Black Bean Tomato Corn Side Salad

4 Reviews / 5 Average
This is a perfect dish for all of those fresh tomatoes and cobs of corn that are now in season. It's super simple and quick to throw together before heading off to a BBQ or picnic. This Tomato, Corn & Black Bean Side Salad recipe would also make a great dip!
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Corn, Black Bean and Tomato Salad on 100 Days of #RealFood

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If you’re looking for a recipe with fresh corn to make into one crowd-pleaser of a side, put this black bean tomato corn salad on the menu!

Fresh Black Bean Tomato Corn Salad Recipe

I totally ruined our first batch of local corn by overcooking it by a long shot. I only boiled the second batch for 3 minutes and it was still overdone! I guess the third time really is a charm because I finally decided to boil the corn for 1 short minute and it was perfect. So keep a close eye on that pot if you use fresh corn too.

How to Cook a Recipe With Fresh Corn

Fresh corn adds an excellent flavor and texture to every spoonful! One word of caution though, freshly harvested corn does not have to be cooked long at all. I used to buy corn from the grocery store and boil it for 10 – 12 minutes, which seemed to be adequate.

How to Cook With Dried Beans

I also want to mention a little something about the beans in this recipe (or any recipe that calls for beans). I used to always buy canned beans and think nothing of it. Now that I am actually reading the ingredients I have realized the advantage of dried beans – no added salt!

Dried Beans are a Great Low Sodium Alternative!

Isn’t it odd that a bag of dried beans has 0 mg of sodium, but a can of the very same beans would have hundreds of grams of sodium in it? I will be the first to tell you that it doesn’t always work out for me to remember to soak the beans the night before, so I like to have a back-up can on hand (since it is a whopping 99 cents extra) just in case I forget.

I am happy to report though, I just learned that the Earth Fare brand of canned organic beans have incredibly low sodium (maybe only 15 mgs…but don’t quote me on that) so next time you are there stock up on some of those for sure!

Try this Santa Fe Salad too!

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48 thoughts on “Black Bean Tomato Corn Side Salad”

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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe! Easy to make, very forgiving, and a nice way to use things up. I literally searched ‘what can i make with black beans, onion, tomatoes, corn, cilantro’ because I had those things to use and this page came up! Love, love, love it.

    I added a touch of diced jalapeno (after tasting, of course, and it was great as is!) and about a quarter teaspoon of cumin to make it taste a little more Tex-Mex, the bowl was empty in no time.

    If you are super pressed for time, you could even use commercial dressing (red wine vinegar, balsamic, asian sesame, etc), just don’t forget to check before you add salt & garlic, and of course don’t add the oil and vinegar :>) Chick peas would also work really well.

    This salad is easy to make into a dinner salad. Some leftover rotisserie chicken, or a pound of sauteed shrimp would be great. Throw in some rolls, if you like them, and voila! dinner.

    Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Jeannine Guerriero

    Love this blog so much!!! Just an FYI, Eden brand also makes canned organic black beans with no salt added. 15mg sodium can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks!!!!

  3. 5 stars
    Easy and delicious! This will definitely be a regular dish at our house. Served it as a side with quesadillas.

  4. 5 stars
    So hard to find organic corn though. Even Whole Foods doesn’t have it. Corn has a lot of GMO so that’s why I avoid it. You can buy organic frozen, but it’s not the same as fresh.

  5. Hi Lisa, this looks like a great side dish. Is there any particular type of corn you use? I’ve read that corn is a GMO food and not sure if it was safe to eat. Thank you!

  6. love this recipe — definitely use cilantro — i made it for a party and put it in the center of a ring of guacamole — served with tortilla chips — so you could get a bit of guac and some of this on a chip — it was great and pretty, too!

  7. Hi, I live in a tiny town and the closest “Whole Foods” style store is almost 200 miles away roundtrip. It’s just not feasible for us to go there.

