Fresh Corn Salad with Scallions and Basil

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Summery and make-ahead, this fresh corn salad is tailor made for a cookout.

I love boiled corn on the cob but, since it needs to be made right before serving, it’s not ideal for a party (unless you like the idea of sweating over a hot stove indoors while your guests kick back outside sipping sangria). For a crowd, I love a fresh corn salad that I can make entirely ahead of time. With crisp sweet corn, scallions, and basil in a tart white wine vinaigrette, this corn salad is not only make-ahead, but it’s also a delicious and refreshing change from the usual (and messy) corn on the cob slathered with butter.

What You’ll Need To Make Fresh Corn Salad with Scallions & Basil

ingredients for corn salad

How To Make Fresh Corn Salad with Scallions & Basil

Begin by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil.  I also usually throw a few tablespoons of sugar into the water to ensure that the corn is sweet (definitely sacrilege with fresh farm-picked corn, but when you buy it at the grocery store you never know how fresh it is, and a little insurance never hurts).

boiling the corn

The key is to barely boil the corn to keep it super crisp — a few minutes is all it takes. Refresh the corn under cold water to stop the cooking process.

refreshing the corn under cold water

Place the corn on a clean dish towel set over a cutting board, then use a serrated knife to cut the kernels of the cobs. (The dish towel both dries the corn and prevents it from bouncing all over the place.)

cutting corn kernels off of the cobsTry to keep the chunks of corn intact — it looks pretty and shows that you used fresh corn. Use the dish towel to transfer the kernels to a large bowl.

transferring corn to a bowl

Add the white wine vinegar, vegetable oil, scallions, salt and pepper.

adding the dressing to the corn salad

Toss well.

tossed corn salad

Right before serving, toss in the fresh basil.

adding basil to corn salad

Toss well, then transfer to a serving bowl.

You May Also Like


Fresh Corn Salad with Scallions and Basil

Summery and make-ahead, this fresh corn salad is tailor made for a cookout.

Servings: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes


  • 5 ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely sliced fresh basil leaves
  • Sugar, optional


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (see note). Boil the corn until tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain the corn and immerse it in very cold water to stop the cooking process. Place the corn on a clean dish towel set over a cutting board, then use a serrated knife to cut the kernels of the cobs. (The dish towel both dries the corn and prevents it from bouncing all over the place.)
  2. In a large bowl, combine the kernels with the oil, vinegar, scallions, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. If the salad tastes too tart, add a bit more oil; if it tastes bland, add a bit more vinegar or salt and pepper. Try adding a 1/4 teaspoon of sugar if the corn isn't as sweet as you'd like. Serve the salad cold or at room temperature.
  3. Note: When boiling corn on the cob, be sure to add enough salt that the water tastes like the sea. Try adding a few tablespoons of sugar to the water as well -- it will enhance the corn's sweetness.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Calories: 267
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38 g
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Sodium: 245 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

See more recipes:

Reviews & Comments

  • Can this be made with sweet corn I shucked and froze?

    • — Marilyn Frey on September 6, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Marilyn, I think that should work. Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on September 6, 2021
      • Reply
      • Hi! What oil do you recommend? Canola? Corn? EVOI? Thanks!

        • — Carolyn on October 4, 2021
        • Reply
        • Hi Carolyn, I’d go with canola or vegetable oil. Hope you enjoy!

          • — Jenn on October 6, 2021
          • Reply
  • I made this yesterday exactly as written and it was just amazing! Loved it. Light, refreshing, a little tang, a HEALTHY choice. I brought it to a BBQ and got compliments on it, even though it looked so unassuming amongst all the mayo-filled salads on the table.

    • — Cindy K on September 6, 2021
    • Reply
  • I had two ears of corn left over from the night before and made this salad for my husband and myself. My husband, who is a picky veg eater loved it. It was so refreshing on a very hot day. I will definitely make this recipe again and also for company. Might even put in some small shrimp next time.

    • — Susan on August 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • Just made this salad to go with chicken/feta/spinach sausages- and it was absolutely delicious. The only change I made was adding sliced cherry tomatoes because we had so many on hand. Thanks so much for sharing your amazing recipes. I am a fan. 😊

    • — Maggie Medjuck on August 13, 2021
    • Reply
  • I love this easy make ahead salad. Thank you so much for posting. Every time I make this, my friends/family ask for the recipe. Even my hard to impress Mom!

    • — Melissa on August 11, 2021
    • Reply
  • Fabulous! I used Jersey Fresh Bi-Color Sweet Corn (nothing better in the USA) and followed the recipe exactly. It was so good!

    • — RobC, NJ on August 11, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn
    I am making this today for the Fourth! Could i possibly use grapeseed oil or olive oil?
    Thanks so much

    • — Melissa Pickard on July 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, Melissa – I’d go with grapeseed over olive oil for this.

      • — Jenn on July 4, 2021
      • Reply
  • This is a great, refreshing summer side dish! Basil fresh from my garden added the perfect summer taste to the corn. We loved it!

