Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers and Avocado in a Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette


This recipe was inspired by one of my readers, Ellen Koh, who sent me a fabulous Mexican Bean Salad recipe. Over the years, it has become the most popular recipe on my site; it has been pinned over 700,000 times on Pinterest and called “Veggie Crack” because it’s so addictive! I love it for entertaining because it’s festive and you can make it ahead of time — in fact, you should because it gets better and better the longer it sits.  Try serving it with my Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken and Cornbread Muffins. Be sure to watch the video for foolproof tips!


Begin by cutting the corn off the cobs.


Cut the red bell peppers.


Rinse the black beans.


Chop the cilantro (or leave it out if you don’t like it).


Combine everything in a bowl.


Add fresh lime juice, olive oil, garlic, shallots and seasoning.


Toss and add avocado.


That’s all there is to it. It’s best to let this salad sit in the fridge for a few hours so the flavors can marry. Enjoy!    

Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers and Avocado in a Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette

Print Recipe
Servings: 6-8
Total Time: 30 Minutes


  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 ears fresh cooked corn, kernels cut off the cob
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots, from one medium shallot
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, best quality such as Colavita
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest (be sure to zest limes before juicing them)
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 2 Hass avocados, chopped


  1. Combine all ingredients except for avocados in a large bowl and mix well. Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight. Right before serving, add avocados and mix gently, being careful not to mash avocados. Garnish with a more chopped cilantro if desired. Serve at room temperature.

Add your review or comment!

Leave a comment or review

  • Nancy

    I’m going to try it with frozen corn. I expect it will lose a little flavor, but we only get local fresh corn for a month or two in the summer.

  • Carol

    Just have to say.. this is a WONDERFUL recipe! I have made it now five times for five potlucks and tomorrow it will be headed with me to a baby shower.. I have gotten more compliments and been asked for this recipe every time! Best part? After my hands smell like cilantro and lime.. <3

    • Carol

      Forgot to say.. I always make it the night before.. it’s great the day of (first time).. but THAT much better the next day :)

  • janette

    Absolutely delicious. I too added quinoa, it extended the recipe and it was a big hit at the potluck. My son, who is a picky eater, kept coming back for more. I love it as it is so healthy.

  • Karen T

    I made this for an office potluck and everyone ate multiple servings, even someone who claimed to NOT like black beans. Ha! The only thing I did differently was to add chopped fresh jalapeno, and reduce the oil by 1 or 2 tbsp, otherwise, just as is and it is fabulous!

  • korn

    i’ve never cooked corn before. how is it best cooked? boiled or steamed?

    • Jenn

      I like to boil it.

  • Erin

    I love this so much! Great for nursing moms on dairy, soy, nut and egg free diets! Add chicken and it makes the perfect meal!!! This is the best!

  • Angie

    Outstanding. I roasted the corn and added cukes. Now, will have for lunch next two days!!

  • Christine

    Starting the virgin diet, and found this recipe, I love chickpeas and may need to substitute the corn for chickpeas. Posted it on my Facebook page for my friends.

  • Jacqui

    I add shrimp or chicken and mozzerela as well….simply amazing!!!

  • Brittany


  • wharton

    I plan on grocery shop tomorrow for the ingredients for this. My mouth is watering just looking at the picture

  • Carol

    Are you supposed to cook the corn for this salad?

    • Jenn

      Hi Carol, Yes definitely cook it.

  • Keriann

    A friend sent me this recipe last summer and it has become a family favorite. My kids ask for it all the time. I sub fresh corn with frozen in the winter and it’s still amazing. I’ve used Newmans Light Lime dressing as a substitute in a pinch and it’s ok but I like this one much better!!

  • This looks amazing! Will have to pair it with your cilantro lime chicken like you suggest! Thanks for sharing!

  • CJ

    AWESOME just the way it is and I loved it! for my gluten free, dairy free, yeast, corn and soy free (I know it’s a lot of free’s) I changed the corn to chick peas, lowered the oil, and took out the sugar. YUMMO too!!

  • Emily

    I’ve made this recipe a dozen times now, and it is fantastic! I reduce the amount of olive oil and nix the sugar completely. Delicious! I make a big batch on Sundays and take it to work for lunch throughout the week.

  • chris

    2 TB of sugar seems like alot – is this sweet or do you recommend reducing?

    • Jenn

      Hi Chris, It’s not sweet at all but the sugar balances the acidity. That said, some readers have reduced or omitted the sugar. I suggest making it first without and adding it taste. A lot depends on the natural sweetness of the corn and bell peppers.

  • Cathie Lang

    I made this salad and it was wonderful. I did use frozen corn – the white shoe peg, and it had great flavor, I just rinsed under cold water and let it drain. Great recipe! Thank you!

Add your review or comment!