Side/ Vegetarian

Black Bean and Corn Salad

July 12, 2019
black bean and corn salad in bowl with kitchen towel

Black Bean and Corn Salad is one of my favorite ways to celebrate summer. Though you can make this dish year-round with canned or frozen corn and supermarket cherry tomatoes (and I do), nothing compares with summer farmers’ market corn and tomatoes. Add black beans, bright lime juice, and cilantro, and you’ve got summer side dish perfection.  

Once you cook your corn on the cob, this dish comes together in minutes, and it’s happy to sit in your refrigerator until you need it. Make it while you’re grilling out back, or make it in advance and serve it the next day. And, this black bean corn salad is light and healthy—just the way I like to (try to) eat in the summer. And though I love nothing more than eating a salty, buttery ear of fresh corn, midway through summer, I’m searching for new ways to use those delicious kernels. Bring this dish to a summer BBQ or potluck, and you’ll please almost everyone there since this recipe is not only super tasty, but also gluten-free, vegan, and nut-free. 

What should I serve with this Black Bean and Corn Salad?

This dish really does play well with almost anything. It’s a great side dish to grilled meat, tofu or fish, and perfect with a plate of fried chicken. I also like to put it in a big bowl surrounded by tortilla chips and use it as a salsa.

Can you make this Black Bean and Corn Salad recipe in advance?

Yes, you can definitely make this black bean corn salad in advance. In fact, it benefits from a few hours of letting the flavors meld. If you let it sit more than a day, it may lose a little flavor, though I often make a big batch and eat it over a few days, and I hardly notice the difference. 

Can you freeze this salad?

I wouldn’t recommend freezing this version of a black bean and corn salad because of the cherry tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes don’t freeze and thaw nicely, and you’ll be left with quite a soggy salad. If you want to try freezing this, just don’t include the tomatoes. Still delicious! 

How do you make Black Bean and Corn Salad?

To start, you’ll need to cook your corn. For my money, the easiest way to cook just a few ears of corn is in the microwave. Just trim off the silk and leaves at the top of each ear of corn and pull off any loose pieces of husk. Then put the corn (still in their husks) on a plate in the microwave and microwave for 10-15 minutes, depending on how large your ears of corn are. In general, an ear of corn will take around 4 minutes, with 2-3 minutes for each additional ear of corn. Remove plate carefully from microwave, and let corn rest for 5 minutes to cool down. 

When corn is cool enough to handle, peel back husk and remove corn silk. Then stand corn upright in a large bowl, holding it tightly at the top (you can use the husk you have peeled back for a better grip), and then slice off corn kernels using a sharp chef’s knife. 

cutting corn kernels off cob with chef's knife

Drain and rinse the black beans. Rinse the cherry tomatoes and slice each in half. Next, make the vinaigrette. Whisk the lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Stir in corn kernels, black beans, tomatoes, and cilantro. Taste, and add salt and pepper if necessary. That’s it! 

If you like this recipe, you may also be interested in another great summer side, my Orzo Pasta Salad with Black Beans and Corn. Or, you might be in the mood for some delicious summer appetizers or main courses, like my Old Bay Spiced Shrimp, Classic Nicoise Salad, or Greek Chicken Kabobs with Yogurt Sauce

Black Bean and Corn Salad

Black Bean and Corn Salad

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Black Bean and Corn Salad is the ultimate healthy summer side dish—packed with fresh corn, black beans, and cherry tomatoes and dressed with a cilantro-lime vinaigrette.

Ingredients

  • 4 ears of corn (or 3 cups of corn kernels)
  • 1 can low-sodium black beans (15 oz.)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 3 T. lime juice (from about 2 limes)
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt
  • 1/4 t. freshly ground pepper

Instructions

    1. Trim off the silk and leaves at the top of each ear of corn and pull off any loose pieces of husk. Then put the corn (still in their husks) on a plate in the microwave and microwave for 10-15 minutes, depending on how large your ears of corn are. Remove plate carefully from microwave, and let corn rest for 5 minutes to cool down.
    2. When corn is cool enough to handle, peel back husk and remove corn silk. Then stand corn upright in a large bowl, holding it tightly at the top (you can use the husk you have peeled back for a better grip), and then slice off corn kernels using a sharp chef’s knife.
    3. Drain and rinse the black beans.
    4. Rinse the cherry tomatoes and slice each in half.
    5. Next, make the vinaigrette. Whisk the lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl.
    6. Stir in corn kernels, black beans, and tomatoes.
    7. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Notes

You can also use canned corn or frozen corn (thawed) for this recipe. If you are cooking fresh corn, note that 1 ear in the microwave generally takes 4 minutes, with 2-3 minutes for each additional ear.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 312 Total Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 448mg Carbohydrates: 39g Fiber: 10g Sugar: 6g Protein: 10g
Nutrition information is provided as a general reference for users courtesy of the online nutrition calculator Nutritionix.

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