Black Bean Salad, variations


I use black beans all the year round. They’re delicious and versatile, and they’re also healthy. I make black beans from scratch, refried black beans, black bean soup, black bean gratins, black bean dips, black bean enchiladas and black bean flans. Fortunately, everyone in my family loves black beans.

In the summer I tend to throw black beans along with other goodies together to make salads – especially when I have company. And it’s so surprising how well these salads go over. You can make them ahead of time and they’re so easy!!!

These black bean salads are vegetarian, but you can always serve grilled chicken or shrimp to top the salad, for those who desire more protein.

So here are three versions of a black bean salad. The first is extremely easy, and a little more effort is required for the next two versions. I just want you to know that no matter what you do, it will work! Use the ingredients you love and get creative!

Summer Black Bean Salad, version 1

2 cans black beans, well drained
1 can whole corn, well drained
1 fresh tomato, seeded, diced
1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh cilantro

For this super easy salad, combine the black beans, corn and tomato together in a large bowl. Add the tomato, the juice of the lemon, and the olive oil.

Then season with salt and pepper and give everything a gentle toss.


If you want, the salad can be made ahead of time and sit and room temperature up to an hour before serving. If you need to refrigerate the salad, don’t add the tomatoes until the last minute before serving. Especially if you refrigerate the salad overnight. Toss again, taste for seasoning, and then serve at room temperature.
note: If you want this salad more Southwestern inspired, add about 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander. And then add a small can of chopped green chilies. Super fast and easy!

Summer Black Bean Salad, version 2

2 cans black beans, well drained
1 can whole corn, well drained
1 small zucchini, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 small purple onion, finely chopped
2 jalapenos, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
4 tablespoons olive oil
Chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons salt
Cayenne pepper, optional

In a large bowl, combine the beans, corn, zucchini, red bell pepper, tomatoes, purple onion, jalapeno and garlic. Toss together gently. Then add the lemon and lime juices, olive oil, cilantro, and seasoning. Toss again gently.
As with the above salad, let sit at room temperature before serving, if you wish, so that the flavors come together. Then serve at room temperature.


Summer Black Bean Salad, version 3

This salad is mostly like the last salad, with all of the fun goodies included, but the dressing is different. For this salad I used the Green Goddess dressing that I posted recently.

You don’t have to use this dressing, you can just add some chopped avocado to the salad if you prefer, but I liked the addition of the creamy dressing. It’s an option. But it’s a really good option. It’s just a little more work to make the dressing. I actually liked the green goddess dressing so much that I whipped up a batch! That’s why there’s a bottle of it in the photos.
I actually meant to roast some fresh corn on the cob for this last salad but I completely forgot. That would have been instead of using the canned corn. But it just goes to show that you can create your own salad and make it your own. Use the ingredients that you love, whether they’re canned or not. And season how you wish as well. You’re the one eating the salad!!! Enjoy!


note: With any of the these salads, vinegar can definitely be used instead of the lemon and lime juices. It’s just that lemon and lime juices go so well with beans. It’s just a choice.

30 thoughts on “Black Bean Salad, variations

  1. Very Brazilian feel, I must say… I am quite intrigued by your black bean flan…

    My Mom used to force me to have black bean soup once a week, saying it would make me grow tall. HA! THAT was a lie, we all know that, right? ;-)

    I absolutely hated that soup, and now I wish I could try a bowl of that home-made delicacy… We do get wiser with time…

    • Yes, it’s true… I just mix pureed black beans with eggs and cream, seasoned, and cook them in a ramekin, so the presentation was really pretty. I turned them out of the ramekins.
      So, are you tall?

  2. I love this recipe..and your BOWLS! I have a thing about bowls..especially rice bowls. Now this is getting funny. Anyways keep it up! This is easy for me to make..but I think my husband should make his own dinner tonight considering I’m pretty sick.
    Thank you again!

  3. My wife is always laughing at me for buying canned beans. Why do you buy them? she wants to know. Exactly for salads like this that I I can throw together in no time! Thanks. Ken

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