Southwest Black Bean and Corn Salad

A bowl of southwest black bean and corn salad

kjohansen / Getty Images

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 6 servings

A quick and easy Southwestern-inspired vegetarian and vegan corn and bean salad recipe with black beans, avocados, lime juice, bell peppers, dressed in zippy and zesty fresh lime. Lastly, it has an olive oil dressing with a touch of salt and cayenne pepper.

We love bean salads: They're easy to stick in a container and pack in lunch boxes or office bags, they're high in protein and fiber which is great for everyone, and, best of all, they're simple, cheap and easy to prepare, with plenty of options for adding or substituting ingredients without too much trouble. Like it spicier? Add some hot sauce. Hate bell peppers? Use pimentos. If you are cooking for kids, omit the cayenne pepper and let them smother it with ketchup. Got a ton of roasted garlic on hand? Great, toss it in! You really can't go wrong with most bean salad recipes, and this one is no exception. 

This Southwestern black bean and corn salad recipe is vegetarian, vegan and also gluten-free. 


  • 2 15 ounce cans black beans (well-drained)
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels (use fresh cooked, frozen or canned, but of course fresh is always best)
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 avocado, diced (optional but delicious!)
  • 3 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 4 green onions (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the drained black beans, corn kernels, diced bell pepper, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro, and gently toss.

  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, sea salt and cayenne pepper until well combined. A common method is to shake it all together in a mason jar rather than whisk it together.

  3. Pour this dressing over the beans mixture and gently toss to combine well and coat all of the bean salad ingredients. 

  4. Gently fold in the diced avocado just until well dispersed. If your avocado is too soft and fragile, you can also just place the avocado on top of individual portions. 

If you have some extra time, this black bean salad recipe is best prepared a few hours before servings, so that you can chill it in the refrigerator (for at least an hour) to allow all those great Southwest flavors to mingle and fully develop. 

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