Crisp and tender sweet corn combined with a creamy dressing is super easy to make. Creamy corn salad is the perfect side dish for picnics and barbecues.
This is one of those deep south kind of recipes, one I had never seen prior to living in Mississippi. The idea of eating cold corn was totally foreign to me. I’ve eaten lots of corn dishes, but they were all hot.
After one bite I was hooked!
I serve it as a side now at every picnic and barbecue party we have. It’s always nice to have a dish available that most people have never seen before.
Any kind of sweet corn! Yellow, white, and yellow-white all work.
Fresh is preferable during the peak of summer when corn is sweet and crisp. Winter corn that’s available in the produce section can be questionable. Sometimes it’s plump and juicy, sometimes it’s tough and just meh.
It’s best to cut it off the cob prior to cooking.
Now it just needs to be blanched in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes. Crisp-tender is the goal. Cooking for too long will make it tough.
Drain it allow to sit in the colander for a few minutes to cool before adding to the salad dressing.
Frozen corn is my go-to during the winter. It only needs to be thawed and drained.
When you’re in a hurry, it can be quickly thawed by placing it in a microwave for 60 to 90 seconds or placing into a strainer and running warm water over it for a few minutes.
Canned is the last resort for me, but it can be used. Drain in a colander and rinse well before using it. Allow the corn to dry a bit. The salad will have a slightly softer texture.
I generally use a large tomato.
To remove the seeds from the tomato I cut the tomato in half from the stem to the bottom. Turn the tomato onto the cut sides and slice. Now you can easily remove the seeds and pulp.
I dice the tomatoes one slice at a time and place the diced tomatoes onto a paper towel to remove any excess moisture before adding them to the salad.
When all the large tomatoes I can find are lacking in color I use cherry or grape tomatoes.
Removing the seeds from grape tomatoes is a bit more labor-intensive. I cut those little guys into quarters and remove everything from the center. Then dice them.
Just like I do with large tomatoes, I place the diced pieces onto a paper towel to drain for a bit.
This recipe uses mayonnaise.
One of the things I learned living in the deep south is few southern cooks use salad dressing for anything. I keep both mayonnaise and Miracle Whip in my kitchen stock now. Mississippi friends were quick to let us know we needed mayonnaise!
If you choose to use salad dressing anyway I would eliminate the added sugar in the recipe. You might need a bit more vinegar to cut through all that sweetness.
I prefer plain white vinegar. I have successfully used the last of my white wine or champagne vinegar successfully too.
Apple cider vinegar could probably be used as a substitute, but I have not tried it, it’s not my favorite.
The vinegar can be omitted completely. The buttermilk adds a bit of tang to the dish but most of the corn salads I encountered in the south had more bite than that. So give the dish a taste and decide for yourself if it needs vinegar.
I usually start with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and add 1 more tablespoon if I think it needs more acid. I suspect the need for more is related to the sweetness of the corn.
Making It Ahead of Time
Yes! It actually tastes better when it is made at least 2 hours ahead of time. It will last about 4 days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
CAN IT BE FROZEN?
Not really since has mayonnaise in it. Mayonnaise does not freeze well, it separates.
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Creamy Sweet Corn Salad
- Combine corn, celery, green pepper, and tomatoes in a large bowl.
- In a separate small bowl combine remaining ingredients. Taste and add additional vinegar or sugar as desired.
- Pour dressing mix over the vegetables and stir to combine.
- Cover salad and refrigerate at least 2 hours.