Black Bean Corn Salad

We love this easy black bean corn salad because it is so versatile. Toss it with greens for a substantial salad, add it to a quesadilla, combine it with quinoa for a southwest grain salad, or eat it with whole grain chips for a healthy appetizer!

Nutrition Benefits of Black Bean and Corn Salad

Are beans and corn healthy? Yes! Beans and corn contain complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. All of these nutrients promote a healthy body and help prevent and fight diseases. Beans, extra virgin olive oil, and a variety of veggies make this recipe a nutrition powerhouse!

Black Beans

Beans of all varieties are a great source of plant-based protein. They are also high in complex carbohydrates and fiber. When purchasing canned beans, look for low-sodium varieties.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean Diet. It contains high amounts of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols which may reduce inflammation (1, 2). 

Colorful Vegetables

Avocados contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Tomatoes and bell peppers are great sources of disease-fighting phytochemicals and vitamins A & C. Red onions contain soluble fiber and phytochemicals that may reduce disease risk. 

Equipment Recommendations

This recipe is so simple that it doesn’t require any fancy equipment. All you need is a functional can opener, a colander, a sharp chef’s knife, and a solid cutting board and you’ll be good to go!

Culinary Tips

Before chopping your veggies, make sure that your cutting board is secure on the counter. Sliding cutting boards are a safety hazard!

Use a sharp chef’s knife to dice the vegetables and chop the cilantro. Using the wrong knife or a dull knife will slow you down.

If you are one of those people that can’t stand the taste of cilantro (i.e. it tastes like soap), feel free to leave it out! The salad will still taste delicious without it. Italian parsley would also make a good substitute.

If you want to save time and/or make a very basic black bean and corn salad, leave out some or all of the extra veggies (avocado, tomato, bell pepper, onion, cilantro). However, keep in mind that you’ll be losing a lot of nutrients, color, flavor, and texture when you do!

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: substitute avocado or canola oil. Do not substitute vegetable oil, as this is not a heart-healthy choice.
  • Lime Juice: substitute apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
  • Garlic: substitute ½ teaspoon garlic flakes, ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic, or ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder. 
  • Cumin: substitute or add ¼ – ½ teaspoon of chipotle powder, chili powder, or paprika. Adjust spice level to your taste.
  • Black Beans: use any beans of your choice. Black eyed peas or pinto beans would make the best substitutions.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: use ½ cup diced whole tomato.
  • Bell Pepper: use any color of your choice. Red bell pepper tastes sweetest.
  • Red Onion: use diced yellow onion or shallot.

Recipe Variations 

This recipe is incredibly versatile and can be adjusted to any flavor preference. Feel free to add or remove any ingredients to adjust to your taste. 

This is a naturally vegan black bean corn salad recipe, but if you want to add some cheese to this recipe, go for it! Turn this into a corn and black bean salad with feta; the pungency and creaminess of feta pairs well with this recipe.

Serving Suggestions

There are so many ways that you can serve this healthy black bean and corn salad. Eat on its own as a tasty side dish, serve with chips as a black bean and corn salsa, combine with quinoa for a filling black bean grain salad, combine with cheese and tortillas for a plant forward quesadilla, or use as a healthful addition to a taco salad.

Storage Recommendations

How long does black bean salad last? Leftover salad can last for up to five days in an airtight container in the refrigerator, but if you plan to store it for more than a couple of days, it’s best to leave out the avocado and add it right before serving or eating. Use the salad  in any of the above suggested applications to use it up faster!

Want more plant-based recipes?

Check out these other recipes, and as always, be sure to customize to YOUR taste!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos

One Pan Mexican Quinoa Skillet

Vegetarian Tostadas

Black Bean Corn Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins

This easy black bean corn salad features black beans, corn, cherry tomatoes, avocado, bell pepper, onion, and cilantro tossed in a quick lime vinaigrette.

Course: Salad, Side
Cuisine: Mexican, Vegetarian
Yield: 3 cups
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice (~1 lime)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 15 ounce can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounce can low-sodium corn, drained and rinsed (or 1 ½ cups frozen, thawed corn)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ medium bell pepper, diced (~¼ cup)
  • ¼ small red onion, diced (~¼ cup)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, garlic, and cumin.

  2. Add beans, corn, avocado, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and cilantro to the bowl. Using a spatula, fold until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

This is an easy recipe to change to YOUR Taste! Omit or add ingredients you like!

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