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Black Bean Salad with Corn, Avocado & Lime Vinaigrette

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This make-ahead and festive black bean salad is a huge crowd-pleaser. Perfect for a summer cookout!

This black bean salad recipe was sent to me by one of my readers (thank you, Ellen!). It’s a huge crowd-pleaser and one of the most popular recipes on my website. The salad is ideal for entertaining because you can make it ahead of time — in fact, you should because it gets better and better the longer it sits. Try pairing it with my grilled tequila lime chicken and cornbread for a delicious (and easy!) Southwestern-themed cookout. Or, for an appetizer spread, serve it tortilla chips for scooping and chicken quesadillas.

What You’ll Need To Make Black Bean Salad with Corn, Avocado & Lime Vinaigrette

ingredients for making black bean salad

The avocado should be added right before serving to prevent the flesh from browning when exposed to air. If you’re unsure of the most efficient way to prepare an avocado for salads, bowls, and guacamole, you’ll find this step-by-step guide helpful.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Begin by cooking the corn in boiling salted water.
boiling the corn

A few minutes is all it takes — you want it super crisp. Refresh the corn under cold water to stop the cooking process.

refreshing the corn under cold water

Place the corn on a clean dish towel set over a cutting board, then use a serrated knife to cut the kernels of the cobs. (The dish towel both dries the corn and prevents it from bouncing all over the place.)

Next, rinse and drain the black beans. rinsing black beans for black bean saladCombine the corn and black beans with the remaining ingredients, except for the avocado.

black bean salad components ready to toss

Toss and chill until ready to serve.

black bean salad tossed with vinaigrette

Before serving, dice the avocado and add to the salad. It’s important to add the avocado at the last minute to keep it from turning brown.

adding diced avocado to black bean salad

Toss well, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. You may find that it needs a bit more salt or a squirt of lime juice, as the flavors tend to mellow in the fridge.

tossed black bean salad ready to serve

That’s all there is to it. Enjoy!

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Black Bean Salad with Corn, Avocado & Lime Vinaigrette

This make-ahead and festive black bean salad is a huge crowd-pleaser. Perfect for a summer cookout!

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
  • ¼ 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
  • ½ 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.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Serving size: 3/4 - 1 cup
  • Calories: 464
  • Fat: 24 g
  • Saturated fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 52 g
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Fiber: 15 g
  • Protein: 13 g
  • Sodium: 591 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.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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  • This is delish – it is my go-to recipe for a light, tasty side dish or dip. I have made it multiple times and it’s always a huge hit. In fact, I’m getting ready to make more right now once my black beans have cooked and the whole house smells wonderful. I made sure to cover my onions, cilantro and herbs during the first freezing temps – they will be perfect for this. PS last year one of my daughters-in-law gave me your cookbook, Weeknight Weekend. Love it.

    • — Jane on December 28, 2022
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  • I make this all summer. It is a hugh hit and very addictive. I make it anytime I need to bring a side dish to a function. Although it’s fall I made it again last week with the last corn of the season. I follow the recipe exactly and always refrigerate overnight. I add the avocado just before serving with a quick gentle toss.

    • — April on November 21, 2022
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  • I really wanted to like this salad, but unfortunately it did not go over well at my house. We found it way to oily and garlicky. If I were to make it again, I would cut the oil to about 2 T and omit the sugar and garlic. I think the shallots along with the other seasonings would be plenty.

    • — Lisa on October 2, 2022
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  • Delicious, healthy dish. I didn’t have any black beans in the pantry so I used pinto beans instead, mixing gently to prevent the pintos from getting mashed.

    • — Suzon on September 10, 2022
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  • This salad is absolutely delicious. I didn’t have corn, but it didn’t matter, it was so flavorful. An excellent side dish for my fish tacos and also to dip with tortilla chips. The next day I used the leftovers and added to a bowl of mixed greens for an instant taco salad. You are becoming my go-to for all recipes! Thank you!

