This quick, simple, and savory Southwestern Baja Grilled Corn Salad is perfect for summer cookouts with friends and family.
This vibrant and flavorful salad combines the smoky sweetness of grilled corn, the protein-packed goodness of quinoa and beans, and the fresh flavors of cilantro and lime. The addition of avocado adds a creamy texture and a touch of richness. It’s a perfect dish to enjoy during summer gatherings or as a quick and healthy meal.
Southwestern Baja Grilled Corn Salad
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package instructions
- 2 ears of corn, grilled and kernels removed
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15 ounces) red beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 ripe avocado, diced
- Juice of 2 limes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
Grilling Corn and Removing the Kernels
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
- Remove the husks and silk from the corn cobs, making sure to remove any excess silk.
- Brush the corn with a light coating of olive oil or melted butter to prevent sticking and add flavor.
- Place the corn directly on the preheated grill grates.
- Grill the corn for about 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally, until the kernels are tender and slightly charred. The cooking time may vary depending on the heat of your grill, so keep an eye on it.
- Once the corn is cooked, remove it from the grill and let it cool slightly before handling.
Removing the Kernels
- Place the grilled corn on a cutting board or a large plate.
- Hold the corn upright, standing it on one end.
- Using a sharp knife, carefully slice downward along the length of the cob, close to the core, to remove the kernels. Rotate the cob as you go, repeating the process until all the kernels are removed.
- Continue this process with the remaining corn cobs until all the kernels are extracted.
- Collect the kernels in a bowl or container, and discard the empty cobs.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, grilled corn kernels, black beans, red beans, diced red onion, and chopped cilantro.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper until well combined.
- Pour the dressing over the quinoa and corn mixture, and toss gently to coat all the ingredients with the dressing.
- Add the diced avocado to the salad and gently fold it in, being careful not to mash the avocado too much.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt, pepper, or lime juice if desired.
- Allow the salad to sit for about 10-15 minutes to let the flavors meld together.
- Serve the Southwestern Baja Grilled Corn Salad as a refreshing side dish or as a light main course. It can be enjoyed immediately or chilled in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.
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