Black Bean and Corn Salad

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Black Bean and Corn Salad packed with black beans, corn, cherry tomatoes, red pepper, onion, and fresh lime juice for the ultimate healthy salad.

137 CAL 24g CARBS 4g FAT 6g PROTEIN 1

Black Bean and Corn Salad that doubles as an amazing salsa is filled with all your favorite things - black beans, corn, tomatoes, red pepper, and red onion all in a simple lime and cumin dressing. 

I have always been a sucker for a good corn and black bean salad, which is weird for someone who pretty much never ate beans growing up. The only kind of beans I was familiar with was baked beans, which my grandmother made from scratch, and we had probably once a year. And even though hers were probably the best around, I still wasn't a huge fan.

Fast forward and now as a California transplant, beans are something I eat constantly thanks to all the amazing Mexican food you can find here. It started with refried beans and now I pretty much love them all.

Now my favorite way to enjoy this salad is with fresh corn either cut directly off the cob or grilled so it gets a nice char. However, since this can be hard to find right now, canned and frozen corn work as well. My personal favorite when I can't have fresh is the frozen roasted corn from Trader Joe's. Usually, I throw in some cilantro as well to brighten things up and I pour an obscene amount of hot sauce in my salad. This is totally optional but I love the bite of the vinegar and punch of the heat.

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This is also one of my favorite salads to make for a barbecue or picnic, which we have been trying to do weekly as a family to switch up our dinner routine. First off, black beans and corn seem to be a crowd-pleaser and I hate making salads that no one touches.  Secondly, it holds up really well.  You can make it ahead of time and don't have to worry about wilting or soggy ingredients even if it sits outside for a bit. 

Black bean and corn salad with tomatoes, cilantro, and lime dressing in two bowls.

Recipe Ideas and Pantry Swaps

This black bean and corn salads is one of those recipes that you can build around what you have in the fridge swapping in different crunchy vegetables, making the dressing more spicy or sweet, or trying it with different beans.

  • Canned beans: You can use any canned beans for this recipe and each one will give this a slightly different flavor. Try chickpeas, kidney beans, or pinto beans. You could use black eyed peas for a Texas Caviar style salad. 
  • Corn: Fresh, canned, or frozen corn will work to make this salad. Make sure to drain and rinse it first when using canned. Frozen varieties should be defrosted before using. To add more flavor to the corn, consider roasting it first or browning it in a hot skillet. 
  • Veggies: Look for vegetables with crunch to add to this black bean salad like bell peppers, onions, or green onions. You could also use celery, cucumbers, avocado, raw zucchini, or shredded cabbage or carrots.
  • Diced tomatoes: If you don't have fresh tomatoes but still want that tomato flavor, you can drain a can of diced tomatoes and add them to the salad. 
  • Lime juice: In a pinch, you could use lemon juice or vinegar in place of the lime juice. Reach for a mild vinegar like apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar. You can add a touch of honey to add sweetness. 
  • Spices: Cumin adds a smoky taste to the dressing but if you don't have cumin in your pantry, you could use smoky paprika, chili powder, taco seasoning, or coriander. 
  • Dressing Ideas: Try out different varieties of dressing to switch things up. Add honey or maple syrup to add sweetness to the salad. Blend in some avocado, yogurt, and cilantro to make a creamy dressing. Add chili powder or some adobo sauce from a jar of chipotle peppers. 
  • Add protein: This salad is delicious with canned tuna, canned salmon, canned or fresh chicken, or even some chopped boiled eggs. 

Ideas for Serving Black Bean Corn Salad

  • Turn this salad into tacos by warming up some corn tortillas and grabbing some cheese. This salad can also double as a salsa on top of some shredded chicken, beef, fish, or shrimp.
  • It also makes a great filling for quesadillas with some melted cheese and griddled flour tortillas.
  • Add a big pile of greens to turn this into a main dish salad. Consider adding some canned tuna, grilled chicken, or cooked shrimp to make it more filling.
  • Toss this salad with some cooked rice or pasta to create a grain or pasta salad.
  • Grab some cooked quinoa, this black bean and corn salad, and some rotisserie chicken to make a quick taco bowl. Top with some salsa and cheese.

More Black Bean Salad Recipes

The Recipe
Black bean corn salad with lime dressing, canned black beans, tomatoes, corn, cilantro, and bell peppers.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

137 CAL 24g CARBS 4g FAT 6g PROTEIN 1
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  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn (fresh, frozen and thawed, or canned and drained)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • Salt and pepper

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Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, and cumin to create the dressing.


Toss together all the ingredients with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 137
Calories from Fat 34
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 319mg
Total Carbohydrate 24g
Dietary Fiber 7g
Sugars 5g
Protein 6g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Black Bean and Corn Salad
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Heather B.
April 13, 2020 - 07:41
Add a Rating:
Love the idea of adding canned tuna! Serve it over a big bed of greens and add some extra lime juice. So easy and good.
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Megan Eaton
January 2, 2016 - 16:36
Add a Rating:
Really enjoyed this fresh salad on top of my tacos!
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