Black Bean Salad

Black bean and corn salad is an easy summer picnic or potluck recipe. This recipe features fresh red bell peppers, jalapeños, avocado, and corn. Feel free to use canned or freshly cooked black beans!

Black Bean Salad
Elise Bauer

What is it about a black bean salad that practically shouts, "summer potluck"? The mercury has been edging past a hundred degrees here lately, and I've been getting nostalgic for some of the picnic foods I remember having often as a kid.

Ingredients in Black Bean Salad

The basic structure of a black bean salad is black beans (canned or freshly made) with corn kernels (canned, frozen, or fresh). Parsley, basil, or cilantro add an herby note to the flavors.

Tomatoes or red bell pepper add some sweetness and color. Lemon juice and/or lime juice add some acid. Jalapeño or cumin will give it a kick, and avocado and olive oil will smooth it down.

Black Bean Salad
Elise Bauer

How To Make the Best Black Bean Salad

I find adding a little bit of sugar almost always helps balance the acid from the citrus and tomatoes, and makes for a better tasting salad.

Obviously, this salad will be extra delicious if you have freshly cooked corn and beans on hand. (Here's how to make beans in a pressure cooker!) But if you don't, just use the canned beans and frozen corn (we used white corn here).


Watch This Easy Black Bean Salad Recipe

Storing Leftover Black Bean Salad

Refrigerate this salad in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. That said, due to the avocado in the salad and its tendency to oxidize and turn brown, it's best to enjoy this salad on the day you make it.

More Black Bean Recipes to Try!

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Black Bean Salad

Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 6 to 8 servings

We've sampled many brands of canned black beans (see our Black Bean Burrito Bowl for details). Our favorites for flavor are S&W Premium Black Beans, Bush's Best Black Beans, and Goya. If you're using beans you cooked yourself, use 1 1/2 cups.

This black bean salad uses cilantro. For those of you who don't like cilantro, feel free to substitute with fresh basil.


  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels, defrosted if frozen

  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions or shallots

  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced, or 1/2 pickled jalapeño pepper, minced but not seeded

  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (and/or 3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped)

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 avocado, cut into chunks

  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Combine everything but the avocado and herbs:

    In a large bowl, gently mix the black beans, corn, scallions, jalapeños, tomatoes or red bell pepper, lime juice, and olive oil.

    Then, gently fold in the chopped avocados.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
  2. Season and chill:

    Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with sugar to taste, enough to balance the acidity from the lime juice. Chill.

  3. Add the cilantro and serve:

    Right before serving, add the chopped fresh cilantro.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
181 Calories
10g Fat
22g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 181
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 247mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 8g 29%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 37mg 185%
Calcium 35mg 3%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 530mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.