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Easy to Make Black Bean and Corn Salad Recipe

This Black Bean and Corn Salad is sure to become your summer go-to for all your picnics and barbecues. It’s a snap to make and is deliciously crunchy and flavorful.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

Looking for the Perfect Summer Salad

Look no further as I have the perfect summer salad for you. This Black Bean and Corn Salad really jumps off the taste buds! But, why is it the perfect summer salad?

This Recipe Uses Fresh Ingredients

Summer is a great time to find fresh salad ingredients either at the local farmers market or your local grocery stores. I find locally grown fresh produce to be so good! Fresh sweet corn is in season, sweet red peppers are plentiful and fresh herbs like cilantro are at their peak.

I really do love making a simple recipe with fresh, simple ingredients. And, this black bean salad recipe really fits the bill.

This Recipe Keeps Well and is Easy to Make Ahead

Along with being an easy salad to bring together, it’s also mayo-free. You really don’t have to worry about serving it outside during those hot summer days. That makes it perfect for those backyard barbecues and picnics at the park.

It’s also easy to make ahead. I mean, really easy!

Simply make the recipe as outlined in the recipe card. Once done, put the salad in an airtight container and place in the fridge. You can easily keep this refrigerated for 3-4 days.

I think it actually tastes better the next day once all the flavors have time to come together. Regardless, you can easily make a big batch of this salad ahead of time and save yourself some work later on.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

It’s a Great Main Dish (and Vegan Friendly)

This black bean corn salad is hearty enough to use a main dish. It’s one of my favorite recipes to bring out when I know someone is on a low calorie diet or is looking for something vegetarian or vegan.

However, you also have the option of upping the non plant-based protein by adding in rotisserie chicken or pulled pork. It just makes the original recipe that much more hearty.

It’s a Great Side Dish

While this simple black bean salad is a great main dish, it’s also light enough to be the perfect side dish for those summer gatherings.

I also love to serve this as a side dish for an easy weeknight meal. Since it can be made in advance, you can throw this together when you have the time and it will be waiting for you when you need something quick.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

So, You’ve Found the Perfect Summer Salad

So many reasons why this is one of my favorite foods for summer gatherings. One, it is an easy black bean recipe to pull together. Two, it takes advantage of the fresh food you can find this time of year. And three, it’s super versatile and can be used in so many ways.

So, the next time you’re looking for a great summer salad, this Black Bean and Corn Salad is a great go-to recipe!

Black Bean and Corn Salad

Tips and Tricks

  • I prefer red bell peppers for this salad, because I like both the pop of color as well as the sweet flavor. If you don’t have a red bell pepper on hand, substitute green, orange or yellow peppers.
  • I try to always use fresh corn for this salad. Believe me, it’s over the top delicious when you use fresh corn kernels cut straight from the cob. But, if you’re really pressed for time or don’t have any on hand, feel free to use frozen or canned corn.
  • If you’d like the salad to be more on the spicy side, add a 1/2 to a whole jalapeño pepper, finely chopped.
  • If you don’t have cider vinegar on hand, I recommend substituting white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar.
  • You can make this salad up to two days in advance. It only gets better as it sits and the flavors have time to develop.
  • If you’re not going to serve the salad right away, wait to add the cilantro until you’re ready to serve.
  • Fresh parsley can be substituted for the cilantro, if you don’t have any on hand or it’s not your thing. The parsley also adds a nice brightness to the salad.

Ingredients Needed to Make Black Bean and Corn Salad

Full instructions can be found below in the recipe card

  • Cider vinegar – For acidity and binding together the dressing.
  • Garlic – Adds a punch of flavor.
  • Salt – Enhances the flavors.
  • Black pepper – Also a flavor enhancer.
  • Cumin – For warmth.
  • Sugar – Balances the acidity from the vinegar.
  • Cayenne pepper – Adds a little heat to the vinaigrette.
  • Olive oil – Used to emulsify the dressing.
  • Canned black beans – Make sure they are rinsed and well-drained before adding to the salad.
  • Celery – Gives the salad a nice crunch as well as fresh flavor.
  • Red bell pepper – Red peppers add color, crunch and a slight sweetness.
  • Fresh corn – Fresh is best, but substitute frozen corn if fresh is not available.
  • Fresh cilantro – Cilantro leaves brighten the flavor of the salad.

How to Make Black Bean and Corn Salad

  • Whisk together the vinaigrette.
  • Drain the black beans well.
  • Chop the celery, red pepper and cilantro.
  • Cut the corn off of the cob by holding the cob upright and slicing straight down the cob.
  • Toss the ingredients with the vinaigrette.
  • Refrigerate to let the flavors develop.

What to Serve with Black Bean and Corn Salad

I love this salad paired with BBQ ribs or Grilled Chicken. It’s also a pretty fantastic topping for Pulled Pork Tacos or Grilled Fish.

This salad is also a great alternative for Baked Beans and is so tasty alongside burgers or hotdogs. I’ve also put this salad out along with a bowl of tortilla chips for dipping. Watch it disappear!

Yield: 8

Easy to Make Black Bean and Corn Salad Recipe

Easy to Make Black Bean and Corn Salad Recipe

This Black Bean and Corn Salad is sure to become your summer go-to for all your picnics and barbecues.  It's a snap to make and is deliciously crunchy and flavorful.  

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


For the dressing:

  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 (heaping) tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

For the Salad:

  • 3 (16 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cobs fresh corn (or 1 (15oz) can corn)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, sugar and cayenne pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil, until well incorporated.
  2. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
  3. Pour dressing over black bean mixture and gently stir until well-coated.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to combine.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 186Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 310mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g

This recipe was originally posted on 06/13/2014. It was updated to improve user experience and reposted on 06/10/2020

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