Black Bean Salad with Corn, Avocado & Lime Vinaigrette

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.

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 it has become 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 muffins for a delicious (and easy!) Southwestern-themed cookout.

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

ingredients for making black bean saladStep-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!

You May Also Like

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

See more recipes:

Comments

  • I made this last night, with a few modifications: first, I halved the recipe, because there were only two of us. I substituted fresh summer garden tomatoes for the red peppers, and about 6 green onions for the shallots, and since the other person here isn’t too fond of spicy food, I cut the cayenne down to just a dash or two, and added ground cumin for flavor (I love cumin on almost everything!) and probably 1/2 t. or so of smoked paprika for the heat. (Sorry, I rarely measure my spices; I just put in a bunch, and then put in more if I think the dish needs more.) I also cut down on the olive oil – about 2 T. total – and since I only had one small lime on hand, supplemented it with about 1 T. of red wine vinegar. And I had no cilantro on hand, so I skipped that. I loved the salad; when you use good, fresh ingredients, you don’t need a ton of spices for the result to taste good! It wasn’t overly spicy, but it was plenty tasty.

    Also, I used a trick I often use with tabouli when I know we are going to have leftovers: I put in just as many tomatoes (and in the case of this salad, avocadoes) as I think we’ll eat that night, since they don’t keep well. Then the next night I serve it, I cut and add fresh ones again just before serving. This keeps the tomatoes and avocadoes nice and colorful, and prevents them from getting soggy and wilting into moosh.

    • — Toni on September 20, 2021
    • Reply
    • I absolutely love your substitution/additions. Thank you for sharing 😋

      • — Debra on February 10, 2022
      • Reply
  • Another winner!!! Made this for our block party and it was a hit! Will make again for sure. Jenn, your recipes are just THE best! Can wait for my pre-ordered book to arrive!!!

    • — Lori on August 29, 2021
    • Reply
    • 💗

      • — Jenn on August 30, 2021
      • Reply
  • This was phenomenal. I served it with your tequila lime chicken, and wanted it to count as our veg, too, so I added a diced cucumber, thinly sliced spinach, and halved cherry tomatoes. My kids aren’t fans of spice, so I used some ancho chili instead of the cayenne. We cubed the chicken and tossed it right in. Yum! Thanks for the great recipe!

    • — Elise on August 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • About how many cups of corn should I have after preparing the ears of corn? Ears of corn are different sizes.

    • — Diane on August 23, 2021
    • Reply
    • It should be 2 – 2-1/2 cups. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 23, 2021
      • Reply
  • Made this recipe for the first time this weekend. Perfect summer salad!

    • — Susan Deak on August 12, 2021
    • Reply
  • How far ahead can you make this, understanding that you have the avocado and the last minute? Just wondering if two days ahead of time is too early?

    • — Jackie on July 29, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Jackie, A day ahead would be optimal but I think you could push to two. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 30, 2021
      • Reply
  • Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. I have had similar recipes and they are all good. But this recipe is really the best of them all! The lime zest takes it over the top!

    • — Jennifer G on July 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I don’t usually like to add sugar to my salads. Have you a healthy alternative?

    Thank you

    Jessie

    • — Jessie on July 24, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Jessie, the sugar helps to balance out the other flavors. Some readers have commented that they’ve used agave nectar in place of the sugar. You can also reduce the sugar or omit it entirely. Please LMK how it turns out?

      • — Jenn on July 26, 2021
      • Reply
      • I’m making this for the 4th of July.
        I dread cooking but your recipes are simple & so good!!! I love that I discovered this site. I have a trained chef in the family & a few others who love to cook. They are impressed with these recipes too❤️

        • — Peggy on July 2, 2022
        • Reply
        • ❤️

          • — Jenn on July 3, 2022
          • Reply
  • This salad was absolutely delicious – wouldn’t change a thing! Thank you again for another amazing dish! LMRM

    • — Lorraine Rossi Marier on July 13, 2021
    • Reply
  • As usual, a great recipe. i added extra lime juice and olive oil and it keeps in the fridge for several days and gets better.

    • — Douglas Gabbey on July 7, 2021
    • Reply
  • Aloha Jen!
    Delicious!! I made half of this recipe last night, paired with grilled ahi filet. So so good! I kept the avocado out of the salad and just added it to our individual plates with a lime wedge on the side. Next batch will be the full recipe with a little more cilantro, lime zest, and juice. Definitely a keeper, as my husband LOVES anything with black beans!

    • — Gale on June 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’m going to make this as a side dish to serve with enchiladas and corn bread for 19 people. Is it enough to double the recipe?

    • — Steve on June 27, 2021
    • Reply
    • Yes, considering you’ll have two other hearty elements to the meal, it should be fine. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on June 28, 2021
      • Reply
  • This is my new summer salad go-to!!! Jen, I made your exact recipe and it’s perfect! Thank you for another winner!!

    • — Lyne H. on June 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • I cannot possibly express how amazing this recipe is. Every single time I’ve made it, it is the very 1st thing to go on the buffet table. It is my go to potluck bring-along dish that everyone loves. You will not be disappointed. Even the most discriminating eaters came up to me afterwards and wanted the recipe.

    • — Michelle on June 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • This recipe is delicious! I made it for a group of 10 at the campground & it was loved! They all wanted the recipe.

    • — Melissa McAlister on June 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • This recipe is a winner. Both my mom and I loved it, and we don’t often agree on foods. Makes a nice refreshing vegetarian and/or vegan dinner with cornbread or 2-minute quesadillas.

    • — Sally on June 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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
    • Wow. This recipe is a keeper! I made it last night hoping to have leftovers for today’s lunch….didn’t happen. Everyone loved it. Back to store today to buy more ingredients to repeat the recipe this weekend. I served it with grilled shrimp but it would be great with just about everything.
      Thank you Jenn, once again, for a stand out easy recipe. 👏🏻

      • — Janette Dacey on July 2, 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
      • Reply
  • 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
    • Reply
  • 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
    • Reply
  • Would you recommend using frozen corn if fresh corn is out of season?

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

      • — Jenn on May 7, 2021
      • Reply
  • 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
    • Reply
  • 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
    • Reply
  • I adore this salad. Have made it several times, and sent the recipe to a friend. Thanks!

    • — Laynie Tzena on March 20, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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
    • Reply
  • 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
    • Reply
  • I have made this numerous times. It never disappoints but best to eat within 2 days.

    • — Angie on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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
    • Reply
  • 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

Add a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]