Summer Corn Salad + Video

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Summer Corn Salad is a bright refreshing taste of summer. Garden fresh corn and tomatoes come together with fresh mozzarella, herbs, and a glorious dressing that really gives it an even lighter, fresher taste. This corn tomato basil salad is the perfect summer side dish!

titled: summer corn salad


 

Summer Corn Salad

I can not get enough of salads during the summer months, but sometimes, I’m just tired of the same old lettuce combinations.

Vegetable salads — like my Best Ever Broccoli Salad — are the easiest way to satisfy this craving.

They’re much lighter than pasta salads, and they often require much less effort to make.

For this summer corn salad, I grabbed a bunch of garden fresh ingredients (okay, they are actually market fresh), tossed them with an incredible lemon and garlic dressing, and sat down to enjoy lunch. Easy peasy!

Recipe Video

To see us make this summer corn salad recipe from start to finish, watch the video in this post!

I love to buy ears of corn by the armful when they’re on sale, and I have plenty of recipes for you to try if you do the same!

Turn those juicy, plump kernels into crispy fritters or a savory casserole — both are also a great summer side dish for potlucks and cookouts.

And if you’ve got friends coming over to watch the game, you can’t go wrong with this cheesy hot corn dip and plenty of tortilla chips!

corn kernels in a glass bowl

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Corn – We really enjoyed the flavor of the kernels fresh off the cob. You can cook yours if you prefer — in the microwave, air fryer, oven, IP, or on the stovetop.

    Or, toss them on the grill or smoker for a little extra flavor!
  • Tomatoes – Cherry tomatoes tend to be a bit sweeter and less watery than grape tomatoes, but either is fine.

    A medley is another great option to get a variety of flavors and colors. Whichever you choose, be sure to use my kitchen hack for slicing them in seconds!
  • Mozzarella – Use the fresh stuff for this summer corn salad recipe! Cut it into thick slices, then into bite-sized pieces.

    If pearl mozzarella is available, you could simply slice the balls in half and use those instead.
  • Olive Oil – In such a simple dish, quality really makes a difference!

    Choose the best quality extra virgin olive oil you can get your hands on for summer corn salad dressing.
chopped tomatoes and mozzarella with basil in bowl

Tips for Making Corn Tomato Basil Salad

  • Don’t skip the lemon juice!

The acid really mellows out the starchiness of the kernels and creates a fabulous, refreshing flavor. Be sure to use freshly squeezed.

  • Try a different flavor combo.

Swap the mozzarella for feta or goat cheese and replace the basil with fresh parsley. Need a dairy-free option?

Omit the cheese entirely and toss in some black beans for protein!

Bell peppers, cucumber, red onion, and avocado are all tasty options too. Experiment to find your favorite combination.

  • Make ahead tip:

Prep the salad ingredients in a bowl, then add the dressing ingredients to a mason jar.

Store both in the fridge until you’re ready to serve, then give the jar a shake and pour it over the corn tomato mozzarella salad.

tossing tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil with wooden spoons

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy corn tomato basil salad as a light, refreshing lunch. Or, pair it with air fryer chicken or steak for a time-saving dinner.

It also makes a great starter to satisfy your guests while they wait for a full cookout feast!

Kitchen Tools You’ll Need

  • Sharp Knife or Corn Cob Stripper – This genius tool makes quick work of removing kernels from the corn cob.
  • Citrus Juicer – This gets every last drop out, which makes juicing lemons so much easier.
  • Medium Mixing Bowl – Serve this summer corn salad in a clear bowl to really let the colorful mixture shine!
dressing for summer corn salad

Summer Corn Salad Recipe FAQ

Can you eat raw corn in a salad?

We do exactly that with this summer corn salad recipe! It’s entirely your preference if you want to slice off the kernels raw or cook your corn on the cob first.

How do you cut basil ribbons?

You’ll want to chiffonade basil, which is a fancy slicing term for a very simple method.

Stack a few basil leaves on top of each other, keeping them of similar size. Roll them into a tube starting from one of the wide edges.

Then, hold the tube with one hand while you slice across it with the other. Gently separate the pieces and you’ve got thin ribbons!

mixed summer corn salad

Storing Leftover Corn Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Keep this summer side dish tightly covered in plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container.

