Black Bean Salad with Corn, Avocado & Lime Vinaigrette

Tested & Perfected Recipes

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, Ellen Koh. It’s a huge crowd-pleaser and, over the years, it has become one of the most popular recipes on my website. Readers consistently give it rave reviews!

This 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 Muffins for a delicious (and easy!) Southwestern-inspired cookout.

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

ingredients for making black bean salad

How To Make Black Bean Salad with Corn, Avocado & Lime Vinaigrette

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
  • 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.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

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  • 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, 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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Reviews & Comments

  • This salad is truly to die for. When planning my dinner meal I failed to even notice that you were supposed to let it marinate overnight so I forged ahead and served it basically immediately and it was still such a hit! A perfect summer salad that you feel like you could just keep eating! Full of great flavors and fresh ingredients. Would definitely recommend. Thanks for another awesome recipe!

    • — Helena on June 8, 2021
    • Reply
  • What can you substitute for cilantro?

    • — elaine nisonoff on June 3, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Elaine, either basil or flat-leaf parsley would work nicely. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 3, 2021
      • Reply
  • Is there a recommended substitute for the cayenne pepper?

    • — sv on May 27, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi SV, It’s fine to just leave it out.

      • — Jenn on May 27, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made this bean salad and it was delicious and enjoyed by all family members. My 87 year old mother raved about it but was wondering if you could recommend a replacement or adjustment for the corn. She has a difficult time digesting corn these days.

    • — Kathy M. on May 24, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad it was a hit! You could replace the corn with more black beans and or bell peppers (you could add in a yellow bell pepper for the color contrast). Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on May 25, 2021
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  • My family loved this as a salsa!! Fantastic with tortilla chips!! And to that end, I will add jalapeño next time.

    • — Kathy on May 21, 2021
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  • This recipe tastes fresh and delicious! My family loves it! I add extra cilantro and corn because my familia loves these two vegetables and I make a lime vinaigrette using the amounts of oil (I use grape seed oil) and lime recommended, clover flower honey instead of sugar (not an amber honey), a little bit of black pepper, and coriander to taste. I skip the salt. I blend it into a creamy vinaigrette. We store the dressing and salad separately bc the salad lasts throughout the work week. We dress our individual portions as we eat it throughout the week. I think the dressing would also be good with a little bit of jalapeño (minus the seeds if you don’t like it too spicy) blended in. The contrast of the sweet, tart, and heat would be delicious. This salad is gold! Thank you!

    • — RH on May 9, 2021
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  • Would you recommend using frozen corn if fresh corn is out of season?

    • — Noreen on May 7, 2021
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    • Sure – enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 7, 2021
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  • Hi, this was a great recipe. Flavorful, not spicy. I halved the recipe and it turned out delicious. I would definitely make this for a party! Thank you!!

    • — Angie on April 30, 2021
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  • Loved this recipe – beans are not my son’s favorite but served this way was very good. Fresh corn taken from the cob makes all the difference – another favorite from your website.

    • — Sharon M. on April 18, 2021
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  • I adore this salad. Have made it several times, and sent the recipe to a friend. Thanks!

    • — Laynie Tzena on March 20, 2021
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  • This is the freshest thing to happen to a taco. (Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t eat salsa.) I love having this with carnitas for dinner and then snacking on it the next day with chips. It’s fresh, light, and delicious! Our store was out of corn on the cob so I used frozen corn and skipped the cooking step. I think it came out wonderful.

    • — Heather on February 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • I love this as a dip for tortilla chips (the whole grain scoops are super yummy and the right chip to dip ratio). It’s summer in a bowl and it is amazing! I also have been known to add Costco cilantro lime shrimp (cut up) to make it a meal!!!

    • — Michelle Irwin on January 31, 2021
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  • This is hands down one of my all time favorite recipes. I make it all summer with the tequila lime chicken (also amazing!), making enough to have leftovers which I turn into burritos. I follow the recipe pretty closely, except that I usually use less oil than is called for (probably about 1/2 to 2/3 of the listed amount). So grateful to have come across this gem!

    • — Lisa on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • Love this salad in the summertime. Great combination of flavors and textures and is light and refreshing. I’ve never gone wrong with salad recipes from Jenn. Thank you.

    • — Val on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delicious salad and liked by everyone. Great side dish for barbeque.
    It makes plenty of dressing and it wasn’t necessary to use it all.

    • — D WILSON on January 29, 2021
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  • I have made this numerous times. It never disappoints but best to eat within 2 days.

    • — Angie on January 28, 2021
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  • This was so fresh and delicious! I made a huge batch to share with friends and it was hit. Everyone asked for the recipe. Thanks, Jenn, for another awesome recipe!

    • — Eliza on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this recipe for lunch because I was tired of my usual mixed green salad with chicken… It’s absolutely delicious, there’s no need to change a thing! I was able to enjoy it even after two full days in the fridge (adding the avocado just before eating, of course). This will become one of my standards!

    • — Kathy on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
    • Loved this receipe. I added 1 tsp cumin and 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes.

      • — Magda on May 30, 2021
      • Reply
  • Made this for gatherings a few times and it’s always been a hit! The dressing makes it. Easy and delicious and good for you too!