    • — Alane S on June 25, 2021
    • Reply
  • so yummy and fresh! definitely gets better and better as it marinates

    • — Kelly Guenther on May 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • So delicious! I grilled 2 ears of corn, julienned 3 basil leaves, added 2 tsps of EVOO and 1 1/2 tsps of white balsamic vinegar. Then I sprinkled some maldon on top with 2 turns of pepper from the grinder. I also used one scallion. Perfect corn salad for 1. The white balsamic vinegar was sweet enough that I did not need any sugar.

    • — Sonia on April 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I love this salad. It’s so easy, and it’s dependable and looks good. The last time I made it, I added avocado just before serving and it was even more delicious. So good that guests wanted to know where I got the recipe from!

    • — Bronwyn on April 27, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is one of my absolute favorite summer time side dishes. I have made it many times and it never fails to get many requests for the recipe! It is so tasty and a great way to enjoy fresh corn on the cob without the cob – especially easy when feeding a crowd! Love the basil and I especially like the make ahead feature. Anything to keep me out of the kitchen when friends and family are over, I appreciate. This and the Vivian Howard’s Cilantro Lime Sweet Corn salad (which is served warm) I highly recommend. They do not disappoint.

    • — Nancy on January 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • Simple, healthy, yummy salad! I’ve made this salad with Edamame before too, and it turned out amazing and gave it more color.

    • — SANDEE SASAKI on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is the perfect summer salad to take to a potluck BBQ. I discovered it at a party where I knew almost no one. After tasting it, I went from table to table to find out who brought the fabulous corn salad. Since then, whenever I take it to an outing, someone inevitably seeks me out to ask for the recipe. It’s simple and delicious and a wonderful accompaniment to any grilled protein.

    • — Kerry Ellen on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have been making it all summer,everyone wants the recipe,I can’t keep in the fridge/

    • — Veronica Hubbard on September 4, 2020
    • Reply
  • Made this last weekend and making again this week. What a great recipe to use when you are a fresh corn lover and looking for an alternative to corn on the cob. Making tonight to go with chicken stuffed Jalapeno peppers. Hot and cool.

    • — Linda on August 22, 2020
    • Reply
  • In case you want to do this out of corn season and use a good quality frozen corn, what do you think the volume of 5 ears of corn is? 3cups? More? 🙂

    • — Cherie Remmer on August 14, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Cherie, I think it would be a little closer to 3-1/2 cups. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on August 14, 2020
      • Reply
    • I was looking for a new recipe to use fresh corn and tried your Fresh Corn Salad with scallions and basil. My husband and I both loved it. I also had fresh basil from a pot on my deck. Hubby even said he liked it better than corn on the Cobb. Obviously it is a keeper. Thank you!

      • — June D on August 2, 2021
      • Reply
  • Perfect summer side dish – thanks!

    • — Donna on July 20, 2020
    • Reply
    • Very refreshing and light. A nice way to dress up corn!
      It’s easy to take it add a cob as necessary without having to make another batch of dressing.

      *We bbq’d the corn straight on the grill. Loved the char flavor with this

      • — Anita on August 6, 2020
      • Reply
  • Easy to make, pleasure to eat. Delicious!

    • — W A White on July 3, 2020
    • Reply
  • Does the corn need to be cooked? I make a corn salad using raw corn and it is amazing. Looking forward to trying this recipe as I have lots of basil.

    • — Pam on July 2, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Pam, I would recommend cooking it. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 2, 2020
      • Reply
  • How do you think this would work with Grilled corn?

    • — Doug on June 28, 2020
    • Reply
    • I think it would work nicely!

      • — Jenn on June 29, 2020
      • Reply
    • Love this recipe but I made it just a little different this time. I grilled my corn in the husk.. must be very fresh, used minced red onion and dried basil. Sometimes I add it to my Hawaiian style mac salad if there’s any left. It’s ‘ono!

      • — kurt nickerson on July 16, 2020
      • Reply
  • Made this corn salad today, and it was a home run. My husband cut the corn off the cobs for me, and was a little sorry we weren’t having traditional corn on the cob. After he tasted this recipe, he totally fell in love with it. Tasty, light, and best of all easy! I’ll be making this for company in the future.

    • — Debra Cervelli on June 24, 2020
    • Reply
  • I have frozen corn in the freezer taken off the cob. Should I cook it a bit in a skillet before adding to the salad?
    Thanks and I love your recipes!

    • — Barb B. on May 28, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Barb, If you cooked it before removing from the cobb and freezing, no need to cook it in a skillet. If you didn’t cook it first, then yes, I would do that, but be careful not to overdo it; you don’t want it too soft. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 28, 2020
      • Reply
    • I made this corn salad tonight to use up the ears I had from the store. I added some tomatoes to the salad simply because I had them. Everything else was added as written. Very nice taste and texture… my husband had 2 servings! I’ll definitely make it many more times.

      • — Diane on July 2, 2020
      • Reply

Add a Review or Question

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.