Black Bean and Corn Salad with Chipotle-Honey Vinaigrette

Tested & Perfected Recipes Cookbook Recipe
Black Bean and Corn Salad

This make-ahead black bean and corn salad is a real crowd-pleaser. Bonus: it doubles as a dip!

Black Bean and Corn Salad

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

Perhaps the best compliment this salad ever received was from one of my readers, who confessed to me, “I’m having an affair with this salad…please don’t tell anyone.” Another reader told me that she made this salad for a party, and later found one of her guests in her study, printing out copies of the recipe to hand out. It’s just one of those crowd-pleasing, make-ahead recipes that everyone loves. Whether I serve it with grilled chicken or as a dip with tortilla chips (highly recommend!), the bowl is always empty and the plates are always full.

This recipe is similar to my popular Black Bean, Corn & Avocado Salad with Lime Vinaigrette. The difference is that this version is dressed in a smoky and sweet chipotle-honey vinaigrette, similar to the salad dressing served at Chipotle. I think you will love both variations!

What You’ll Need To Make This Black Bean and Corn Salad

ingredients for black bean and corn salad

In addition to the basics, the recipe calls for canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. These are small peppers (usually red jalapeños) that have been dried and smoked that come in a spicy, smoky tomato sauce. I love their flavor and am always looking for ways to incorporate them into recipes (see these fish tacos and these quesadillas).

You can find them in the Latin section of most supermarkets. Once you open a can, you can transfer any remaining peppers to a plastic container and store in the refrigerator for at least a month. You can also freeze them.

How To Make Black Bean And Corn Salad

boiling corn and cutting kernels off the cob

Begin by cooking the corn. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the corn and simmer, covered, for about ten minutes, then cut the kernels off the cob. Next, chop the red onions, soak them in cold water for about ten minutes, then drain; this takes the sharp raw onion taste away. (If you’re a raw onion lover, feel free to skip this step.)

soaking and draining the red onions

Rinse and drain the black beans.

rinsing and draining the black beans

Then make the dressing. Simply combine all of the ingredients in a mini food processor or blender and process until smooth.

making the chipotle dressing in mini food processor

Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl and pour the dressing over top.

adding dressing to all of the ingredients

Toss and refrigerate for at least one hour or, preferably, overnight. The salad tastes infinitely better cold, especially once the flavors have a chance to marry and the vegetables soak up some of the dressing.

scooping diced avocado into the bowl

Right before serving, add the avocado and gently toss. Enjoy!

Black Bean and Corn SaladPhoto by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

What To Serve with Black Bean and Corn Salad

Black Bean & Corn Salad with Chipotle-Honey Vinaigrette

This make-ahead black bean and corn salad is a real crowd-pleaser. Bonus: it doubles as a dip!

Servings: 6 (as a side dish)
Total Time: 30 Minutes, plus at least one hour to chill

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 2 ears fresh corn
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh chopped cilantro (plus a bit more for garnish, if desired)
  • 1 avocado

For the Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from 1-2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (2 peppers, not 2 cans; use smaller peppers and if they are all large, use only 1-1/2)

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the corn, cover, and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the corn from the water and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, place the chopped red onions in a small bowl and cover with water. Let sit about ten minutes, then drain completely in a sieve and set aside.
  3. Place the beans in a sieve; run under cold water to rinse well. Let drain completely and set aside.
  4. Holding the cooled corn upright in a large bowl, cut the kernels off the cob in strips. Add the beans, red onion, red bell pepper and cilantro.
  5. Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a blender or mini food processor; process until smooth.
  6. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or, preferably, overnight.
  7. Right before serving, slice the avocado in half. Remove the pit; using a butter knife, cut a grid in each half. Holding the avocado halves over the salad, use a spoon to scoop out the diced flesh. Toss the salad gently, then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (I usually add a squeeze of fresh lime to freshen it up). Garnish with a bit of fresh chopped cilantro if desired. Serve cold.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Serving size: approximately 1 cup
  • Calories: 357
  • Fat: 20 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 40 g
  • Sugar: 12 g
  • Fiber: 11 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Sodium: 306 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • I’ve always made Texas Caviar… but never again. This dish is what my dreams are made of and my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Don’t hesitate, and make it ASAP!

    • — Michelle on January 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • On my first visit to ‘Once Upon a Chef’ I spotted this dish. Watched the video and made it the next night for the two of us. Only change from the recipe was to substitute 1 can corn for the fresh. We had it for dinner with just some toasted whole grain sourdough with it. My wife added some chopped lettuce on top but I absolutely enjoyed it straight. Dressing is so so good. I used one and a half chipotle peppers. Next time the only changes I’ll make will be to make more dressing and cut down on the amount of onion. We absolutely love this recipe and plan to put it into a regular rotation in our kitchen.

