Make summer complete with this crowd-pleasing Black Bean Salad with Avocado. It’s fresh, tangy, and perfect for picnics, potlucks, and barbecues.
Corn and black bean salad with avocado
No backyard cookout is complete without a big bowl of this Black Bean Salad with Avocado. Every bite features a refreshing and colorful mix of beans, summer vegetables, lime juice, and creamy avocado. Scoop it up with tortilla chips and enjoy the zesty, protein-packed goodness all day long!
There are endless reasons why you’ll fall for this black bean salad. It’s a picnic staple, just like macaroni salad and potato salad, but is super light and stays fresh in the fridge for days. The summer veggies are tossed in a vibrant lime, oil, and agave dressing, taking each bite way up a notch. It’s seriously addictive!
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
- Black beans – Canned black beans can be drained and rinsed in no time. If you really want to impress your guests, cook the beans yourself.
- Corn – Freshly shucked ears of corn (cooked or raw) will taste best. For a quicker option, use canned or defrosted frozen corn.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Lime juice – Squeeze the limes yourself for the brightest, most vibrant flavor.
- Olive oil – A little oil goes a long way here. Feel free to leave it out if you’d prefer to make the salad oil free.
- Agave – The subtle sweetness helps cut through the tart lime juice and spicy cayenne. If you don’t have agave syrup at home, use maple syrup instead (although this will affect the flavor).
- Cayenne pepper – It’s spicy! Tone down the heat by substituting paprika or cumin.
- Avocados – Freshly chopped avocados add so much creaminess to this salad. Be sure to add them at the last minute to keep them as green and delicious as possible.
How to make black bean salad
It’s so easy to make this delicious salad! Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, and cilantro to a large bowl. Drizzle the lime juice, oil, agave, cayenne, and salt over top. Stir, then chill. Stir the avocados in right before serving. The full, printable recipe is below in the recipe card.
This isn’t your typical salad. Sure, you can eat it with a fork, but scooping up the zesty mix with tortilla chips is so much better!
The Mexican-inspired flavors make this a wonderful side dish to serve year-round next to vegan tacos, enchiladas, nachos, and quesadillas. Once summer hits, bring a batch with you to picnics, potlucks, and summer barbecues. It’s easy to make ahead of time and stays fresh for days, making it a great last-minute addition to any party or for meal prep.
Did you end up with leftovers? Scoop them into lettuce cups for a quick, healthy, and protein-packed snack.
Store the leftover salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. The avocado will brown quickly, so keep it separate if possible.
Want more potluck-perfect salads?
Black Bean Salad with Avocado
- (2) 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups fresh or frozen corn*
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
- 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons agave
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- 2 large avocados, chopped
- In a large bowl, add the black beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, agave, cayenne pepper and salt.
- Mix well, then cover and place in the refrigerator to chill until ready to serve. This could be 30 minutes or overnight.
- Right before serving, add the avocados, or they will brown. Stir them gently in, then serve and enjoy! I like to eat it either in a bowl, lettuce leaves or with tortilla chips.
- I prefer using fresh shucked corn if possible, but frozen or even canned will work. You don’t have to even cook it first, but sometimes I do anyhow. It’s good either way! If using frozen, simply thaw it first. Drain and rinsed canned corn.
- Feel free to leave out the tomatoes or used another kind of diced tomatoes in place of cherry tomatoes.
- Oil free? Simply leave out the olive oil.
I have a new favorite salad here in South Africa now, tks Nora! Leaving it overnight blends those flavors, absolutely amazing the difference. I used maple syrup. I added some fresh coriander just before serving simply because I love coriander. The bowl was empty in no time, definitely making it again soon, come on summer 🙂
Hi Ruth, in South Africa! I love it! I’m thrilled you love the salad! Your additions sounds delicious! Thank you for your wonderful feedback and review. Happy cooking!
I usually do not follow recipes to a T. But I did on this one (except for the addition of a small young onion..) I am in France and Black beans are hard to find, so i subed with red beans and fresh corn is not an easy find either so i used canned corn. It was nevertheless really good, everyone loved it. I would insist on the fact that it really needs to stay 30 mn together in the fridge, because i tasted it when putting it in the fridge and after 30 mn and the taste was not the same. The 30 mn completely revealed the lime juice and coriander tastes. That went with barbecued spicy vegetal sausages that we find here that are really good and a pot of hummus. And baguette, of course! 🙂 Thank you Nora!
Hi Florence. You are welcome! I love that my recipe is being made in France! Thank you for sharing your feedback and review! I’m so glad that you love the salad!
I shucked fresh corn and browned it in a pan. I put it all on top of a spinach/arugula mix. So delicious!
Wow! Sounds so delicious! Thanks for sharing!
What would you use instead of agave? Honey?
I would use maple syrup instead or just leave it out!
This tastes amazing, really refreshing and great for summer!
I’m so glad you loved it! Thank you for using my recipes, and for sharing your fantastic feedback!
Just bought fresh corn to make your corn chowder (again). Last time I used frozen corn. Think I’ll keep some to make this salad as well. Thanks for your recipes – I use them often.
Sounds like a wonderful idea, Cleta! Fresh corn would be so flavorful in this salad. Thanks so much for using my recipes! 🙂
Love the marriage of lime juice and agave.
I added 1c quinoa and some yellow bell pepper for variety
I like the sound of those additions, Karla! Thanks for your wonderful review!
This is one of my favorite salads. So simple, easy, and most importantly… delicious! I have had requests for this salad in my household.
Thanks for your wonderful review! So glad you guys love the salad!
Delicious with tortilla chips! Followed your recommendation of not adding avocado until ready to eat. So glad I did…looking forward to eating for lunch at work!
Hi Tracy! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review and comments! I’m glad you love the salad!
Every time I make this and take to a gathering, I get rave reviews, and even if there is some left at the end of the meal, I never get to bring any home because people steal it! ? I use one can black beans, 1 can small red beans.
That’s so great! Thanks so much for the great comment!
Hi, do you think this would be good if I were to make it more like a salad by mixing in a bunch of spinach/greens into it? As oppose to just eating it with romaine leaves. Thanks!!
Yes, I think that would be delicious! Enjoy!
Very popular at summer get togethers, love this dish.