This Corn and Black Bean Salad is wildly easy to make + paired with a simple (yet zingy!) lime dressing that makes it the perfect thing to to serve as a side to any summer meal or to scoop up with chips for a veggie-filled snack or app. Oh and I’ve added cucumbers, bell peppers, and red onion into the mix, making this the ultimate feel-good summer salad!

Corn and Black Bean salad in a white bowl with a dark blue napkin under the bowl. There is fresh cilantro on the side and a wooden spoon in the bowl.

Corn and Black Bean Salad

Salads might be the unofficial meal of summer….next to anything grilled, that is. And popsicles. And ice cream. And burgers.

Okay, so maybe there are several dishes things that just TASTE like summer. That remind us of outside, soaking up the sun and that DO NOT require us turn our stove on.

But one thing that is indisputably IS the flavor of summer is corn.

Delicious corn recipes have a bit of a cult following. People go gaga over all things corn and look for all the ways to enjoy this amazing summer veg. And luckily, these are lots of different ways to get your corn on. Corn and quinoa stuffed peppers is one of my personal favorites and you can’t go wrong with classic (Instant Pot) corn on the cob. But salad + corn is kinda the ultimate summer recipe.

This salad is dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. You can tweak it and jazz it up however you like. It is loaded with protein from black beans, tangy dressing, lots of fun crunch and is far cry from the “blah” of lettuce and tomatoes hanging out with a burger on your summer dinner plate.

It takes minutes to make in just one bowl, is easy to prep and comes together in about 5 minutes. Perfect for a newbie in the kitchen or someone who just wants an easy veggie side to enjoy while watching the sunset, this corn salad pairs beautifully with grilled chicken, shrimp, or burgers. Or enjoy it as its own complete meal. Make it ahead of time and store it in your fridge for up to 3 days to enjoy a veggie-loaded meal in a pinch.

Ingredients for the dressing for corn and black bean salad in a glass measuring up with a whisk. Sliced limes, cumin and measuring spoons are next to the glass measuring cup.

Why this corn and black bean salad is so good

  • It’s loaded with classic summer flavors like corn, cucumbers, bell pepper, and cilantro. Topped with an easy, zesty dressing that brings out the best in all the ingredients.
  • The black beans add a boost of protein.
  • It’s healthy, made from scratch, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and dairy free. Perfect for just about any eating style. So it is perfect to share with a crowd.
  • It’s great as part of meal prep! I feel like this salad is even better the next day when the veggies have had a chance to marinade in the dressing.

Want to find out the BEST way to cut bell peppers? Head over to my How To Cut a Bell Pepper…to minimize waste! post!

Is corn and black bean salad gluten-free

It sure is! No swaps needed. Enjoy as is.

Should you use dried or canned black beans in this salad?

You can either use canned beans that have been well rinsed or dried beans that you have cooked. I like to cook my dry beans in either my slow cooker or Instant Pot for this recipe because it is easy and affordable, but I always keep some canned beans in my pantry so I can throw it together in a pinch.

What should you serve with corn and black bean salad?

I love this salad as a side to burgers, grilled fish, shrimp, or chicken, or as a side on taco night! It is so fresh and flavorful, though, that it goes really well with just abut any meal.

How to store corn and black bean salad

This salad is a great thing to whip up as part of meal prep or to make ahead of time to enjoy as a quick meal on a busy day. It keeps great for up to 3 days in your fridge when stored in an air-tight container.

The ingredients from corn and black bean salad in a bowl before mixing. A blue napkin and wooden spoon are on the side and the dressing is in a measuring cup next to the bowl.

Suggested adaptations

  • Add diced avocado.
  • Add crushed garlic to the dressing. If you enjoy the flavor of raw garlic, that would be a lovely addition to this black bean salad.
  • Serve dressing on the side. I suggest this for children especially. That way the children can drizzle the dressing themselves or skip it all together.
  • Serve it deconstructed. Again, I am thinking of the kiddos with this one. Sometimes a salad can be visually overwhelming to a child. When making this black bean salad, simply put some of the ingredients to the side. That way, come dinner time, just serve it to children deconstructed. They can enjoy the elements of the salad that they like and skip over the parts they don’t want.
  • Reduce the lime juice. I love the zip of citrus in this salad. However, if you are not a lime lover…consider reducing the amount of juice to 1/8 of a cup.
The dressing be poured over the black bean and corn salad.

Other easy savory summer recipes

Did you try this salad and now you’re hungry for more? 

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Two small bowls of corn and black bean salad on a blue napkin. Two forks and two slices of lime are on the side.
5 from 4 votes

Zesty One-Bowl Corn & Black Bean Side Salad

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Cuisine: American
Course: Salad, Side Dish
This Corn and Black Bean Salad is wildly easy to make + paired with a simple (yet zingy!) lime dressing that makes it the perfect thing to to serve as a side to any summer meal or to scoop up with chips for a veggie-filled snack or app. Oh and I've added cucumbers, bell peppers, and red onion into the mix, making this the ultimate feel-good summer salad!


Ingredients for dressing

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, optional or to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
  • black pepper to taste

Ingredients for salad

  • 2 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed canned beans will work too
  • 2 cups cooked corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 bell pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro


  • In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Set aside.
  • Combine salad ingredients in a medium bowl and pour dressing over everything. Toss to evenly coat.
  • Enjoy immediately or store in fridge for up to 3 days.
Serving: 1cup, Calories: 249kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 198mg, Potassium: 409mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 829IU, Vitamin C: 33mg, Calcium: 19mg, Iron: 2mg
Nutritional information provided here is only an estimate shared for convenience and as a courtesy. Information will vary based on ingredients + brands used to create the recipe.