Black Bean and Corn Salad (or Salsa!)

Black Bean and Corn Salad features tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeño, and a zippy lime vinaigrette for an easy, zesty, addictive side dish. Or enjoy this recipe as Black Bean and Corn Salsa instead, for a delicious appetizer to dip up with chips!

Black Bean and Corn Salad in small bowl and large serving bowl.


 

Sometimes a salad is more than just a salad. And that's certainly the case when it comes to this Black Bean and Corn Salad, which additionally features juicy tomatoes, bright cilantro, and zippy jalapeños...and which can also be enjoyed as a salsa rather than a salad!

When I'm serving enchiladas or tacos or other Tex-Mex fare, I make this Black Bean and Corn Salad.

When I'm throwing a party and need a hearty dip to go with tortilla chips, I call it black bean and corn salsa instead.

If I want a flavor-infused topping for otherwise-blah chicken or fish, this recipe is the antidote.

And when the garden is overrun with tomatoes and cilantro but I'm all salsa-ed out (who am I kidding? I could never get tired of salsa), I make this corn and black bean salad yet again!

Black Bean and Corn Salsa in silver bowl.

By now, you've probably gotten the hint that Black Bean and Corn Salad is a pretty versatile recipe. Around my house, it's much loved as well. Even my non-tomato-liking husband (help me comprehend) happily eats it. And, let me tell you, not many recipes can get him to eat an uncooked tomato!

There are many variations out there of black bean corn salad. As already mentioned, it's sometimes also known as black bean and corn salsa, and even that can go by a variety of names. Texas Caviar, anyone?

But I can promise you that this particular incarnation of this recipe -- whatever you want to call it -- is positively THE BEST!

Ingredients

Let's start with a discussion of what it takes to make this concoction of black beans and corn (and so much more), shall we?

Labeled ingredients to make Black Bean and Corn Salad.
  • Canned black beans. Rinsed and drained.
  • Frozen corn. Thawed.
    • If you detect that some of the corn in these photos looks yellow and some of it looks white...no, there is nothing wrong with your computer monitor. When I can find bicolor corn in the freezer section, I like to use both shades to make this recipe. Not because yellow and white corn taste any different, but because they sure do look purty. 😉
    • Alternatively, if fresh corn is in season and you happen to have some on hand, it's particularly delightful in this recipe! Just be sure to employ the easiest, tastiest way to cook fresh corn before slicing it off and adding it to this recipe...
  • Small tomatoes. I typically use grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes and halve or quarter them, depending on size. Or you can use larger tomatoes and simply seed and chop them into bite-sized pieces.
  • Jalapeños. Minced. Optional, but I don't think you should leave out the jalapeños because they add yet another flavor profile to this yummy recipe.
    • If you prefer a mild salad, just make sure to remove and discard all of the seeds and membranes before dicing the jalapeños very finely. If you're still afraid, use just one jalapeño instead of two.
    • On the other hand, if you can handle the heat, leave the seeds and membranes intact when you mince your peppers.
  • Fresh cilantro. Chopped. In my opinion, the more, the merrier! Of course, feel free to leave it out if you're a cilantro hater. 😉
  • EVOO, lime juice, + red wine vinegar. The base of the fresh lime vinaigrette to dress your Black Bean and Corn Salad. I recommend using fresh-squeezed lime juice, but I often use bottled lime juice in a pinch, as long as the bottled lime juice contains only -- you guessed it -- lime juice. 🙂
  • Fresh garlic. Minced. To flavor the vinaigrette.
  • Salt + pepper. To season the vinaigrette.
Aerial view of Black Bean and Corn Salsa.

How to Make Black Bean and Corn Salad

Even though it's made fresh and from scratch, this Black Bean and Corn Salad is ridiculously quick and easy to make!

  1. First, make the dressing. You can either whisk all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl until well blended, or shake everything up in a tightly-sealed jar.
Adding oil and lime juice to bowl for vinaigrette to top corn and black bean salad.
Adding vinegar and garlic to dressing for black bean corn salad.
Adding salt and pepper to lime vinaigrette.
Whisking lime vinaigrette for black bean corn salad.
  1. Rinse and drain your canned black beans and transfer them to a very large bowl.
  2. Thaw your frozen corn by placing it in a colander and running it under warm water; drain well and add it to the bowl o' beans.
  3. Add diced tomatoes, minced jalapeños, and chopped cilantro to the bowl
  4. Pour the lime vinaigrette all over the top.
Rinsed and drained black beans in bowl.
Corn and tomatoes added to bowl for corn black bean salsa.
Adding cilantro and jalapeño to bowl for black bean corn salsa.
Pouring vinaigrette over corn and black bean salsa.
  1. Gently mix all of the ingredients with a large spoon until nice and combined.
Mixing corn black bean salad in glass bowl.
Black Bean and Corn Salad in glass bowl.
  1. Serve and ENJOY!
Black Bean and Corn Salsa with tortilla chips and ingredients on table.