Store in the refrigerator and eat within a day or two for best results.

If you plan on eating corn tomato mozzarella salad throughout the week, store the dressing separately. Then, toss with individual portions as needed.

close up: spoonful of summer corn salad with cheese

Enjoy!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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clear bowl of summer corn salad topped with fresh basil leaves

bowl of summer corn salad

Fresh Summer Corn Salad Recipe with Tomato + Video

Donna Elick
Summer Corn Salad is the perfect summer side dish. Fresh corn, tomatoes, and mozzarella come together with herbs and a glorious dressing.
5 stars from 2 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Method Mixed
Servings 6

Ingredients
 

  • 4 ears fresh corn on the cob, cleaned and washed
  • 10.5 ounce package grape tomatoes, halved
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into bite size pieces
  • 10 basil leaves, chiffonade (roll leaves and slice thinly)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Cut corn off the cob, place into a medium mixing bowl. Add tomatoes and mozzarella. Sprinkle with basil. Set aside.
  • Add fresh lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper to a pint size canning jar. Shake to combine. Pour dressing over salad. Toss to combine.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Video

Donna’s Notes

If you are traveling with this salad or making ahead; you can prep the salad and the dressing and wait to pour dressing over salad until ready to serve. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
You can cook the corn if you prefer, I really enjoy the fresh taste of it uncooked in this salad. The acid in the lemon juice will mellow out the starchiness of the corn and create a fabulous flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 258cal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 443mg | Sugar: 6g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 202mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image (and shown): Summer Corn Salad

Originally published July 2014, updated  and republished July 2023

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33 Comments

  1. Wow! A salad with all my favorites: corn, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and garlic! It just doesn't get much better than this.

  2. You are so funny…3 ears! Bless your heart! Yes, I'm a southern girl and with the best of meaning, I just said, Bless your heart. Such a cute story. The recipe sounds delicious. Thank you for it and the others also! PINNING!!!

    1. haha Thank you Kim. I have to say it was so worth it though. Best corn ever. Let us know if you try the recipe and how it goes. Enjoy!

  3. The CSA box this week provided corn and lemons. The garden offered up tomatoes and basil, thanks to a permanent 34% shade structure. Gardening in the desert southwest is a true test of will and fortitude. We've never got corn to grow. I lightly steamed the corn in the husks; just enough to knock off the rawness of the corn. Sorry, I don't like corn *that* much. Result? The star of the plate! Thank you for this recipe.

  4. What a great alternative to always having a caprese salad which we love!!!! All of these salad recipes sound out of this world and this is the perfect time to receive them! Thanks so much!

  5. I've been making a version of this for years, and it is truly heaven in a bowl! To really take it up a notch, use chopped heirloom tomato – like a Black Krim or Cherokee Purple. If you've got a ripe avocado on hand, add that, and if you don't have fresh lemons, make the dressing with EVO and Balsamic vinegar.

  6. I love corn and ran across this recipe last evening and decided to make it. I followed the basic recipe but used heirloom tomatoes and added some arugula. It was pretty and very delicious!!! will be making this again and again! Thank you!

  7. Wow! I just made the corn salad, and I can't stop eating it! This is something my old friend Maria would have made. She loved fresh ingredients, and often tossed her salads in lemon juice and olive oil. I will make this one again and again!

  8. I made this salad last night with grilled chicken and wow! such a refreshing salad and will have for lunch today. keep sending your salads recipes to me.

  9. Oh my……so delicious!! I love the fresh lemon juice and olive oil dressing. I could have eaten the whole bowl, but I saved some for my husband! Very fresh!

  10. Summer is almost here and to be honest I love summer salads. I never did a recipe like this but doesn’t look too hard.

  11. Have made this twice and it is absolutely delicious! It was a big hit at a family pool party. My 12 year old liked it too, he just avoided the tomatoes. Used dried basil instead of fresh the 2nd time , but it was just as good.

  12. Made today. Blanched the corn & used cilantro instead of basil. Added a jalapeño & used Panera bread lemon dressing. Super tasty

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