Corn, Black Bean, & Tomato Salad

Sometimes a salad is more than just a salad.

Corn, Black Bean & Tomato Salad ~ this version of "Texas Caviar" is delicious as a side salad or as a dip with chips | {Five Heart Home}

When I’m serving enchiladas or other Tex-Mex fare, I make this salad. When I’m throwing a party and need a hearty dip to go with tortilla chips, I make this salad. When I want a flavor-infused topping for otherwise-blah chicken or fish, I make this salad. 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 salad.

By now, you’ve probably gotten the hint that this is a pretty versatile recipe. Around my house, it’s much loved as well. Even my non-tomato liking husband (which I cannot comprehend) happily eats it, and not many recipes can get him to eat a tomato.  There are many variations of this salad and I’ve seen it go by an assortment of names (Texas Caviar, anyone?), but I can promise you that this particular incarnation of it is delicious.

Corn, Black Bean & Tomato Salad ~ this version of "Texas Caviar" is delicious as a side salad or as a dip with chips | {Five Heart Home}

Let’s start with a discussion of the ingredients, shall we? I think what makes this dish so good are all of the flavors going on at the same time. You have the acidic tomatoes balanced out by creamy black beans, sweet corn, and refreshing cilantro. Then all of that yumminess is enveloped in a garlicky, lime-infused dressing that makes you want to shout, “Olé!” Or maybe that’s only if you’ve had a few too many margaritas to accompany your Mexican fare, but that’s neither here nor there.

Now I’m not gonna lie.  Even when I eat this 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. Yessir, I’m all about the textures. 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. If you are lucky enough to live in Texas or another state that sells Julio’s, they are awesome with this recipe (or with anything else, but I digress). I also recently discovered some Hatch Chili tortilla chips at my grocery store that make for pretty tasty dippers as well.

Corn, Black Bean & Tomato Salad ~ this version of "Texas Caviar" is delicious as a side salad or as a dip with chips | {Five Heart Home}

The jalapeños here are optional, but I don’t think you should leave them out altogether. Just make sure you remove all of the seeds and membranes, and dice them very finely. If you’re still afraid of the heat, use one jalapeño instead of two. Unfortunately, while preparing this recipe for this post, I realized that I forgot to pick up a couple jalapeños on my latest trip to the grocery store. I thought it wouldn’t make that much of a difference to leave them out, but I definitely noticed their absence. The jalapeño just adds another flavor profile, and having had this salad more times than I can count, it’s one that I’m missing this time around.

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 them in the freezer section, I like to use both shades of corn to make this recipe…not because they taste any different, but because they sure look purty.

Corn, Black Bean & Tomato Salad ~ this version of "Texas Caviar" is delicious as a side salad or as a dip with chips | {Five Heart Home}

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 amongst a bunch of ingredients, but 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 directions below ends up being perfect for this recipe…so don’t be afraid of how strong it is if you happen to taste-test it before mixing it in.

Corn, Black Bean & Tomato Salad ~ this version of "Texas Caviar" is delicious as a side salad or as a dip with chips | {Five Heart Home}

So have I convinced you to try this salad? I hope so! It’s healthy, it’s summery, it’s scrumptious!

Corn, Black Bean, & Tomato Salad

Yield: 8 servings (as a salad)

Corn, Black Bean, & Tomato Salad

This flavorful salad makes a perfect accompaniment to Tex-Mex fare or acts as a hearty dip for chips.


    For the dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    For the salad:
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 16 ounce bag of frozen corn
  • 16 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (OR about 2 extra-large tomatoes, seeded & chopped)
  • 2 fresh jalapeños, seeded, all membranes removed, & finely diced, optional
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped


  1. 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.
  2. 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. Refrigerate for several hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
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♥More summer salads…

Fiesta Pasta Salad
Fiesta Pasta Salad ~ loaded with corn, black beans, tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro, and a fresh lime vinaigrette for a zesty, flavorful, summer side dish! | FiveHeartHome.com

Corn, Tomato, & Avocado Salad
Corn, Tomato, & Avocado Salad ~ an explosion of Tex-Mex flavors and summertime textures, with fresh roasted corn, juicy tomatoes, creamy avocado, minced jalapeño, crumbled cotija cheese, and fresh cilantro in a zippy lime vinaigrette! | FiveHeartHome.com

Warm German Potato Salad
Warm German Potato Salad with Bacon ~ a perfect side dish for a summertime dinner from the grill, picnic, or holiday potluck | FiveHeartHome.com

Caprese Chicken Salad
Caprese Chicken Salad ~ combines two summertime favorites, featuring juicy tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and fresh basil tossed with diced chicken in a homemade, Greek yogurt-based balsamic dressing! | FiveHeartHome.com

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  1. You’ve convinced me! This looks so delicious and so healthy too. I love anything with black beans in it.

  2. Yummy in my tummy.

  3. oooooo this is delightful!

  4. This looks amazing! Perfect for a summer night! (or year round….YUM!) Thanks for linking it up to our Strut Your Stuff Saturday link party. We would love to have you share this recipe on our new sister site – MyRecipeMagic.com. Hope you’ll stop by and check it out! -The Six Sisters

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much for the comment! I have definite plans to start sharing on My Recipe Magic. 🙂 I really appreciate y’all stopping by!

  5. 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!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      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!

  6. 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.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      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!


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