This easy Black Bean and Corn Salsa is a healthy year-round appetizer or delicious topping for tacos, burrito bowls, and more. It’s ready in 10 minutes and completely irresistible!
Adding balance to an appetizer or grazing menu is a habit I’ve had for a very long time. It’s something you learn when you have a house full of cheesy dip and chicken wing lovers. I just can’t do all heavy holiday or game day food without sneaking in a few healthful treats like this Black Bean and Corn Salsa.
And, the cheesy dip and wings crowd loves it too!
The fact that looks like a party in a bowl makes it perfect for everything from New Years Eve to Super Bowl Sunday.
Table of contents
- Black beans – Canned black beans are a wonderful short cut but have a high level of sodium. Look for less sodium black beans and rinse them well with cool water. Be sure to drain them well to avoid water salsa.
- Corn – Using frozen corn allows us to make this easy salsa all year long. Frozen corn has great flavor, the perfect texture, and is lower in sodium than canned corn.
- Bell pepper – A little red or orange bell pepper adds sweet, mild flavor, texture, and gorgeous color.
- Tomatoes – Roma tomatoes are the best choice for making salsa. They are meaty and have less seeds so slice easily and keep their shape. You should be able to find Roma’s in the grocery store year round.
- Onion – I love this salsa with red onion but for milder onion flavor, go with sweet yellow onion.
- Jalapeno – I always suggest dicing your jalapeno and taking a little nibble to test the heat level. Jalapenos can vary in heat level quite a bit so this is a good way to decide how much to add.
- Seasoning – I use garlic powder, cumin, and salt. You can adjust the seasonings up or down to suit your taste.
- Cilantro and lime – Classic flavors that go so well together. If you are not a cilantro fan, you can leave it out altogether or add a little fresh parsley instead.
How to Make Black Bean and Corn Salsa
- Rinse the black beans in a colander and drain them well.
- To thaw the frozen corn, place it in a colander and run cold water over it, breaking it up with your hands. Let it sit and repeat the cold water rinse a time or two until thawed.
- Combine the black beans, corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and cilantro in a large mixing bowl. Add the lime juice and seasonings and toss to combine.
- Taste and add additional seasoning, if needed.
- Avocado – If adding avocado, add it just before serving. If you want leftovers that are going to last, I don’t recommend adding avocado which will brown within a couple of hours.
- Black eyed peas – I LOVE the smoky flavor of black eyed peas in this salsa. You can double the recipe and do one can each of black beans and black eyed peas when serving a larger group.
- Fresh sweet corn – If using fresh corn, I recommend boiling it briefly or grilling it before slicing the kernels off the cob. Or sauté fresh corn kernels in a little vegetable oil in a skillet instead. Any of these methods will work to soften the corn kernels slightly. Allow the corn to cool completely before adding it to the salsa.
Storing Black Bean and Corn Salsa
Store the salsa in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve. I find the colors are at their brightest immediately after it’s mixed together or within an hour or two, if chilling.
Refrigerate and use leftovers within 3 to 4 days for the best quality.
Black Bean and Corn Salsa
- 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained well
- 1 cup yellow corn kernels, frozen and thawed (see notes)
- 1 cup chopped roma tomatoes, about 2 tomatoes
- ½ cup diced red bell pepper, from about ½ a medium bell pepper
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- ⅓ cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 lime, juiced
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the black beans, corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro.
- Add the lime juice, garlic powder, cumin, and salt, and toss to combine well.
- Serve with tortilla chips for dipping or as a topping for tacos or burrito bowls.
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