Here’s a classic black bean and corn salad recipe featuring avocado and grape tomatoes, dressed in lime vinaigrette. This main-dish salad is a fantastic potluck dish, and a good choice to make when you’re expecting lots of company.
Bonus, almost everyone can enjoy it, since it’s naturally vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free (and nut-free, too, if you skip the optional pumpkin seeds).
Sometimes referred to as Mexican black bean and corn salad (though I’m not sure there’s anything particularly Mexican about it), this is a good choice as a main dish salad for an everyday kind of meal.
Serve with tortilla chips and salsa. If you’re not serving a small crowd, it’s easy to cut the recipe in half.
Fresh or frozen corn are both good
This salad was just made to highlight fresh corn in late summer or early fall. You’ll need about 4 to 5 ears; remove hulls and corn silk.
Break cobs in half, stand on the flat ends and cut the kernels off with a small, sharp knife. Steam for just a couple of minutes in a small saucepan with a bit of water, or in a covered container in the microwave until tender-crisp.
If you want to make it with frozen corn, go for it. The corn should be completely thawed, but if it’s still frozen when you’re ready to start, cook or microwave until thawed; either way, continue to cook until just tender.
Explore dozens of fresh corn recipes for summer and fall.
What to serve with black bean & corn salad
This hearty salad pairs deliciously with vegan quesadillas; in the summer, it goes well with grilled vegetables.
If you’ve already got a hot grill going, you can even grill the corn that goes into the salad; it goes without saying that it should be cool enough to handle before stripping the kernels off the cob.
Lime vinaigrette (or see Notes)
- 1/4 cup olive oil, preferably extra virgin
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 teaspoons agave or maple syrup
- 4 cups canned or cooked black beans
- 4 cups cooked corn kernels, fresh (about 5 medium or 4 large ears; stripped off the cob and lightly steamed) or frozen (thawed and lightly cooked)
- 2 medium avocados, peeled and diced
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 big handfuls baby spinach or arugula
- 2 scallions (green parts), thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Optional ingredients (use any or all):
- 1 medium bell pepper, any color, cut into short narrow strips
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
- 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- Combine the ingredients for the lime vinaigrette in s small bowl bowl and whisk together (or use a lidded jar and shake).
- Combine the salad ingredients, including any optional ingredients you choose, in a serving bowl.
- Add the lime vinaigrette and toss everything together. If time allows, let the salad stand for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.
Shortcut: Use about 1/3 cup of your favorite bottled vinaigrette or the Basic Vinaigrette on this site; add lime juice to the salad to taste.
If you like this hearty salad, you might also enjoy …
Here are dozens more vegan avocado recipes.
See lots more salads & sides.