Sweet Corn Pasta Salad

Healthy Summer Corn Pasta Salad

There’s just something about corn in the summertime.

Corn on the cob always makes me think of barbecuing, basking in the sun, and carefree summer vibes.

Even though I’m not a big fan of traditional BBQ food, I love the concept of BBQs — gathering together a group of friends on a hot summer evening to laugh, share stories, and most importantly, enjoy good food.

I’ve been working sweet corn into a lot of my summer meals lately. It is such a versatile addition to so many dishes, adding nice color, flavor and crunch.

Summer Corn Pasta Salad

Corn is also considered a whole grain, providing heart-protecting, belly-filling fiber. Despite the common misconception, it’s actually a very healthy carbohydrate option, containing a similar nutrition profile to whole wheat.

In the spirit of pot-lucking, I recently created this Sweet Corn Summer Pasta Salad using hearty whole grains, fresh veggies, and of course, my favorite summer staple.

In the interest of speed, I used canned organic sweet yellow corn, but if you have the time, fresh grilled corn would take this salad to a whole other level.

This dish makes an awesome side or a hearty main. It’s packed with plant-based protein and fiber from the pasta and black beans, and heart-healthy fat from the extra virgin olive oil and avocado.

Sweet Corn Summer Pasta Salad

This dish is vegan, thanks to the amazing invention that is nut cheese, but it would also taste incredible with the addition of crumbled goat or feta cheese for my vegetarian/omnivorous friends.

Summer Corn Pasta Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This easy summer salad is packed with plant-based protein from black beans, whole grains and nut cheese and bursting with flavor from tri-color cherry tomatoes and sweet corn.
Recipe type: side, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: salad, pasta salad
Serves: 4-6
  • 8 ounces of dry penne pasta (brown rice or whole wheat)
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can sweet yellow corn, drained
  • 1 pint tricolor cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt + more to taste
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 4 ounces crumbled cheese (choice of nut, goat, feta)
  1. Cook pasta according to directions on package. Reserve boiling water.
  2. Place spinach leaves in a strainer. Pour boiling water over the leaves to wilt.
  3. Toss together pasta, spinach, corn, beans and tomatoes.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar and lemon juice.
  5. Toss pasta salad with the oil mixture.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Fold in avocado cubes and crumbled cheese.
  8. Allow salad to cool in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

If you’re going the canned route with the sweet corn and black beans, look for cans that say “BPA free” to ensure you’re avoiding this common can coating that may cause health problems.

Also, be sure to rinse your beans to get rid of added salt. Salting the salad yourself is a better way to control flavor and sodium intake.

Pasta Summer Corn Salad

Weigh in: What’s your favorite summer ingredient? Do you have any other great corn recipes I should try?


  1. Yum, yum, YUM! I need this salad in my life. My favourite kind of salad too with so many ingredients and so many delicious flavours! Can’t wait to try this. xxx
    Krissy @ Pretty Wee Things recently posted…Peanut butter jelly overnight oats | Healthy, sugar freeMy Profile

  2. This salad looks terrific. I adore corn and beans. As forms recipe to share…does one using cornmeal count? It uses beans too:) I thought of this cornbread I make that has beans in it and is good for people who are gluten-free too: https://scrumptiousgruel.wordpress.com/2012/06/30/i-can-please-them-all/
    Ellen recently posted…Take me to the moon. Duh.My Profile

  3. Amanda Howard says:

    Looks incredibly yunmy, Whitney. Going to give it a go!

  4. This looks so tasty Whitney! I adore corn (and have been known to eat it raw off the cob while walking down one of the main streets in Sydney…)

    Thanks for sharing XO
    Jennifer Dene recently posted…Stress Less: 4 Yoga Poses For RelaxationMy Profile

  5. Salad looks delicious. Love fresh corn on the cob. A summer must.
    Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment recently posted…Sweet and Spicy Cold Brew TeaMy Profile

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