smoky paprika. Basically, you can’t go wrong with this combination of simple, yet super fresh ingredients! It’s fresh, bright, easy to eat and guaranteed to please!
Plus, this sweet corn and tomato salad is easy to prepare, totally customizable, travels well and can be made in advance! It’s the perfect side dish for potlucks, picnics and barbecues! Plus, it’s a delicious option for on-the-go lunches and hectic weeknight dinners!
If you love fresh corn on the cob, you are going to fall head over heels for this juicy, sweet, crisp Mexican sweet corn salad!
What is corn salad?
Fresh corn salad is a light and healthy, fresh-tasting dish. It features kernels of sweet corn combined with fresh herbs and various vegetables tossed in a light vinaigrette or creamy dressing. It’s usually served as a salad; however, it can also be served as an appetizer, side dish or dip!
While Mexican avocado corn salad is traditionally thought of as a summertime dish, you can make it all year round by using frozen corn!
What’s in Mexican corn salad?
This Mexican salad recipe is bursting with flavor and relies on just a handful of fresh ingredients for the best bold taste and crispy, juicy texture. This recipe is totally flexible, so you can adapt it to what’s in season or add ingredients you love!
Ingredients in salad:
(Don’t forget to scroll down for the detailed measurements in the complete printable recipe at the bottom of the page.)
- Corn: You need 3 large ears of sweet corn. Fresh corn is the star ingredient of this salad and provides sweet flavor and juicy texture. I prefer making this salad with fresh corn cut off the cob, but you can use canned or frozen corn as well!
- Onions: Thinly sliced scallions add a touch of delicate onion flavor; while red onion provides mild sharp flavor.
- Avocados: Diced Hass avocados give the salad plenty of rich and creamy flavor!
- Peppers: Red bell and jalapeno peppers provide a touch of crisp texture, as well as sweet and spicy flavor!
- Tomatoes: I prefer plump cherry or grape tomatoes; however, you can use seeded and diced Roma tomatoes instead.
- Cilantro: Chopped cilantro adds a punch of fresh herbaceous flavor. If you don’t like the taste of cilantro, you can substitute parsley instead.
- Dressing: A pantry-friendly combination of olive oil, lime juice, garlic, honey and seasonings provides the perfect finishing touch!
There are so many ways you can customize this salad! Feel free to get creative! Swap out ingredients you don’t like or have on hand for whatever ingredients you love!
- Leafy Greens: Looking for a more traditional salad? Add in chopped romaine, bibb lettuce, spring greens, arugula, massaged kale or shredded cabbage.
- Beans: Black beans are a delicious creamy and mild addition!
- Vegetables: Want to add even more vegetables? Try tossing in some diced cucumber, chopped jicama, sliced radishes, grated cauliflower or shredded carrots.
- Fruit: Add a tropical twist with diced mango or pineapple.
- Cheese: Crumbled cheese is my favorite add-in! Cotija, queso fresco or feta are all wonderful additions!
- Extras: Top the salad off with toasted tortilla strips, crushed tortilla chips or pepitas.
- Dressing: Swap out the vinaigrette for a creamy avocado dressing.
How to cook corn for salad?
While I love using raw sweet corn for this salad, you can cook your corn first if you prefer!
There are several different methods of cooking corn, and all of them will work wonderfully for this salad!
How to cook corn on the cob:
- Steam on the stove: This is the simplest method. Since it doesn’t require boiling a large pot of water, this method is very quick and efficient.
- Fill pot with water: Fill a large deep skillet with one inch of water and bring to a boil.
- Add corn: Add the shucked corn in a single layer. When the water returns to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover the skillet.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the corn is tender and bright yellow.
- Shock and drain: Use tongs to remove the corn from the skillet and transfer to an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Drain and use as desired.
- Grill: This method produces the best smoky flavor. If you would like to grill corn in the husk, you will need to pre-soak it first.
- Preheat grill: Heat a grill to medium-high heat.
- Grill corn: Add husked corn to the grill and cook, rotating every 4-5 minutes, until charred all over, about 15-18 minutes. Remove from grill and use as desired.
- Roast: Roasting is an easy and foolproof way to prepare corn!
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Roast corn: Rub a pat of butter over husked corn. Place corn on baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning once halfway through baking. Remove from oven and use as desired.
- Sauté: Sautéing is a great way to obtain charred corn without firing up the grill! However, you need to remove the kernels from the cob before sautéing.
- Heat skillet: Heat a drizzle of oil in a large skillet over high heat.
- Cook corn: Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is charred, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and use as desired.
How to cut corn off the cob?
Cutting corn kernels off of the cob can be messy as the kernels tend to bounce and roll everywhere! While you can buy a special tool, called a corn stripper, to make the preparation easier, it’s not necessary at all! With a few simple tricks and a couple items you already have in your kitchen, you can make cutting corn off the cob a breeze!
