spicy corn avocado salad (2)

Spicy Corn Avocado Side Salad

Cooks in 15 Minutes Difficulty Easy 0 comments

This spicy corn avocado salad perfectly blends fresh red bell peppers, onion, jalapeno, kidney beans, avocado, and sweet, crisp corn kernels. Perfectly spiced and together in 15-20 minutes, pop it in the fridge to chill! You will want to have this salad on hand all summer long! It goes excellent with BBQ’d meats and is great on tacos for Taco Tuesday!

We love spice around here, and I grew up with a full spice cupboard, so I know my way around a good spice blend. My eldest, who is on the spectrum, loves this salad. Getting them to branch out in their diet over the years was challenging. My best advice, mom to mom with a neurodivergent child or picky eater, is to keep at it. Yes, there can be more refusal than acceptance of new foods for some neurodivergent kids. But over time, experimenting with foods will widen any palette.

A further note on feeding the neurodivergent: even if they have a limited diet, adding just a tiny spoonful of new food, even if it’s off to the side of their main meal, will get them to recognize it visually. We also loved discussing the food over the dinner table. Where did they come from? How did they grow? And so on. Stimulate the mind as well as the palette. But I am digressing a bit here.

This spicy corn avocado salad adds more than heat with a balanced blend of flavors. It gets better the longer it is marinated in the fridge. Like the Texas crack salad or a Mexican corn salad, our salad is just as addictive! There is a healthy dose of cumin and chili powder, which offsets the sweetness of the canned corn. It’s so good, so why not scoop it up as a snack with crispy tortilla chips?

​Looking for an excellent tortilla chip alternative? Try our air fryer pita chips with brown butter

spicy corn salad on plate

Why does this salad work so well?

Uses Extra Corn Up. This excellent corn salad is a perfect way to use up corn if you have too much corn on the cob on the farm. Or if you found a lot of corn in your cupboards that you forgot, you had.

It’s an easy-to-prepare side dish. With just a few steps, you can make this tasty salad that pairs well with virtually any meat dish and is perfect for summer gatherings and barbecues at camp.

Make this salad ahead. The flavors come out the more it marinates, so you can make it ahead and keep it in the fridge for days. It likely won’t last that long if you have a family. For those of you who are single, it’s a great salad to make and enjoy during the week. Pack some in your work lunch for a healthy side dish.

So let’s shuck the corn and stir in the spice!

The first step to making this phenomenal salad is gathering ingredients and getting a large bowl out. You will also want your cutting board and knife ready as we dice all the vegetables.

I cut my avocado around the skin lengthwise with a sharp knife. The creamy avocado comes apart quickly after that, and you can pop out the seed. Next, you use your paring knife to score down into each avocado half with your paring knife until it touches the skin. You are cutting both lengthwise and crosswise for diced cubes. Use a teaspoon to scoop it out by running the spoon around the skin. The lime juice should be squeezed and added to the avocado as the acid will keep the avocado fresher longer. 

Next, we are dicing up the onion and peppers. Remove all the seeds from the red pepper before adding to the salad. Note: I urge caution if you have never worked with jalapeno. Hot pepper juice can last under the fingernail beds for a few days if you make the mistake of rubbing your eyes. Well, you can imagine it’s not pleasant. My tip for dicing the jalapeno is to wear gloves or put your hand inside a plastic baggie. The latter method is a bit more cumbersome but does help to keep the pepper juices off your hands.

After dicing jalapenos and adding them to the salad bowl, you can open the corn and kidney bean cans. If you prefer, you can use black beans instead of kidney beans. Be sure to drain both before adding them to the salad. 

Slice the limes in half and juice them. Remove the seeds, as no one will want to eat those. Mix the spices and oil with the fresh lime juice and pour over the salad. Be sure to mix this up well before putting it in the fridge to marinate. I also suggest wrapping it in plastic to keep it fresher. If you are making it for dinner that day, stir it a couple more times throughout the day to blend the flavors more.

Once the salad is thoroughly chilled and has marinated for at least two hours, serve! It’s hard to wait two hours before diving into this lip-smacking, good, spicy corn and avocado salad.

added lime juice and stirred corn salad


 Whole Kernel Corn: This adds sweetness and a satisfying crunch to the summer salad, contrasting the creamy avocado’s texture.

 Avocado: Contributes a creamy richness and subtle nuttiness to the delicious salad, enhancing the texture and providing a luscious base for other flavors.

Red Onion: Adds a sharp, tangy bite and a pop of vibrant color, balancing the avocado’s richness and complementing the sweet corn.

Red Bell Pepper: Provides a crisp, sweet flavor and a vibrant hue, adding freshness and crunch to the salad.

Kidney Beans: Offer a hearty, earthy taste and a satisfying texture, boosting protein content and adding substance to the salad.

Lime Juice: It infuses the flavor with a zesty, citrusy brightness, enhancing the freshness and adding a tangy kick that ties the flavors together.

