The One Summer Salad Absolutely Everyone Should Know By Heart

This classic black bean salad is a staple recipe to have in your summer repertoire. It’s packed with bright, refreshing flavors like corn, tomatoes, and cilantro, and has a kick from fresh garlic, jalapeño, and red onion.

The salad starts with two pantry staples — canned black beans and corn — which provide a hearty base. Be sure to drain and rinse both under running water to remove the excess salt and murky canning liquid. Next, you’ll toss in diced fresh tomatoes and creamy avocado, along with all the seasonings. It’s important to chop all the ingredients into small pieces, so that they’re just a bit larger than the beans and corn kernels, which will make the salad easier to eat.

A proper balance of salt and lime juice is key because the salt and acid make the flavors of all the other ingredients pop, so be sure to taste the salad before bringing it to the table.

A Simple Summer Salad with Endless Possibilities

Another great benefit of this black bean salad is that it doubles as a chunky dip for tortilla chips (be sure to buy the scoop-shaped ones!) or as a filling for burritos or quesadillas. 

The salad gets even better after it sits out a little and all the flavors have melded, making it perfect for picnics, potlucks, and backyard barbecues. The salad’s chunky texture and freshness pair perfectly with anything grilled (from vegetables to burgers), and if you’re cooking indoors, it’s a great complement to crispy seared fish or tofu.

Black Bean Salad with Corn and Avocado


  • 1 (15-ounce) can

    black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 (15-ounce) can

    corn kernels, drained and rinsed

  • 1

    medium tomato, diced

  • 1

    medium avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced

  • 1/2

    small red onion, finely diced

  • 1/2 cup

    packed fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped

  • 1

    medium jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed, finely diced

  • 1

    small garlic clove, minced

  • 2 tablespoons

    freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 lime), plus more as needed

  • 1 tablespoon

    canola or other neutral-tasting oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper


  1. Toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Taste and season with more lime juice or salt, if needed.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: This can be made up to 1 hour in advance.

Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 4 days.

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