    • — Serge Zimberoff on January 8, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is so good! I had to improvise a bit–I didn’t have a bell pepper so I grated a carrot to give some color and crunch. I had a jar of pre-diced chipotles so I used two tablespoons. Really tasty side salad for our tacos. Thanks so much!

    • — Amy Hart on December 16, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, thank you for the love you put into your recipes. I was just wondering what’s a good substitute for vegetable oil? They don’t sell any around here. Thanks a ton!

    • — Regine on December 11, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Regine, Any neutral tasting oil will work – can you get canola?

      • — Jenn on December 12, 2020
      • Reply
  • Made this during the summer but never got around to writing a review. I didn’t boil the corn, but instead I shucked the raw corn and then pan roasted the kernels. Wish it was summer so I can make again.

    • — Marcela on November 28, 2020
    • Reply
  • I made this recipe for the first time last night. I already have a favorite bean, avocado, corn and cilantro recipe, so I haven’t felt the need to try out this or other similar recipes on your site. However, last night I finally made the chipotle recipe and we loved it! We had it with some grilled chicken, and it was a very satisfying meal. You mentioned it is good as a dip, which I agree. But tonight we used our leftovers with some grilled chicken and made street tacos. Sprinkle a little Cotija cheese on the top and a yummy, quick and easy way to use up the left overs!

    • — Nicole on October 8, 2020
    • Reply
  • I doubled this and it was a bit too spicy, love all your recipes and only added 3 chipoteles so I feel I must have made a mistake. Do you remove the adobo sauce from the chipoteles?

    • — connie on September 16, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Connie, Sorry you found this to be too spicy although you cut back the peppers a bit. The sauce shouldn’t be included. If you did include it, that would explain the added heat.

      • — Jenn on September 17, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hello ,

    What can be used instead of canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce ?

    Thank you!!!!

    Gita

    • — Gita Shtivelman on September 3, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Gita, Unfortunately, there’s no great substitute for the chipotle peppers, but I have a very similar recipe that doesn’t require them, so you could make that one instead. Hope you enjoy if you make it!

      • — Jenn on September 3, 2020
      • Reply
  • This salad is perfection in a bowl! I ommited the cilantro and avocado and it was delicious! Thank you for the great recipe!

    • — Daphne K. on August 26, 2020
    • Reply
  • This salad is a big hit with all ages. Even bean-haters devour it and ask for more. Second time around I used 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tsp of the date syrup (about 1/4 recommended for each). It’s still very sweet and plenty salty. I also used 1tsp of dried cilantro instead of fresh and cilantro-phobes ate it without complaints.

    • — Leah on August 8, 2020
    • Reply
  • I served it over eggs and paired with your Jalapeño cornbread for a brunch that was to die for! Next time I’ll double the recipe.

    • — Carolina on August 8, 2020
    • Reply
  • I have been making this salad/dip for years now. Its a hit every. single.time. NOMNOMNOMNOM

    • — Annonymous on July 30, 2020
    • Reply
  • Super delicious salad!! My guests asked for the recipe. Did y’ll know you can microwave a cob of corn IN THE HUSK for 3 min. Let it cool off for a bit then gently pull off the husk and the silks come off with the husk. It is so clean and easy! No heat from boiling water. Just be sure to wait so you do not burn your fingers on the hot corn cob. I microwave the corn first thing when I make this salad and it is cool and ready to cut by the time I’ve gotten out the other ingredients!

    • — LeAnne Case on July 28, 2020
    • Reply
  • I made this tonight and it is amazing! The dressing is a perfect blend of savory, spicy and sweet. I doubled the recipe to make sure we’d have leftovers. I used one can of black beans and one of kidney. I added two cups of cooked brown rice, used frozen sweet corn (thawed and drained), and as my family hates cilantro, I omitted that. This is the kind of dish that is easily adaptable to particular tastes, add whatever veggies you like. It’s all about the dressing!
    Thanks Jenn, another winner for the recipe list. 🙂

    • — Tami on July 23, 2020
    • Reply
  • Amazing recipe!

    • — Charlotte on July 12, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is soooo delicious. Colorful too! I now double this recipe when I make it!!!

    • — D Viola on July 2, 2020
    • Reply
  • This was delicious and it made enough for my husband and I to enjoy for a couple of days.

    Every recipe of yours I have made has worked beautifully. Love your easy, flavourful dishes.

