Grilled Zucchini Salad with Corn and Sweet Peppers
Grilled Zucchini Salad with charred corn and sweet peppers! Dressed in a herby lemon dressing that brightens all the other flavors! Top it off with a handful of crumbled feta cheese to add a briny, salty element and this is seriously going to be the only salad you’ll want ALL SUMMER LONG!
It’s grilling season!
And we’re making the most flavorful grilled zucchini salad loaded with charred corn and sweet peppers. It’s as easy as tossing all the veggies on an outdoor grill and making a lemony dressing with dried or fresh herbs. That herby lemon dressing and salty feta at the end make this salad POP.
One of my all time favorite side dishes is this zucchini and corn sauté that I shared many moons ago back when I first started blogging. It’s one of those recipes that I’ve made so many times I’ve lost count. I make it all the time when it’s cool enough to cook in the kitchen. But in the summer months, I’m looking for a grillable version of that recipe, one that I can maybe toss with feta cheese and a light herby vinaigrette and serve with Greek Grilled Chicken.
Ingredients for grilled zucchini salad recipe:
- Zucchini: It’s the best time of the year for zucchini! Cut them into four pieces lengthwise to create wedges. You can also use other vegetables like asparagus or yellow summer squash if you don’t want to use zucchini or if you want a medley of vegetables. Wedges are the best shape to grill these because they balance well on the outdoor grill grates as well as an indoor grill pan.
- Sweet Peppers: I like to use mini peppers for this because they don’t require prepping, just spritz with avocado oil and toss them on the grill! You can also use a large red or orange bell pepper, just be sure to cut it into 4 pieces so that it grills more evenly. Feel free to swap the peppers for cherry tomatoes if you prefer those instead.
- Corn: I leave the corn on the cob and just grill it up! It’s one of my favorite summertime snacks so we’ve always got corn cobs around. You can also use defrosted roasted corn if you didn’t want to grill it!
- Arugula: I like the peppery flavor of arugula with the sweet corn and peppers. You can also use a mix of greens, baby spinach, or just lettuce if you’d like.
- Crumbled Feta: I love adding salty feta to salads with corn and sweet peppers because it really make all the flavors pop. Feel free to use crumbled goat cheese or another kind of cheese if you aren’t a fan of feta.
- Oil: I use avocado oil in the marinade because it’s a high heat oil that allows you to toss the veggies right onto the grill. I also oil the grates with avocado oil. For the dressing, I use extra-virgin olive oil.
- Lemon Juice: Fresh lemons are a must! We’ll use a squeeze to marinate the zucchini and the rest goes into the herby lemon dressing. Feel free to add in lemon zest as well if you’d like an even bigger punch of lemon.
- Seasonings: You’ll need red pepper flakes, minced garlic, dried oregano, dried thyme, salt and black pepper for this recipe. We’ll start by marinating the zucchini wedges in a combination of lemon juice, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes. Just brush or rub this all over and let the zucchini hang out while you preheat the grill. Feel free to add additional fresh herbs to the salad bowl – fresh mint leaves, fresh basil, or even chopped parsley would make excellent additions!
- Shallots: I mince up a knob of shallot and add it to the dressing ingredients. Shallots ares sweeter than onions and they add all of the flavor without the bite!
- Honey: Adds sweetness and balances out the tart lemon juice in the dressing.
- Dijon Mustard: Not only adds flavor to the dressing, it also emulsifies it so that the dressing stays combined.
How to make a grilled zucchini salad:
- Marinate. Add a glug of avocado oil along with a splash of lemon juice, minced garlic, and a big pinch of salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to a small bowl. Place the zucchini wedges on a baking sheet and toss the wedges in this marinade, massage it well so that all the zucchini is coated in this! Let the zucchini sit at room temperature while you preheat the grill.
- Grill it up. Once the grill is preheated, clean and oil the grates so that none of the veggies stick to it. Once the grill is hot, start with the corn! The corn cobs will take the longest to char up so cook them first. When they’re about halfway done, add the zucchini wedges and the peppers. Flip the peppers and zucchini wedges often so you don’t brown them too much on any one side. Remove them to a plate when done.
- Make the dressing. This is easy! Just combine the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, shallot, honey, minced garlic, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper in a mason jar. Cap the jar and shake the ingredients to combine the dressing. You can also whisk the dressing ingredients together in a bowl.
- Chop it up and serve it. Chop the zucchini into small pieces, remove the corn from the ears, and chop the peppers into bite-sized pieces. Add the arugula to a large bowl or a serving platter, top with the chopped veggies. Dress with ¼ of the prepared dressing. Top with feta. Taste and adjust with more dressing as desired. We usually use most of the dressing, but this does make a little extra for leftovers or to drizzle on protein!
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
- Strawberry Watermelon Feta Salad
- Pickled Beet Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
- Charred Corn Avocado Salad with Pickled Onions
- Zesty Italian Pasta Salad
- Lemon Basil Arugula Pasta Salad
- 1 teaspoon EACH: lemon juice AND minced garlic
- Salt and pepper
- Avocado oil
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 medium zucchini, cut into 4 long wedges (lengthwise)
- 2-3 whole ears of corn, shucked
- 8-10 mini peppers (or 1 large red pepper, quartered)
- 2 handfuls fresh arugula
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon EACH: minced shallot AND honey
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- MARINATE: Add a tablespoon of avocado oil to a small bowl with the lemon juice, minced garlic and a large pinch of salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Place the zucchini on a baking sheet, and pour this marinade over the wedges. Toss and massage with your hands to coat evenly. Let zucchini sit while you preheat the grill.
- GRILL: Heat an indoor or outdoor grill to 450ºF. When hot, clean the grates, then oil them with the avocado oil. Place the corn on the grill first and start grilling until the corn chars to your liking on all sides. Add the zucchini and peppers when the corn is halfway done, cooking the peppers and zucchini for roughly 3 minutes flipping as needed to grill evenly. The zucchini shouldn’t be mushy! Remove everything to a baking sheet.
- DRESSING: Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a mason jar, along with a big pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Cover and shake. Taste and adjust with salt, pepper, and honey as needed.
- CHOP: Chop the zucchini into small pieces, remove the corn from the ears and chop the peppers into bite sized pieces. Add a bed of arugula to the serving dish, top with corn, zucchini, peppers, and drizzle with roughly ¼ of the dressing. Toss and top with feta. Taste and adjust with more dressing as desired.