Black Bean and Corn Salad is a healthy, gluten-free, summer salad recipe! Easy to make with frozen corn, canned beans, red bell pepper, cilantro, lime, dried seasonings. Corn & bean salad uses Italian salad dressing which provides the perfect vinaigrette base for this recipe. Serve as a side dish salad or with chips for a delicious dip.
Black Bean Corn Salad Recipe
Now that it's getting warmer all I can think about are healthier salads and side dishes! One of my very favorite things to make for dinner during the hot summer is grilled chicken along with this black bean and corn salad recipe. It's healthy, gluten-free (if that's something you need), and most importantly is quick & easy to make.
I love eating this as a salad with a spoon but you can also serve it as a dip alongside tortilla chips.
It keeps well in the fridge so it can easily be transported to the park, a gathering, or whatever it may be.
Ingredients You Need
Here are the easy ingredients needed for this recipe!
- Frozen Corn - Remove from the freezer about 15 minutes prior to starting the recipe. This will allow the corn to thaw so there is no pre-cooking needed.
- Black Beans - Drain and rinse these well.
- Cannellini Beans - Again, be sure to drain and rinse well.
- Red Bell Pepper
- Chopped Cilantro
- Zesty Italian Salad Dressing - Get one that you love! The taste really shines through in this salad. I love the Olive Garden Italian dressing and although it's not labeled as 'zesty' I still use it when I make this salad.
- Lime Juice - Fresh squeezed for best taste please!
- Salt, Cumin, Garlic Powder
How to Make Black Bean and Corn Salad with Italian Dressing
Black bean and corn salad is quick to make thanks to some convenient canned & frozen ingredients. The only prep work needed just takes a few minutes! Chop cilantro, drain and rinse the beans, and chop up the red bell pepper. Be sure and read below for the full recipe ingredients and detailed instructions with all my tips.
Step One : Remove frozen corn from the freezer, set it out on the counter, 15 minutes prior to starting this recipe. This will allow the corn to thaw so there is no pre-cooking of the corn needed.
Step Two : Combine the Italian dressing, fresh lime juice, salt, cumin, and garlic powder in a small mixing bowl and stir with a wire whisk.
Step Three : Combine the corn, drained & rinsed beans, red bell pepper, and chopped cilantro into a larger mixing bowl OR the bowl you will serve it in. Stir together.
Step Four : Pour the dressing mixture over the salad and stir until everything is well coated and combined. Serve right away or for best taste let it refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
Tips For Success
Here are a few of my helpful tips that will hopefully make this recipe a success in your own kitchen.
- Fridge Time : Allow the salad time to refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. The flavors develop, the salad gets cold, and it tastes much better after some fridge time. Be sure and cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap.
- Slotted Spoon : Because of the Italian dressing, liquid can pool up in this salad, I always suggest serving vinaigrette or oil based salads with a slotted spoon to avoid liquid from pooling up on your plate.
- Thaw Corn : Be sure and remove the bag of frozen corn from the freezer 15 minutes prior to starting this recipe.
- Spice It Up : If you want a kick or spice boost to this recipe then try adding some chili powder or cayenne red pepper in with the other dried seasonings.
- Beans : Be sure you drain and rinse the beans well in a colander. Run water through the beans to rinse them and then let them drain well. I even like to get a paper towel and gently press on the beans to soak up any remaining moisture.
Variation & Substitution Ideas
There are a few ways to switch this recipe up. Here are a few suggestions.
- Switch Out Beans : I happen to love the combo of black beans + cannellini beans in this salad so I make it as is. But, you can very easily use any canned bean you want. Pinto beans, navy beans, white kidney beans, and kidney beans are all great options.
- Dried Seasonings : These are so adaptable to preference. Add some chili powder or cayenne red pepper for a kick. Add additional cumin or garlic powder for a bigger flavor boost. You can really add any dried seasoning you want to this recipe! It's so adaptable like that.
- Italian Dressing : The recipe calls for 'zesty' but you can use any Italian dressing you want. I prefer the Olive Garden Italian dressing in this recipe. Just make sure you use a dressing that you love the taste of because it really shines through in this salad.
- Corn : You can use yellow corn, white corn, or a mix of both yellow + white corn in this recipe. They all taste good!
Serving Suggestions for Black Bean Corn Salad
There are many ways to serve this salad recipe. Here are some ideas!
- Serve it as a salad option and eat it with a spoon. I like to serve it with a slotted spoon to avoid lots of liquid pooling up on the plate.
- Serve it alongside chips for a dip.
- I almost always make a healthier salad recipe, like this black bean and corn salad, when I grill chicken or steak.
- It also makes a great topping for tacos, taco bowl, or burrito bowls.
How to Store Leftovers
Leftovers of black bean corn salad will store well in the fridge, covered in an air-tight container, for up to 3-4 days.
Liquid will pool up in the bottom of the bowl so be sure to give it a good stir when serving again.
Can I Make this Ahead of Time?
Yes you can! I actually suggest making this ahead of time to allow the flavors to develop together. I like to make it at least 4 hours before serving, cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap, and let it refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving it.
I think it tastes much better after some refrigeration time.
More Healthy Summer Salad Recipes You'll Love
- Avocado Black Bean Salad
- Mango Black Bean Quinoa Salad
- Fiesta Avocado Salad
- The Best Bean Salad
- Black Bean and Corn Quinoa Salad
Black Bean and Corn Salad
- 1 bag (12 oz) frozen corn (about 2½ cups corn)
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans drained & rinsed
- 1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans drained & rinsed
- 1 red bell pepper chopped small
- ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ cup zesty Italian dressing
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ** Remove bag of frozen corn from the freezer 15 minutes prior to starting. This allows the corn to thaw so there is no pre-cooking required. Set out on the counter at room temperature.
- In a large mixing bowl, or the serving bowl, combine the corn, black beans, cannellini beans, red pepper, and chopped cilantro. Stir to combine.
- In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the zesty Italian dressing, lime juice, salt, garlic powder, and cumin.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and stir well until everything is coated and combined well.
- For best taste, cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and let refrigerate for 4 hours before serving. You can also serve it right away if wanted.