    We only have 3 grocery stores in our area: Walmart, Meijers, and Kroger. I don’t eat meat, so that’s not a problem, but we don’t have a farmers market with local food.

    Is there any way my family can still eat all real food?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Stephanie. Yes yes! :) Just do your very best as your shop even with limited resources and avoid that processed stuff as much as possible. You might find it difficult to follow all the rules especially when it comes to local foods, but even stores like Walmart are getting better about what they stock….and I find Kroger to be particularly responsive to customer demand. Don’t give up if you find one particular rule difficult, just work around it. Strive simply to do better…you do not need to be perfect. You will find our FAQ pages helpful:

    2. I know this response is very late, but I can get all the real and organic food I need at Meijer and/or Kroger. Meijer especially has a great organic selection.

  8. Do you have to cook the black beans if they are canned? Or do you only have to cook them if you are using dry beans? Thanks!

  9. What do you serve this with? Do you have an entrée or meat that it goes well with? I can’t wait to try it!

  10. 5 stars
    Just a fun thing to try — I never boil corn any-more as I now put it in the oven in a very wet towels. I strip down the corn just like when your going to boil it but I take a 9×13 pan and a flour sack towel and a reg. size terry towel both soaked in water. I put the flour sack towel down first and load in the corn and you can stack them on top of each other is you need to (I have cooked as many as 14 to 16 in one tray–I fold the flour sack towel over the corn then place the terry towel over the top (your terry towel should be almost dripping wet–I may add some water over the top of the covered corn — place in the over at 400 for 45 to 60 min’s—AMAZING and never over done—in the really hot months I just put our corn on the top rack two at a time of our outdoor grill wrapped in foil with water and butter and cook till the meat is ALL done. :)

  11. I know this is a super old post, however. You don’t have to cook fresh corn at all, we always eat ours raw off the cob and it is sooo yummy. We also like frozen corn and peas in our lunches. When we do cook corn we don’t boil it either (unless it’s going into soup) we simply put it in the microwave in its covers and cook on high for a few minutes.

  12. I found a great way to cook I used to boil mine as well, but never will do that again.

    You bring water to boil..then add 2 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp white vingear. Add corn. Cover with lid and remove from heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes. I usually do 5 minutes. The corn is cooked perfectly!

  13. I just made this, but substituted frozen corn and cilantro. Yummy! It’s more of a “dump in a container with a lid and shake” type of recipe. Love it!

  14. A good way to “fake” soaking dried beans is to boil them for 30 minutes and then drain.

    A pressure cooker is a fantastic way to cook dried beans without having to soak. A Crock pot also works well for cooking beans – start soaked (or “fake” soaked beans) in a crock pot with plenty of liquid and a (locally raised) ham hock. Let it cook on low all day, and you have a big pot of beans that can then be eaten on for several meals.

  15. Just discovered your site, can’t wait to get started! Like you, I thought we were doing fairly well already. I still have a few processed things in the pantry, and will have to wean my honey from raw sugar in his coffee. He might not mind the switch to honey. Ha!

    I have such a hard time remembering to take my beans out of the freezer! My sister-in-law and I recently pressure-canned many pints and quarts of pinto and black beans so we’d have them at the ready whenever we need them. Refried beans take 10 minutes from chopping the onion to serving them up, when your beans are cooked *and* thawed. ;-)

    I’m going to make this bean salad for dinner tonight, with salad and salmon. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Oh, and you can always take the leftover beans and put them in the blender to make refried beans. We serve refried beans for breakfast with fresh eggs and a serving of homemade raw milk cheese!

    1. How do you (anyone?) make “Raw Milk Cheese”? I’ve been making my own Yogurt for years and have wanted to know how to make Cottage Cheese also. Thanks.

