Grilled Corn Salad

Grilled Corn Salad

Today, we’re continuing our month of summer favorites with this corn-and-quinoa salad, inspired by grilled Mexican street corn. How amazing would this be to serve as a side, or even on its own? The wonderful Tieghan from Half Baked Harvest shows us how…

Grilled Corn Salad
By Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest

This salad is so simple and its Mexican flavors make it one you will crave every week this summer. It’s perfect to keep on hand for an easy lunch, light dinner or side, but I think it’s especially great for cookouts. People really love the flavors and it is a dish that almost everyone can eat (if you leave out the optional bacon). Plus, it happens to be pretty healthy, so there is that bonus too! As a double bonus, you don’t even have to heat up your kitchen to make it.

Grilled Corn Salad

Recipe: Grilled Corn Salad

You’ll need:

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
4 ears corn, husks removed
1 tbsp olive oil
2 red peppers
2 jalapeños
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chile powder
1/4 tsp salt + pepper
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 lime, juiced, plus extra for garnish
2-4 green onions, chopped
1 cup grape/cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced
4 thick slices bacon, cooked + chopped (optional)
1/2 cup cotija cheese, crumbled

Prepare quinoa according to directions, which will most likely call for 1 cup of liquid.

While the quinoa is cooking, preheat the grill to the highest setting. Remove the husk from each ear of corn. Brush the corn with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the corn in one layer of aluminum foil. Grill for about 5 minutes on each “side” — rotating corn 4 to 5 times during grilling. At the same time, also place the red peppers and jalapeño peppers on the grill. Lightly charr the peppers on all sides. Remove from the grill and allow to cool.

Meanwhile combine 2 tablespoons cilantro, smoked paprika, chile powder, salt and pepper. In another bowl add the 3 tablespoons butter and half the seasoning mixture. Once the corn is finished brush with just enough of the butter to coat all around the it. Allow the corn to cool and then, slice off the cob using a sharp knife. Slice the peppers as well and add everything to a big bowl.

Next add the warm quinoa to the bowl, along with the remaining seasonings, 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, basil, green onions, tomatoes and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss well. Add the bacon if using and then the cotija cheese, toss again and serve warm or at room temperature.

Grilled Corn Salad

Grilled Corn Salad

Thank you so much, Tieghan!

P.S. More recipes, including the best guacamole and corn on the cob.

(Recipe and photos by Tieghan Gerard. This series is edited by Caroline Donofrio.)

  1. Irene says...

    Can you make this a day ahead (having a big crowd and don’t want to be crazy cooking everything the day they come)?

    Or will it be mushy if made ahead?

  2. Leah Sikorski says...

    This says tsp for the spices in the recipe list but tablespoons in the actual directions?

  3. Kaitlin says...

    I made this salad for dinner last night. It is so good!!! I can’t stop eating it. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  4. Kim says...

    Any tips if you don’t have a grill?

    • Daisy says...

      I just use a regular pan or cast iron pan when it is too hot to turn on the oven and the vegetables can be grilled this way on stove top

  5. Oh wow! Now THIS is a perfect summer meal! I will be using this recipe shortly! Thanks!!

  6. Stephanie says...

    Yum, I love corn and this dish looks incredibly healthy and delicious. I know what I’ll be trying this weekend…

    I’m a fashion blogger in NYC. To follow my adventures featuring the best of NYC’s fashion and food, check out Always looking to collaborate with new bloggers, so contact me! See you there xx

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  7. Well, at least I know our summer food game is au courant…my family has had this and tomato sandwiches on an endless cycle this past month. It’s so good that we aren’t in the least tired of it! There’s nothing like a good char on fresh corn…you can even do it in an iron skillet and let it caramel use a bit…soooooo good!

  8. i looove grilled corn, especially in the summer, will definitely be trying this soon!

  9. Leticia Centeno says...

    That would make such a yummy office lunch!

  10. Oh heavens, this looks delicious. They don’t eat corn here in France! (They think it is feed for cows!?!) Fresh corn is an exquisite thing …

  11. Erika says...

    This looks amazing! It’s perfect a perfect summer dish.

  12. CM says...

    I make something very similar to this. If I am in a rush and no time to grill the corn, I use Trader Joe’s Roasted Corn and heat it quickly in a pan with a bit of oil and chopped onion while prepping everything else.

  13. Great minds think alike! I posted a Mexican Street Corn salad on my blog last week. :) Love the addition of quinoa!

  14. I honestly think I’m going to be making this for dinner tonight. Looks so unbelievably tasty! :) You grilled the corn to perfection xo

  15. What a fun, festive summer side dish! I love food that is both nourishing and beautiful. I will definitely be making this.
    Happy Summer!
    xx Lane

  16. Kim says...

    This looks amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I love corn!

    Kim .. Cut your OWN hair!

  17. Emily says...

    I make a version of the salad all the time — and add chipotle paste for a spicy kick (I wouldn’t add basil, personally). Really good with chopped avocado added in, too. A good tip for perfect quinoa is to spread cooked quinoa on parchment paper-lined baking tray to cool. Gets rid of the excess water, and brings it to the perfect temperature quickly.

  18. That looks perfect for a light summer dinner or as a side to bring to a BBQ, YUM.

  19. This looks so dreamy! I love what the extra effort of grilling can do for corn salad. I appreciate that this won’t heat up my kitchen, too. I can’t wait to try this baby out! Great recipe as always, Tieghan!
    xx Sydney

  20. Janna says...

    On the menu this week! Thanks!!

  21. What a great summer salad. I need to buy the ingredients and make it. Thanks for sharing.

    What a gorgeous look and color on you. I totally agree that adding that lace top underneath adds a beautiful and sophisticated touch to your look.

    Hope you have a wonderful day!
    Twitter: @stylishlyinlove