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This easy corn and black bean salsa recipe is ready in minutes using fresh or canned corn. Enjoy it as an appetizer, healthy snack, or side with your favorite Mexican dishes.
With these dips, we have to add a protein like chicken or fish to make it a meal. But are we done when it's black bean salsa with corn (a.k.a cowboy caviar)?
It's a debate I have in my head, especially when I don't feel like making dinner. 🙂
This healthy appetizer has all the right stuff: hearty black beans, fresh veggies, fruit, and even grains with a side of tortilla chips. It's truly a meatless dish that's ready in 15 minutes.
This homemade salsa comes together with a tangy dressing of lime juice, red wine vinegar, and fresh cilantro. So it's hard to stop at a few bites.
Rather than fighting the urge to have just a few chips, make a big batch, call it a salad or a rice bowl. Now dinner is done!
Here's what you'll need for the best corn and black bean salsa:
- Corn kernels - Check out how to microwave corn in the husk in just a few minutes. Fresh, sweet corn is ideal. One large corn cob is about 1 cup. However, a can of corn or defrosted frozen corn can be used.
- Fresh tomatoes, such as Roma tomatoes. Any type will work, but Roma or plum tomatoes are easy to work with because only the thick outer flesh is needed.
- Red onions, sweet white onions, or green onions.
- Black beans - We used a can of black beans that was low in sodium. Of course, you can use beans cooked from scratch. You can also use white beans or black-eyed peas instead.
- Cilantro if you're a lover of this herb like me! Otherwise, leave it off or use parsley.
- Red wine vinegar. I've never used anything else. But some readers have used apple cider vinegar and balsamic vinegar.
- Fresh lime juice or bottled juice. Lemon juice is an alternative.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Other ingredients you may want to use:
- Avocado - Wait to add this ingredient until just before serving to minimize browning.
- Red bell pepper
- Feta cheese - I like to serve this on the side to keep the recipe vegan.
- Jalapeno peppers can be added to increase the heat level.
- Grilled corn would be fantastic.
Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions.
Directions with Pictures
Make corn and black bean salsa by combining fresh ingredients if possible! Amounts are provided. But this is a more or less recipe. Add more of what you love, and leave out what you don't like!
- Remove corn from the cob. We started with this ingredient because you can stand the corn cob in the bowl and use a sharp knife to remove the kernels. It's perfectly ok for some to stick together!
- Drain and rinse canned corn.
- Dice tomatoes. If using grape or cherry tomatoes, cut them in half or quarters.
- Finely dice the red onion.
- Drain and rinse the black beans.
- Snip the cilantro. I love cilantro and always add a little extra.
- Add everything to a large bowl, along with lime juice, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix to combine, then let the salsa rest in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. The longer it sits, the better it gets! Stir again before serving.
Serving Ideas for Corn Black Bean Salsa
This black bean corn salsa recipe is not just for chips!
- Top fish (such as Lemony Baked Basa) or chicken for a Southwestern flare.
- Add it to rice bowls or tacos.
- Add it to salads like Layered Taco Salad in a Mason Jar.
- Top a baked potato or sweet potato with it.
Store leftover black bean corn salsa in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 days.
More Healthy Salsa Recipes
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Easy Corn and Black Bean Salsa Recipe
- 1 cup corn kernels cooked, about 1 large corn cob or about 1 can, rinsed and drained.
- 1 cup plum tomato diced, about 2 medium
- ½ cup red onion diced, about half of an onion
- 1.5 cups black beans drained and rinsed (15-ounce can)
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the ingredients as indicated and then add everything to a large bowl. Follow directions to Microwave Corn on the Cob with the husk in place.
- Stir to combine, and then let rest for about 10-15 minutes so the flavors meld together. Stir again before serving.
- Serve with chips or on top of your favorite Mexican Dish!
This recipe was originally published on May 2, 2013, and was updated to improve the reader experience.