      1. Ruth, how do you make your own yogurt? My 6 year old eats yogurt daily (and currently, not the good kind. I just discovered clean food 2 days ago)

      2. Homemade ricotta cheese is really simple and SOOO delicious! Heat 4 cups milk (I use whole milk, but you could use 2%) 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt to a soft boil and remove from heat. Add 2 Tbsp. white vinegar and let sit undisturbed for 2 minutes. Slowly stir with a wooden spoon until curds separate and a clear-ish liquid is seen. Pour into a sieve lined with damp cheesecloth and set over a bowl. Leave for 15 minutes (less for a softer cheese). That’s it. You can use immediately and/or refrigerate for up to 5-7 days. Bonus: the clear liquid is whey. I bottle it and use it for smoothies, in pancake batter and anywhere you might use buttermilk. Fewer calories than buttermilk, but same probiotic effect.

  17. Great recipe, I can’t wait to try it! I live outside of the US and beans are a staple in our diet. We eat beans several days a week and love them. I never ever buy canned beans (in fact, canned beans aren’t even available here) and always cook them from scratch. Don’t worry if you forget to soak them overnight, it really isn’t necessary. In fact, I haven’t soaked my beans overnight in a couple of years. What I do is wash them and put them in a crockpot in the morning with fresh garlic, tomato, onion, green pepper and seasoning (and plenty of water, of course). I set the crockpot for 9 hours and the beans cook slowly throughout the day without me having to worry about them and are nice and soft and ready to eat at dinnertime. We serve them with rice and like to top them with fresh cilantro and lime! Yum and cheap!

    1. Beth Petersheim

      I never soak mine overnight. I do the “quick soak” method shown on the bag of beans. It takes about 2.5-3 hours total that way (an hour of it is soaking).

      I also make extra beans and put them in pint size mason jars and freeze them. A pint mason jar is equivalent to a can from the store.

  18. Oh so yummy! I made this yesterday for a cook-out and everyone really liked it. I did not have tomatoes, nor red onions on hand, so I substituted a red bell pepper that I chopped up. I believe it was just as good! I was also excited to be able to use my own cilantro (1st time having my own herb garden), by just going out my back door and not having to spend $2.00 at the store for a small bunch ~ yippee :)

  19. Tiff @ love, sweat, and beers

    Thanks for the inspiration! I think I too will make a cold veggie salad for my cookout tomorrow.

  20. I batch crockpot cook beans then freeze them in cup sized portions. Then they are convenient, because I am a bad planner on having beans soaking at the ready. Canned beans also contain BPA, unless they specifically say they don’t, it’s in the lining of the cans. Eden brand foods has BPA free beans, but it’s unlikely to score those for $.99. Looking forward to making this!

  21. I love this salad! I have been making it (or a variation of) for years as my go-to dish for parties. Always a crowd favorite! I love to add sliced avocado and a squeeze of lime to add an extra layer of goodness. Also, leftovers make great topping for fish or tacos! Great summer dish! Thanks for sharing!!

  22. I already copied and saved this recipe. It’s going in my recipe binder! :) YUM!!

    Keep in mind that if you have to make beans one day, you might as well make several big pots at once. Then cool the beans and measure them into ziploc bags for the freezer. :) I think a little over 2 cups is about what’s in a can….but can’t remember for sure.

  23. I’m going to make this tomorrow for the beach. But I’m going to throw it in a pita or maybe tortilla.

  24. Love your website! Thanks for helping all us moms who want to eat healthier, less processed or non-processed foods. And as a note , Eden Organic canned beans (plain – different varieties available) have no added salt. :) Yeah!

  25. Kristi Billingsley Toms

    Hey Lisa–
    Tried a take on this recipe last night. Served it over salad greens (which I know you’re not a fan of really…!) and had some flaked salmon on top… It was really good! I think my hubs had more this morning w/ his eggs… :) Thanks for sharing a great recipe!

    1. Oh that sounds like a good combo and my husband would love that too b/c he is really into salad greens AND salmon! Thanks for the comment Kristi!

  26. If you rinse the canned beans then it gets rid of most of that added sodium, just so you know (in case you have to use that back up can).