Black Bean and Corn Salad

Black Bean and Corn Salad

This black bean and corn salad is flavorful, refreshing, and great for making ahead. It’s a crowd-pleasing cookout side dish or a perfect summer lunch.

summer / salads — Jump to recipe

Black bean and corn salad

This black bean and corn salad recipe has been a lifesaver around here lately. Jack and I have been crazy busy over the last few weeks, so a satisfying-yet-healthy, tasty-but-packable salad has been exactly what we’ve needed. I’ve made it ahead for quick weekday lunches, prepped it in advance the morning before a cookout, and eaten the leftovers as an easy side dish with dinner the next day.

To be honest, I usually get tired of eating one thing over and over. But this black bean and corn salad is so flavorful and refreshing that I’m happy to have it on repeat. Sweet, crispy corn kernels play off earthy black beans and creamy avocado, jalapeño adds a kick of heat, and a zesty dressing makes it nice and bright. Try it once, and, if you’re anything like me, this black bean and corn salad will have a permanent spot in your regular rotation.

Black bean salad recipe ingredients

Black Bean Corn Salad Recipe Ingredients

Another great thing about this recipe? It’s easy to make! Here’s what you’ll need to put it together:

  • Black beans, of course! I recommend cooking your own for the best texture and flavor, but in a pinch, canned ones work too.
  • Fresh corn – It’s summer! Skip the canned corn and frozen corn. Instead, slice fresh kernels straight off the cob.
  • Red onion and red bell pepper – For a pop of color and crunch. Try to cut them to the same size as the corn kernels so that you can get a little of everything in each bite.
  • Cilantro – I stir finely chopped cilantro into the salad and sprinkle a few whole leaves on top.
  • Jalapeño – For heat. If you’re sensitive to spice, start with 1/2 pepper and add more to taste.
  • Cotija cheese – It adds richness and tangy, salty flavor. If you’re vegan, feel free to skip it.
  • Avocado – I love how its creamy texture contrasts with the crisp corn and diced veggies.
  • Toasted pepitas – These guys are optional, but they add a lovely crunch to this black bean corn salad. If you have some on hand, toss them in!
  • And the dressing – This mix of lime juice, avocado oil, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper fills the salad with bright flavor.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Hand using whisk to mix dressing at the bottom of a bowl

How to Make this Black Bean and Corn Salad

This recipe’s first step is making the dressing. I whisk it together right in the bottom of the bowl. That’s right – this black bean and corn salad is a 1-bowl recipe!

Black bean salad ingredients in a bowl

Then, I add the other salad ingredients: the black beans, corn, bell pepper, jalapeño, cilantro, and red onion.

Hands tossing salad in bowl with wooden spoons

Toss to coat before folding in the avocado and Cotija and seasoning to taste.

Finally, garnish the salad with a few cilantro leaves and the toasted pepitas. Enjoy!

Black bean corn salad on a plate

Black Bean and Corn Salad Serving Suggestions

This black bean salad makes a fantastic lunch. I love eating it with a generous side of tortilla chips as well as any leftover grilled veggies that we have hanging out in the fridge. It’s great over a bed of mixed greens, too.

Otherwise, serve this black bean and corn salad as a side dish. It pairs nicely with everything from cookout food (think veggie burgers and BBQ sandwiches) to tacos (see this post for my favorite recipes). If you want to get ahead, you can prepare it up to 3 days in advance. Just wait to add the avocado until the last minute. That way, it’ll still be nice and green when you eat.

Black bean and corn salad recipe

More Favorite Summer Salads

If you love this black bean salad recipe, try one of these salads next:

  • Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
  • Healthy Taco Salad
  • Best Broccoli Salad
  • Mexican Street Corn Salad
  • Easy Macaroni Salad
  • Creamy Coleslaw
  • Greek Salad
  • Or any of these 37 Best Salad Recipes!

black bean and corn salad 150x150 1

Black Bean and Corn Salad

rate this recipe:#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg *{fill:#343434}#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-33 svg *{fill:url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33)}#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-50 svg *{fill:url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50)}#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-66 svg *{fill:url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66)}linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33 stop{stop-color:#343434}linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50 stop{stop-color:#343434}linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66 stop{stop-color:#343434}4.97 from 31 votesPrep Time: 20 minutes minsServes 4 to 6
Pin Recipe
Print RecipeThis black bean and corn salad is a delicious summer side dish or healthy lunch! It keeps well for up to 3 days in the fridge, but if you’re making it in advance, wait to add the avocado until right before you eat. Otherwise, it will start to brown.


For the Dressing

  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad

  • 1½ cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Kernels from 2 ears fresh corn (raw), about 1½ cups
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro (with stems), plus more leaves for garnish
  • ½ to 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced, or 1 serrano, sliced
  • ⅓ cup diced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons Cotija cheese
  • 1 ripe but firm avocado, pitted and diced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pepitas, optional

Cook ModePrevent your screen from going dark


  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the lime juice, avocado oil, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  • Add the black beans, corn, red pepper, cilantro, jalapeño, and red onion and toss to coat.
  • Fold in the cheese and avocado and season to taste. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves and toasted pepitas, if desired.


I recommend cooking your own black beans for the best texture and flavor (canned beans can be kind of mushy), but in a pinch, canned ones work too.


