This Black Bean and Corn Salad is the perfect make-ahead side since it’s served cold and requires NO cooking! It’s vegetarian and vegan friendly, and literally all you do is mix some stuff in a bowl and call it a day.
My in-laws are in town, so it’s been a very fun week of walking around town, enjoying the mild summer in New England (very different from the Texas they are used to) and of course, eating.
Since Zach and I cook so much from home, whenever we visit with his parents we always make them dinner. When we visited last, it was chicken piccata pasta (yummmm). This time, it was easy chicken enchiladas with my new favorite side dish: black bean and corn salad.
This recipe was a happy accident that I think I may make this every week this summer. Why, you ask? I will tell you why.
- It’s SO easy to make. (it takes 10 minutes and minimal effort)
- It’s served cold, so you can make it ahead of time and just take it out of the fridge when you are ready to eat. And it’s super refreshing.
- I can think of a million things to do with it (as a side, as a salsa with tortilla chips, on tacos, on top of grilled fish or veggies…)
- It’s budget-friendly!
Did I mention it’s delicious? The dressing is my favorite part- extra virgin olive oil, lime juice and zest, salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne, and a touch of honey to balance out the acidity of the limes. Yum yum yum.
Guests coming into town does not have to be a stressful affair in terms of providing delicious food to eat. It can be very tempting to go out to eat for each and every meal when you have company, simply because it’s easier. But with a little planning ahead, making a home-cooked, healthy, and impressive meal from scratch really isn’t that hard. For this meal, I had made chipotle enchilada sauce weeks ago and frozen half of it, so I just pulled that out of the freezer. I marinated the smoky mexican pulled chicken ahead of time, so I only had to cook and shred it, and assemble the enchiladas the night of dinner. While they were cooking, I made this black bean salad, inspired by the latest issue of Food Network Magazine’s 50 picnic salads article. The prep work for the entire meal only took about 20 minutes, so I was able to enjoy the company of my family while waiting for the enchiladas to cook.
Note: I updated this post as of April 2017 with new photos and some adjustments to the recipe. The old one had avocado in it, but I chose to take it out simply because they don’t hold up very well in a make-ahead dish. If you want, throw some in there! It will be delicious. I also adjusted the amounts of the ingredients a touch to make a larger amount- I suggest making a half batch is you don’t need too much.
Black Bean and Corn Salad
This Black Bean and Corn Salad is the perfect make-ahead side since it’s served cold and requires NO cooking! It’s vegetarian and vegan friendly, and literally all you do is mix some stuff in a bowl and call it a day. Serve as a side, on top of greens as a main course salad, or use as a salsa with tortilla chips!
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 10 mins
- Yield: 8
For the Dressing:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons honey
- zest and juice of 2 limes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the Salad:
- 3 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 16 oz. (about 3 cups) frozen corn, thawed and patted dry
- 2 jalapeño peppers, de-seeded and diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced (I used 1/2 red and 1/2 orange for color)
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- Whisk together olive oil, honey, lime juice, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients to bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Mix and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Serve cold.
For a vegan version, substitute the honey with agave or sugar.