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Chili Lime Sweet Corn Salad: Cookout Side Idea

Fresh Chili Lime Sweet Corn Salad is THE ideal Cookout Side to bring for any party this summer! Who doesn’t love fresh corn on the cob?  Sweet, succulent corn, ripe juicy tomatoes blended with a cold, tangy chili lime dressing. Serve this for your next 4th of July cookout or just anytime you want to enjoy a light refreshing salad as a perfect side to any grilled meat.

If you don’t have fresh corn on the cob but still want a quick corn side dish be sure and check out our honey butter skillet corn!

Fresh sweet corn, tomatoes in a blue bowl

Fresh Chili Lime Sweet Corn Salad is a recipe that can be made in 15 minutes which in the summer is a necessity because who wants to spend all that time in the hot kitchen cooking when you could be outside enjoying friends and family!

I love all things with fresh corn– it’s plentiful in the stores and is simple, flavorful and sweet. It’s an added bonus that it is an inexpensive dish that will feed a crowd for all your cookouts.

Whether it be for Memorial day Menu or and easy 4th of July recipe or just because you need a classic BBQ side dish this recipe works for all occasions! This cold corn salad is a great way to balance out heavier grilling meals– the garden-fresh corn is healthy and light to eat!

This summer corn salad also has tomatoes (cut up cherry tomatoes) fresh basil and lime juice along with a green chili aioli so its full of all the summer flavors.

Sweet corn is optimal in the summer because corn is at its peak of sweetness.  I grew up in Nebraska and let me tell you there is nothing like fresh-picked corn.  

The corn is so sweet and juicy that you could eat it right after you shuck it– it’s so tender and delicious if you really didn’t want to cook it.  It’s just that fresh.  

That being said, the Chili Lime in this (which I also used on this Grilled Green Chili Aioli Cheeseburger) is so full of flavor you can make this salad all year long and not be disappointed.

Large serving turquoise serving dish full of a corn salad with corn, feta tomatoes topped with lime slices

Sweet Corn Tips:

Buy the freshest corn you can and leave the corn in the husks until you are ready to use it. Corn stays fresher that way.

Use the corn sooner rather than later so it doesn’t dry out.

Points of Interest of the Fresh Chili Lime Sweet Corn:

  • I made this recipe by cooking the corn in a pot of boiling water but if you want to grill it you can do that too!  
  • And of course, if you can grill corn and boil it, you can also use frozen or canned corn too!  (This is why it works ALL YEAR LONG!  😉
  • The easiest way to cut an ear of corn is to place the corn end side down and use a sharp knife to cut away the corn kernels.
  • If you are concerned about the cob slipping you can use a bundt pan and place the cob in the center of the hole of the bundt pan and it will hold the cob in place. The corn will fall into the bottom of the pan for easy removal when you’re done.
  • This cold sweet corn salad can feed a big crowd– if you’re feeding a lot of people definitely use the bundt pan trick to cut off the corn
  • This salad is better the second day.  Make it the night before you want to take it to a BBQ and the flavors just get better and better.

Variations to add to the Fresh Corn Salad

This lime corn salad is very versatile.  You can change it up and add things that you have on hand.

Add celery, cucumber, avocado, sweet peppers or even fresh summer in season radishes to give it an extra crunch. Other things you could add are thinly sliced red onions, green onions or red peppers!

Want the salad a little bit spicier? Add chopped jalapenos to it! Stir in a fresh pico de gallo for a maximum burst of flavor!

Fresh Avocado can be added on top right before serving to give it a creamy texture. (Don’t stir it in or the salad will turn a funny green color!!)

Don’t like a mayo based corn salad? Use a simple oil vinegar dressing. Generously salt and pepper for added seasoning.

Grilled Corn Chili Lime Salad is easy to do— two different ways!

