This corn and tomato salad is as simple as summer gets with fresh corn, tomato and basil.

A great side dish that everyone will love with minimal prep-work and no cooking required!

Simple summer corn and tomato salad in a white bowl with shaved parmesan.
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You know what sounded good after a 5+ hour red-eye next to 2 teenage girls that thought it was cool to pull an all-nighter, elbow me at least 15 times, keep their TV screens on so our whole row was illuminated and blab away all while the person behind me acted like they’d never seen a tray table before and proceeded to open and close it with enough force to shake my seat every time….simple.

Simple is also something I thought operating a seat belt was but found out somewhere over Kansas around 4am this morning that if you’re a teenage girl in seat 18e you have no idea why the thing won’t work when you shove two buckle ends together.

But, you keep trying for a good solid minute as you jam them together, making a ruckus before giving up and throwing the (identical) seat belt ends to the side smacking the person in 18f (me) on the arm.

Sleep sounded pretty good too at 10 am when I got home, but after a 2-hour nap to fight off delusion, simple was next.

Tomato corn salad in a bowl next to blue towel.

We got an early surprise batch of CSA goodies while I was gone and apparently, Ulysses had an epiphany.

Well, first there was confusion.

And, sass from me.

After, however, he made a pasta using the asparagus that was in the fridge with the swiss chard from the CSA delivery and when I got home he said, “you know what I like about cooking? It’s so relaxing.” And then I fell on the floor and asked what happened to my husband.

Apparently, when I’m not there “bossing him around in the kitchen” (no idea what he’s talking about) he actually enjoys cooking.

I can work with that.

So to use the most overused word in management, I “empowered” him to make the steak last night while I made this tomato corn salad.

He got all “relaxed” out by the grill (without any direction from me) and I threw this together in minutes.

No cooking, a handful of ingredients and herbs picked from the front steps.

Also just as simple is this creamy cucumber salad if you’re looking for another great summer side dish!

Ingredients Needed 

  • sweet corn – use fresh ears of corn and remove it from the cob
  • cherry tomatoes
  • shallots
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh basil
  • salt & pepper
  • red wine vinegar
  • parmesan shavings for garnish
Corn and tomato salad in a small white bowl topped with parmesan cheese.

How to Make Tomato Corn Salad 

Add the halved tomatoes, corn, and basil to a medium bowl. 

Over medium heat, sauté the shallot in a half a tablespoon of oil for 3-4 minutes. 

Transfer the shallots to the bowl with the corn and tomatoes. 

Whisk together the olive oil and red wine vinegar in a separate bowl. 

Pour the dressing over the summer salad and season with salt and pepper. 

Top with freshly shaved parmesan cheese and basil. 

Cutting Corn Off the Cob 

Lay each corn cob on a cutting board. Use a large chef’s knife and slice away from you. Rotate the corn cob until all kernels have been cut. 

There’s also a fancy gadget that you can use. If you cut a lot of fresh corn you may already have one of these on hand, but you can get the job done with a sharp kitchen knife. 

You can also stick the corn cob in the hole of a bundt pan for easy handling. Then slice with a knife as usual. 

Variations of Corn and Tomato Salad 

More veggies: some like to add red onion and avocado. Just be sure to slice the onion into small pieces because it can be strong. Or try this trick: soak raw onion slices in cold water for about 20 minutes then drain. It takes the “bite” right out of them!

Roasted corn: if you want those pretty grill marks you can hold the cobs over a flame if you have a gas stove. You can also heat a pan up to where it’s pretty hot and sear the cobs on each side. A lazy way would be to torch it if you have that handy gadget in the kitchen. 

Use different cheeses: feel free to use your favorite cheese blend, I think feta would also pair well with this corn salad.

Common FAQs 

Can you use canned corn for this recipe?

When fresh corn is in season, I highly suggest stocking up. If you are making tomato corn salad in the fall or spring canned corn can be substituted. Just use a sweet variety and know that the flavor may not be as fresh.

Could you use frozen corn? 

I do not recommend using frozen store-bought corn, this flavor just isn’t there. If you have fresh corn you have frozen yourself, let it thaw completely then add it to your salad. 

Do you have to cook the corn before adding it to the salad? 

No, I usually don’t. However, if you prefer to cook it, place it in a pot of boiling water and let it cook for 10 minutes. Transfer it to an ice bath, then take it off the cob. 

More Salads Perfect for Summer:

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5 from 2 votes

Simple Summer Corn and Tomato Salad

Servings: 2 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Simple summer corn and tomato salad
This corn and tomato salad is as simple as summer gets with fresh corn, tomato and basil.


  • 2 ears of sweet corn, removed from cob with a knife
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced or chiffonade
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • parmesan shavings for garnish


  • Combine corn, tomatoes and basil in a medium bowl.
  • In a small skillet over medium heat, saute shallot with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil for 3-4 minutes until shallot is softened and just starting to brown.
  • Transfer shallot to bowl with corn and tomatoes.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together remaining olive oil and red wine vinegar.
  • Pour dressing over salad, season with salt & pepper to taste and toss to combine.
  • Garnish with shavings of fresh parmesan cheese and more basil if desired.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 450kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 19gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 1061mgFiber: 4gSugar: 9g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salads
Cuisine: American

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I love finding no cooking recipes like this one for the summer. We enjoyed your summer salad, thanks!

  2. Really beautiful looking salad! (and a really silly question … do you cook the corn? I don’t think I’ve ever eaten corn right off the cob! … RAW?? It amazes me that I have lived this long on earth and never thought about eating corn UNCOOKED! :)

    1. No cooking, just cut it right off the cob and eat it! When it’s fresh and in season it’s so deliciously sweet and pops in your mouth :)