Love and Lemons Book Preorder

Did you make the recipe? I want to see!
Tag @loveandlemons on Instagram.

border 342

Free Bonus:5 Tips for Fast & Easy Dinners

border 342

You may like these too…

  1. Asian Slaw

  2. Mexican Street Corn Salad

  3. Greek Salad

  4. Grilled Vegetables

  5. Cowboy Caviar

  6. Summer Grain Salad


Leave a comment: Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it) Rate this recipe (after making it)


Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail

Current ye@r *

Leave this field empty

Δdocument.getElementById( “ak_js_1” ).setAttribute( “value”, ( new Date() ).getTime() );

  1. Chantelle

    4 stars
    Made a few changes
    Used evo instead of avocado oil
    No Avocado
    No cheese
    1/2 cilantro
    Sub Vidalia onion
    Added 1 prepared and cooled knorr Mexican rice side

    Reply ↓

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      So glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply ↓

  2. Julia

    5 stars
    This was delicious! Used lemon instead of lime. Love adding feta and lots of vegetables/herbs.

    Reply ↓

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Julia, I’m so glad you loved it!

      Reply ↓

  3. Lisa

    Thoroughly enjoyed this – even in midwinter South Africa! Thanks so much.

    I switched the red bell pepper for sweet yellow and orange peppers – purely a matter of taste, but they worked well.

    Reply ↓

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply ↓

  4. Jessica

    5 stars
    This was fresh and flavorful. It pairs excellently with quinoa and spinach. I will definitely make this again!

    Reply ↓

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

      Reply ↓

  5. Holly McCann

    5 stars
    Absolutely delish- a new one to add to the summer rotation!

    Reply ↓

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

      Reply ↓

  6. Susan

    Perfect dressing. I also added tomato.

    Reply ↓

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Susan, so glad you loved the recipe!

      Reply ↓

  7. marcy

    5 stars
    love love this recipe, make it all the time specially now that Summer is near, love all your recipes, very easy and nutritious, thank you so much.

    Reply ↓

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

      Reply ↓

  8. Sarah S

    Raw corn? I made this as a vegan dish (no cheese), and it was excellent except for the texture of the corn. I recommend blanching the corn cob in boiling water for 3-5 minutes, let it cool, then slice off your kernels.

    Reply ↓

  9. Allison J from

    5 stars
    This is so delicious! Definitely gonna make it again.

    Reply ↓

  10. Linda Kraus

    Do I need to cook the canned black beans first? Of course, they would need to cool before putting the salad together.

    Reply ↓

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Linda, no, just rinse and drain the canned beans and they’re ready to be used.

      Reply ↓

  11. Madeline Hearn

    5 stars
    This was sOoooooo good. I can’t get over how yummy this salad is. I didn’t add cheese, as I am a vegan and don’t love vegan cheese. I was going to add vegan chicken for protein but after tying to the salad on its own, I decided it didn’t need anything additional. From now on, I will be making this multiple times every summer. One of my new favorite recipes. The dressing is so tasty. I’d highly recommend adding an extra garlic clove for extra kick. I also used an entire jalapeño and didn’t remove the seeds because I love spicy things. 🙂

    Reply ↓

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Madeline, I’m so glad you loved it!

      Reply ↓

  12. Jim

    5 stars
    This was really good. I am Looking for simple recipes to cook in my garage and outdoor kitchen while out kitchen is being gutted and rebuilt. (Hint do try this in the middle or out post epidemic ). I used grilled corn cooled as I have used raw corn in the past i it neither sits well with my taste buds or my gut . It is wonderful with grilled corn. Because I am camping in my backyard , I used quality canned beans. This recipe is a keeper . The best corn black bean dish I have made. Thanks

    Reply ↓

  13. Cindy Flagg

    Delicious! Loved this salad. Putting it on rotation.

    Reply ↓

  14. Ann

    5 stars
    Very clean and refreshing!

    Reply ↓

  15. Marie

    For the black bean and corn salad, 2 questions:
    1. What are calories per cup?
    2. Is the corn raw off the cob or cooked?

    Reply ↓

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Marie, the corn is raw.

      I’m sorry, I don’t know the calories, but you can plug the ingredients into a site like my fitness pal.

      Reply ↓

  16. Hayley

    Will thawed frozen corn work here if fresh isn’t available yet?

    Reply ↓

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Hayley, I would wait until fresh corn is available to you for this salad – it’s going to be mushier and more watery with frozen corn.

      Reply ↓

  17. Jivan Dios from

    5 stars
    Lovely and fresh!

    Reply ↓

  18. Sasha

    5 stars
    Oh wow this sounds delicious!
    I have a question – am I supposed to steam or cook the fresh corn before removing kernels ? Or eat it raw ?
    I cannot wait to make this !!!
    Thank you for so many wonderful recipes and ideas. ( and all your time and effort)

    Reply ↓

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Sasha, the corn is raw, no need to steam it or cook it first. I hope you enjoy!

      Reply ↓

  19. Susan Critchfield

    Can I make the corn & bean salad the day before?

    Reply ↓

  20. Sabrina from

    thank you for a great summer salad, always nice change of pace to skip the lettuce, love having black beans in this too

    Reply ↓

About The Author

Scroll to Top