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Corn salad in a white bowl

Fresh Corn and Black Bean Salad

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This delightful Fresh Corn and Black Bean Salad features the peak of season sweet corn and just shouts summer!

A delicious way to enjoy the fresh, seasonal corn on the cob. Tossed with a light lime vinaigrette, you’ll want to make this Corn Salad Recipe again and again.

Fresh Corn and Black Bean Salad in a white serving bowl

Fresh Corn and Black Bean Salad

I shied away from black beans for years, but this fresh corn and black bean salad convinced me of their wonders. Frequently my lunch in the summer, this salad can be tweaked in so many ways.

Add, subtract or substitute ingredients.  Use scallions instead of red onion or add another can of black beans. Toss in a generous pinch of cumin. Chop everything into a finer dice and use this mixture as a salsa with corn chips. So many marvelous options.

Corn and Black Bean Salad in a wavy white bowl

Summer Corn Salad or Salsa

I grew up in Iowa, and one of our summer jobs was to detassel corn. Back in the day, our goal was to be out in the sun as much as possible to get that coveted bronzed skin. Practically as white as a ghost with my Irish heritage, I usually took on the glow of a lobster versus that of a tanned bathing beauty. But my girlfriends and I always signed up to work the fields so we could be outdoors when the sun’s rays were at their peak. I have the wrinkles to prove it!

Anyway, I always thought Iowa had the best sweet corn till I moved to Indiana. Down the road, we have a produce stand where “gourmet” peaches and cream corn is harvested in the morning and sold fresh in the afternoon. Tender and super sweet, it is truly one of our favorite tastes of the summer. And it’s ideal for this terrific corn salad. If you don’t have access to peak of the season corn on the cob, feel free to use a couple cups of defrosted frozen corn. You’ll be delighted either way!

Overhead view of Fresh Corn and Black Bean Salad in a white bowl on a red and white checked napkin

Tips for Making this Corn and Black Bean Salad

  • This highly adaptable salad is best when you can procure fresh, local sweet corn, but even without that option, it’s a delicious dish.
  • Steam, boil or microwave the corn on the cob as desired. Fresh corn only needs about 3 minutes of cooking just to eliminate the raw flavor. If your corn is extremely fresh and tender, it can be used raw.
  • If corn is out of season, you can substitute a good quality frozen corn, defrosted.
  • PRO-Tip: To cut corn off the cob, position your cooked cob upright in a large bowl and cut from the top to the bottom around the perimeter. You’ll want to slice close to the cob. A big bowl will help contain kernels that might fly off the cob.
  • I like using some larger segments of corn as shown in my photos, but feel free to break the corn into very small pieces if that’s your preference.
  • If you’d like to serve this salad as a salsa, cut the ingredients into smaller pieces and serve with tortilla chips.
  • This salad is highly adaptable. Add or delete ingredients according to your tastes. Use chopped fresh garden tomatoes instead of grape tomatoes. If you love black beans, add a second can. Add some chopped cilantro, pickled jalapenos instead of fresh, or sliced green onions instead of red onion. Make it your own.  And if you like this combination of ingredients, this Quinoa Black Bean Salad is marvelous, too!
  • PRO-Tip: If you do not like the sharp taste of fresh onions, soak your chopped or minced onion in cold water for 15 minutes before using. Drain well and add to your salad.

Can This Corn and Black Bean Salad Be Made Ahead of Time?

Yes, this black bean salad can easily be made the night before. Just don’t add the avocados until before serving as they are fragile and can break apart when you toss, then retoss the salad before serving. Always recheck the seasonings before serving as you may want a touch more salt or lime juice depending on your palate.

What Can I Use in Place of Fresh Corn?

If you don’t have access to peak of the season corn on the cob, feel free to use a couple cups of defrosted frozen corn. I’m not a fan of canned corn, so I would not recommend replacing the fresh corn with canned. 

More Fresh Corn Recipes You’ll Love:

When Indiana sweet corn is in season we take full advantage and eat it once or twice a week. Tender and delicious, it’s perfect for salads, salsas and more!

I adore this Spicy Mexican Corn Salad based on a Mario Batali recipe as well as this Grilled Corn with Basil Butter which is a simple way to shake up your corn on the cob.

This Easy Sauteed Corn is a less messy way to enjoy the flavor of fresh corn, Fresh Corn and Tomato Salad is dressed with an incredible balsamic basil vinaigrette, and these Fresh Corn and Basil Cakes are a fabulous summer side dish!

What’s your favorite way to eat fresh summer sweet corn?


Corn and Black Bean Salad | Fresh sweet corn, black beans and avocados create the foundation for this delightful salad

The Recipe: Corn and Black Bean Salad

This delightful summer salad was inspired by my friend, Diane.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 6 servings



  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 4 ears of cooked corn, cut off the cob or 2 cups frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half.
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • chopped cilantro, optional


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the first 5 ingredients.
  2. Stir in the corn, beans, onion, peppers, avocado and cilantro, if using. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 259Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 274mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 9gSugar: 8gProtein: 8g


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