Fresh Black Bean and Corn Salad

How to make our favorite black bean and corn salad with tomatoes, onion and lime. Perfect as a side salad or with chips as a corn salsa. 

Smoky Black Bean and Corn Salad Recipe

How to Make Black Bean and Corn Salad

Raw, roasted, barbecued, in burritos, sautéed, we’ll take corn anyway we can get it. One of our favorite recipes is this one. It’s not so much a recipe as a “throw everything we adore into a big bowl and stir” kind of dish.

We like to make this a few hours in advance (it’s even great the next day). Black beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic, jalapeño and lime juice are added to the corn to give the salad lots of flavor and textures. (If you love black bean salads, take a look at our heartier black bean and quinoa salad that was inspired by this salad.)

How to Make Black Bean and Corn Salad

We love fresh corn for this — it’s so crisp. When we can’t find it, rinsed canned corn or thawed frozen corn works perfectlyWe also add some smoked paprika. Smoked paprika is not the same as sweet paprika (which is often sold with the word “Paprika” on the label). Smoked paprika, sometimes labeled hot Pimentón or hot Pimentón de La Vera is a little spicy and as the name suggests, very smoky. It’s perfect for this corn salad.

Add smoked paprika

The options are endless when it comes to serving — spoon over chicken, grilled vegetables, eggs or whatever else you can think of. Or serve it like a salsa with tortilla chips or as a topping for grilled bread or bruschetta. This would also be incredible added to these veggie burritos or on top of some vegetarian chipotle bean chili!

How to Remove Corn Kernels from the Cob

  1. Start by husking the corn, removing the outer green husks and the silk strands.
  2. Place the corn cob vertically on a cutting board, holding it firmly with one hand.
  3. With a sharp knife, carefully slice downward along the length of the cob, cutting off the corn kernels. Try to cut close to the cob to get the most kernels.
  4. Continue rotating the cob and cutting off the kernels until all the corn has been removed.
Removing corn kernels from the cob

More Dips and Salsas

  • Homemade Guacamole — Here’s how we make the best Guacamole at home.
  • Pico de Gallo — With just 6 simple ingredients, you’ll have fresh, zesty, delicious tomato salsa in no time.
  • Roasted Salsa Verde — Try our easy roasted salsa verde recipe with lots of flavor thanks to roasted tomatillos, peppers, and garlic.
  • Easy Pineapple Avocado Salsa — With fresh pineapple, avocado, jalapeño, red onion, and fresh lime.
  • Roasted Tomato Salsa — Tomatoes, garlic, and peppers are charred on all sides then added to onion, cilantro, and lime for a flavorful and addictive salsa.

Fresh Black Bean and Corn Salad

  • PREP
  • COOK

Our favorite black bean and corn salad with tomatoes, onion and lime. Smoked paprika (sometimes labeled hot Pimentón or hot Pimentón de La Vera) is perfect added to sweet crisp corn, black beans and ripe tomatoes. We love spooning this over just about anything and can easily down the whole bowl in one sitting. This is also perfect to serve with tortilla chips or as a topping for grilled bread or bruschetta. If you like things spicy, add more jalapeño or add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce. We love fresh corn for this — it’s so crisp. When we can’t find it, rinsed canned corn or thawed frozen corn works perfectly.

Makes 6 servings (about 3/4 cup each)

You Will Need

2 medium ears corn, or 2 cups corn kernels

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans

2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 jalapeño, seeds removed and finely minced

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Salt to taste


    1Prepare a bowl filled with ice and cold water.

    2Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil then cook corn kernels until crisp tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately submerge corn into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Drain.

    3In a medium bowl, stir the corn, black beans, tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeño, lime juice, olive oil and smoked paprika. Season with salt — we start with 1/2 teaspoon and go from there. Cover with plastic wrap then refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Smoked paprika, sometimes labeled hot Pimentón or hot Pimentón de La Vera, is not the same as sweet paprika. It is a little spicy and very smoky. Look for it in the spice aisle or online. If you cannot find it, try adding a little cumin to the salad.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size about 3/4 cup / Calories 205 / Protein 9 g / Carbohydrate 33 g / Dietary Fiber 8 g / Total Sugars 5 g / Total Fat 6 g / Saturated Fat 1 g / Cholesterol 0 mg / Sodium 341 mg
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher

Recipe updated, originally posted July 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

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14 comments… Leave a Review
  • Mary @ Kitchen Diva July 5, 2022, 7:20 pm

    Easy and tasty, too. I added fresh cilantro to the mix and it was perfect! Agree with comments to up the lime

  • Haris Khan January 7, 2018, 1:50 pm

    I am following all your recipes religiously, they are quick and healthy and I like your tips and refrigerating time you provide. Do you how long this recipe can be stored in fridge?

    • Joanne February 8, 2018, 3:05 pm

      Hi Haris, The salsa will keep 3 to 4 days in the fridge. You might find that the tomatoes bread down a little, but the salsa will still taste great.

  • Deb Littler June 1, 2015, 5:21 pm

    Another 5 star recipe. I like things on the spicy side so I chopped one entire jalapeno with its seeds, used a couple of cloves of minced garlic and increased the lime juice and oil to 3T vs 2T. Smoked paprika is a great addition… but be aware that it will darken the color of the salsa if you are storing it for a day or two. Taste is still great and the color change is only an issue if you’re looking to keep the original fresh color palate. I’ll be including this dish in an upcoming birthday bash cook out! THANKS as always for great easy and tasty recipes.

  • MrsJennyK June 6, 2014, 11:00 am

    I made this to take to my kids’ preschool end-of-the-year potluck and it was a huge success! I love smoked paprika and it worked really well in this dish. I’ve pinned it and will definitely be making it again. And again. And again!

  • Zandrea November 10, 2013, 3:30 pm

    This is the best corn and bean salsa I have ever had! After I made it the first time I made it every week for almost 2 months! It was a big hit at a friends gathering as well. So good and so healthy! Thank you so much for this recipe, its a keeper!

    • Joanne November 11, 2013, 11:01 am

      So glad you enjoyed it! This is a great salsa to entertain with – it holds up very well over time.

  • Judith Greenberg August 11, 2013, 4:40 pm

    This looks really delicious. Can’t wait to try it.

    • Joanne August 12, 2013, 12:32 pm

      Thanks, Judith. Hope you love it!

  • Steven July 22, 2013, 2:26 am

    This recipe is quite tasty. Today I had garden fresh corn and tomatoes to use to make it. I will make this again, but likely will boost the smoky paprika and lime juice to give it a bit more punch.

    • Joanne July 23, 2013, 5:16 pm

      So glad you liked it — love that your corn and tomatoes were garden fresh!

  • Elen Grey | Deep in B-ville Writing Over the Garage July 19, 2013, 1:16 pm

    The Michigander Sister texted Monday, “I’m making this salad.” I texted back, “Bwahaaha. Me, too.” It was fabulous. We ate it all week in our Canadaland heat index meltdown. The lime with the garlic — have mercy! I’m making another batch today. Oh. And she loved it, too! Cheers.

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef July 14, 2013, 12:44 pm

    So fresh and colorful! That’s a perfect summer dish. I’ll save it for when you folks decide to give summer back. 🙂

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar July 12, 2013, 3:49 pm

    So simple and pretty! I’m loving summer corn too, and this is the perfect recipe for it!


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