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Corn, Tomato and Feta Salad With Basil and Lime

This quick and easy Corn, Tomato and Feta Salad With Basil and Lime is absolutely bursting with fresh flavors and is perfect for summer…but it’s so delicious you’ll want to make it all year long (and you can)!

Sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, tangy feta cheese, green onions and fresh basil are tossed with a simple olive oil and lime juice dressing to make this colorful side dish salad that’s great for picnics, potlucks, barbecues, or any lunch or dinner!

Last weekend, my local grocery store had some gorgeous looking sweet corn. Yep, it’s waaaay early for corn. But the weather was warm and sunny and it made me feel all summery, and so I couldn’t resist giving it a try.

And I’m so glad I did because, not only was it really good, the result was also this awesome salad!

I served it alongside some grilled chicken and potatoes. It was the star of the show. We ate all of it in one sitting.

It was so yummy that I made it again the very next day and enjoyed it for lunch. This time, I was out of fresh corn, so I used thawed frozen corn that I got at the end of last summer from a local farmstand, and it was excellent.

Which means that you can enjoy this salad any time of the year! Sweet and tasty grape or cherry tomatoes are always available, as are feta cheese, green onions and limes. And I’ve rarely had a problem finding some fresh basil, even in the winter.

But let’s be totally honest. Nothing will beat this salad when it’s made with in-season local sweet corn and vine-ripened tomatoes fresh from the garden or farm. Very simply and lightly dressed with olive oil and fresh lime juice, all of those wonderful flavors really shine through.

This corn, tomato and feta salad has already earned its spot on my list of go-to summer salads. Try it, and I bet it’ll become one of yours too!

a bowl of corn, tomato and feta salad with basil and lime with a serving spoon in it

Ingredients You Need

  • Fresh corn on the cob
  • Grape tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
  • Green onions
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fresh lime juice (bottled is okay too)
  • Feta cheese
  • Fresh basil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Note: Ingredient amounts are in the recipe card at the end of the post.

For those of you who would rather photos instead of a video, here’s a quick look at the steps:

  1. Cook the corn in boiling salted water for 4 minutes. Immediately remove the corn from the boiling water and place it in an ice water bath to stop the cooking and to cool. Then remove the corn kernels from the cob.
  2. Place the corn kernels in a large bowl along with the tomatoes and green onions.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice and some salt and pepper.
  4. Add the dressing to the bowl with the veggies and toss until well-combined and the veggies are evenly coated with the dressing.
  5. Add the feta cheese and basil to the bowl; gently toss until combined and evenly distributed throughout the salad, being careful not to break up the cheese too much. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed.
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy!
3 numbered images, number one is of corn boiling in a pot then put in an ice water bath and then the kernels being removed from the cobs with a knife, number 2 is of corn, tomatoes and green onions in a bowl, and number 3 is of olive oil and lime juice being whisked together in a bowl and then poured over the salad in the bowl
3 numbered images, number 4 is of feta cheese and basil added to the bowl of salad, number 5 is of the salad tossed together with salt and pepper shakers in front of the bowl, and number 6 is of the finished salad on a plate with a fork

Note: The above video and photos are just a brief overview of the steps. Scroll down to the recipe card at the end of the post for the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and detailed instructions.

Recipe Tips & Tidbits:

  • To make this recipe in 20 minutes, prepare your other ingredients while waiting for the water to boil for the corn and while the corn is cooking.
  • You don’t need any fancy gadgets to remove the corn kernels from the cob…just a sharp knife and a cutting board.
    • After removing the husks and silk from the corn, carefully cut off the stem so that it is flat. This will give you a stable base for cutting off the kernels.
    • Stand the corn up on the cutting board with the stem side down (hold the corn at the top). With the knife, carefully cut down the cob from top to bottom using a slight sawing motion, being sure to go deep enough to get the whole kernels.
    • Sometimes those corn kernels can roll away and make a bit of a mess. To avoid this, you can try putting a large clean kitchen towel on your cutting board to catch them. Then just move the kernels to the center of the towel, pick it up and pour them into your bowl.

