This black bean and corn salsa recipe is packed with fresh flavors and nutritious ingredients. It’s great to pair with any Mexican-inspired meal, as a dip for tortilla chips or simply eat as-is for a tasty side salad.
Add some avocado for a boost of healthy fats or diced jalapeno peppers if you like a spicy kick! Customize any way you’d like for a delicious and versatile salsa.
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Corn and Bean Salsa Ingredients
This recipe uses basic ingredients that many people keep on hand. You can get creative and make substitutions to meet your needs, but I love following the recipe as-is!
- Black beans: As one of the two main ingredients, you’ll need to start with a can of black beans. You can also use freshly cooked black beans, just make sure to cool them first.
- Corn: I use frozen corn for this recipe as I always have some on hand. Of course, fresh corn is also delicious!
- Tomato: Any tomato can work for this salsa, just remove the watery seeds before using.
- Onion: I often use red onion in this recipe, but other types of onion (even green onion) can work. Red onion offers a pungent flavor which I love. Sweet yellow onions are milder and green onions are the mildest option.
- Cilantro: This is one of my favorite herbs and I don’t hold back on the amount of cilantro I use in this salsa. I know not everyone loves this herb so you can skip it or substitute for something else, but the recipe will lack flavor without cilantro.
- Garlic: Some garlic helps round out the flavors of this salsa. If you aren’t a fan of raw garlic, use ½ - 1 teaspoon of garlic powder instead (or cook the garlic first). If you’re a fan of garlic, feel free to use additional cloves!
- Oil: Some oil helps carry the flavors of this salsa and a touch of fat is always helpful for nutrient absorption! I use avocado oil for this recipe if I have it on hand, but any type of neutral-flavored oil can work.
- Lime juice: Brighten all the flavors of the bean and corn salsa with some lime juice. Citrus, or something acidic, is a key ingredient to make almost any recipe “pop” with flavor!
- Sugar: A bit of sweetness helps enhance the mild flavors of this salsa. I use regular, granulated sugar and haven’t tested out any other sweetener/ sugar options. I assume other sweeteners/ sugars should work; just note the flavors may change depending on what you use.
- Salt: This is always essential for a tasty recipe. Adjust salt as needed to meet your taste preferences.
How to Make this Bean and Corn Salsa Recipe
Black bean and corn salsa is incredibly quick to make. It’s such an easy way to add tons of flavor to any meal!
Step 1: Prep Ingredients
Start by preparing the ingredients.
You’ll need to drain and rinse a can of black beans. Freshly cooked and cooled black beans can also work if you like.
I use frozen corn for this recipe and need to cook it as part of my prep work. Use a microwave or a small pot on the stove and finish by draining away any excess water from the corn.
For the tomatoes, it’s best to remove the seeds. This prevents the salsa from becoming too watery. After you remove its seeds, finely chop the tomato. You can cut the pieces however large or small you like.
Next, finely mince the onion. Again, cut the onion to whatever size you like.
Carefully wash the cilantro and remove any large stems. Smaller stems are perfectly fine to include. Once washed, chop the cilantro.
Mince or press a clove of garlic and juice a lime. You’ll likely only need ½ a large lime to get 1 tablespoon of juice.
Step 2: Mix and Serve
Add all prepared ingredients to a large bowl along with the oil, sugar and salt. Toss to combine everything together.
You can serve this right away, however it’s best to let it chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. If you can spare this time, the flavors will have a chance to come together and taste even better!
How to Create a Balanced Vegan Meal
This salsa has all the above! The beans offer plant-based protein and healthy carbohydrates. There’s lots of vegetables and some healthy fats, although it’s a lower fat recipe.
This means you can eat this recipe as-is, like a salad! I often eat this salsa by the spoonful. To make this a well-rounded meal on its own, consider adding avocado for extra healthy fats and/or some type of grain like quinoa for extra energizing carbohydrates.
However, this is really meant to be a side dish, paired with some type of meal. Try serving bean and corn salsa with Mexican-inspired dishes like:
Black Bean Corn Dip Variations
There are plenty of tasty variations you can try with this recipe! Adding chopped avocado right before serving is a delicious way to add some richness to the salsa. Diced jalapeno peppers are great to add if you like a spicy kick!
Some other ingredients to play around with are:
- Lemon juice instead of lime
- Mango, pineapple, peaches
- Bell peppers
- Feta cheese
- Jalapeno peppers (fresh or pickled/ canned)
- Roasted corn
- Chickpeas, lentils or other beans instead of black beans
- Cucumber or zucchini
- Additional spices like cumin, ground coriander seed, chili powder
Let me know your favorite salsa ingredients in the comments below!
How to Store Leftovers
Refrigerate leftover salsa in an airtight container or jar for up to 5 days; however, it’s best to eat within 2-3 days of making.
If you make this recipe, please rate and comment below to help others benefit from your experience!
Black Bean Corn Salsa
- 2 cups black beans (19oz/540 mL can drained and rinsed; 345 g)
- 2 cups corn (300 g), I use frozen corn
- 1 cup tomato , chopped (180 g)
- ⅓ cup onion , minced (38 g)
- ⅓ cup cilantro , minced (10 g)
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 1 tablespoon oil , I use avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice , about ½ large lime
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Step 1: Prep Ingredients
- Drain and rinse a can of black beans, then add to a large mixing bowl.2 cups black beans
- If using frozen corn, cook it in the microwave or a small pot on the stove. Drain away any excess water.2 cups corn
- Remove seeds from your tomato and finely chop it.1 cup tomato
- Mince the onion.⅓ cup onion
- Wash and mince some cilantro. I like to remove the large stems before I chop it.⅓ cup cilantro
- Mince a clove of garlic.1 clove garlic
- Juice a lime.1 tablespoon lime juice
Step 2: Mix and Serve
- Add all ingredients to the mixing bowl.2 cups black beans, 2 cups corn, 1 cup tomato, ⅓ cup onion, ⅓ cup cilantro, 1 clove garlic, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Stir until everything is mixed through.
- Serve! You can serve right away or chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes for best flavor.
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About Nicole Stevens
Nicole is a vegan Registered Dietitian (RD) and founder of Lettuce Veg Out.
She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes and easy-to-understand nutrition science.