This easy side dish is packed with summer flavor, and it’s ready in less than 30 minutes. Serve with grilled burgers, kabobs, or a juicy steak!
Grilled Corn Salad with Crumbled Bacon is a great way to enjoy grilled corn without it getting stuck in your teeth! The combination of grilled corn, bacon, bell pepper, and fresh herbs is irresistible. And, it’s a great side dish for cookouts or picnics.
This salad is best made with sweet corn that’s in season.
When is sweet corn season?
Sweet corn season runs from May through September. In northern states, the season is shorter, starting in July and running through September.
- Sweet corn is the star of this salad.
- Bacon adds crispiness and complements the corn beautifully.
- Red pepper adds crunch.
- Herbs add freshness to this salad. I used a mixture of fresh basil and fresh parsley.
- Olive oil, honey, vinegar, and sea salt combine to make a simple vinaigrette.
How to grill corn
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Remove the husks and silks from the ears of corn.
Place the corn on the grill, close the lid, and grill for 2–3 minutes, or until grill marks appear. Flip and cook for another 2 minutes.
You just want a light char here—enough for grill marks to show up but not enough to overcook the corn so it’s mushy.
Prepare the salad
As the corn is cooking and cooling, prepare the rest of the salad:
1) Cook the bacon in a skillet. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and let cool.
2) Dice the red pepper, green onions, and fresh herbs. Crumble the bacon.
3) In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the olive oil, vinegar, honey, and sea salt. Shake to combine.
4) Cut the corn kernels off the cob by standing one end of the corn in the bottom of a large mixing bowl, and using a sharp knife to cut the corn kernels away from the cob. I cut the bottom half of the corn kernels away from the cob first, then flip the cob over and do the other side. The mixing bowl keeps all of the corn contained so corn kernels aren’t flying all over the kitchen.
5) In a large bowl, combine the corn, bacon, red pepper, green onions, fresh herbs, and vinaigrette. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Can I use different herbs?
Yes! You can use just basil, just parsley, a mixture of the two (that’s what I did), or substitute other fresh herbs such as chives or thyme.
Can I make this salad ahead?
Sure—refrigerate the salad until you’re ready to eat. It’s best served within a few hours of cooking so the bacon stays crisp, but it’s delicious for a few days afterward (refrigerated), too. You can either bring it back to room temperature or serve it cold.
What to serve with corn salad
Corn salad is perfect for a cookout, so grilled burgers, grilled bratwursts, or grilled sausages are delicious pairings. I’m partial to these Beer Brats with Cheese Sauce or these Grilled Brats with Tomato Jam. German Potato Salad would be the perfect side dish (it also contains bacon!).
Grilled chicken would also be a fantastic pairing. These easy Greek Chicken Kabobs are a favorite at our house!
Grilled Corn Salad with Crumbled Bacon
- 4 ears sweet corn
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh herbs, finely chopped (I used a mixture of basil and parsley)
- 4 slices bacon (I used thick cut)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons champagne vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat a grill to medium heat. Remove the husks and silks from the corn. Place the corn on the grill and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until grill marks appear. Flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, place the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook, flipping occasionally, until crisp. Remove bacon from the skillet and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain. When the bacon is cool, crumble it with your fingers or chop with a knife.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off the ears of corn. I stand the ear of corn on its base in a large bowl, and cut the kernels off from there. The bowl catches all of the corn kernels so you don’t have corn flying everywhere.
- Add the diced red pepper, green onions, fresh herbs, and crumbled bacon to the corn.
- In a small jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the olive oil, vinegar, honey, and sea salt. Shake to combine. Pour over the corn mixture and toss gently to incorporate. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.