    • — Dominique on September 8, 2022
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  • One of the best salads that I have made….the combination of flavours so good. I made it along with the tequila lime chicken, great together

    • — Ruby on September 8, 2022
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  • This is delicious! The balance of sugar, salt, and lime in the dressing is perfect. I could eat a bowl of this by itself, but I’m also already thinking of all the ways I can use this mixture, such as for enchilada filling, taco topping, or in a quesadilla. I’ll keep this recipe around!

    • — Heather on September 4, 2022
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  • I made this salad for supper last evening. I only had dried cilantro so used that and some fresh parsley. It will become a regular at meal times. Very delightful – the lime gives it a wonderful flavor.

    • — Janet on September 4, 2022
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  • So good! Light, fresh, and easy. We added it to our burrito bowls. We also only used 1 tablespoon of sugar.

    • — Ang on September 4, 2022
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  • I have made this several times. Now that I get most of my protein from plants, I added shelled edamame and a can of chick peas to the black beans. When a friend gave me an abundance of cucumber, I have added that, too, seeding it first. I use less oil than you recommend for health reasons, but it always turns out wonderfully and my friends who eat everything love it. I don’t advertise it as healthy. They can see with their own eyes how beautifully colorful it is. There are never any leftovers. Thanks so much for this, and the flexibility to make it my own.

    • — Mary on September 4, 2022
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  • This is the second time I made it. This time I made it for myself so I used only one pepper and one can of beans. While waiting for the grill to heat, I got hungry and devoured the entire salad………….so good. I was also sipping my favorite tequila, Cava de Oro!

    • — Paul K on September 1, 2022
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  • Since making this salad for 6 adults & 3 kids (who refuse to eat salads), it disappeared in a flash! Most was consumed by the kids who initially picked out corn or black beans, loved the taste & plowed in for all. Now, it’s the only item I’m to bring (doubled the recipe) until I brought 1 original + 1 of the chipotle version for the adults to try. Yep, now it’s both! Parents have your recipe to make the dressing & adding it to vegetables the kids wouldn’t eat in the past. You are amazing!

    • — Sheryl on September 1, 2022
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  • Excellent!

    • — Merlee on August 25, 2022
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  • I’ve been looking for protein, gluten free, vegetarian recipes when I came across this. I thought it would be just a regular summer salad, but thought why not? I’ll give it a go. It’s fantastic! It’s filling, and the corn and beans give it texture enough to be eaten all by itself. I love lime, so I added a couple extra tablespoons, and I thought it made all the difference. Could be used as a salsa, side dish, taco filling, you name it. Loved this recipe.

    • — Jeniffer on August 16, 2022
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  • I’ve never heard of a vinegrettte that had no vinegar.

    • — George Gill on July 26, 2022
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    • A vinaigrette can contain any acid, not just vinegar, along with oil.

      • — Kay on October 29, 2022
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  • This may be the first recipe of Jenn’s that I didn’t rate 5-stars. My corn was on the cob, fresh and sweet, black beans were of good, canned quality, herbs all fresh and I used mini sweet peppers. This was good but definitely not excellent. I probably won’t make this one again.

    • — DolceSanDiego on July 24, 2022
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  • I have made this several times and often bring it to backyard BBQs, parties, and potlucks It is always a hit and is always gone.

    • — Kreg Atterberry on July 23, 2022
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  • Would thawed frozen corn work or too soft? I love the fire roasted TJs corn…


    • — KM C on July 20, 2022
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    • Fresh corn has the best texture, but frozen is fine to use. 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 21, 2022
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  • Tonight for supper with company I made your Black Bean Salad with Corn, Avocado & Lime Vinaigrette along with the Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken as well as your Cornbread Muffins. The whole meal was a huge hit and will definitely be making it again! I love your recipes and always find wonderful dishes to make. Thank you so much!

    • — Cathi Doherty on July 17, 2022
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  • Making this dish for the weekend to accompany a seafood meal (thanks for your great suggestions for a seafood feast, btw). Do you have any thoughts on the best way to cook corn: boiling, microwave, on the grill? Does it make a difference on how the corn will be used…as a standalone side dish, or in another preparation?

