Kel’s Basic Black Bean Salad

Kels' basic black bean salad

I love black beans, especially in salads. I’ve been making this particular black bean salad for years and it’s one of my go-to dishes to take to pot luck lunches or dinners. It goes great with Mexican dishes, as a side to chicken and fish, or as a stand-alone salad. Not only is this black bean salad fast and easy to make, it is good for you and, as an added bonus, vegan. The red bell peppers and corn give it a slight bit of sweetness and a lot of crunch, and the jalapeño hot sauce and lime juice make the perfect marinade for it. It is one of my most requested recipes!

Ingredients (makes about 2 cups)

Kel's Black bean salad ingredients

  • 1 ear of sweet corn
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained (I like to use Bush’s seasoned black beans)
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, diced small
  • ½ cup green onions, both white and green parts, diced small
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, stems removed and chopped small
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 fresh jalapeño pepper, diced tiny (Optional — I usually add this, but did not have one on hand so just added extra jalapeño hot sauce and it tasted fine.)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Jalapeño hot sauce to taste
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste


Boil the corn for 6-7 minutes, remove from heat and place in an ice bath until cold. Cut the kernels from the cob.

Place the black beans, corn, red pepper, onions, cilantro, garlic and jalapeño in a large bowl.

Place beans and veggies in bowl

Add the olive oil, lime juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper and mix together well.

Black bean salad closeup

Refrigerate for at least an hour so the flavors can intensify.

I always like to make this when I’m having Mexican food, such as these delicious chicken and spinach quesadillas (recipe to follow soon!)

Dinner is served!

Sometimes I make variations of this salad, like my Easy Black Bean and Garbanzo Salad, which is also vegan and goes great with Mediterranean and Lebanese dishes. Both salads keep well in the fridge for several days.

Bon appétit!

Eat, drink and be merry!

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4 Responses to Kel’s Basic Black Bean Salad

  1. I found some Drew’s Thai Sesame Lime marinade and used that to make your black bean and corn salad. I’ve made it twice already this year, I found some sweet corn that was mighty tasty. I hadn’t been able to find the marinade for awhile, so it’s nice to have this recipe in case I run into a drought.

    • I love the Drew’s Thai Sesame, and when I use it I cut the fresh lime juice in half and eliminate the evoo. I can usually find it at Fresh Market or Whole Foods. Great stuff!

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