Substitutions & Variations

  • Your favorite frozen corn (thawed and very well drained) or even canned corn (very well drained) can be used instead of fresh corn. You want 3 cups of corn.
  • Like raw corn? You can cut the raw corn off the cob and put it directly in the salad without cooking it first if you’d like.
  • Roma (plum) or other tomatoes cut into chunks can be used instead of grape or cherry tomatoes. If they are very seedy and liquidy, I would remove the seeds and liquid before chopping. You’ll want about 2 cups total.
  • Diced red onion could be used in place of the green onions.
  • For a Mexican vibe, replace the feta cheese with crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese and replace the basil with fresh cilantro. You could even add some cumin and chili powder to the dressing.
  • If you’d rather no cheese, just omit it. This salad is also very good without it.
  • Vinegar (red wine, white wine, apple cider, or rice) or lemon juice could be used instead of lime juice.
corn, tomato and feta salad on a white plate with a fork with salt and pepper shakers on the side and the bowl of salad in the background

Make Ahead, Storing Leftovers and Freezing

Make Ahead

I think this salad is best when served immediately after tossing everything together or shortly thereafter because it’s just so fresh. But you can prepare it a few hours ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge, covered, until you are ready to serve.

If making this ahead, I suggest holding back on adding the feta cheese until right before serving, as the dressing can start to break it down a bit while it sits.

Storing Leftovers

Store any leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 to 3 days (and the sooner you eat it, the better). As it sits in the fridge, the veggies will get softer, release some of their liquid and start to lose some of that freshness, and the feta might start to break down a bit.

Freezing

This salad is not freezable.

corn, tomato and feta salad in a bowl

What to Serve With Corn, Tomato and Feta Salad With Basil and Lime

This salad goes especially well with grilled chicken, pork, steak, fish or seafood and also with picnic foods like ribs, burgers, hot dogs and more. But you can pair it with anything you’d like.

It’s also great served alongside sandwiches and wraps.

You could also enjoy it on its own for lunch or a light meatless supper.

I hope you try this Corn, Tomato and Feta Salad With Basil and Lime recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

michelle signature

More Veggie Salad Recipes To Try

For even more salad ideas, check out my Salads and Dressings page!

If you make this recipe, I’d love to know how it went! Please leave a star rating and comment below. Thanks!

a bowl of corn, tomato and feta salad with a spoonful being lifted out

Corn, Tomato and Feta Salad With Basil and Lime

This quick and easy Corn, Tomato and Feta Salad With Basil and Lime is absolutely bursting with fresh flavors and is perfect for summer…but it's so delicious you'll want to make it all year long (and you can)!
Print Pin Save Rate & Comment
Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Ice Water Bath/Cooling Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 as a side dish (about ¾ cup each; recipe makes about 5 cups total)
Estimated Calories: 157

Ingredients

  • 4 large ears fresh corn, husks and silk removed, stems cut flat (or enough ears to give you 3 cups of corn kernels)
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (a little over 2 cups total)
  • 2 to 3 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced (½ cup total)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Cook the corn in a large pot of boiling salted water for 4 minutes.
  • While the corn is cooking, prepare an ice water bath (fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes).
  • When the corn is done cooking, immediately remove it from the pot and place it in the ice water bath to stop the cooking and allow it to cool completely, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Remove the corn from the ice water bath, pat dry with paper towels, and remove the kernels from the cobs.
    Here's how I do it: Stand the corn up on a cutting board with the stem side down (hold the corn at the top). Using a sharp knife, carefully cut down the cob from top to bottom using a slight sawing motion, being sure to go deep enough to get the whole kernels. You can put a large clean kitchen towel on the cutting board to catch the kernels if you'd like.
  • Place the corn kernels in a large bowl along with the tomatoes and green onions.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice and some salt and pepper until well-combined.
    When adding the salt, keep in mind that the feta cheese will add some saltiness. I use about ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper in the dressing, but season it to your own personal taste.
  • Add the dressing to the veggies in the bowl; toss until well-combined and the veggies are evenly coated with the dressing.
  • Add the feta cheese and basil to the bowl; gently toss until combined and evenly distributed throughout the salad, being careful not to break up the cheese too much.
  • Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

  • To make this recipe in 20 minutes, prepare your other ingredients while waiting for the water to boil for the corn and while the corn is cooking.
  • Although fresh in-season corn is the best, this recipe can also be made with your favorite thawed frozen corn or canned corn when fresh corn isn’t available (drain them well before adding to the salad)
  • This salad is best when enjoyed right after tossing all of the ingredients together. You can make it a few hours ahead of time and refrigerate (in which case, I would suggest holding back on adding the feta cheese until right before serving; the dressing and liquid released from the veggies can start to break it down a bit).
  • Store leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 to 3 days (the sooner you eat it, the better).
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!
Recipe Rating




Sandy

Wednesday 28th of June 2023

I made this added shrimp was amazing

Michelle

Thursday 29th of June 2023

Thank you, Sandy! So happy you enjoyed it, and adding shrimp sounds delicious!