    • — PaulainVA on July 8, 2022
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    • I usually boil my corn just because it’s the easiest/most convenient way to go. If you want to have more of a smoky flavor, you can grill it. Hope that helps and that you enjoy the salad!

      • — Jenn on July 9, 2022
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  • This looks amazing! I am not a fan of red pepper; can I substitute tomatoes and/or yellow peppers? Thank you.

    • — Purpleicious on July 4, 2022
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    • I’d substitute with yellow peppers. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 5, 2022
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  • Would this freeze well (without avocado)?

    • — D on July 4, 2022
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    • I don’t think this will freeze well — sorry!

      • — Jenn on July 5, 2022
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  • Wow! Really good and easy to make. My son was visiting and when he saw the cans of black beans he got excited, thinking I was making the corn and black bean salad with honey chipotle dressing from your website! But he liked this one equally as well and I did find it a bit easier than dealing with the chipotle chilis. I served this as a side to grilled steak but love the idea of adding chopped, grilled chicken.

    • — Margaret on July 2, 2022
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  • I haven’t made this yet but it seems like it would make a wonderful dip with tortilla chips! Has anyone tried it?

    • — Nancy on June 30, 2022
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    • We use it that way more than anything else! Just get a sturdy taco chip and enjoy.

      • — Sara on July 18, 2022
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  • As usual another fabulous recipe. Goya black beans are the best. I always use Goya. Their products are so superior.

    • — Cathy on June 26, 2022
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  • I have been using this recipe since it appeared on your web site, but recently I found another way to use it! I had leftover grilled chicken, so I decided to make chicken enchiladas. Had a little leftover black bean and corn salad, so I added just a teaspoon or so to each enchilada before I wrapped it up (minus the avocado). Made sure to get dressing in each,too! The enchiladas were amazing!! Used the regular sour cream, verde salsa and cheese on the top, but the inclusion of the leftover salad made it a very special dish. Thanks so much for your wonderful work to make these recipes so special.

    • — Cherry Searcy on June 24, 2022
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  • This looks delicious but adding avocado at the last minute won’t work. Also there are plenty of good black bean (organic) brands that don’t come with the politics of Goya, unless you support them yourself.

    • — Susan F on June 21, 2022
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    • Let’s keep politics out of food. Goya does make a good product.

      • — Peggy on July 16, 2022
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    • I prefer to judge food products on their quality and leave politics out of it.

      • — Peggy on July 16, 2022
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  • I prepared this dish and it was delicious, my family wants the recipe, great for a pot luck.

    • — Rebecca McKinney on June 20, 2022
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  • Has anyone made this and added fresh cooked shrimp? I made the dressing and love it! Tastes to me like it would compliment the shrimp. Also, I have grape tomatoes on hand that I need to use, so thinking of using those instead of red bell peppers. Planning to serve tomorrow night, so I thought I would add the tomatoes and avocados just before serving. I’ll add the shrimp tomorrow morning so that they can soak up some of the dressing!

    • — Judy on June 14, 2022
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    • It is wonderful with shrimp. I like to add grilled chipotle shrimp and mango.

      • — Rob on June 24, 2022
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  • This salad is amazing, I’ve made it several times. Just a tip: if you use pretty firm (but still ripe) avocados, they don’t go brown and the salad will hold in the fridge really well for a few days!

    • — Hannah on June 4, 2022
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  • The Black Bean Salad has always been a favorite of my son. It gets better every day, though it doesn’t last long. The fresh corn is an extra step but so tasty. I used infused lime olive oil (5 Tblsp) and infused chili olive oil for a bit of heat (2 Tblsp) and then extra oil as needed. I love the lime zest and lime juice. I did add infused vinegar, also,(espresso is my favorite, but I was all out, so grapefruit fit well with a touch of fig.) Because the infused oils are sweeter, I left out the sugar. The proportions are excellent, though. I don’t mean to change the recipe because this recipe is perfect as it is- I just use what I have on hand, and this recipe has all the right spices and ingredients for a perfect Black Bean salad. This recipe is a keeper.

