A flavourful salsa with corn, black beans and avocado. Jalapeños give this salsa a bit of a kick, while the fresh cilantro and lime brighten the flavours. Perfect as an appetizer with a bowl of tortilla chips or use it to top tacos or chicken.
This corn and black bean salsa is one of my favourite things to have in the fridge. I make this almost weekly and never get tired of it.
This medley of vegetables, black beans, and a light and tangy dressing has so much flavour and it goes well with so many of the dishes I often make.
There are many variations of this recipe out there, and it is often referred to as cowboy caviar or Texas caviar. Not being from Texas, or a cowboy, I’m not sure how it got that name, but it really doesn’t matter. All I know is it is super addicting and delicious.
Many of the recipes I’ve seen call for white beans or black-eyed peas. Since I’m not such a fan of those beans I decided to make it with only the black beans.
The result is a perfectly balanced, flavourful salsa that makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
Why this recipe works
Corn and black bean salsa comes together in about 20 minutes. Once you have the vegetables diced it’s just a matter of mixing everything together.
The flavours in this dish don’t need any time to develop before serving which means you can have it ready and on the table fast. Perfect if you need an appetizer or side dish quickly and it is a game day favourite.
You don’t need to be precise about any of the measurements and you can tweak the ingredients to suit your taste.
Ingredients & Substitutions
The two most important ingredients in this salsa are the black beans and corn. From there you can customize a bit depending on your tastes.
- Corn – You can use canned or frozen. If using frozen there is no need to thaw it, it will thaw quickly once it is mixed with the other ingredients and the dressing is added.
- Black beans – You want to use canned black beans that have been drained and well rinsed.
- Onions – I prefer sliced green onions in this recipe as they add flavour without overpowering the rest of the dish. But if you prefer you could use red onions, however I suggest using less of them.
- Bell peppers – Whatever colour you like. I often use orange to add more colour, but I’ve used red, yellow and a combination of the three depending what I have on hand.
- Tomatoes – I like to use Roma as they have great texture and hold up well in dishes like this, but you can use beef steak tomatoes or even cherry tomatoes.
- Avocados – Choose a ripe avocado that isn’t too soft. The lime and vinegar used in the dressing help prevent it from turning brown too quickly.
- Jalapeño peppers – add a bit of heat. If you don’t like heat or want a milder salsa you can leave them out or remove the seeds.
Other ingredients we will use are cilantro, olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic powder, cumin and salt.
Step by Step Instructions
The best thing about these types of salsas is there is very little preparation needed.
Simply dice all of your vegetables and place them in a large bowl.
Then you are going to mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup, pour it over the vegetables, and mix everything together.
Once everything is mixed it is ready to serve.
This salsa doesn’t need any time to rest before you can enjoy it. I always dive in immediately, but if you do have time to let it sit for half and hour or so it will help the flavours blend a bit more.
Whether you decide to eat it immediately, or make it ahead of time, it’s sure to be fantastic.
How to Serve Corn and Black Bean Salsa
One thing I absolutely love about this salsa is the endless ways to serve it.
Of course, one of my favourite ways is to simply serve it with a huge bowl of tortilla chips and dive right in. These homemade air fryer tortilla chips go with it perfectly.
I love to serve it on tacos of every kind and it is great on these chipotle chicken tacos.
You can use this salsa to top dress up some chicken. The flavours in this salsa, along with the black bean and corn go perfectly with the smoky flavour of these smoked chicken leg quarters. It’s also delicious on a serving of simple roasted chicken.
I’m also not ashamed to admit that sometimes I just dive in with a spoon and eat it as is. It really is good enough to serve as a salad, especially if you add some fresh lettuce or spinach.
I actually don’t think you can go wrong no matter how you choose to enjoy this dish.
Top Tips & FAQS
I find that this salsa will last about 5 days in the refrigerator. After two or three days the vegetables will get a bit softer and the avocado may start to brown a tiny bit, but it is still delicious.
Unfortunately, this is not a dish that will freeze well. Freezing it will leave you with mushy, watery salsa.
If you feel that you would have too much leftover, it would be better to make a smaller batch.
This dish is naturally both gluten free and vegan. Just be sure to read the cans and packaging for the black beans, corn and seasonings to make sure they are safe if it’s a concern for you.
Corn & Black Bean Salsa
- 1 Cup Black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 Cup Corn canned or frozen
- 1 Large Bell pepper seeded and diced, any colour
- 2-3 Large Roma tomatoes seeded and diced
- 1 Large Avocado diced
- ⅓ Cup Green onions sliced
- ½ Cup Cilantro chopped
- 1-2 Jalapenos diced small (remove seeds for less heat)
- 3 tablespoon Olive oil
- 2 tablespoon Lime juice fresh
- 2 tablespoon Red wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon Ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon Granulated garlic
- ¼ tsp Kosher or salt or to taste
- Prepare all of the vegetables and add them to a large bowl.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice and seasonings.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetables and stir to combine.
- Serve with a bowl of tortilla chips, on top of tacos or as a side with your favourite protein.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.