Grilled Corn Salad with Vegan Chipotle Ranch Dressing (30 Minutes!) -  Minimalist Baker Recipes

How to make Grilled Corn Salad with Vegan Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Grilled corn salad with vegan chipotle ranch dressing is a dish featuring the sweetness of summer corn balanced by the smoky heat of chipotle peppers, united with a creamy and tangy ranch dressing. This takes the traditional concept of a ranch dressing and reimagines it with plant-based ingredients, making it suitable for those following a vegan diet.

The elements of this dish work in harmony to create a refreshing and satisfying meal or side dish. The process begins with grilling the corn, which intensifies its natural sugars and adds a charred flavor that is quintessential for the salad’s depth. This can be done on an outdoor grill or a stove-top grill pan, achieving a caramelized and smoky taste.

The corn is then typically cut from the cob and mixed with a variety of other ingredients such as cherry tomatoes, diced red onion, and perhaps crunchy elements like sliced cucumber or bell peppers. Fresh herbs, like cilantro or parsley, contribute bright notes that complement the richness of the dressing. Sometimes, black beans or avocado are included to add further texture, healthy fats, and proteins.

For the vegan chipotle ranch dressing, traditional dairy ingredients are replaced by plant-based alternatives such as soaked cashews or vegan mayonnaise to achieve the creamy base. These are blended with seasonings including dried or fresh chipotle peppers, which lend the dressing its characteristic smoky heat. Additional flavor comes from garlic, onion powder, and perhaps a touch of lime juice for acidity, which enlivens the dish.

This salad exemplifies how vegan cooking can reinvent classic flavors in a fresh and exciting way, making it both inclusive and appealing to a wide range of palates.

Grilled Corn Salad with Vegan Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Grilled Corn Salad with Vegan Chipotle Ranch Dressing (30 Minutes!) -  Minimalist Baker Recipes

Grilled Corn Salad with Vegan Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Grilled Corn Salad with Vegan Chipotle Ranch Dressing is a dish that combines the smoky, charred flavors of grilled corn with a creamy and spicy dressing. The dish is particularly suitable for those following a vegan diet, as the chipotle ranch dressing is made without any animal products. The salad typically includes ingredients such as fresh corn on the cob, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and fresh herbs, like cilantro or parsley.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine French
Servings 4 serving
Calories 223 kcal


  • 1 oven
  • 1 grill pan


  • 1 small sweet potato peeled and cubed
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 whole corn cobs
  • 5 cups chopped fresh lettuce (I used a mix of green lettuces but spinach,
  • romaine or kale can also be used)
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes quartered (or halved if small)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 ripe avocado cubed (optional)
  • Jalapeño optional
  • 1/2 cup crushed corn tortilla chips optional
  • 1/2 cup vegan chipotle ranch dressing


  • Preheat the oven to 400oF and line a parchment paper in a baking dish, place the potato, add oil and toss well, bake in the oven until tender or for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  • While baking the potato, heat a grill pan and remove the husks from the corn and place on the heated grill. Turn occasionally as you grill for about 8 minutes or until blackened.
  • Remove from the heat and let cool before slicing off the cob a sharp with a knife and set aside.
  • Arrange the salad in a serving plate. Place the lettuce, top with bell pepper, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, onion, jalapeño (if using), avocado (if using), grilled corn and baked sweet potatoes on the serving plate. Serve with crushed tortilla chips if you want.
  • Serve the salad immediately with plant based, oil free chipotle ranch dressing and enjoy.
  • Store any leftover in an air tight container and keep in the fridge.


Note: You can cook the corn on a gas range on an open flame, turn often with
tongs until blackened, in case you don’t have grill or grill pan.
Keyword avocado oil, sweet potato

Cooking Tips about Grilled Corn Salad with Vegan Chipotle Ranch Dressing

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Starting with the corn, it is often beneficial to grill the corn with the husks on to retain moisture and impart a smoky flavor. Lightly soaking the husks in water beforehand can help in preventing them from burning too quickly. It’s advisable to turn the corn occasionally for an even char without overcooking it.

Moving to the salad composition, balance is key. A variety of textures can be achieved by adding ingredients like black beans for creaminess, red bell pepper for crunch, and avocado for its smooth and rich texture. To ensure freshness, it’s often suggested to prepare the components close to serving time, and to mix them gently to avoid mashing the softer ingredients.

The Vegan Chipotle Ranch Dressing is a cornerstone that unites the salad’s flavors. Typically, a vegan ranch is made from a base of blended raw cashews or vegan mayonnaise to simulate the creamy texture of traditional ranch dressing. The chipotle aspect can be introduced through chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, or by using smoked paprika and a touch of cayenne pepper for heat. To achieve the desired consistency, ingredients can be adjusted with plant-based milk or water. Fresh herbs like dill, parsley, and chives add complexity and can be folded in towards the end to maintain their brightness.

