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This jalapeño popper corn salad is a meal in itself.
The Perfect Cookout Salad
Sometimes, you just have to think outside the box when it comes to salads you serve for picnics and BBQs.
While you can’t go wrong with the old standards such as potato salad and macaroni/pasta salad, maybe offering something else in addition to those is in order.
That’s where this jalapeño popper corn salad comes in. First of all, it’s pretty different from the usual fare. Secondly, it’s quite hearty and will satisfy those who want to go meatless (when you exclude the bacon and it’ll still taste great).
Roasted Corn: It’s Worth It
Roasted corn has a fantastic flavor, which is why it’s perfect for this salad.
While you can use cooked frozen or canned corn, the extra step of roasting a whole ear of corn then removing the kernels is worth it.
If you cook out a lot and often do ears of corn on the grill, why not just throw a few extra on the barbie to plan for this salad? This is what I call a “planned over.” Meaning it’s technically a leftover for which you have later plans.
You can do that with the onions and jalapeños too.
If You Want It Milder…
You can, of course, use less jalapeños and make sure you have no seeds or ribs un what you add to the salad.
Another thing you could do is use plain jack cheese instead of pepperjack.
When it comes to the peppers, I like a combo of fully ripe and green jalapeños. I grow my own in my Aerogarden so I can let a lot of them get red and fully ripe. I haven’t seen any red ones in any of my markets, but you might find them in supermarkets that specialize in organic produce.
Jalapeño Popper Corn Salad
- 4 cups roasted corn cooked canned or frozen may be used
- 2 large roasted jalapeños
- 1 medium onion quartered and grilled
- 1/2 cup crisp bacon sliced
- 1 cup sharp cheddar shredded
- 1 cup pepper jack cheese shredded
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Grill whole corn on the cob by your preferred method--mine is on my gas grill but you can use an air fryer too. When corn is nicely roasted, set aside to cool, then cut the kernels off the cob to use in the salad.
- Grill the jalapeños and onions by the same method as the corn, but spritz them with a bit of oil before you do. When they are done, set them aside to cool. Then roughly chop the onion and dice the jalapeños (whether you remove the seeds are up to you but they do add additional heat).
- Mix all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the roasted corn, onions cheeses and jalapeños. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon, then add the rest to the corn mixture.
- Add enough of the dressing to coat--depending on your tastes, you may not use all of it. If there is leftover dressing, it may be refrigerated and used on any salad you wish.
Faye Bailey says
Would letting the pepper become fully ripe make it hotter. Or less hot? I love the flavor of them but can’t handle them really hot.
Judith Hanneman says
Usually that’s the case, but I honestly don’t notice it. To me it makes the pepper sweeter and it has a better flavor. My best advice is to get one and then taste it–since it’s a subjective thing. I’m also not into hot HOT but I love my jalapeños because they have great flavor.