Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad
This delicious roasted corn and tomato salad proves that simple really can be best. Just three ingredients and you have the star of every summer dinner, potluck, and barbecue! Vegan and gluten-free.
Like so many recipes, this simple corn and tomato salad came about by chance. I was baking lemon butter fish for dinner one night, had some ears of corn to use, and was looking for an easy way to spruce them up.
I’m pretty obsessed with cherry tomatoes and always have some on hand. Their juicy texture and natural sweetness pair beautifully with corn. The amazing part is how little “extra” this simple salad needs to shine.
As it turns out, fresh and seasonal produce tastes pretty dang amazing all on its own.
What you’ll need
- Corn on the cob: estimate 1 ear per person if serving this as a side dish.
- Cherry tomatoes: about 1 pint, though admittedly I usually throw in an extra handful.
- Fresh parsley: the Italian flat-leaf variety. This adds the perfect peppery flavor and pop of green.
- Olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Really — that’s it! While there are plenty of more elaborate corn and tomato salad recipes out there, this is our favorite. Everyone loves the taste, and the cook will love the simplicity. 🙂
The only part of this that requires any cooking at all is grilling the corn. After years of being intimidated by the grill, I’m pleased to say now that I’ve conquered it, and being able to easily make corn on the cob this way is such a treat.
Tips for grilling corn
- Leave corn in the husks! They’re nature’s perfect wrapping and create a steaming effect so the corn kernels cook perfectly inside, becoming tender without drying out.
- Soaking optional. If your husks are starting to dry out, go ahead and soak them in water before grilling–but it’s not a must. It takes almost no effort and is a nice insurance policy against dry corn (or a grill fire!) but I’ve skipped it when my ears are very fresh and it didn’t impact the taste or texture.
- Easy silk removal. There is no need to peel them off before cooking! After the ears are grilled, simply pull the husks back, and the silks will literally fall off with minimal effort.
- Grill over medium-high heat for about 20 minutes. You want to see some nice char marks on the husks. It’s hard to overcook corn in the husk, so don’t stress.
If your curiosity is piqued, Foodie Crush has published the ultimate guide to grilled corn with even more tips, tricks, and ideas.
Can I make this without grilling the corn?
Yes, absolutely. You can easily get a similar flavor by cooking corn in a cast iron skillet or grill pan. Husk the corn first, set the pan over medium-high heat, and add a drizzle of olive oil or butter. Place corn cobs in the skillet and cook, turning every few minutes, until tender and seared a bit on all sides. You can also cut the kernels off the cob first and cook the same way.
Corn is also easy to cook in the oven. Cut kernels off the cob and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1-2 teaspoons olive oil, toss to coat, and bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.
Can I use frozen or canned corn?
Yes — use what you’ve got, I say! I would suggest giving either a quick sauté with a bit of butter or olive oil in a skillet or grill pan, if possible. Let cool briefly and proceed.
While we make this most often exactly as written, it’s also a terrific base for other add-ins and variations. One of my favorites is to add diced avocado for extra heft and creaminess. You can also add arugula for more of a traditional salad crunch. And try sprinkling the corn with Cajun seasoning, jerk seasoning, a grilling blend, or anything else that you love.
What to serve with it
A roasted corn and tomato salad is very versatile. It makes a great side to nearly anything you’d enjoy in the summer! Some of our favorite pairings are grilled dry rub chicken, garlic butter shrimp, or lemon butter fish.
This salad is also a perfect contribution to potlucks and barbecues. Quick, easy, and highly crowd-pleasing! It keeps well for at least 3-4 hours fully prepared in the fridge, or you can simply combine the corn, tomatoes, and parsley, and add olive oil, salt, and pepper right before serving.
More easy side salads
- Pearl Couscous Salad with Cucumbers and Tomatoes
- White Bean Tomato Cucumber Salad
- Spinach Salad with Nectarines and Pecans
- Everyday Italian Salad
- 5-Minute Arugula Parmesan Salad (we eat this at least once a week!)
- Marinated Mozzarella Salad with Tomato and Avocado
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Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad
- 4 ears fresh sweet corn on the cob
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 3-4 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
- 10-12 cranks fresh-ground black pepper
- To grill corn, simply place it, in the husks, on a hot grill. Close the grill and cook for 15-20 minutes, checking and turning with tongs every 5 minutes or so.
- Peel back the husks and pull off the fine silks. (They should fall off easily.) Cut kernels from the cob and place in a medium bowl.
- Add tomatoes and chopped parsley. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine, taste, and add more salt and pepper to taste.
- No grill? You can easily get a similar flavor by cooking corn in a cast iron skillet or grill pan. Husk the corn first, set the pan over medium-high heat, and add a drizzle of olive oil or butter. Place corn cobs in the skillet and cook, turning every few minutes, until tender and seared a bit on all sides.
- Yield: As written, this recipe yields 4 small side servings. If I’m serving just this and a protein, like chicken or fish, for dinner, I often make an extra ear or two or corn and add an extra handful of tomatoes.