Black Bean and Corn Salad
on Aug 30, 2021, Updated Jul 24, 2022
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With tomatoes, red onions, jalapeños, cilantro and lime dressing, you can serve this easy black bean and corn salad as a side dish too.
Nothing beats a salad if there’s the possibility of ending up with leftovers. And yes, I know leftovers and salads aren’t two things that always make sense together.
When you skip the greens and go for ingredients that are more sturdy, you not only can eat the salad the next day, but you can make it ahead of time too.
Beans are a tried-and-true salad ingredient. Just think about the classic three bean salad. Also, you can store them in your pantry, so they are very convenient.
I like to keep assorted cans of beans on my shelves for anything that I might be craving from soups to salads.
During corn season, it’s very routine for me to grill lots of ears of corn in a single batch. I am more likely to slice that corn off the cobs rather than consume them with kernels on.
Then I take the loose corn and combine it with beans and other veggies and dressing. Considering how simple this is to do, I find myself making a black bean and corn salad on a regular basis.
I love its crunch with flavors of lime and garlic with spicy jalapenos.
It’s the kind of recipe that you can make the night before and eat it the next day on its own or mixed with whatever cooked grains you have like brown rice or quinoa.
This is what you need for this grilled corn and black bean salad:
- Corn: This is a great recipe to make during corn season when you can get a deal on sweet corn. Also, it will taste the best. The freshest corn will have a tight husk wrapping it with silk on the end that might be a little damp.
- Black beans: You just need to drain and rinse a can of black beans for the salad.
- Tomatoes: Halved cherry tomatoes are a good small size to go with the rest of the ingredients.
- Red onions: Make sure you finely chop the onions, so they will blend right in with the crisp mix of the salad.
- Jalapenos: For heat, I like stirring in minced jalapenos.
- Cilantro: Lots of chopped cilantro is a must for this combination of corn, black beans, tomatoes and lime.
- Cotija cheese: This Mexican cow’s milk cheese is crumbly and salty. If you can’t find it, you can use feta instead.
- Lime dressing: With lime juice, minced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, this simple dressing adds a citrus kick with a hint of garlic.
How To Make This Black Bean Corn Salad
First, I heat up the grill. That gives me time to prep the corn.
That only involves rubbing the corn with olive oil and sprinkling it with salt and pepper. With the grill hot, I grill the corn, turning the ears so the kernels are charred on all sides.
I give the corn a few minutes to cool off. Then I take my chef’s knife and slice the kernels off the cobs.
After that I put the corn in a big bowl with the black beans, tomatoes, red onions, jalapenos, cilantro and cotija cheese.
For the dressing, I whisk together lime juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Finally, I stir the lime dressing into the salad.
How To Serve This Black Bean and Corn Salad
Since this is a salad with a vinaigrette but without greens, you can think of it as both a salad and a side.
Another plus of it having no lettuce is that you can store leftovers in the fridge, and the salad will stay fresh and crisp. You can also make the salad a day in advance.
Right before serving, feel free to top the black bean corn salad with sliced or diced avocados.
Do You Need Grilled Corn for The Salad?
I will always tell you it’s worth it to do the step to grill the corn. You just can’t beat that flavor cooking on the grates over a flame.
If you don’t have an outdoor grill, another option to grill the corn is to use a stovetop grill pan. I have a whole post on how to grill vegetables without a grill.
And for those who would rather use canned or frozen corn, the kernels on 5 ears of corn is equal to about 4 to 4-1/2 cups.
And for frozen, cook the corn according to the package and instructions and rinse it with cold water.
Try These Corn Recipes
And Try These Black Bean Recipes
Black Bean and Corn Salad
- For salad
- 5 ears corn, shucked
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1-15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onions
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese
- For dressing
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat a gas or charcoal grill on medium high heat.
- Rub the corn with 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Grill until lightly charred on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. Let the corn cool slightly before slicing the kernels off the cobs.
- Combine the corn in a large bowl with the black beans, tomatoes, onions, jalapeno, cilantro and cheese.
- For the dressing, whisk together the garlic, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl until combined. Drizzle the dressing into the salad, stirring to combine.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.