This simple Black Bean and Corn Salsa is packed with flavor, and thanks to the beans it also brings plant-based protein to the party. Made in just 15 minutes, this is the perfect appetizer, side dish, or double the recipe and serve it as a salad.
At any social gathering, I'm the one hovering around the appetizer station. Got a Vegetarian Cheese Board? I will crush that. Got hummus and veggies? Consider it gone. Give me a bowl of salsa and I am one happy girl. Put beans in that salsa? Hoo baby, I am one happy Nutrition Lady.
This Black Bean Corn Salsa recipe is a tortilla chip's best friend. A match made in snacking heaven, if you ask me. But it's more than just a dip! Corn and black bean salsa is also great served alongside tacos, quesadillas, nachos, burrito bowls, grilled vegetables, and more. And TBH, if you double the recipe it works great as a salad as well.
It's an appy! It's a side! It's a salad! What's not to love about this homemade salsa?!
This Black Bean and Corn Salsa recipe uses easy-to-find ingredients that you might even have on hand already. They tend to be pantry staples in the HNL household, and should be available in your regular supermarket. You'll find specific quantities in the printable recipe card at the end of this post - just use the jump to recipe button to get there quickly.
- Black Beans --> Canned black beans are perfectly fine, or learn how to cook black beans from scratch.
- Corn --> Fresh sweet corn, frozen corn, or canned corn niblets are all fine.
- Tomato --> A medium tomato diced up into chunks.
- Jalapeno --> For a little bit of kick!
- Limes --> We're going to be using fresh lime juice in this recipe.
- Cilantro --> Cilantro haters can use parsley instead.
- Honey --> Or another liquid sweetener to keep it vegan.
- Oil --> I've used avocado oil for its neutral flavour, but you can definitely use another oil like olive oil instead.
- Spices --> We're using ground cumin, dried oregano (use Mexican oregano if you can find it!), salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
How to Make Black Bean and Corn Salsa
Guys, this recipe is soooooo easy to make. You'll find detailed instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post, but let's walk it through here step by step, with pictures. I recommend that you start by getting all of your chopping out of the way, and then things will come together super quickly.
Step 1: Start by making the dressing. In a large bowl, whisk together lime juice, honey, avocado oil, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper.
Add the diced red onion to the dressing to marinate while you're preparing the other ingredients. This will mellow it out a bit and ensure the salsa isn't overwhelmed by raw onion flavour.
Step 2: Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn kernels, and sauté for a few minutes, until they're just starting to brown. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Note: If you're using fresh corn, you can also throw it on the grill whole and slice off the kernels once you've got a nice char on it.
Step 3: Add the black beans, diced tomato, minced jalapeno, corn, and fresh cilantro to the bowl with the dressing. Stir to combine, taste, and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
At this point, we recommend you keep the salsa in the refrigerator for an hour before serving to allow the flavours to develop.
Tips for the Best Black Bean Salsa
This recipe is so simple and comes together in practically no time at all, but there are of course a few things you can do to ensure the best results.
Marinate your onions
Whether you're using red onion, yellow onion, or finely minced shallots, I find that letting them marinate quickly in the dressing really improves the flavour and removes a lot of the bite. It doesn't take any extra time, and the results are much better.
Refrigerate the salsa
Refrigerating the salsa after everything is mixed together will allow flavours to develop. You can certainly serve it immediately after you make it and it will still be delicious, but for maximum flavour let it rest for at least and hour in the fridge.
Use a slotted spoon
If you're serving this salsa individually, use a slotted spoon to allow it to drain a bit before transferring to plates.
Use fresh beans
Canned black beans are perfectly fine and are super convenient. But have you tried cooking black beans from scratch? Hoo baby, they taste soooo much better. You can also switch things up and use another type of beans, like black-eyed peas, if you like.
Use fresh corn
I live in part of the world where fresh sweet corn can be hard to find except for a few weeks in the summer, so I tend to use frozen corn in this recipe and it works great. But when you have fresh corn on hand, I really recommend you give it a try for this Corn and Black Bean Salsa. It's soooo good!
Make it yours
You can mix and match the ingredients according to what you have on hand and what you like best. Got bell peppers? Put 'em in! Love garlic? Fresh veggies on hand? Add some!
If you keep your salsa in the fridge in an airtight container, it will last for about 3-5 days.
You sure can! Simply adjust the number of servings in the recipe card below, and it will adjust the quantities for you. A big batch is great to have on hand!
The recipe as written uses a bit of honey, which is not considered vegan. Simply use a bit of agave nectar or maple syrup in place of the honey, and it's completely vegan.
It sure is! Made with a combination of black beans, corn, fresh vegetables, and fresh herbs, this corn and black bean salsa provides dietary fiber, protein, and many vitamins and nutrients. It makes a great appetizer, snack, or side dish.
Black Bean and Corn Salsa Recipe
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice approx 2 limes, juiced
- 1 teaspoon honey or other liquid sweetener
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil or another neutral flavoured oil
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- ½ cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 15 ounce can black beans drained and rinsed (or 1 ½ cups cooked black beans)
- 1 cup corn kernels either sliced from a fresh corn cob if in season or frozen is fine
- 1 medium tomato finely diced
- 1 small jalapeno pepper seeds and ribs removed and finely minced
- ½ cup cilantro leaves minced
- Start by making the dressing. In a large bowl, whisk together lime juice, honey, avocado oil, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper.¼ cup fresh lime juice, 1 teaspoon honey, 2 Tablespoons avocado oil, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Add the diced red onion to the dressing to marinate while you're preparing the other ingredients. This will mellow it out a bit and ensure the salsa isn't overwhelmed by raw onion flavour.½ cup finely chopped red onion
- Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn kernels, and sauté for a few minutes, until they're just starting to brown. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.1 cup corn kernels
- Add the black beans, diced tomato, minced jalapeno, and cilantro to the bowl with the dressing. Add the cooled corn, and toss to combine well.1 15 ounce can black beans, 1 medium tomato, 1 small jalapeno pepper, ½ cup cilantro leaves
- Refrigerate for an hour before serving to allow the flavours to combine.
- Serve with your favourite tortilla chips, tacos, etc.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only