Add Kick to a Classic: Grilled Sweet Corn With Zesty Aioli

Oftentimes, the simplest things are the sweetest. Grilled sweet corn is a traditional side dish that adds a fresh, sweet crunch to almost any meal. A summer cookout just isn’t the same without this warm, golden treat topped with butter and salt. If you’re looking for a recipe that kicks up the flavor a notch, we highly recommend trying this recipe for Grilled Sweet Corn with Zesty Aioli.

Did you know 99 percent of the corn grown in South Dakota fields isn’t sweet corn? It’s field corn, which contains less sugar and is used to make animal feed, ethanol, oil, food ingredients and starch. To grow healthy crops like sweet corn, field corn and soybeans, most South Dakota farmers use GMO seeds. GMOs are plants that have been bred through a process called biotechnology, which adds naturally existing genes to achieve specific helpful characteristics. Farmers use GMOs because they allow them to apply less pesticides, resist harmful insects and tolerate drought. GMO foods benefit South Dakota families with characteristics like non-browning apples and healthier cooking oils at restaurants.

When selecting fresh sweet corn at your local grocery store or farmers market, look for silky, moist tassels, which are an indicator of freshness. Feel each ear through the husk for kernels that are plump and uniform. Then watch the video below to create your own Zesty Aioli Grilled Sweet Corn at your next cookout.

Need some inspiration for a dish to complement your corn? Try pairing it with Farmer Paul’s Grilled Walleye. Learn more about GMOs and why most South Dakota farmers use them.

Grilled Sweet Corn With Zesty Aioli

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 22 mins
Course Appetizer
Servings 6 people



  • 6-8 large ears of corn
  • smoked paprika
  • 1 Lime
  • extra virgin olive oil


  • 1 Large egg yolk
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more
  • 1/2 cup good-quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch Cayenne Pepper
  • fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce
  • freshly ground pepper


  • In a food processor, combine egg yolk, garlic and salt. Blend until smooth.
  • With motor running, add oil until consistency begins to look like thick mayonnaise.
  • Transfer to a bowl. Season with cayenne, lemon juice, Sriracha and pepper.
  • Cover bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.  
  • Pre-heat grill.
  • Place corn in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes to help prevent burning on the grill.
  • Place unhusked corn directly on grill for about 7-8 minutes. Close lid. Rotate half way through for even cooking. Take corn off grill and remove husks.
  • Drizzle corn with oil and place back on grill. Continue to rotate corn until golden brown on all sides. Remove corn from grill when golden brown.
  • Take aioli sauce out of fridge and brush onto all sides of corn. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and squeeze lime on corn. Enjoy!