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A large white serving bowl filled with black bean and corn salad with two gold serving spoons tucked in beside the salad.

Zesty Black Bean and Corn Salad

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Tex-Mex, Mexican
Keyword: BBQ Side Dish, black bean and corn salad recipe, Easy side dish recipe
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Resting: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 37 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 183kcal
This Zesty Black Bean and Corn Salad is everyone's favorite BBQ side dish. However, it's great year-round, too. In the Summer, get fresh sweet corn, grill it, and the cut off the kernels! All the prep work can be done up to 2 days in advance (except peeling the avocados). Assemble an hour before serving!
Print Recipe


  • Gas or charcoal grill


  • cups corn 4 ears, grilled, and cut from the cob, or frozen, completely thawed
  • 2 15 oz cans black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper cored, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
  • ½ cup red onion finely chopped
  • 1 avocado skin and pit removed, roughly chopped

For The Cilantro-Lime Dressing

  • cup cilantro fresh, chopped
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup lime juice fresh
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin ground
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper freshly ground


  • Place corn, beans, bell pepper, jalapeno, onion, and avocado in a large bowl.
  • Prepare the dressing by adding all of the ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Affix the jar and shake vigorously for 1 minute until well combined.
  • Pour the dressing over the veggies and bean mixture. Use two large wooden spoons to gently mix the salad until all the components are coated with the dressing.
  • The salad is okay to serve immediately, but is even better if covered with plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.



To prepare the corn, heat your gas or charcoal grill to medium heat.  Brush olive oil over 4 ears of corn with all the silk removed.  Add a dash of salt all over the corn.  Place on the grill, and cook, turning occasionally, until slightly charred in places, about 15 minutes.  Allow the corn to cool, and then hold the corn upright in a shallow bowl.  Carefully, and slowly, use a large knife to remove the kernels from the cob.  
Everything can be prepped up to 2 days in advance, except for the avocado.  1 hour before serving, prep the avocado, then place everything in the serving bowl.  Gently mix, chill for 1 hour, and then serve. 
If you remove the seeds and the ribs from the jalapeno, then there will be very little heat with the salad.  Omit the jalapenos, or only use half for no to extremely little spice.  Double the jalapeno, or leave some seeds in for more heat.
If making the dressing in advance, be sure to shake it (or whisk it) vigorously before adding to the salad.
If serving outdoors in very hot weather, consider placing the salad in a bowl that will fit into another large bowl lined with ice.  The salad will keep inside on the counter for several hours.
Though the salad is tasty the following day, it is definitely best served within an hour of assembling. 


Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 551mg | Potassium: 301mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 762IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg