napa sweet corn salad in a serving bowl

Although the only visual proof Ben and I have of taking a babymoon a couple months back is a picture of my water cheersing his Hendrick’s martini, it happened! We did it! 24 hours in Kansas City, Missouri! They never saw us coming. Mostly because our visit was so short that the city could have blinked and missed it, but it was a great time nonetheless. We shopped the plaza, roamed around Westport, and Ben sipped bourbons while I drank Arnold Palmers like tomorrow would never come.

It was on this trip when we realized that while we’ve visited at least a dozen times, we’ve never had KCMO’s legendary BBQ. Blasphemous! Where should we go the next time we’re in town?

Anyway, after checking into our hotel we bellied up to the bar at Cooper’s Hawk for lunch. There are so many great local restaurants in KC but Coop’s has a GF menu I’ve ordered off of several times in the past and trust, plus it was close and Mama was hangry, so inside we went. I ordered the Napa Chicken Salad which doesn’t sound particularly life changing but it was totally magical. Not because of the chicken or greens, but because everything but the kitchen sink was loaded on top. It’s all about the toppings, man! Napa Sweet Corn Salad is my at-home recreation and it’s so dang good that I PROMISE it’ll become your new go-to summer side dish / potluck salad.

overhead photo of a bowl of napa sweet corn salad

Now, July means it’s sweet corn season here in the state of Iowa. Did you know that less then 1% of all the corn grown in Iowa is sweet corn? Some food for thought, har. Anyway, that 1% actually comes out to a whooooole lotta sweet corn and we find any and all reasons to enjoy an ear or two, any chance we get. Iowa sweet corn in particular is so candy-sweet and tender that I like to eat it raw like in this salad.

That said, I first tossed together the combination of raw sweet corn kernels, cherry tomatoes, avocados, chopped apples, almonds, green onions, and fresh basil for, uh, myself in an attempt to recreate the salad I so loved in KC, and was so jazzed with the results that I whipped it up again the very next day for a dinner we were hosting for friends.

Not only was it wolfed down by all the adults, but 4 kids under the age of 5 too. You know what we call that? A WIN, people! A freaking win. There is nothing that I don’t like about this salad including the heavenly, 4-ingredient (plus S&P) Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette that’s drizzled on top. Crunchy, crispy, snappy, creamy, fresh, healthy, and delicious. You. Will. Love. IT.

close up photo of a serving of napa sweet corn salad

Start by adding all the goodies into a big bowl – that’s: 2 cups raw sweet corn kernels (from about 3 medium-sized ears,) 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes that have been halved or quartered if large, 3 small or 2 large chopped green onions, 1 small chopped avocado, 1 chopped red apple, 1/3 cup sliced or chopped almonds, and 1/4 cup packed fresh basil that’s been chopped.

sweet corn salad ingredients in a bowl

Watch How to Slice Kernels from the Cob!

Next shake or whisk up the Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette to drizzle on top – that’s: 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 Tablespoon each honey and dijon mustard, plus lots of salt and pepper. Taste then add up to an additional 1/2 Tablespoon honey if you like – remember that the sweet corn and apple add sweetness to the salad though.

Drizzle your desired amount of dressing on top then toss everything to combine and serve it on up. Take to a summer picnic or potluck, or serve with dinner (this dish pairs perfectly with grilled meats, if I do say so myself!) No matter how ya eat it, I hope you love this bright and colorful, healthy summer salad! Enjoy!

Napa sweet corn salad in a serving bowl

More Summery Side Dishes

Napa Sweet Corn Salad


Napa Sweet Corn Salad is full of flavor and crunch! Serve as a fresh and healthy side dish, or eat all by itself for a fruit and vegetable-filled lunch.


serves 5-6 as a side dish

  • 2 cups sweet corn kernels, raw (~3 ears)
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • 3 small or 2 large green onions, chopped
  • 1 small avocado, chopped
  • 1 red apple, chopped
  • 1/3 cup sliced or chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil, chopped
  • For the Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette:
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1 Tablespoon honey
    • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • salt and pepper


  1. Combine ingredients for the Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette in a jar or bowl then shake or whisk to combine. Taste then add up to an additional 1/2 Tablespoon honey if desired - remember that the sweet corn and apple will add natural sweetness to the salad. Set dressing aside.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl then drizzle over desired amount of Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

Photo collage of sweet corn salad