Smoky grilled zucchini, charred sweet corn, and tons of other summery goodness collide in this sweet corn Mexican salad that’s easy to whip up and packed with flavor!
Summer salads like this gem are just about all we know these days.
When you’ve got more summer produce than you know what to do with…that’s where this Mexican salad comes into play!
We’ve got grilled zucchini and sweet corn taking the main spotlight in this salad with the most killer cilantro lime vinaigrette dressing it to perfection. It’s everything your salad game needs to be.
Plus it uses up an ABUNDANCE of summer produce you likely have hanging around that needs a home.
This is just one of those salads that isn’t quite salad-ish if you know what I mean. It can be served hot or cold and compliments a variety of summer meals.
This Sweet Corn Mexican Salad features…
- Tender grilled zucchini and sweet pepper.
- Charred sweet corn.
- A tangy cilantro lime vinaigrette.
- Ready in 30 minutes with only 9 ingredients and won’t heat up your kitchen!
Making the Sweet Corn Mexican Salad
(scroll down to the bottom of post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Sweet corn
- Sweet pepper
- Olive oil
- Agave nectar
- Dijon mustard
How to Prepare Vegetables For Grilling
To prepare the corn, remove the husks and try to remove as much of the silk as you can. The corn will get cooked directly on the grill until a bright yellow and slightly charred.
To prepare the zucchini, cut in half width-wise so you have long zucchini slabs. Grilling the zucchini this way makes it easy to flip on the grill without having to worry about smaller pieces falling through the grates.
To prepare the sweet pepper, remove the core and seeds, then slice into quarters. We found this size is ideal for grilling because it’s easy to cook directly on the grate and the medium size cooks up quickly.
For best results, rub the corn, sweet pepper, and zucchini with a little bit of olive oil so it doesn’t stick to the grill grates. Alternatively, you can also use a grill basket to grill vegetables.
Tips for Perfect Mexican Salad
- Grill vegetables until tender – use a fork to test zucchini and sweet pepper to ensure it’s tender before removing from grill.
- Cut sweet pepper and zucchini into 1/2-in cubes – uniformity matters in this salad and makes it easier to eat.
- Use fresh lime juice in dressing – fresh really does make a difference flavor-wise!
- Allow salad to sit in dressing several minutes – this gives the vegetables a chance to soak up the flavorful cilantro lime dressing.
Make Ahead Instructions
This salad is very easy to make ahead of time if you’re bringing it to a cookout or as a lunch salad.
- Grill and chop vegetables and store in refrigerator up to 4 days.
- Make dressing and store in refrigerator up to 1 week.
- Assemble salad and store in refrigerator up to 3 days.
There are many ways to switch up this salad to
- Roast vegetables – if you don’t have access to a grill, you can roast vegetables instead! Cut zucchini and sweet pepper into 1/2-in cubes and remove corn from the cobs. Toss vegetables together with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast at 400F 20-25 minutes until vegetables are tender.
- Try different vegetables – mushrooms, summer squash, asparagus, or tomatoes would be great additions.
- Add cheese – try a handful of crumbled feta or cotija cheese.
- Make it spicy – swap out the jalapeno for a spicier pepper such as habanero or serrano for a spicier salad.
- Skip the cilantro – if you’re not a fan of cilantro, try another herb such as parsley or basil.
We’ve declared this salad the ultimate way to use up summer veggies and for good reason. The vegetables are perfectly smoky and tender, loaded with flavor from the cilantro lime dressing, and has just a little bit of a spicy kick that’s easy to dial up or down.
Honestly, you’re going to love this glorious salad more than any other salad you’ve made this summer, guys, and that’s a promise.
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Try these other summer salad winners next!
- Quick Pickle Cucumber Chicken Green Goddess Salad
- Balsamic Bleu Cheese Grilled Steak Strawberry Salad
- Almond Broccoli Salad
Charred Zucchini Mexican Sweet Corn Salad
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- 3 medium zucchini, halved widthwise
- 1 medium sweet pepper, cored and cut into quarters
- 5 medium ears sweet corn, husks and silk removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, minced
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Rub zucchini, sweet pepper, and corn with olive oil. Heat a grill to medium-high heat, then grill veggies directly on grates until zucchini and pepper are tender and corn is slightly charred.
- Allow corn, zucchini, and sweet pepper to cool several minutes, then remove corn from cobs and dice zucchini and pepper into 1/2-in cubes.
- Combine corn, zucchini, sweet pepper, jalapeno pepper, and cilantro in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk lime juice, mustard, agave, and cilantro. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly until dressing is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour dressing over salad and toss to evenly coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill salad until ready to serve and enjoy!
This recipe was updated with new photos and recipe notes on 6/16/22.