Grilled corn is one of the best things about summer. We recently made this fresh, quick and easy, healthy BBQ side dish, Grilled Corn Avocado Tomato Salad with a simple cilantro dressing!

A glass bowl filled with a big grilled corn avocado tomato salad with a cilantro dressing being poured over the top

If you’re looking for an easy side dish, or especially a healthy side dish to bring to a BBQ or potluck, this Grilled Corn Avocado Tomato Salad is going to make you the talk of any summer party or summer BBQ.

Grilled sweet corn literally tastes like happy summer days, but it’s not always the go-to for bringing a side dish to a potluck as the cobs don’t stay as warm and don’t  look as inviting on a big table next to all the other dishes. Nor is it very easy to eat in front of everyone and then have to have that chewed on cob on your plate while you go snag dessert. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered so you can still have this summer favorite, healthy side dish.

Grilled Corn Avocado Tomato Salad

Cade here and I love grilling no matter what time of year it is. Grilled corn is definitely a favorite healthy side dish, but for some reason I don’t love the hassle of shucking corn and having all of that corn silk all over the place.

  • Why does corn on the cob have hair on it anyway?

Actually, I asked good ol’ google and found this, It’s the stamen of the female corn flower, all stretched out so that it sticks outside of the husk. This allows the individual flowers to be fertilized even though they are still inside the husk. Remember how you plant corn a certain distance apart, that’s so the wind can fertilize!

Once the silk is brushed with pollen, it carries it to the flower, which ripens into a fruit.

The Secret to the BEST Grilled Corn on the Cob

We’ve come to an unsaid agreement, Carrian husks and I grill the corn. In fact, we’ve perfected grilling corn so make sure you hurry and save our post on How to Grill Corn on the Cob as there’s an essential step you may not be doing.

For this recipe we are going to skip that step since the dressing will amp up the flavor on its own, but if you have time you should for sure use that recipe to start things off and your Grilled Corn Avocado Tomato Salad will be even more flavorful.

a close up of a fresh grilled corn salad with tomatoes and avocados!

Growing up with a Garden

Carrian’s family is all about gardening. Her parents keep up with the biggest, best garden I’ve ever seen. They know all the tips and tricks and Carrian tells our kids lots of stories about sitting on turned over buckets and shucking corn, shelling peas and snapping beans all summer long.

They worked most days in the garden before they could run around and play, and especially Monday nights, which as a kid she claims wasn’t her favorite and now it’s one of her favorite memories. Funny how things change with time. This Grilled Corn Avocado Tomato Salad will never change with time, it’s as perfect now as it was before.

I think for now we will just go to Idaho and reap the benefits of her parents’ hard work, but hopefully one day our backyard will be bigger and we can have our own garden.

What to Serve with Corn Salad

Sometimes it’s nice to work backwards and plan what to serve with a great side dish instead of the other way around. We love our grilled corn avocado tomato salad so much we often pick it and then pick the main dish.

With corn salad we’ve served:

Can You Freeze Fresh Corn Salad

You can absolutely freeze fresh corn, and if you’d like to then we’ve written a whole post about How to Freeze Corn for up to 12 Months, but it’s not a good idea to freeze fresh corn salad for a few reasons.

  • Fresh Corn Salad has been cooked entirely, so reheating will break it down even more and often turn to mush.
  • Fresh corn salad has a dressing, whether it’s a vinaigrette or mayonnaise based which will not freeze well.
  • The additional ingredients in a fresh corn salad are often tomatoes, avocados etc which freeze well for certain things like smoothies and soups, they don’t for a salad where they need to retain texture and flavor.

Can I Make Corn Salad Ahead of Time?

Alright, so can corn salad be made ahead of time? Yes!!! While it’s not a great recipe to freeze you can get away with making the salad up to 12 hours ahead of time, even 24 if you don’t add the avocados until serving.

Most often we enjoy our corn salad right when we are eating as everything is best fresh, but we would much rather chat with friends and guests, so if company is coming we are up for making it ahead of time.

To make a corn salad ahead of time, grill your corn and slice it off of the cob. Set aside in a large bowl.

