Summer Corn Salad with Basil Pesto Aioli

Large black bowl filled with Summer corn salad and basil pesto aioli with tongs and linen nearby

This Summer Corn Salad makes for a super tasty, vegan side that comes together in minutes! Corn + red onion + basil pesto aioli is a dreamy combination.

Large black bowl filled with Summer corn salad and basil pesto aioli with tongs and linen nearby

We are in the hottest month of Summer and here it has been humid as hell. The other day it was raining and I felt like I was back in Michigan, when my family would travel out there each August. I would stand outside during the thunderstorms, under the pouring rain, and it would still be almost 90F outside. With such greenery out there, it was a lot more enjoyable, where as here it’s just a light rain and tons of concrete.

cutting grilled corn off the cob and close-up of kernels

Luckily the moisture has taken a break and today we had some nice breezes with the heat, so it wasn’t like walking into a sauna every time you went outside. This is the time of year when eating anything warm just sounds terrible – aside from grilled goodies, of course. Because of this, I have a nice, chilled salad recipe for you today! It’s perfect served as a side, maybe along with that Herbed Tofu Tomato Salad recipe from last week? Which, by the way, was a total hit! I’ve had at least five or six people make it and be very pleased with the outcome.

close-up shot of fresh basil

Anyway, this summer corn salad is made with sweet yellow and white corn, mostly for a little extra color, a creamy basil pesto aioli, fresh spinach and some red onion. Super easy to put together and is PACKED with flavor, especially after you chill the dish before serving it.

Image collage of making vegan pesto

If you want to make it a little healthier, add more spinach to the end product and omit some of the vegan mayo from the aioli, replacing it with plain vegan yogurt.

Close up of large black bowl filled with Summer corn salad and basil pesto aioli

Oh! I almost forgot, I have some incredibly exciting news! I’ll be a speaker at Vida Vegan Con 2015 in Austin! Eep! I’m super excited and feel very lucky to have been chosen out of the many people who applied to speak, and can’t wait until they announce the rest of the speakers closer to the end of the month. Who all is planning on going? If you’re on the fence, let me say that it was an awesome experience. You should take a look at my 1, 2, 3 part review of the 2013 conference. πŸ™‚

Large black bowl filled with Summer corn salad and basil pesto aioli with tongs and linen nearby

One Year Ago: Stone Fruit Bruschetta with Orange Cream  // Two Years Ago: Kale Pepita Pesto over Zucchini Ribbons

Large black bowl filled with Summer corn salad and basil pesto aioli with tongs and linen nearby

Summer Corn Salad with Basil Pesto Aioli

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

A super tasty side that comes together in minutes! Summer corn + basil pesto aioli is a dreamy combination.


Basil Pesto Aioli

  • 2 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1 cup Fresh Basil
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 Garlic Clove, Peeled
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Vegan Mayo, soy-free if necessary


  • 5 cups Cooked Sweet Yellow or White Corn Kernels, I used mostly frozen corn and some steamed
  • 1 cup fresh Spinach, Cut into ribbons
  • 1/3 cup Red Onion, Sliced into Slivers
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Basil Pesto Aioli

  1. Place all ingredients except for the mayo into a food processor and puree until it becomes a paste. You may need to scrape down the sides to break everything down. Next, add the mayo and pulse until incorporated evenly.


  1. Toss the corn, red onion, spinach and basil pesto aioli together in a medium-sized bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste (if you’d like more). Chill for 15-20 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 409Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 464mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 7gSugar: 13gProtein: 10g

The nutrition information is calculated by a plug-in, and isn't always accurate. Please calculate your own with the products that you use, as it will be different for everyone.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Edit: I’ve updated the end-product pictures from this post since it’s a few years old! You can see the process below.

summer corn salad with yellow floral linen and onion on the side
Here, I kept one of the old images in here for you to look at! πŸ˜‰

24 Comments on “Summer Corn Salad with Basil Pesto Aioli

  1. Oh man, that corn looks SO GOOD, and I say this as someone who has eaten fresh corn with dinner two nights running. πŸ™‚ Love the fresh basil!

    • Thank you, Eileen! I’m quite the fan of corn, as well. πŸ˜‰

    • Thank you, Rika! How come you won’t be making it? I’d love to meet you sooner than later! <3

  2. If I could get my hands on some good sweet corn, I would make this in a heartbeat – but, go figure, here in the heartland the sweet corn tastes like feed corn. It just ain’t right!

    Congratulations on landing a speaking gig and I look forward to meeting you! I’m going!!!

    • That’s a total bummer about your corn!

      And thank you, Ann! I can’t wait to meet you, it’s going to be such a great time!

    • Thank you, Maria! Please do let me know if you give it a go! πŸ™‚

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  4. Fresh basil and corn, together at last! Could there be a more perfect, summery combination? I don’t think so, and quite frankly, I don’t want to investigate because these two work so well together.

    And Congrats! I guess I’ll see you at Vegan Vida again. πŸ˜‰

  5. Made this salad over the weekend for a birthday bbq- it was a HUGE hit! The basil and corn flavors just taste like classic summer! Thanks for such wonderful recipes!

  6. Made this last night… so very tasty and easy! Thanks for the wonderful recipe. Definitely a nice marriage of flavours – sweet corn and basil pesto. YUMMY!!

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