Nothing says summer like a cool salad topped with grilled chicken, sweet corn, and fresh tomatoes. The avocado lime dressing brings some healthy fat and tangy zip to this filling dinner salad.
Grilled Corn and Chicken Salad for Summer
When the weather warms up, we find every excuse possible to fire up the grill. Whether it’s meats, vegetables, fruits or pizza, if we can grill it, it’s happening.
But, we also turn to lighter fare and salads are the perfect vehicle for delivering fresh market produce. This salad recipe is perfect for hot summer gatherings, enjoyed poolside or packed for a picnic.
Ingredients for This Summer Salad
I know the list looks long, but you likely already have half the ingredients in your spice rack or fridge!
Homemade Adobo Seasoning
One of my favorite things about this recipe is that the spice blend is used on the chicken, the corn, and in the dressing. It’s my take on an adobo seasoning blend and would be great on all sorts of proteins! You’ll need:
- garlic powder
- kosher salt
- onion powder
- black pepper
- dried oregano
- cayenne pepper
From the Market
To round out the recipe are a few fresh ingredients from the market or farm stand.
- fresh corn on the cob
- butter or romaine lettuce
- grape tomatoes
- red onion
- chicken tenders
- cotija or feta cheese
- olive oil
- light mayo
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Steps to Make Grilled Chicken + Corn Salad
- Make the seasoning blend — Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. You’ll use every bit of it for this recipe.
- Grill the chicken and corn — After tossing the chicken with lime juice, olive oil and some of the seasoning blend and lightly oiling the corn, grill them, then set aside to cool. Before you assemble the salad, you can slice the chicken and cut the corn kernels from the cobs.
- Make the dressing — Use a blender or mini food processor to make easy work of this dressing.
- Prep the other ingredients — halve tomatoes, slice onion and crumble cheese for your salad.
- Assemble the salad — Assemble salads on individual plates or in one large bowl. Drizzle dressing all over the top or serve it on the side.
Helpful Tips + Variations
You will need two limes for this entire recipe. Zest one lime and set that aside for the dressing. Juice both limes into a small bowl and measure out what you need for the chicken marinade and dressing as you follow along through the recipe.
Omit proteins and add some grilled bell pepper for a vegetarian version. Substitute shrimp (oh, that would be so good!) or steak for the chicken.
This is my take on adobo seasoning. One of our favorite things to grill is chicken thighs seasoned with this stuff (and some other things — but, that’s another post!). It makes a great all purpose blend, so double or triple the quantities in this recipe and store in a small air tight container.
There are two methods I use:
1) Place one end in the center of a bundt pan and cut the kernels away. The bundt pan will catch the kernels.
2) Line a sheet pan with a tea towel and cut the kernels off in the center of the pan. The towel reduces bounce and helps to collect the kernels.
Other Salad Recipes to Try
- Grilled Salmon Salad with Pistou Dressing
- Pan Seared Scallop Salad with Mandarin Vinaigrette
- Beet + Baby Greens Salad with Maple-Mustard Dressing
- Gorgeous Greens Summer Pasta Salad with Basil-Lemon Vinaigrette
Healthy Grilled Chicken + Corn Summer Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing
- blender or food processor
- microplane grater or zester
- grill or grill pan
- bundt pan or sheet pan
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 ears corn on the cob yellow or whitem husks + silks removed
- 1 lb chicken tenders
- 1 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 10 oz red + green butter lettuce or romaine
- 18 grape tomatoes cut in half
- ½ cup red onion sliced
- 2 oz cotija cheese or feta, crumbled
- 1 avocado peel + seed removed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp light mayonnaise like Hellman's
- zest of 1 lime
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ cup cilantro leaves loosely packed, roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp water
- Make the seasoning blend by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl.
- Place the chicken tenders in another bowl and add 2 tsp of olive oil, 1 tsp lime juice and 2 tsp of the seasoning blend. Mix to distribute the seasoning all over the chicken.
- Drizzle 1 tsp of olive oil over the ears of corn and rub to distribute.
- Preheat a clean outdoor grill on high heat. Once hot, oil the grates and place the chicken and corn on the grill. Reduce the flame to medium. Grill the chicken tenders for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate and tent with foil. Grill the corn for 10 to 12 minutes, turning a quarter turn every 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- To make the dressing, place all the ingredients except for the water in a bowl of small food processor or blender. Mix until smooth. Add 3/4 of a teaspoon of the seasoning blend and 2 tablespoons of water. Mix to combine. Add an additional 1 tablespoon of water to thin as desired.
- Slice the chicken into bite size pieces. Cut the corn from the cobbs. Toss the remainder of the seasoning blend with the corn.
- To assemble the salad, place the greens in a large bowl and top with chicken, corn, grape tomatoes, red onion and cotija cheese. Drizzle the dressing all over the top or serve it on the side.
- To easily remove the corn from the cobb, place one end in the center of a bundt pan and cut the kernels away. The bundt pan will catch the kernels. Another way is to line a sheet pan with a tea towel and cut the kernels off in the center of the pan. The towel reduces bounce and helps to collect the kernels.
- You will need two limes for this entire recipe. Zest one lime and set aside for the dressing. Juice both limes into a small bowl and measure out what you need for the chicken marinade and dressing as you cook along.
Nutritional values are estimated and provided as a general guideline only. I earn a commission from Instacart from qualifying ingredient purchases.