By: The Real Food Dietitians Posted: 5/18/22
This easy homemade black bean and corn salsa is so fresh, so limey, and so delicious as a healthy snack. Make it as an easy appetizer, a fresh addition to potlucks and backyard BBQs, or the perfect topping for your Mexican-inspired meals. This recipe is our version of the popular Cowboy Caviar, and gets tossed in the most flavorful chili-lime vinaigrette for that tangy pop of flavor in every bite.
This recipe was originally published May 2, 2019; Updated May 23, 2022.
The Last Black Bean and Corn Salsa Recipe You’ll ever Need!
We’re so confident that you’ll LOVE this corn and bean salsa recipe, that we think you should just go ahead and print extra copies for your friends right now. It really is that good! The combination of fresh ingredients, the variety of textures, and the flavor-enhancing chili-lime vinaigrette make this homemade salsa a winner!
Not only does this homemade black bean corn salsa recipe hit high marks on everyone’s flavor chart, but it’s also chock full of real-food nutrition! Scroll down to see some ingredient highlights and the printable recipe card with instructions, as well as the complete nutrition analysis.
Ingredients to make black bean and corn salsa
Here are the pantry staples and fresh ingredients to gather to make this easy black bean corn salsa at home. The only other thing you need is some tortilla chips for serving:
- Black beans – you’ll need a 15-ounce can of black beans; can sub canned black-eye peas or pinto beans, if desired
- Canned corn – we call for a 15-ounce can of corn, but you can also use frozen and thawed corn or fresh corn cut from the cob (boiled or grilled first)
- Roma tomatoes – we love to use Roma tomatoes (you’ll need 2 to 3) because they hold up well in this salsa, but you can use any type of fresh tomato
- Sweet bell pepper – you’ll need 1 small bell pepper, or for more color, use half of a small green bell pepper and half of a small red bell pepper
- Red onion – can sub in half of a small white or yellow onion
- Fresh cilantro – of course you can skip this ingredient if you don’t like cilantro, but we love the fresh flavor that it adds, so we include a generous amount
- Jalapeño – may omit, if you desire less heat
- Avocado – this adds a wonderful creaminess to the black bean and corn salsa, as well as healthy fats to help you absorb all the vitamins in the other ingredients
For the Chile-Lime Vinaigrette:
- Olive oil or avocado oil
- Lime juice – use the juice of 2 small limes, fresh squeezed; lime juice is recommended, but you can use lemon juice in a pinch
- Garlic – you’ll need 2 cloves or 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
- Honey – or use maple syrup for vegan-friendly salsa
- Ground cumin
- Chili powder
- Crushed red pepper flakes – you’ll need just a pinch for medium heat in this salsa, but if you like things spicy, you can add a little more to taste
- Sea salt and black pepper
Want a more tropical twist? Add some drained and diced pineapple or mango to this salsa.
How to make black bean and Corn salsa
Grab your favorite cutting board and Chef’s knife and get chopping. In less than 20 minutes, you’ll have fresh and delicious big batch of corn and black bean salsa ready for dipping!
- Combine the salsa ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the drained and rinsed beans and corn, the fresh tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, and avocado.
- Whisk together the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, garlic, honey, and spices.
- Toss the vinaigrette with the salsa: Pour the vinaigrette over the salsa, toss gently, and serve right away or chill until ready to serve.
Healthy ingredients in black bean and corn salsa
This incredibly fresh homemade black bean corn salsa is popping with flavor AND health. In fact, every single ingredient in this salsa is bringing some important nutrition to the table. Here’s more about a few of the all-star healthy ingredients:
- beans – one of our favorite staple healthy ingredients, beans are chock full of good-for-digestion fiber, plant-based protein, and heart-healthy minerals like potassium, magnesium, and iron
- corn – corn kernels are an antioxidant-rich whole grain (yes, it’s a grain) that contains fiber, vitamins, and powerful carotenoids that are good for your eye and brain health
- tomatoes – this bright ingredient is a rich source of vitamin C, as well as an antioxidant called lycopene, that is great for your heart health, skin protection, and fighting off free radicals
- avocado – most well-known for its heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, avocados are also a great source of several essential vitamins and minerals that help with metabolism, brain function, and keeping skin healthy
- olive oil or avocado oil – also a great source of beneficial fats, both of these oils can help you absorb fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) that are in the other ingredients in this black bean and corn salsa
- lime juice – a great source of immune-boosting vitamin C, lime juice can also help with iron absorption and promote healthy skin
You’re Also Getting A versatile vinaigrette!
And let’s talk about the amazing chili-lime vinaigrette for a moment, shall we? The simple homemade vinaigrette that you pour over the tomatoes, beans, corn, and other veggies is truly what makes this Black Bean and Corn Salsa so irresistible. But it doesn’t stop there. You can use the vinaigrette as a great marinade for chicken, shrimp, or pork chops. Also, drizzle it over roasted or grilled veggies or use it as a flavorful salad dressing.
When to serve Black Bean and Corn Salsa with Avocado
We think it’s obvious that perhaps the best way to enjoy this homemade corn and bean salsa is to mix up a batch, invite some friends over, and enjoy it while sipping on our Real Food Margarita. But it’s certainly not the ONLY way to love this salsa. Try it:
- as a topping for tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, and enchiladas (try with our Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos, Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa, or Vegan Enchiladas)
- to make plain grilled chicken breasts sing with a topping of this salsa
- as a stand-alone fresh vegetarian salad
- spread on a plate and topped with grilled shrimp or scallops
- as a topper for a toasted cheese-filled tortilla (the ultimate quesadilla)
- as a topping for grilled steak, fajitas, baked potatoes, or a side dish addition to any Mexican-inspired meal
Can I make Black Bean and Corn Salsa Ahead of Time?
We don’t recommend making this recipe too far ahead of serving time. Making it a few hours ahead is just fine. But because of the fresh avocado, it’s best if you make it just an hour or two before you dig in. However, if you’ll be in a hurry the day you want to serve it, here are some make-ahead steps you can do up to 2 days in advance to save you time:
- pre-chop the hard veggies (the onion, bell peppers, and jalapeño)
- pre-mix the vinaigrette and store it in a jar in the refrigerator; shake before you stir it into the salsa
How to store Leftovers of Corn and Bean salsa
The fresh avocado in this black bean and corn salsa will start to brown after a day. It will still be safe to eat, but just won’t be as pretty as when it was freshly made. We recommend you store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator and use them up within 2 days.
Servings: 6 cups (10 to 12 servings) 1x
For the Salsa
- 1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed well
- 1 15-oz can yellow corn, drained and rinsed
- 2–3 Roma tomatoes, diced (1 cup)
- 1 small bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, diced (¾ cup) (we use ½ green & ½ red)
- ½ small red onion, diced (½ cup)
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 jalapeño, stem and seeds removed, finely diced
- 1 large avocado, diced
For the Chile Lime Vinaigrette:
- ¼ cup olive oil or avocado oil
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice (2 small limes)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- In a large bowl, combine the drained and rinsed beans and corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and avocado; set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the salsa ingredients. Gently toss until the dressing is distributed evenly.
- Serve immediately with tortilla chips.
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This salsa is best when made just before serving, but can be made up to 2 hours ahead. For the freshest salsa, add the diced avocado and toss with the vinaigrette just before serving. Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup
- Calories: 135
- Fat: 7 g
- (Sat Fat: 1 g)
- Sodium: 155 mg
- Carbohydrate: 16 g
- (Fiber: 4 g
- Sugar: 4 g)
- Protein: 4 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
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