    • — Anne on July 2, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    My family love this salad and the dressing so much! I will be making it over and over again. But I have a question about the dressing. Is this dressing different from your chipotle dressing? I noticed this has cumin and lime juice in it, but the other recipe does not. Thank you so much.

    • — Sidney on June 24, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yes, the two dressings are slightly different. 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 25, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    Could you please transcribe this recipe in grams?
    Thank You!

    Christi

    • — Christi on June 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Christi, I just added them. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 24, 2020
      • Reply
  • Definitely 5 stars! Made a double-recipe, planning on leftovers for second night. This, I used one avocado on Sunday and will use the second tonight. Followed the recipe as written but may try less dressing the next time.

    • — Margaret on June 22, 2020
    • Reply
  • Made this yesterday to go with your carne Asada, Pesto shrimp, and chicken fajita recipe to create a fajita bar. This was a huge hit and so very easy to make. I will definitely be making this again. Delish!

    • — Kia on June 22, 2020
    • Reply
  • This bean salad is a BBQ staple for us. I am asked for the recipe every time. After many times making I now have two tweaks. I double the ingredients but just make one batch of the marinade as its plenty for a double batch of the veggies. I also roast the corn in a 425 oven in the husks which adds a nice flavor. (that’s a tip from a local corn farm who sells roasted corn at the roadside stand) This recipe is a winner!!! Thanks.

    • — Nancy on June 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • How do you roast the corn in the oven ? How long ? Temperature , etc.
      Thanks.

      • — JC on September 3, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi JC, here’s a recipe for oven roasted corn (please keep in mind that I haven’t tried it myself). Hope you enjoy the salad!

        • — Jenn on September 4, 2020
        • Reply
  • EXCELLENT! I made this a couple of weeks ago and find myself craving it. I’ll be making this again very soon!

    • — Marsha on June 14, 2020
    • Reply
  • I have been wanting to make this salad for the last couple of years. Finally got round to making it last month. Everyone loved it, and will be definitely be making it on a more regular basis. Thank you for sharing such a great recipe.

    • — Donna on June 6, 2020
    • Reply
  • This salad was amazing tonight with the bbq chicken from your cookbook! Had everything prepared yesterday and came home from a hike on the Appalachian trail today to finish. I so deserved those tortilla chips to go with! Fantastic meal!

    • — Peggy on June 3, 2020
    • Reply
  • LOVE. LOVE. LOVE this recipe. Literally obsessed and have been for almost a decade now. I never go back to a recipe over and over again. But this one is worth it.
    I was first introduced to this recipe back in 2011 at a graduation potluck. It was the hit of the potluck. Everyone ranted and raved about how good it was and was asking for the recipe. I’m pretty sure it was the only thing I ate. It took me less than a week to make it for my family and it has been a hit with my family and friends ever since.
    Household favourite. Gets brought to every family get together, BBQ, potluck, camping adventure etc and is always a hit. It is a weekly meal in our house in the summer and still a regular in the winter. I almost never follow a recipe exactly and this is one I do. The only thing I add is quinoa or a pasta to mine. It makes a great year round meal because it is as good served cold as it is served hot.

    • — Richelle on June 1, 2020
    • Reply
  • Excellent … why haven’t I made this sooner!! Just now made it to serve with dinner tonight. I sampled it and could have eaten the whole bowl. No fresh corn available, so used 1 1/2 cups frozen corn. Started out with 1 chipotle pepper and bumped up to 1 1/2 peppers. Pretty sure I’ll use 2 peppers next time. Thank you for another great recipe!

    • — Mary R on May 29, 2020
    • Reply
  • I saw this recipe and it reminded me of a southwest pasta recipe that I make very often in the summer. Your dressing recipe is excellent. I just added 8 ounces of cooked bowtie pasta, 1/2 cup of black olives and it was delish.

    • — victoria kelly on May 24, 2020
    • Reply
  • Unbelievably delicious……I’ve made this at least 20 times and it’s really outstanding. I get asked for the recipe every time. I’ve told so many people about Jenn’s site. She never disappoints.

    • — debbie on May 23, 2020
    • Reply
  • This salad is delicious! I love so many of your recipes, and also bought your cookbook. Thank you for sharing!

    • — Rajni on May 18, 2020
    • Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed and thanks for your support with the cookbook! 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 18, 2020
      • Reply
  • This took long to make but everyone liked it! I used half the recommended adobo chiles and it was still hot enough for parents and bearable for little kids. I also used 1/4 recommended honey and it was still very sweet thanks to fresh corn. Next time I will make the dressing in advance to make prep easier.