Jalapeno Pepper: Brings heat and a distinct peppery flavor, adding a spicy kick that elevates the salad’s complexity and adds a bold contrast to the other ingredients.

Cumin Powder: Introduces a warm, earthy aroma and a hint of smokiness, imparting depth of flavor and a subtle spice that complements the main ingredients.

Chili Powder: This spice provides a savory, slightly smoky flavor and a mild heat, adding depth and complexity to the salad’s taste profile without overpowering the other ingredients.

Olive Oil: Contributes a rich, fruity flavor and a silky texture, binding the ingredients together and adding a luscious mouthfeel while enhancing the overall richness of the salad.

serving corn salad for dinner

Substitutions and Add-Ins For This Summer Corn Salad:

 Whole Kernel Corn: I used canned corn for this recipe because it is convenient and sweet. You can also use corn fresh off the cob. Try charring or grilling. A grilled corn salad is also delicious. 

 Avocado: Substitute with diced cucumber and mango, or you can even try cooked quinoa for a similar creamy texture. Switching out the buttery-flavored avocado to one of these other ingredients will change the salad’s overall flavor profile. 

Red Onion: For less oniony flavor, omit the red onion and add a bit of chopped green onion stalk to the salad when serving.

Red Bell Pepper: You can substitute with diced tomatoes, yellow bell peppers, or carrots for a similar crunchy texture and sweet flavor. 

Kidney Beans: If you’re not in the mood for kidney beans, switch them out for black beans.

Lime Juice: If you don’t have limes on hand, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar can be added instead for a tangy citrus flavor in this avocado corn salad recipe.

Jalapeno Pepper: Serrano, poblano, or crushed red pepper flakes can be used for varying heat levels. Add to the jalapeno for added heat, or switch out the jalapeno for your preferred pepper.

Cumin Powder: If you don’t have cumin in the pantry, you can use ground coriander or paprika for a similar warm, earthy flavor.

Chili Powder: If you are short on chili powder, blend your spice using paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, and garlic powder.

Olive Oil: Any other neutral oil will replace olive oil. 

Add-ins: If you are a fan of cilantro, it adds another flavor to the rich summer salad—alternatively, a handful of fresh herbs like flat-leaf parsley or basil for freshness and herbaceous flavor. Dived tomato would add a juicy, sweet-tart flavor and additional texture. Or, if you want a bit of a tropical feel, add in some diced fresh mango. Crumble a bit of salty feta or cotija cheese on top for salty richness and a tangy kick that contrasts with the sweetness of the corn.

This easy side dish is perfect for your next BBQ during the summer months. 

Expert Tips, Serving and Storage Suggestions:

Tip #1: Use Fresh, High-Quality Ingredients. For the best salad, start with fresh, ripe avocados, crisp corn, and fresh vegetables.

Tip #2: Prep Ingredients Properly: Dice or chop ingredients into uniform pieces to ensure an even texture throughout the salad.

Tip #3: Chill Before Serving: For the best flavor, allow the salad to chill and marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.

​Corn avocado salad pairs well with various dishes, like grilled meats, tacos, burgers, and straight-on tortilla chips. Scoop some up to take to the beach for your next summer seaside picnic. Or pair it with a pasta salad for your next backyard cookout.

To store leftover avocado corn salad, add it to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. If completely covered, it will last for up to four days. 

If you’ve made this great summer salad, I would love to know how it turned out. Please leave a comment below the recipe card. 

spicy corn avocado salad (2)

Spicy Corn and Avocado Salad

Amber Bondar
This marinated spicy corn and avocado salad packs a powerful flavor punch! Great for bbq season or Taco Tuesday's this corn salad pairs with virtually any meat dish! Easy to prepare and even easier to eat this healthful salad is a delicious side for dinner.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Marinating/Chilling 2 hours
Course Salad
Cuisine American, Canadian
Servings 8


  • 1 Cutting board
  • 1 Paring Knife
  • 1 Teaspoon
  • 1 Salad Bowl
  • 1 Small Bowl *Or cup to mix the marinade/dressing


  • 2 Cans Whole Kernelled Corn
  • 1 Avocado Diced
  • 1 Red Onion Diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper Diced Small
  • 1 Can Kidney Beans Drained
  • 2 Limes Juiced
  • 1 Large Jalapeno Pepper Diced Very Small
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 3 Tbsps Olive Oil


  • Dice the avocado and put in salad bowl.
  • Deseed and dice the red bell pepper and add to bowl with avocado.
  • Dice the red onion finely and add to bowl as well.
  • Finely dice the deseeded jalapeno pepper and add to your salad.
  • Open both the corn and the kidney beans and drain off any liquid.
  • Add the corn and kidney beans to the salad in bowl.
  • In another bowl or measuring cup juice the limes and remove seeds.
  • Mix into the lime juice the olive oil and spices. Stir well.
  • Pour the dressing/marinade over the salad.
  • Stir salad thoroughly and then cover and refrigerate for two hours before serving.
Keyword avocado, corn, salad, side dish, summer recipes

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