One tip is to taste as you go and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, lime juice for acidity, and nutritional yeast for an umami kick that also enhances the dressing’s savoriness.

Another consideration is the dressing’s integration with the salad. It’s often best to drizzle the dressing on top instead of mixing it in, to allow individuals to control the amount of dressing per serving. It can also be served on the side, which helps in retaining the texture of the salad ingredients over time.

Finally, for an additional layer of flavor, consider garnishes like chopped fresh cilantro, toasted pumpkin seeds, or a sprinkling of vegan cheese. Each of these can create another dimension of taste and texture, complimenting the smokiness of the grilled corn.

Serving suggestions about Grilled Corn Salad with Vegan Chipotle Ranch Dressing

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Grilled Corn Salad with Vegan Chipotle Ranch Dressing is a dish that offers a delightful blend of smoky, sweet, and spicy flavors, coupled with a creamy texture and the freshness of vegetables. To create this dish, one would typically need several components: ears of corn, which serve as the centerpiece; an assortment of vegetables and herbs for freshness and complexity; and a dairy-free chipotle ranch dressing to provide a spicy and tangy flavor profile.

To prepare the grilled corn, one should husk the corn and remove all silk. Preheat the grill to high heat and lightly oil the grill grates. Grill the corn, turning frequently, until it is nicely charred and cooked through, which typically takes about 10 minutes. After grilling, let the corn cool slightly before slicing the kernels off the cob.

For a well-rounded salad, you might include diced red onion, cherry tomatoes, and avocados to complement the sweetness of the corn. Additionally, fresh herbs, such as cilantro or parsley, can be chopped and added for an aromatic touch. Increasing the vegetable variety, such as incorporating bell peppers or black beans, can add color, texture, and additional nutritional value.

The vegan chipotle ranch dressing can be prepared by blending soaked and drained raw cashews (or any preferred vegan creamy base, such as silken tofu or vegan mayonnaise) with water, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, garlic, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce until the mixture reaches a smooth consistency. Season with salt, pepper, onion powder, dried dill, and chives to taste.

To construct the salad, in a large bowl, combine the grilled corn kernels, diced vegetables, and chopped herbs. Drizzle the vegan chipotle ranch dressing over the mixture and toss to ensure everything is evenly coated. The salad can be served immediately or chilled in the refrigerator for an hour to allow the flavors to meld.

Top 5 FAQs about Grilled Corn Salad with Vegan Chipotle Ranch Dressing

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  • How do you prepare the grilled corn for the salad? Grilled corn preparation involves husking fresh corn cobs, brushing them with a little oil, and then grilling them over medium to high heat. The corn should be turned every couple of minutes to ensure an even char without burning. Once it’s grilled to preference, it is typically cut from the cob in neat rows and allowed to cool before being added to the salad.
  • What are the key ingredients in the vegan chipotle ranch dressing? The vegan chipotle ranch dressing usually contains a base of soaked and blended cashews or vegan mayonnaise for creaminess. A combination of garlic powder, onion powder, dried herbs like dill and parsley, apple cider vinegar for tanginess, plant-based milk for consistency, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce or chipotle powder provides the distinctive smoky heat. All ingredients are blended until smooth.
  • Can the salad be made in advance, and how long will it keep in the refrigerator? Yes, the salad can be made in advance, and it’s often beneficial as the ingredients meld flavors over time. However, it’s preferable to add the dressing just before serving to keep the salad fresh and prevent sogginess. The undressed salad can typically be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days while the dressing can be refrigerated for up to a week.
  • Are there any substitutions for chipotle peppers if I don’t want it too spicy? If the heat of chipotle peppers is a concern, alternatives can be used to maintain smokiness without the intense spice, such as smoked paprika. For a milder dressing with a hint of heat, consider using a smaller amount of chipotle or including sweet bell peppers roasted to develop a similar depth of flavor.
  • How can this dish be served for a complete meal? Grilled corn salad with vegan chipotle ranch dressing can be enjoyed on its own as a light meal, particularly in warmer climates or seasons. For a more substantial meal, it can be served as a side alongside veggie burgers or grilled tofu. The addition of black beans, avocado, and quinoa to the salad can also make it more filling.

In conclusion, Grilled Corn Salad with Vegan Chipotle Ranch Dressing is a vibrant, flavorful dish that perfectly captures the essence of summertime dining. Its smoky grilled corn base combined with the freshness of various vegetables and the boldness of the vegan chipotle ranch makes it not only a delight for the palate but also a healthy choice for those seeking plant-based options.


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