Healthy and flavorful Black Bean and Corn Salad! It’s a simple salad jam packed nutritious black beans, fresh vegetables like corn, avocado and bell pepper and it’s all tossed with a vibrant cilantro lime dressing. A delicious Mexican style salad everyone will crave!
Colorful, texturally satisfying, easy to make, and a side dish you can always feel great about eating! This black bean and corn salad recipe never disappoints!
Of course it’s such a refreshing dinner side dish but it also makes a delicious main dish at lunch, you can serve it over quinoa or rice to make it even heartier.
It pairs incredibly well with chicken and seafood and it’s a great way eat lots of veggies at once – to help meet the recommend intake of veggies for the day.
It also makes a great chip dip if you want to serve it as a party snack. Or serve as a topping over tacos. Lots of options here.
This is just one of those must have recipes! So good in so many ways!
Ingredients Needed for This Black Bean and Corn Salad Recipe
- Black beans – you could also use dry and cooked black beans.
- Corn – fresh or frozen corn works great here. You can add raw corn or if you prefer the softer texture of cooked you can cook it first. With frozen corn see the package to see if it needs to be cooked first (to kill potentially harmful bacteria) then run under cold water to cool.
- Tomato – I used cocktail tomatoes here but most mild-sweet types will work fine.
- Bell pepper – I like to go with orange to bring a variety of color but any color will work fine. Keep in mind red are most ripened, then orange, yellow and last green.
- Red onion – a yellow onion or green onions could be substituted.
- Avocado – avoid those that are overly soft as they’ll just mash up into the salad rather than keep a shape.
- Jalapeno – if you love heat you can leave the seeds. If you want it mild omit this ingredient.
Ingredients Needed for the Dressing
- Olive oil – regular or extra virgin olive oil works great here.
- Lime – only use fresh squeezed juice not bottled. In a pinch lemon could be substituted.
- Cilantro – this adds a lot of key flavor to the salad, don’t omit it.
- Garlic – for a stronger garlic flavor you could use two cloves.
- Honey – this brings out the natural sweetness of the tomatoes and corn. It’s a nice pairing to the acidic lime as well and helps emulsify the dressing.
- Cumin and chili powder – we only use a little of these so it doesn’t overpower those fresh vegetable flavors. You can use other types of chili powder here like ancho or chipotle.
- Salt and pepper – add to taste.
How to Make the Best Black Bean and Corn Salad
Only four steps to making this simple recipe:
- Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill until ready to use.
- Chop all the veggies (and technically fruits).
- Add black beans, corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, avocado and jalapeno to a large bowl.
- Pour dressing over and toss gently to coat with dressing.
What to Serve with Black Bean and Corn Salad
- Rice (white, brown or coconut rice) or quinoa
- Chicken (grilled or pan seared breasts or thighs)
- Shrimp or other seafood like salmon
- Grilled flank steak
How Long Does it Keep?
This salad is best served shortly after preparing since it has the avocado and tomato in it. You can make it 1 or 2 days in advance then just add the tomatoes and avocado when ready to serve.
Tips and Possible Variations
- Chop everything small for uniformity (for a better appearance and flavor distribution).
- For extra flavor use a grilled ear of corn on the cob (grille without husks to char slightly), or pan sear.
- Grill bell pepper for charred flavor. Or char over the flame of a gas burner then let steam in a bag, peel more the blackened skin away before chopping.
- You could also try with a different type of bean like kidney beans or garbanzo beans.
More Delicious Black Bean Recipes to Try
- Black Bean Tacos
- Black Bean Tortilla Soup
- Fiesta Rice
- Mexican Style Black Beans (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker)
- Quinoa Black Bean Salad
Follow Cooking Classy
Healthy and perfectly refreshing! It's a simple salad jam packed nutritious black beans, fresh vegetables like corn, avocado and bell pepper and it's all tossed with a vibrant cilantro lime dressing. Perfect side to chicken, steak or seafood or serve over rice or quinoa.
- 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained well
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn, thawed according to package instructions
- 1 cup chopped tomato (Roma, cocktail, grape, etc.)
- 1 cup seeded and chopped orange bell pepper
- 1/3 cup diced red onion, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium avocado, diced (fairly firm but ripe)
- 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/4 tsp each ground cumin and chili powder
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill until ready to use.
Add black beans, corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, avocado and jalapeno to a large bowl.
Pour dressing over and toss gently to coat with dressing. Serve right away.
- For extra flavor you can roast the bell pepper over a gas flavor or under the broiler, turning occasionally. Transfer to a bag to steam 10 minutes then peel away most of the blackened skin.
- Another option is to grill the corn and the bell pepper for extra flavor.