    • — Leah on May 14, 2020
    • Reply
  • Wonderful dip and side dish. Was a hit at my party. Will definitely be making again!

    • — Haley on May 10, 2020
    • Reply
  • My family loves this salad plus it is easy to make.

    • — kim nelson on April 30, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn I am making this today and realized all I have is grape seed oil or olive oil , would either of those work for the dressing? Thanks so much! Your recipes are awesome!

    • — Melissa on April 7, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yes, either will work. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 7, 2020
      • Reply
  • This looks delicious. I am going to make it but I only have canned or frozen corn. Has anyone used frozen or canned corn?

    • — Darci Klotz on April 6, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Darci, Either canned or frozen corn will work here. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 7, 2020
      • Reply
  • This is a terrific salad and you could literally drink the dressing it’s so good. I do think it would make an amazing dip too so next time I’m in charge of the appetizer, I’m making this! Thanks for all your wonderful, delicious recipes!

    • — Shay Charles on March 19, 2020
    • Reply
  • I love this salad! I used frozen corn as fresh is not that great this time of year and it was fine. No need to cook it, either. Just throw it in. The following day I added some jarred basic salsa to some of it as a dip for tortilla chips. DELICIOUS! Use the chipotle’s to your taste as they can be very spicy. Don’t leave out the cilantro unless you’re one of those people lacking the ability to taste of the true flavor of cilantro!

    • — Marilyn Burrows on February 17, 2020
    • Reply
  • I eat buckets of this salad! I’ve made it twice this week. I cut the amount of chiles in half because I’m a wimp, so it’s just spicy enough for me. Yum!!

    • — Dee on February 3, 2020
    • Reply
  • Just made this for dinner tonight and added cajun baked chicken breast….it was fabulous! I also added some quinoa.

    • — Marcia Ziegler on January 14, 2020
    • Reply
  • Delicious and healthy!

    • — Leslie E on January 4, 2020
    • Reply
  • Yum, that was good!
    I was looking for a winter salad that was both healthy and fresh. This hit the mark!
    I made it with chipotle peppers and used some of the sauce too. A nice amount of heat.
    Made some guacamole to have with tortilla chips.

    • — Nora on January 2, 2020
    • Reply
  • Can I add shredded chicken or shrimp to make it a main dish?

    • — Diane on December 10, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sure, Diane – I think either would work well.

      • — Jenn on December 11, 2019
      • Reply
  • Oh.My.Word. This is…. TO.DIE.FOR!!!!!! The dressing was INCREDIBLE! Everyone LOVED this!! Thank you for another AWESOME recipe!!! I know I will be making this a lot from now.

    I made dressing using 1 small chipotle pepper and squeezed out the seeds, then added a just lil bit of the chipotle juice. Added olives.

    • — Laura on December 8, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Jenn!

      I am planning on making this salad, but since I do not live in the States and do not have the canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce 🙂 any suggetions on what to replace them with? Thank you!

      • — Shadia on April 13, 2020
      • Reply
      • Unfortunately, there’s no great substitute for the chipotle peppers in adobo, but I do have a very similar recipe that doesn’t require them, so you could make that one instead. Hope you enjoy if you try it!

        • — Jenn on April 13, 2020
        • Reply
      • Jenn,
        This dressing recipe has lime and cumin added to it. Is this chipotle dressing different than the other dressing you posted? Thank you.

        • — Sidney on June 4, 2020
        • Reply
        • Yes, it is different. The other dressing has lime but no cumin.

          • — Jenn on June 4, 2020
          • Reply
  • Jenn
    do you think the dressings from this recipe would be good on your quinoa salad with corn,tomatoes and lime. maybe take away the lime juice in the quinoa salad?
    thanks for any input

    • — Carrie on August 29, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sure, Carrie, that should work nicely. I agree that you can omit the lime juice and probably the second Tbsp. of oil too. Also, the second half of the tsp. of salt may make the dish too salty, so I’d probably just add salt to taste after using the first 1/2 tsp. when cooking the quinoa. Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on August 29, 2019
      • Reply
  • I made this last night and it turned out really good however just a word of caution and I like spicy but those 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce were hot so I only used one and that was enough kick. Didn’t have a red pepper so I added red grape tomatoes cut in half, some minced garlic and Penzey salsa and pico spice ..didn’t add cumin to the sauce. Everyone loved it – will make again.

    • — Brenda Wilkins on August 21, 2019
    • Reply
    • You can seed the chipotle peppers and it decreases the heat by a lot!!

      • — jf on September 25, 2019
      • Reply

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