Fresh Corn Salad

Fresh Corn Salad with black beans, avocado, tomatoes and a zesty chili-lime dressing. This corn salad recipe is one of the best summer side dishes!

Corn salad with black beans, avocado and tomatoes in a white serving bowl with a spoon.

This corn salad is one of my all-time favorite summer recipes! When I was first testing this recipe, I was hoping that it would turn out to be a delicious and easy side dish for summer meals.

This corn salad recipe turned out to be even better than I had hoped! It’s so tasty that it immediately became one of my family’s very favorite recipes. Now I look forward to fresh corn season just so I can make this summer corn salad.

Why you’ll love this corn salad recipe:

  • It is really easy to make.
  • It’s full of fresh and flavorful ingredients.
  • You can make it ahead. (Tips for that below.)

Fresh sweet corn, tomato, avocado and black beans are tossed in a homemade chili-lime Mexican dressing. Cilantro, cheese and red onion add even more flavor to this summer salad.

Cold corn salad is the best after it chills in the refrigerator for a day. The flavors blend together and it’s hard to resist eating the whole bowl!

Close up of the finished dish.

Serve this black bean and corn salad as a side dish with grilled chicken, grilled pork chops or turkey burgers. Or, enjoy it as an appetizer, with tortilla chips for scooping up the salad.

How to make corn salad

There are three simple steps to making this salad: cook the corn, make the dressing and assemble the salad. Here’s a quick overview of each step. You’ll find the full recipe below.

Cooking the Corn

This recipe starts with fresh sweet corn on the cob. I prefer to cook the corn on the grill, because grilled corn adds so much flavor to the salad.

If you don’t want to head outside to the grill, you can cook the corn for this corn salad recipe in your Instant Pot using my Instant Pot corn on the cob recipe. You can also boil the corn on the cob for 5 to 8 minutes, until the kernels are tender.

To grill the corn for this recipe, remove the husks and silks, wrap the corn cobs in foil, and grill over medium heat for 15 minutes. Grilling corn is so easy! If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it. Also see my grilled vegetables in foil recipe.

Grilled corn on the cob sitting on top of foil.

Corn Salad Dressing

The dressing for this salad is a simple combination of lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper. To make the dressing, whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.

Combine the Ingredients

Before assembling the salad, be sure to allow the cooked corn to cool completely. Then, slice the corn kernels off the cob and place them in a large bowl. Add black beans, tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro.

Pour the dressing over the salad and gently stir until everything is well coated. Finally, stir in Cotija cheese and avocado. If you can’t find Cotija, feta cheese is a good substitute.

Make Ahead Tips

This corn salad tastes best if it is chilled in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. This time allows the flavors of the salad to blend together.

The salad will stay fresh for up to two days in the refrigerator. It is best to add the avocado right before serving, to prevent the avocado from browning.

Black bean and corn salad in a white bowl with lime and cilantro next to the bowl.

More Summer Salad Recipes

Fresh Corn Salad

Corn salad with black beans, avocado and tomatoes in a white serving bowl with a spoon.
Print Pin
5 from 3 votes
Fresh Corn Salad with black beans, avocado, tomatoes and a zesty chili-lime dressing. This easy corn salad recipe is one of the best summer side dishes!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword black bean and corn salad, corn salad, corn salad recipe
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings 6 servings
Calories 286kcal

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 4 ears fresh corn
  • 15 ounce can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes halved
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • ½ cup cilantro chopped
  • 3 ounces Cotija cheese crumbled*
  • 1 large avocado chopped

For the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice about 3 limes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  • Heat grill to medium heat. Remove husks and silks from corn; rinse and pat dry. Wrap each ear of corn in foil and grill for about 15 minutes, until tender when pierced with a knife, turning every 5 minutes. Let stand wrapped in foil for 5 minutes. Unwrap carefully as the corn will be very hot. Let cool.
  • While the corn cools, make the dressing. Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Once corn is cool, carefully use a sharp knife to slice the kernels off the cob. Place corn kernels in a large bowl.
  • To the bowl with the corn, add the black beans, tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine. Stir in the Cotija cheese. If serving the salad within 2 hours, you can stir in the avocado now. Otherwise, wait and add the avocado right before serving. Salad is best if chilled for at least 2 hours before serving.

Notes

  • We like this salad best with grilled corn, as directed in the recipe. You can also cook the corn in your Instant Pot or boil the corn on the cob for 5 to 8 minutes, until the kernels are tender.
  • If you can't find Cotija cheese, feta is a good substitute.
  • Salad will stay fresh for 1-2 days in the refrigerator. If you plan to make the salad ahead, it is best to add the avocado right before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 recipe | Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 646mg | Potassium: 669mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 570IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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