I think what makes this dish so good are all of the flavors going on at the same time. You have the creamy black beans, the sweet corn, and the refreshing cilantro balanced out by the bright, acidic tomatoes. Then all of that yumminess is enveloped in a garlicky, lime-infused vinaigrette that'll make you want to shout "Olé!"

Okayyy...maybe you'll only shout "Olé!" if you've had a few too many margaritas to accompany your Mexican fare. But that's neither here nor there.

Close-up of Black Bean and Corn Salad.

Options for Serving

Now I'm not gonna lie. Even when I enjoy this Black Bean and Corn Salad as a side dish, I still like to scoop it up with chips. The crunch is a nice contrast to the other textures going on. Yessirrrr, I'm all about the textures.

That being said, you can most certainly serve it as a black bean and corn salsa appetizer instead.

Furthermore, while plain tortilla chips are just dandy, the lightly seasoned ones make even tastier mediums for scooping because they really seem to bring out the sweetness of the corn. I'm not talking about Nacho Cheese Doritos here, y'all. But if you are lucky enough to live somewhere that sells Julio's tortilla chips, they are awesome with this recipe (or with anything else, but I digress). Sometimes I can also find seasonal Hatch Green Chile tortilla chips at my grocery store, and they make for pretty tasty dippers as well.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa dipped up with chip.

A Note About the Lime Vinaigrette

The last thing I want to mention is that the delectable dressing used to coat this salad is actually very concentrated. It needs to be, because it's going to be spread out over a bunch of ingredients!

That being said, just don't think that you can splash it on a salad of mixed greens as-is. I'm sure you could turn it into a traditional salad dressing by adding more olive oil and cutting back on the salt and pepper.

But the way it's mixed according to the recipe directions ends up being perfect for this Black Bean and Corn Salad...so don't be afraid of how strong it is if you happen to taste-test it before stirring it into the salad.

Black Bean and Corn Salad garnished with cilantro.

So have I convinced you to try this salad/salsa/dip/bowl-o'-summer-deliciousness?

I hope so! It's healthy, it's summer-y, it's simple, and it's scrumptious!

More Summer Sides

Black Bean and Corn Salad aerial view in square pewter bowl.

Black Bean and Corn Salad (or Salsa!)

Black Bean and Corn Salad features tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeño, and a zippy lime vinaigrette for an easy, zesty, addictive side dish. Or enjoy this recipe as Black Bean and Corn Salsa instead for a delicious appetizer to dip up with chips!
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings (as a salad)
Calories: 215kcal
Print Pin Rate

Ingredients

For the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 16 ounces frozen corn
  • 1 pint grape OR cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (depending on size)
  • 1 to 2 fresh jalapeños, finely diced
  • ½ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Instructions

  • Make dressing by whisking all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly incorporated, or shaking them in a jar with a tightly-fitting lid. Set aside.
  • Place rinsed black beans in a very large bowl. Thaw corn by placing it in a colander and running it under warm water; drain well and add to bowl. Add tomatoes, jalapeños, and cilantro to bowl, pour dressing over top, and gently mix all ingredients with a large spoon until well combined.

Video

Notes

  • If you use bottled lime juice, try to find one in which "lime juice" is the only listed ingredient.
  • You may use two extra-large tomatoes, seeded and chopped, in place of the grape or cherry tomatoes.
  • For mild jalapeño flavor, remove the seeds and membranes from the peppers before dicing. For added heat, leave all or some of the seeds and/or membranes intact.
  • If you have time, refrigerate the salad for several hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend, then allow to come to room temperature and stir well before serving.
  • This recipe may be made up to 24 hours ahead of time if tightly covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature and stir well before serving. Leftovers will keep for 4 to 5 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 855mg | Potassium: 652mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 389IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 3mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

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12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Just made this a couple hours ago, just tried a taste and sooooo good. I'm a huge onion lover, so I may embellish it a little.

    1. I'm so glad that you enjoyed this, Donna! You should definitely try it with onions. I'm a huge onion hater, which is why I left them out. 😉 But I'm sure it would be yummy with them for those who are fans! My hubby and kids all love onions, too...lucky for me, I do the cooking - ha! Thanks for taking the time to comment...hope you have a great week!

  2. Do you think this is enough as a dip for a bday party of 30 adults, or should I double it? Sorry, I'm kitchen challenged!

    1. Hi Sylvia! Yes, I think I would double it. I always double the recipe as a dip for parties and it all gets gobbled up, whether during the party or as leftovers. Personally, I'd rather end up with too much than too little. Have a great party!