Easy hacks to remove corn from the cob in seconds flat:
- Bundt pan: Your Bundt pan can easily double as a fuss-free way to remove corn from the cob! Place the cut end of a shucked corn on the cob in the center hole of the pan. Grip the other end of the cob and use a sharp serrated knife to slice down along the cob to remove the kernels. The cut kernels will fall into the bottom of the pan. Continue to rotate the cob and slice to remove all the kernels.
- Two mixing bowls: Place a small bowl upside-down inside a large bowl. Stand the corn up, cut side down, on top of the small bowl. Use a sharp serrated knife to slice down along the cob to remove the kernels. Just like the Bundt pan method, the kernels will fall into the bottom of the bowl.
- Cutting board: Lay a shucked ear of corn flat on a clean cutting board. Cut down along the side of the cob to remove the kernels. Rotate the cob so the flat end (the side you just cut) is flush against the board. Repeat cutting and rotating the corn until all the kernels are removed.
Can I use frozen corn?
Absolutely! While freshly harvested corn has the best, sweetest flavor, it does lose flavor over time. If you are unable to find fresh corn, or if it’s out of season, you can use thawed frozen corn instead! And, if you are unable to find frozen kernels of corn, canned fire roasted corn will work as well!
What dressing for Mexican salad?
There are many different dressings you can use for avocado corn salad, ranging from an oil-based vinaigrette to a rich Mexican crema dressing. I prefer to keep things light and refreshing with a citrusy honey lime vinaigrette. You can easily customize the dressing and make it spicy or creamy if desired!
I recommend doubling the recipe to have on hand in the fridge for salads and grain bowls!
Simple Mexican vinaigrette:
- Combine ingredients: Add lime juice, lime zest, garlic, oil, honey, cumin, smoked paprika, coriander and cayenne in a small bowl.
- Mix: Whisk well to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
- Store: Cover the dressing and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Mexican dressing variations:
- Make it creamy: Add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender along with an avocado, sour cream or Mexican crema. Process until smooth.
- Spice it up: Place all the ingredients into a food processor or blender along with a roughly chopped jalapeno or chipotle pepper. Blend until smooth.
How to prepare corn salad?
This salad is incredibly fast and simple to prepare! And, if you enjoy raw fresh corn, there’s absolutely zero cooking involved!
(Don’t forget to scroll down for the detailed instructions in the complete printable recipe at the bottom of the page.)
- Cook the corn (optional): Steam, grill, roast or saute the corn. Allow corn to cool completely.
- Make the dressing: In a bowl with a whisk or a jar with a tight fitted lid, combine all the ingredients for the dressing. Whisk or shake until the dressing is completely combined. Chill until ready to use.
- Assemble the salad: Slice the kernels of corn off of the cob and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the avocados, both peppers, red onion, tomatoes and cilantro. Add half of the dressing and toss gently to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Add more dressing as desired.
- Serve: Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh lime wedges and enjoy!
How to make sweet corn and tomato salad step by step photos:
How to serve corn salad?
Mexican avocado sweet corn salad is incredibly versatile and can be served numerous ways! It can be enjoyed as an appetizer, healthy salad, easy side dish, or you can add protein and serve it as a lighter main dish. You can also use this salad as a topping for dips, tacos, bowls and more!
Ways to use salad:
- Bean dip: Use this salad as a part of a seven layer dip. Or, add the corn salad on top of refried bean dip for added color and flavor!
- Stuffed avocados: Half avocados and use the corn salad as a filling. Drizzle the avocados with a bit of Mexican crema for an easy, yet elegant appetizer or snack!
- Mexican bowls: Add corn to your favorite Mexican salad or grain bowls for a burst of fresh flavor!
- Tacos: Top off your favorite tacos with a generous scoop of fresh salad.
- Hotdogs: Load up the top of your hotdog with a scattering of salad.
- Grilled proteins: Use the salad as a garnish for your favorite grilled protein, such as chicken, salmon, pork or shrimp!
What to serve with salad?
This salad is light, refreshing and completely delicious! It pairs perfectly with grilled foods and makes a wonderful addition to any summer cookout! And, it’s also a wonderful way to balance out heavier main dishes, such as Mexican casseroles and enchiladas!
- Grilled or Roasted Vegetables: Sweet corn pairs well with most vegetables. Feel free to use your favorite veggies or whatever you have on hand in the fridge, such as bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and zucchini. For added flavor, season your vegetables with a taco seasoning!
- Ceviche: Fresh seafood ceviche and summer corn go hand in hand!
- Sandwiches, Burgers and Hotdogs: Add this salad to your summer BBQ and pair it with your favorite juicy burgers, bean burgers, BBQ sandwiches and hotdogs!
- Tacos, Fajitas, Enchiladas and Burritos: Set up a Mexican themed dinner and don’t forget a side of this salad!
- Kabobs: Keep things light with a healthy dinner of kebabs and corn!
- Grilled or Smoked Meats: Smoky meats and refreshing Mexican corn are the perfect summer dinner!
- Pulled Pork or Chicken: Serve shredded pulled pork or chicken with side of chilled fresh corn!
