Sweet, smoky, and spicy, this Grilled Sweet Corn and Jalapeno Slaw is the perfect addition to any picnic or BBQ. It’s an easy side dish and also great on tacos!

A bowl of grilled corn and jalapeno slaw

An Easy BBQ Side Dish

If your group of friends and family is anything like ours, there’s a few things that regularly appear at every BBQ, picnic, or potluck. For us, that’s baked beans, potato salad, pickles, and the beloved coleslaw salad.

If you like to get creative and offer something other than the more usual creamy coleslaw or vinegar-based coleslaw, this Grilled Sweet Corn and Jalapeño Slaw is tasty and so much fun!

I love adding grilled sweet corn to salads, and it proves awesome in this slaw as well. This dish is sweet, smoky, and spicy, with a beautiful vinegar tang. It not only works for picnics and BBQs, but also for stuffing into tacos, sandwiches, and wraps!

A bowl of grilled sweet corn and jalapeno slaw

What You’ll Need

This spicy slaw is loaded with crunchy, fresh veggies and a handful of seasonings!

  • Sweet corn – Choose fresh, tender cobs of corn for the best salad.
  • Jalapeno peppers – To control the spice a little more, be sure to remove the seeds. Add as little or as much as you like.
  • Shredded Cabbage – The base of the coleslaw, that adds volume and crunch.
  • Green onions – Add flavor and color.
  • Carrots – Peeled and thinly sliced.
  • White onion – I prefer white onion, but you can also use red or yellow onion.
  • Herbs & seasonings – I use a combination of of fresh dill and cilantro, cumin, ancho chili powder, and garlic to create the robust, fresh and spicy taste. Along with salt and pepper to taste, of course.
  • Cider vinegar & vegetable oil – Create the light, tangy dressing.
Corn cobs and jalapeno on a grill

How to Make Grilled Sweet Corn and Jalapeno Slaw

This spicy slaw is easy to make. I love the grilled vegetables!

  • Prepare the vegetables. Place whole ears of sweet corn and jalapeno peppers on hot grill greates. Char on all sides then remove and allow them to cool. Cut the kernels from the corn cob and chop the jalapeno into small pieces. Cool completely, then add the remaining vegetables and fresh herbs.
  • Make the dressing. Whisk together the liquid ingredients and remaining seasonings.
  • Assemble and chill. Pour the liquid mixture over the slaw mixture and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 30 to 60 minutes before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste.
A bowl of grilled corn and jalapeno slaw

Tips for Success

If this is your first time making grilled corn slaw, keep these suggestions in mind.

  • Use fresh, crisp vegetables. All of the vegetables used should be fresh and crunchy – including the cabbage.
  • Start with a hot grill. For the best charring, the grill should be properly heated to high before placing the corn and jalapenos on the grates. Grill the veggies as quickly as possible, to char them but not over cook them.
  • Taste before seasoning. Before serving, give the slaw a stir and taste before adding salt and pepper. You may find you don’t even need it!
  • Allow to chill. Be sure to allow plenty of time between steps for the charred vegetables to cool and, most importantly, at least 30 minutes (preferably an hour or more) before serving for the flavors to meld.

Serving Suggestions

This grilled corn slaw is made for summer cookouts and BBQs. This is a match made in heaven when it comes to grilled meats or BBQ pulled pork. You could even add this as a topping to your hot dogs and burgers. Serve it with:

This slaw is also great on tacos – have you tried this awesome Carnitas recipe?! You can add it to any dinner that needs a little extra something. It adds not only a smoky, spicy flavor, but also an irresistibly crunchy texture!

How to Store Leftovers

Leftover grilled corn and jalapeno slaw should be stored in an airtight container. It will last for up to 3 days in the fridge. Just know that it will soften more as time goes on.

Can I Make Sweet Corn and Jalapeno Slaw in Advance?

You can prepare this dish many hours in advance, or even the day prior to serving. Just store the slaw mixture and liquid mixture in separate containers in the refrigerator, combining them 30 to 60 minutes prior to serving, and then chilling again until serving time.

More Easy Side Dish Recipes:

A bowl of grilled sweet corn and jalapeno slaw

Grilled Sweet Corn and Jalapeño Slaw

Yield: 12 servings
prep time: 1 hour
cook time: 8 minutes
total time: 1 hour 8 minutes
Sweet, smoky, and spicy, this Grilled Sweet Corn and Jalapeno Slaw is the perfect addition to any picnic or BBQ. It's an easy side dish and also great on tacos!
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Ingredients

  • 3 large ears fresh sweet corn husked
  • 2 large fresh jalapeno peppers
  • 3 bags 10 ounce size shredded cabbage
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • 3 large carrots peeled and sliced thinly on the diagonal
  • cup minced white onion
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • cup honey
  • cup cider vinegar
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 2 medium cloves garlic minced
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Heat grill to high. Place whole ears of sweet corn and whole jalapeno peppers on the hot grates. When they are nicely charred, rotate them until all sides are charred. This should take about 5 minutes or so. Remove from grill grates and let cool.
  • Once the corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cob using a sharp, serrated knife. Then cut the stems off the jalapenos and chop the jalapeno into small pieces (remove the seeds first, if you desire less heat!). Add the corn kernels and jalapeno to a large bowl and set aside to cool completely.
  • Add cabbage, green onions, carrots, white onion, dill, and cilantro to the corn and jalapenos. Fold to combine.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together honey, vinegar, oil, cumin, chili powder, and garlic to create the dressing.
  • Pour dressing over the slaw mixture and fold to combine. Place in refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes prior to serving, to both chill the slaw and let the flavors mingle.
  • Right before serving, fold the slaw a few times. Taste test and add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed, and then serve.

  • This can be prepared many hours in advance, or even the day prior to serving. Just store the slaw mixture and liquid mixture in separate containers in the refrigerator, combining them 30 to 60 minutes prior to serving, and then chilling again until serving time.

Notes

from a farmgirl’s dabbles

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 210kcal Carbohydrates: 25g Protein: 2g Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g Sodium: 52mg Fiber: 2g Sugar: 19g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!

This post was originally published in 2016, and then updated in 2021. You can also find my recipe over at The Pioneer Woman!