This black bean and corn salad comes together in no time, no chopping required! It’s a quick way to get fresh food on the table.

Black bean and corn salad

Guess what? You can make a kickin’ fresh black bean and corn salad in just 5 minutes, no chopping required. This one is on repeat at our house because it’s so simple and so tasty. It’s zingy and refreshing, with a burst of sweetness from corn and zingy lime. Even better, it’s so easy to put together that you’ll find it becomes a “back pocket” idea for all sorts of occasions. Bring it to cookouts and picnics, eat it as a side or a dip: the sky’s the limit!

Ingredients in this black bean and corn salad

Many black bean and corn salads take 20 to 30 minutes to make with all the chopping involved. Your knife and cutting board are dirtied, and you end up with tomato seeds all over your counter. Of course, we’re not averse to this on the regular! But we designed this black bean and corn salad to be a quick lunch time hack, or a lightening fast appetizer for dipping with chips. Here are the secrets:

  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 cup fresh pico de gallo, aka fresh salsa (purchased)
  • Cumin, salt and olive oil
  • Optional: Cilantro and lime zest

It’s a true dump and stir recipe! Add a little salt, cumin, and olive oil. If you’d like, add a bit of torn or chopped cilantro and lime zest to bring out the flavor. That’s it! Mind blown.

Black bean and corn salad

The key: fresh pico de gallo

This black bean and corn salad is only possible because of one thing: it’s easy to find fresh pico de gallo in modern grocery stores. (This is true in American stores, at least!) You may also see it labeled as “fresh salsa” or “salsa fresca.” Pico de gallo translates to “beak of the rooster” in Spanish. It’s a type of salsa made with fresh tomatoes. The ingredients in pico de gallo include:

  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Jalapeno pepper
  • Cumin
  • Garlic (optional)
  • Cilantro
  • Fresh lime juice

The nice thing about using purchased pico is that you can find it in the fresh food section, already chopped up and ready to mix into your salad! The pico de gallo also helps to make a natural dressing for the salad with the acidity of the lime juice. Mix that with a drizzle of olive oil, and you’ve got a dressing!

Alterative: make homemade pico!

Don’t have access to fresh store-bought pico de gallo or fresh salsa? Depending on your location, you might not be able to pick up a container of this magical mixer. That’s ok: just make your own pico! The salad will take a little longer to make, of course. But it’s worth it for the flavor! Just make a half recipe of our Best Pico de Gallo recipe.

Black bean and corn salad

Use canned or fresh corn

You can also vary the corn in this recipe! Most often, we like to make it with canned corn because it’s so quick and simple. But if it’s the season, this is a great corn on the cob recipe! Simply use 1 ½ cups corn cut off the cob. You can use raw corn or boil the corn on the cob before using it in the salad.

Flavor boosters

This black bean and corn salad is delicious as is. But when we have them on hand, we like adding three simple ingredients to boost the flavor:

  • Fresh cilantro: You can add it either torn or finely chopped. It adds a nice green color to the salad and fresh flavor. Use a large handful (no need to measure).
  • Lime zest: If you have a fresh lime on hand, it adds a nice refreshing flavor as well. We typically use about ½ lime, grated with a Microplane grater.
Burrito bowl
Add corn and black bean salad to a burrito bowl for a satisfying meal

Ways to serve corn and black bean salad

This black bean and corn salad is endlessly versatile! You can serve it for so many different occasions. This might just seem like a simple recipe: but we think it decreases the barriers between you and fresh, plant-forward eating. And for that, we think it’s a genius combination! You can make it into a lunch, dip, or healthy dinner idea like:

More black bean recipes

What can you do with a can of black beans? Let us count the ways. Here are some of our favorite black bean recipes:

This black bean and corn salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Black bean and corn salad

Easy Black Bean and Corn Salad (5 Minutes!)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This black bean and corn salad comes together in no time, no chopping required! It’s a quick way to get fresh food on the table.


  • 15-ounce can black beans*
  • 15-ounce can corn (or 1 ½ cups fresh corn cut from the cob, raw or boiled)
  • 1 cup fresh pico de gallo, aka fresh salsa (purchased, or 1/2 recipe Pico de Gallo)
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil 
  • Zest of 1/2 lime (optional)
  • 1 large handful fresh cilantro, chopped or torn (optional)


  1. Drain and rinse the black beans. Drain the corn. In a bowl, mix them with the pico de gallo, salt, and olive oil.
  2. If desired, add torn cilantro. Serve immediately with a slotted spoon as a side salad, in a rice bowl, in tacos, or as a dip with tortilla chips.


*For a party size, double the ingredients. 

**You’ll find this packaged in the refrigerated section at your local grocery: it may be labeled pico de gallo or fresh salsa. If you can’t find it, make homemade Pico de Gallo.

  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Fresh
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Black bean and corn salad, corn and black bean salad

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. Hi! I made this and it’s delicious! I was wondering how long it stays good in the refrigerator, thanks for sharing it!