    • — Helen M. Wierenga on June 1, 2022
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  • Made this for a party. Guests raved about it, it was absolutely delicious!

    • — Dayana on May 28, 2022
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  • Just made this! Excellent flavor, bite and texture! My granddaughter helped and will have a great recipe in the future. I had to swap out the cilantro for parsley as my daughter says cilantro tastes like soap.(I used to taste that before moving to San Diego) worked perfectly. Healthy summer salad.

    • — Mary on May 23, 2022
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  • This was good. I added a whole jalapeño, 1/2 t. cumin (may increase to 1 t.) and only 1 T of sugar.

    • — Kathy F. on May 23, 2022
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  • I plan to serve this with your Peruvian chicken and Mexican rice recipes (with a fish) for 10-13 people. Should I double this and the rice recipe (I haven’t made these before and plan to practice with my family as we’ve only had the restaurant version before). Thank you!

    • — Phyllis on May 7, 2022
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    • Hi Phyllis, You could probably get away with making 1.5 times both of the recipes. Hope everyone enjoys the meal!

      • — Jenn on May 8, 2022
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      • Wow, thank you so much for your quick reply, I really appreciate it! And Happy Mother’s Day!

        • — Phyllis on May 8, 2022
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        • 🙂
          Hope you had a great Mother’s Day!

          • — Jenn on May 9, 2022
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  • Would this work on top of lettuce for a hearty salad? Wondering if this dressing would be good if I made a little extra as well if the lettuce needs it? Possibly adding the tequila chicken as well.

    • — Jill on April 29, 2022
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    • Sure, Jill, all of that should work. Just use a hearty lettuce so that it doesn’t get too soggy under the weight of the black bean salad. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on May 1, 2022
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  • Could I use frozen corn?

    • — Susan on March 10, 2022
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    • Sure – enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 10, 2022
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  • Wow, 2 *tablespoons* of sugar? Seriously? I’ve travelled all over Mexico and cooked MEexican for years and I’ve never had (or seen) any salad with sugar in it. I have no idea why you think it needs it, the corn and red pepper should be sweet enough. Adding sugar is also sad as you’re pretty much spoiling the otherwise very good nutritional value in this salad.

    I guess it’s an American thing – everything has to have sugar in it or melted cheese on top of in the good ‘ol USA, home to some of the highest rates of obesity and diabeties in the world.

    • — Mike on January 25, 2022
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    • You might enjoy her Black Bean & Corn Salad with Chipotle-Honey Vinaigrette from her 1st cookbook, but also available online. It is sweetened naturally with honey and it is out of this world like all of her recipes I have personally tried.

      • — Shannon C on January 29, 2022
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      • I made a smaller batch of this, halved everything, turned out great! My gluten free guests were happy to eat this with fresh corn tortilla chips. I like the idea of adding a jalapeño to this, too! Jenn’s recipes are always my go-to – I have her books and have gifted them to fellow cooks. They really are tried and true!

        • — Lj on May 31, 2022
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    • …. This is comment is a misleading review and nonsense. It’s an amazing salad and just leave the sugar out and replace with another sweetener.

      • — Olivia on February 25, 2022
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      • Agreed. Can’t believe anyone would take the time to make snarky comments about obesity – ok…so he’s expressing his opinion – great…but not helpful. So omit the sugar!

        • — Sophie's mom on March 31, 2022
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    • Wow.

      • — Brenda on October 11, 2022
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    • Felt the same way, just to be honest. Have done quite a few different avocado/black bean salads of our own and am going to try elements of this one as well, but have never cared for incorporating sugar at all. Definitely can just leave that out, though. Easy enough to do! And, in our own case, a necessary step. Not a fan of sweetness profiling in salads, personally.

      Sidenote: That amount of oil, though… LoL

      • — KasenRafe on February 27, 2023
      • Reply

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