    • — Beth M on January 28, 2021
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  • This is the absolute best avacado, corn, bean salsa. No need to look Anywhere else! Perfect balance of tart and sweet and perfect for dipping with chips. I’ve used many of Jenn’s recipes and her recipes always are great. I love this with her grilled tequila chicken. Delish!

    • — Maureen Robinson on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this recipe a few times and it’s delicious the only thing I changed was I added Roma tomatoes instead of the red bell pepper.

    • — Janice Bertini on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Absolutely love this recipe — it’s the PERFECT side dish for summer BBQs, as a salad for a light lunch, or even as a dip with big homemade tortilla chips. I made a few small tweaks, based on personal taste: I added 3-4 thinly sliced celery stalks for extra crunch and 1 jalapeno that’s been seeded, cored, and diced for a bit of spice. Other than that, this recipe is perfection! I make this at least 2-3 times a month in the summer, and it’s become so popular in my house that my husband asks to always have a bowl in the fridge for snacking.

    • — Matt McGrory on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • We LOVE this recipe! I have made this so many times over the last couple of months and referred all of my sisters (and a brother) to this site. We like to mix it with quinoa and top it on fish tacos. Also, I substitute the fresh corn with (2) canned for a faster prep time. So Good 😊

    • — RS on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Best go to side dish to take to any BBQ. Was awesome with just chips, but also eaten alone… by the spoonful. I use extra lime bc I’m a sucker for limes. And I have boiled the corn then grilled it after as well. One of my husbands favorite things for ME to bring to gatherings or for him to snack at home.

    • — Adrianne on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
    • Anyone used canned corn?

      • — Gloria on March 29, 2021
      • Reply
      • Sure did and it was fine.

        • — Kathy M. on May 24, 2021
        • Reply
  • This another one of my go-to Once Upon A Chef recipes. I make this for company and often take it to Super Bowl parties, Memorial Day and July Fourth gatherings. I use a 10-oz bag of thawed frozen corn to keep things simple on myself. I often make this the night before and add the avocados just before serving. This is tasty way to eat a variety of plant-based foods to balance out the less healthy food at parties.

    • — Erin G on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is one of our staple dishes for our annual family beach vacation. Great as a side dish or as a dip for tortilla chips. By the way love the cookbook, it is displayed on a stand in my kitchen.

    • — Cindy Sides on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
    • This salad is delicious! It is a perfect compliment to many meals. We’ve enjoyed it at the lake and brought it to a potluck- several moms asked about the recipe. The combination of the fresh vegetables and crisp corn is delicious. Thanks for this great recipe!

      • — Mary on January 28, 2021
      • Reply
  • This salad is always a hit in my summer BBQs. It’s colorful and fun to eat with all the different textures. The flavor is fresh and bright. My family even eats it like a salsa with chips. The prep is definitely a bit of work with all the cutting and chopping but the end product is worth it.

    • — Karen on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Love it! This is a staple in our house for lunch.

    • — Lynn C. on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have made this salad many times and have shared it with friends and family who LOVE it as much as I cook the corn in the microwave which makes it even easier! Leave corn in the husk and microwave 2-3 ears at a time. Depending on the size of the ears it could take up to 14 minutes to cook. Let the ears rest in the microwave when done cooking. They are ultra hot! I have left them up to 15 minutes and they were still warm. Cut off an inch to an inch and a half from the bottom of ear ear.. The husk and silks will slip right off the ears. Easy-peasy!
    Thanks for making and sharing your recipe for a wonderful salad Jen. I have made many of your recipes and love them all. I continue to look for more too.

    • — Carol Ahrens on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is a family favorite! I like to make it ahead except the avocados. So yummy, especially on hot summer days. My hubby uses kidney beans when he makes it, but I’m a fan of the black beans.

    • — Tresa on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is a year round staple in our home! Fresh, delicious, and filling.
    A friend loved it so much that she requested that I make it for her baby shower!
    Thank you for another great recipe, Jenn!

    • — Mary on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have made this for multiple pot lucks, and it is a winner (add avocado just before serving). I love the intense lime flavor from the zest!

    • — lisa on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is a family favorite and my teen even asks for it. That by itself is remarkable since she is not an avocado eater except in this recipe. It is perfect as a side dish or but I also like using it served with tortilla chips. I can’t think of anything to improve this recipe.

    • — Ann Curnow on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Great salad, easy to make, healthy and it looks great. The only change I made was to cut the sugar by half, next time I will leave it out altogether.

    • — Anne Barritt on January 21, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is a follow up comment. The ladies at the lunch loved the salad and the hostess quietly asked if she could keep the small amount of leftover. So no breakfast for me tomorrow. If anyone is on the fence about making this try it. This time I used less oil and preferred it.

    • — Susan on January 9, 2021
    • Reply
  • I am making this for a summer ladies lunch. Today was the trial run. I have 2 questions. 1. Do I have to share it? 2. May I have any leftover for breakfast?
    My only change was to use lemons because limes are out of season and too spendy. This was very simple to make and absolutely delicious.

    • — Susan on January 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • LOL – hope everyone enjoys it as much as you did! 🙂

      • — Jenn on January 5, 2021
      • Reply

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