Get ready to fall in love with this vegan Corn Salad with Jalapeño and Cilantro Dressing with cherry tomatoes, red onion and bell pepper. It will totally put you in the mood for easy summer evenings.

a side view of jalapeno cilantro dressing being poured over corn salad

A Delicious Mexican Corn Salad

This easy and colorful Mexican Corn Salad is the perfect healthy plant-based side dish salad to make for your next barbecue or potluck party. It is also a great make-ahead option.

You’ll love the jalapeno, cilantro and cumin seed dressing tossed with sweet corn and juicy tomatoes! This combination is the perfect way to jazz up sweet corn! It pairs perfectly with vegetarian entrees like Grilled Mushroom Kebabs and Veggie Tacos.

a close up of corn salad with cilantro

The heat kickin’ off the jalapeño is so delish you guys. I like it way better with a whole jalapeño in the dressing, but if you are timid about spice, just use a half of one. And the garlic and cilantro and the cheery acidity of the red wine vinegar- it’s greater than the sum of its parts.

a side view of corn salad before it is mixed together

How to Make Mexican Corn Salad

  • Cumin Seeds: Start with toasted cumin seeds. This may seem like a strange idea, but it makes the dressing taste great because it is roasty and toasty and pungent- much more so than a spoonful of ground cumin would make it.
  • Add in some garlic: because it makes the world spin. Full stop.
  • Jalapeño for Heat: Then add some kick in the form of a jalapeño pepper. I just chopped the top off and then put it into the food processor with the blade running. (Same for the garlic.) The blade will chop it in mid air and the results will be a more evenly chopped pepper.
  • Cook the Corn: I boil the corn by pouring boiling water over it from the kettle. Then simmer it only until it is crisp tender. If you have really great fresh corn (a la corn fields described above) err on the side of under cooking the corn. If you have an Air Fryer, you can also make Air Fryer Corn on the Cob to cook it.
  • Use Frozen Corn: If you want you can certainly use frozen corn too. It’ll be even faster to make!
  • Add Contrast, Color and Flavor: add in bell pepper (I like the way orange looks), red onion, and cherry tomatoes.

Serving Tips

  • Make Ahead Tips: If you want to make this corn salad ahead, layer all the ingredients into your bowl and keep the dressing separate. For best results, make the dressing just before using. And either way, I recommend that you do not add the dressing until you are ready to stir it together and serve. If it sits for a while, it will become watery. It will taste awesome still, but serve it with a slotted spoon.
  • Make it a Vegetarian (or Vegan) Meal: These Black Bean Enchiladas have a vegan option too! 
corn salad from overhead

More Vegan Summer Side Salads To Try

Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!

Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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Get read to fall in love with this vegan Corn Salad with Jalapeno and Cilantro Dressing with cherry tomatoes, red onion and bell pepper. It will totally put you in the mood for easy summer evenings. #vegan #cornsalad #corn #sidedish #summer #easy #picnic #barbecue #20minuterecipe

Mexican Corn Salad

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Get read to fall in love with this Mexican Corn Salad with Jalapeno and Cilantro Dressing with cherry tomatoes, red onion and bell pepper. It will totally put you in the mood for easy summer evenings.


  • 8 ears corn, shucked
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • ½ to 1 jalapeño, stem removed
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 orange bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup finely diced red onion


  1. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Set a bowl of ice water next to stove.
  2. Place corn in a large skillet. Pour boiling water over the corn, cover, set over high heat and simmer until just crisp tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the ears of corn from the boiling water and transfer to the ice bath.
  3. Drain corn well. Pat corn dry with a clean towel, and remove kernels from the corn with a sharp knife.
  4. Meanwhile, place cumin in a small skillet and set over medium heat. Toast cumin, swirling pan until fragrant, and the seeds crackle and start to smoke a little but, but not burn, 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately transfer the cumin to a food processor fitted with a steel blade attachment.
  5. Turn food processor on, drop garlic and jalapeno through the feed tube and allow to process until chopped. Remove lid, add cilantro, vinegar and salt. Process until chopped. Scrape sides and turn motor on again. Drizzle in oil and continue processing until the mixture forms a green paste.
  6. Toss the corn, cilantro dressing, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes and red onion in a large bowl.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Mexican


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 222
  • Fat: 15
  • Carbohydrates: 20
  • Fiber: 2
  • Protein: 3

Keywords: mexican corn salad,vegan corn salad,