- Carnitas: Tender carnitas pairs wonderfully with charred tortillas and plenty of corn!
- Carne Asada: Beautifully charred Carne Asada couples perfectly with grilled corn!
- Casseroles: Lighten up a Mexican casserole dinner with a side of refreshing salad.
Can you make it ahead of time?
Mexican sweet corn tomato salad is the perfect make ahead dish and keeps beautifully in the refrigerator overnight! Since it keeps wonderfully and travels well, it’s a fantastic make-ahead option for picnics, potlucks, BBQs and easy work week lunches!
While you can enjoy this salad right away, I personally think it tastes better after it’s had time to stand in the fridge (at least 1 hour). Making the salad in advance and allowing it to chill in the fridge gives the flavors a chance to develop and meld.
You can make this salad a day in advance; however, do not add the avocado until just before serving.
How long will corn salad keep?
Store Mexican salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Properly stored, the salad will keep for 3-4 days.
Can you freeze avocado corn salad?
I do not recommend freezing this salad. This dish is made up of fresh ingredients and freezing will alter their texture, causing them to become mushy and unappetizing once thawed.
Is corn salad healthy?
This Mexican salad can be a wonderful addition to a healthy diet. However, corn is high in starch which can spike your blood pressure if consumed in excess. Therefore, people with diabetes should limit their corn intake.
This salad is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian with an option for vegan.
- Corn has multiple health benefits. It’s low in calories and rich in insoluble-fiber, valuable B vitamins and essential minerals, such as zinc, magnesium, copper and iron.
- Avocados pack plenty of dietary fiber and heart-healthy fatty acids. They are also very high in potassium which helps support healthy blood pressure levels.
- Bell peppers are low in calories and rich in vitamins and antioxidants. They also contain a healthy dose of fiber, folate and iron.
- Tomatoes are a great source of potassium, folate and vitamins C and K. They’re also a good source of fiber and plant compounds, such as beta carotene.
Fresh, full of flavor and so simple to make, you will fall in love with this summer corn salad!
Looking for more corn recipes?
If you love this sweet summer salad, try one of these corn recipes next:
How to make the best Sweet Corn Salad recipe👇
Mexican Corn Salad
- Skillet, Grill or Baking Sheet (to cook corn)
- Small mixing bowl
- Large Mixing Bowl
- 3 large Ears Corn – shucked (about 3 cups) (SEE NOTES)
- 3-4 Green Onions – dark green parts only, thinly sliced (about heaping 1/3 cup)
- 2 Hass Avocados – seeded,peeled & diced
- 1 Red Bell Pepper – seeded and small diced
- 1 large Jalapeno Pepper – seeded, ribbed & finely diced (about ¼ cup)
- ½ small Red Onion – small diced (about ½ cup)
- 1 heaping Cup Grape Tomatoes – cut in half (about 25 tomatoes)
- ¼ Cup chopped Fresh Cilantro
- 2 Limes – zest of 1 lime & juice both (1 ½ tsp zest + 5 TBS juice)
- 1 clove Garlic - minced
- 3 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2-3 TBS Honey – to taste
- ¼ tsp EACH: Cumin & Smoked Paprika
- 1/8 heaping tsp EACH: Ground Coriander & Ground Cayenne
- Flakey Sea Salt & Ground Black Pepper
Optional for Serving: Lime Wedges & Crumbled Cotija or Feta
- Cook corn (optional): Add 1-inch of water to a large, deep skillet. Bring water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Add the corn in a single layer. When the water returns to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until just hot, about 3-4 minutes. Use tongs to transfer the corn to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain corn and set aside. (See notes for more cooking options!)
- Make the dressing: In a bowl with a whisk or a jar with a tight fitted lid, combine all the ingredients for the dressing. Season with ¾ teaspoon flakey sea salt (or ½ tsp kosher salt) and generous pinch of black pepper. Whisk or shake until the dressing is completely combined and emulsified. Chill until ready to use.
- Prepare the salad: Slice the kernels of corn off of the cob and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the avocados, both peppers, red onion, tomatoes and cilantro. Add half of the dressing and toss gently to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning or add more dressing as desired.
- Serve: Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh lime wedges and enjoy!
- Corn: You can use raw or cooked corn for this salad depending on preference. If using raw corn, simply cut the kernels off of the cob and proceed with recipe. While I recommend using fresh corn if it's in season, you can use thawed frozen corn or canned corn as well!
- Cooking Corn: The quickest, healthiest way to cook corn on the cob is to steam it. However, you can also grill, roast or saute the corn if desired.
- Grill: Heat grill to medium-high. Add husked corn to the grill and cook, rotating every 4-5 minutes, until charred all over, about 15-18 minutes. Remove corn from grill and let cool.
- Roast: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Rub a pat of butter over husked corn. Place corn on baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning once halfway through baking. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Saute: Remove the kernels from the cob before sautéing. Heat a drizzle of oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is charred, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Vegan option: Substitute agave nectar or bee-free honee for honey.
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