Slice the tomatoes and add to the bowl.

Mix up the cilantro vinaigrette and keep it in a jar in the fridge until serving along with the avocado.

We often open the avocado and get it chopped in the skin, add the pit back into the well and place the two halves together again. Put it in a ziploc until serving.

Once you’re ready to serve the corn salad just toss everything together and season with salt and pepper. Never season ahead of time as flavors change in the fridge and salt draws out more water.

a close up of a fresh grilled corn salad with tomatoes and avocados!

Can You Substitute Fresh Corn with Canned Corn

Every year we get a lot of questions about substituting fresh corn with canned corn, which is usually from areas where corn isn’t bursting from gardens and easily purchased at a low price.

You can substitute fresh corn with canned corn, but the better option is to buy frozen corn and defrost, followed by a quick saute in a hot pan.

Is Corn Salad Healthy?

When you hit the BBQ and you’ve been trying so hard to make healthy choices it’s hard to resist that beautiful corn salad. But is corn salad healthy?

If you make a corn salad with a vinaigrette it’s a healthier barbecue side dish for sure. Corn doesn’t have a huge amount of nutritional value, but it does have some and along with avocados and tomatoes it’s a great choice so you can pass up the potato salad.

How Long Will Corn Salad Last?

Corn salad will last up to 3 days  and then each day after that gets less and less flavorful.

How to Make Homemade Vinaigrette

A general rule is 3:1 or even 2:1 of Olive oil to an acid like vinegar or lemon (or lime) juice. A touch of sugar may be needed to balance the two ingredients.

Then just add any flavors like fresh herbs etc.

How to Store Vinaigrette

Store vinaigrette in the fridge.

And How Long Will Vinaigrette Last? For up to 2 weeks and then dispose of it. Just make sure you bring it to room temperature and give it a quick whisk before serving.

How to Get Vinaigrette Out of Clothes

Because I always get whisking too quickly and end up with splatters of vinaigrette on my clothes I thought I’d mention how to get vinaigrette out of clothes.

  1. Gently scrape off any excess salad dressing from the fabric, careful not to spread it further!
  2. Rub a small amount of hand dishwashing soap onto the fabric. Then, rinse the stained area well, flushing away the solution and oil from the vinaigrette dressing.
  3. Pretreat with a laundry stain remover, like Shout.
  4. Wash in the hottest water allowed for the fabric to thoroughly remove the vinaigrette.

More CORN RECIPES You Are Sure to Love:

Grilled Corn Avocado Tomato Salad

5 from 1 vote
Servings: 8
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


Grilled corn is one of the best things about summer. We recently made this fresh, quick and easy, healthy BBQ side dish, Grilled Corn Avocado Tomato Salad with a simple cilantro dressing!


  • 6 Ears Corn, husked *SEE NOTE
  • 1 1/2 Cups Grape Tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 Avocados, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper

Cilantro Dressing

  • 2 Limes , juiced
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sugar
  • Pinch Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Cilantro, chopped


  • Heat a grill to medium heat.
  • Add the corn, turning occasionally until charred bits begin to show and the kernels are vibrant and juicy.
    6 Ears Corn
  • Remove from the grill and let rest for a moment.
  • Place the tomatoes and avocado in a bowl.
    1 1/2 Cups Grape Tomatoes, 2 Avocados
  • Stand the corn on its end and cut the kernels off of the corn.
  • Place the corn in the bowl and add the dressing.
    2 Limes, 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, 1 Clove Garlic, 1/2 teaspoon Sugar, Pinch Salt, 2 Tablespoons Cilantro
  • Fold everything together to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper.
    Salt and Pepper
  • Serve immediately, or within the hour.


If you want to make this recipe even better, use our post for The Secret to the BEST Grilled Corn on the Cob, just skip the butter etc at the end and proceed with this recipe.
May be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.


Serving: 1gCalories: 208kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 4gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gSodium: 78mgFiber: 6gSugar: 5g
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: America's Best 4th of July Desserts, Recipes and Sides

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A glass bowl filled with a big grilled corn avocado tomato salad with a cilantro dressing being poured over the top