This festive corn and black bean salad packs a colorful rainbow of vegetables including corn, peppers, onions, cilantro, and dressed with a tangy, fresh dressing that takes 2 minutes to make. An easy salad that’s the perfect side dish or dip for any meal!
This salad is always requested at every family gathering. It’s full of different flavors and textures while tasting so fresh, tangy, and irresistibly good for you. My sister-in-law brought it a few years back and it’s now expected that she come with it every time. It might be a veggie lover’s dream but even our steak and potato friends gobble it up! Although cumin and cilantro are in it, I wouldn’t describe it as Tex-mex tasting, but it is zesty and fresh.
This salad is satisfying as a side dish, a topping for chicken or fish, or as a party dip in place of salsa (yum!). Just add some scoop-able tortilla chips, and you are set!
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here is an overview of what you will need with notes on substitutions below:
*Any of the vegetables can be skipped or adjusted to suit your desired tastes.
Corn: You can use frozen or canned, although I prefer thawed frozen corn.
Black Beans: I use canned black beans mostly. If you want to cook your own, here is a good recipe for Black Beans made from scratch.
Chickpeas: Also known as garbanzo beans, these are found in the canned vegetable aisle.
Olives: I always slice canned or marinated whole olives myself. I find the canned sliced olives to be too mushy. I do commonly substitute diced avocado and add diced tomatoes for a slightly creamier salad with more of a southwestern vibe.
How To Make It
It really doesn’t get any easier than this. In a big bowl, mix together all your veggies and cilantro. In a smaller bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients very well and then mix into the salad. The garlic and spices fall to the bottom rather quickly so I whisk as I pour to get all the goodness in. You could also put the spices in with the veggies and then toss with the whisked vinaigrette.
Storage And Serving Suggestions
Serve: The beauty of this salad is that it is a vibrant side dish for quick weeknight meals or potlucks and BBQs. I find myself digging in as a healthy late night snack with crackers or “Scoops” tortilla chips.
Storage: The salad with dressing on it will be good in a sealed container for up to 3-4 days. Stir well before serving.
Make Ahead Tips: The best thing about this recipe is that you can easily make them the day before. It’s actually best to wait at least an hour or two before diving in. The dressing really makes the dish come alive, but it takes a bit to meld with the flavors.
Looking for more easy summer salads for a get together? Look no further:
- Punch Bowl Cake
- Ginger Peanut Broccoli Slaw
- Chickpea Salad with Vinaigrette
- Cucumbers and Onions in Vinegar Salad
Frequently asked questions:
It really isn’t spicy at all, but feel free to add some jalapenos if you want the heat.
Yes, all you have to do is chop the veggies smaller. I have better recipes for a salsa to get the right consistency, however. I would probably mix some in a food processor to get them fine enough. It would be quite chunky this way, so add some water to thin it out a bit.
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Corn and Black Bean Salad
- ⅓ cup Green Peppers, Diced
- ⅓ cup Red Pepper, Diced
- ¼ cup red onion, diced
- 2 ½ cups Whole Corn I prefer frozen, but canned is fine
- ⅔ cup Garbanzo Beans drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup Black Olives sliced
- 1 ⅓ cup Black Beans drained and rinsed
- 3 tablespoon Fresh Cilantro finely chopped
- 3 tablespoon Olive oil
- ¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- dash Black Pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Granulated Sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Cumin
- In a large bowl, add all the salad ingredients.
- In a separate smaller bowl, add all of the dressing ingredients and whisk together.
- Add dressing to the salad and toss until evenly distributed.
- For best results, chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour to let the flavors mix. Serve as a side dish or as a dip with tortilla chips.