A little sweet, a little smokey, a little crunchy – Grilled Zucchini Salad with corn and marinated white beans is summer in a bowl. It’s substantial enough for lunch or dinner on its own, but also makes a great side dish for picnics, potlucks and parties.
Your girl is a rotten liar. Two sentences in and I’ve got you thinking this grilled zucchini and corn salad is some super showy sidepiece you should totally bring to (what did I say?) “picnics, parties, or potlucks.” “It’s summer in a bowl.” NO! It’s summer in my mouth.
I really do hate to do this, especially because zucchini salad with grilled corn, tender marinated white beans, toasted pecans, oh! and cheese, actually is an incredible dish to pass. Not only is it absurdly delicious and easy to make, I don’t know if I’ve seen another summer salad hold up so well when served warm, cold, or just at room temperature.
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But your friends are probably never going to know. Because sadly, I also created a monster. Well, more like a siren – a creature that calls to you, beckoning you toward the bowl as it rests on the counter. I am sorry to say, while this salad recipe may get made, and it will get eaten, it’s usually not at the backyard barbecue.
I go through anywhere from 10-12 utensils “just tasting it,” putting them in the dishwasher after each not-insignificant test bite or two. (Like that’s going to stop me from dirtying another fork.) And that’s before I resort to plucking individual components out with my own grown adult fingers!!! By then, there’s not much left to share.
AArrgghh! Why is this salad so damn good? Well, it’s not all my fault. Some of the blame goes to the veggies…
Zucchini and Corn – A Perfect Pairing
It’s no chocolate and peanut butter, but mild, buttery zucchini and sweet summer corn are two great tastes that taste great together.
We’ve combined them before to rave reviews – like in this simple sautée, and this cacio e pepe-inspired pasta dish – but there’s something about a hot grill that really elevates the corn and zucchini in this salad, and gets the salivary glands churning.
Slightly crisp, charred edges, and a smoky, caramelized finish that enhances the natural nuttiness and mellow buttery flavors of both? *drool* I’m gonna need a napkin…
New To Grilling?
How to Make Zucchini Salad with Corn
This summer Zucchini Salad recipe has a little something for everyone – grilled zucchini and corn, creamy white beans, fresh basil, a zesty lemon dressing, pecans for crunch, and nutty pecorino cheese. Save time and grill your veggies while the beans marinate in your homemade dressing. Gluten free, vegetarian, and naturally vegan (if you omit the cheese garnish).
- Drain the beans, place into a mesh strainer, then rinse under cool running water until the liquid turns clear and the beans are “clean”. Shake ’em dry, then place into a mixing bowl and add fresh rosemary.
- Whisk the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, zest, garlic, and honey until well combined, then pour over the beans. Set aside to marinate at room temperature while you prepare the remaining salad ingredients.
- Brush the zucchini halves and corn with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Place on a grill heated to medium-high heat ((350°F – 375°F) and cook as follows:
- Grill zucchini 5-6 minutes cut side down; flip, then grilled 5-6 minutes more, until tender.
- Grill the corn for 15-18 minutes, or until lightly charred on all sides, rotating a quarter of a turn every 4-5 minutes.
- Let the veggies cool a bit, then dice the zucchini and slice the corn from the cobs.
- Add the grilled vegetables to the marinated white beans, along with fresh basil and chopped pecans. Toss.
- Serve warm or room temperature as an entree or side dish. Garnish portions with parmesan or pecorino cheese to taste.
- Use canned or scratch cooked white beans. If using canned, rinse well first.
- Always properly heat your grill! If using a gas grill, aim for medium to medium-high heat (350°F – 375°F). For a charcoal grill, prepare for indirect heat. If you don’t have a grill thermometer, use the hand test.
- The zucchini will cook faster than the corn, so keep an eye on it.
- Need it vegan? Just skip the cheese, or serve it on the side.
Storing and Leftovers
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Do not store it with the shaved cheese garnish. Leftover zucchini salad can be served cold or room temperature.
What to Serve with Zucchini Salad
While I could easily tell you “This dish goes with everything!” I will do you one better and say that it also goes with nothing at all. This summer salad isn’t just a side – the cannellini beans make it super hearty and add a healthy dose of protein to each serving that makes it main dish-worthy.
If you do want to pair it with something special, this salad goes particularly well with steak and shrimp. Cooking out? Try grilled flat iron steak or grilled shrimp. Eating in? Your air fryer can actually handle both steak and shrimp as well as your grill can!
More Summer Veggie Sidekicks
- Asparagus Salad with Tomato and Pancetta
- Grilled Veggie Kabobs
- Creamy Cucumber Salad
- Tomato Salad with Bacon Dressing
- Sweet Corn Soup with Herb Gremolata
Did you make this zucchini salad? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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- 1 can cannellini beans, or 2 cups cooked from scratch
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
- 2 ears corn, husks and silks removed
- 1 tbsp olive oil, or avocado oil
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- ½ c torn basil leaves
- ¼ c chopped pecans
- 4 tbsp shaved pecorino cheese, or parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 whole lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp honey
- Place the beans into a fine mesh strainer; rinse under cool running water until the water turns clear and the beans look clean and free of canning liquid. Shake well to remove the moisture, then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the rosemary to the beans and toss gently.
- Whisk the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, and honey until well combined. Pour over the beans and toss to combine. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes while you grill the zucchini and corn.
- Heat a grill to medium/medium-high heat (350°F – 375°F).
- Brush the zucchini halves and and corn with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.
- Place the zucchini cut side down on the grill, and place the whole corn cobs directly on the grill. Close the lid. Grill the zucchini 5-6 minutes, or until charred, then flip and grill an additional 5-6 minutes. Grill the corn a total of 15-18 minutes, or until lightly charred on all sides, rotating a quarter of a turn every 4-5 minutes. The zucchini will cook quicker than the corn, so keep an eye on it and remove it once tender. Remove the zucchini and corn from the grill as they finish and set aside on a plate until cool enough to handle.
- Dice the zucchini, then slice the corn from the cobs. Add the grilled vegetables to the marinated white beans, then add the basil and chopped pecans. Gently toss until well combined.
- To serve as an entree, divide the salad between four plates, then garnish with shaved cheese to taste. Alternatively, serve as a side dish with the cheese on the side.