  1. Cut the kernels off the cob and place them in a foil packet and grill it for 15-20 minutes off the flames. (the burners are on, but place the corn on a shelf or to the side– Toss the grilled corn with the chili aioli and serve!
  2. Remove the husks, brush with olive oil and grill 2-3 minutes per side until charred and tender. Cut of kernels and proceed with the rest of the recipe!

Need more ideas for what to serve along side your meal? Find all the SIDE DISH recipes you need here!

Small bowl served up next to the serving dish full of corn salad.

More Classic BBQ Sides

Stuffed Bratwurst, Fall of the bone BBQ Ribs, Grilled Cuban Mojo Pork Tenderloin
Brats, Baby Back Ribs and Mojo Pork

More BBQ Food Ideas / Cookout Food

Yield: 10 1/2 cup servings

Fresh Chili Lime Sweet Corn Salad

Fresh sweet corn, tomatoes in a blue bowl

Fresh Chili Lime Sweet Corn Salad is THE ideal BBQ side dish to bring for any party this summer! Sweet, succulent corn, fresh juicy tomatoes blended with a cold chili lime dressing. Perfect for all cookout sides you'll want this summer--- whether it be a Memorial day Menu or the 4th of July easy recipe!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 4 large ears of sweet corn, removed from husks, (5 cups of corn)
  • 1/4 cup Green Chili Aioli
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, (juice from one large lime)
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (or 1/2'd cherry tomatoes)
  • 1/3 cup fresh crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, minced

Chili Lime Aioli (you will have leftovers!)

  • 1 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Mustard (any kind)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 4 ounces Fire Roasted Green Chilis
  • 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (optional) 


  1. Bring water to a boil in a large stockpot with enough water that once you put the corn in they will be completely covered.
  2. Add corn to the pot and boil until tender about 12-15 minutes.
  3. Prepare Green Chili Aioli while the corn is cooking. (recipe below)
  4. Remove from water, drain water and then on a cutting board place the ears of corn to cool until you are able to handle them.
  5. Cut corn away from cob and place in a bowl and place in the fridge to cool for 15 minutes (you want the corn to cool so when you add the aioli it does not separate.). THIS STEP IS IMPORTANT!
  6. Once corn is cooled  add tomatoes, basil, lime juice  and aioli and mix well.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Then if serving immediately, sprinkle feta cheese over the top and serve.   If serving the next day, or later in the day wait to sprinkle the feta cheese until you are ready to serve.  
  7. This salad is better if you make it early in the day or the night before and wait to serve it. 🙂

Green Chili Aioli

  1. Into the bowl of a food processor, add egg yolk, whole egg (minus shells) mustard and lime juice.  Run the food processor for 1-2 minutes to really froth up the egg mixture.  The volume will increase.  
  2. Using the pour spout of your food processor very very slowly pour the olive oil.  This should take over a minute to add the oil.  This allows the egg mixture and the oil to blend and thicken.  If you pour it too fast it will be a much runnier aioli.   
  3. Once all oil is added, add green chilis, minced garlic, salt and cayenne pepper and blend for 30 seconds.  Taste and adjust, salt, cayenne according to taste.  Other flavor boosters can be added here too... (Tobasco sauce, herbs) 
  4. It can be made ahead of time, actually, it's better that way as the flavors intensify.  It can be stored in the fridge for up to a week in an airtight container.
  5. Note: you will have extra aioli leftover. Use it on sandwiches, or on a burger in place of regular mayo!


OK to use frozen or canned corn. Drain canned corn and proceed. Defrost frozen corn then drain before making. Allow corn to chill for 15 minutes before adding the aioli or it will separate.

Grill corn ok too. Peel back husks, brush with olive oil and grill 2-3 minutes per side, then cut off cob for the recipe. Allow corn to chill for 15 minutes before adding the aioli.

All recipe calorie information was calculated on what I purchased to make this recipe in My Fitness Pal. When you make the recipe, the calorie content could vary depending on what specific ingredients/brands you actually use. Please take that into consideration if you are following a strict diet.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

10 1/2 cup servings

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 97Carbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g

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