Got a busy household? This vegan Black Bean and Corn Salad makes the perfect weeknight dinner. Make in 30 minutes! It’s vibrant and flavorful, and can also be used in entertaining and social gatherings. Savory black beans, sweet golden corn, vibrant red peppers, juicy tomatoes, spicy onions and creamy avocado are the base of this salad. Then it’s then infused in flavors with a zesty lime dressing.
This salad is a symphony of colors and celebrates food. It’s versatile and can be used for a simple family mal to a buffet to celebrate an occasion. This masterpiece of taste and nourishment, is a testament to the art of simple yet exquisite vegan cuisine.
As a Side Dish: Serve the salad alongside your favorite main course dishes. It complements grilled vegetables, veggie burgers, plant-based protein sources like tofu or tempeh, or any other main dish you enjoy.
Taco Topping: Use the salad as a flavorful and nutritious topping for tacos. Spoon it onto soft or hard taco shells. Then add some shredded lettuce, guacamole, and your favorite vegan cheese.
Burrito Bowl: Create a burrito bowl by placing a base of cooked rice or quinoa in a bowl. And then add a generous scoop of the black bean and corn salad. Top with salsa, sliced avocado, and a sprinkle of vegan cheese.
Wrap or Sandwich Filling: Roll the salad into a large tortilla or use it as a filling for a sandwich or wrap. Add some greens, sprouts, or other veggies for added crunch and freshness.
Bell Peppers: Use the salad as a filling for stuffed bell peppers. Then bake them for a flavorful and nutritious entrée.
Dip with Tortilla Chips: Serve the salad as a dip with crispy tortilla chips. It’s a great appetizer option for parties or gatherings.
Picnic or Lunch: Pack the salad in individual containers for a refreshing and satisfying lunch option. It’s perfect for picnics, work lunches, or on-the-go meals.
Potluck or Gathering: Bring the salad to potlucks, barbecues, or family gatherings. Its vibrant colors and flavors make it a popular and visually appealing dish.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do you need to cook black beans in a can?
Canned black beans are typically pre-cooked and ready to eat, so you don’t necessarily need to cook them again. However, you might want to rinse and drain the canned black beans before using them in your Vegan Black Bean and Corn Salad. Rinsing the beans can help remove excess sodium and the starchy liquid that they are canned in.
If you prefer, you can briefly heat the canned black beans on the stove or in the microwave before adding them to your salad. This step is optional and can help enhance the flavors if you like your beans to be slightly warmed.
What pairs well with black bean and corn salad?
Grilled Vegetables, such as zucchini or asparagus pair well for a well-rounded and colorful meal.
Tofu or Tempeh that has been marinated and grilled can complement the salad nicely, providing additional protein and texture.
Serve the salad over cooked quinoa or rice to create a satisfying and balanced bowl.
Add a side of homemade guacamole or sliced avocado for extra creaminess and flavor.
Enjoy the salad alongside a slice of warm vegan cornbread for a comforting and complete meal.
The citrusy flavors in the salad’s dressing make it a great companion to dishes with lime flavors, such as lime-infused rice or citrus-marinated proteins.
Serve the salad with a side of cilantro-lime rice to enhance the overall flavors.
Can Black Bean and Corn Salad be made ahead of time?
Yes, you can definitely make a black bean and corn salad ahead of time and add the avocado later to maintain its freshness and texture. Here’s how you can do it:
- Prepare the Salad: Mix the cooked black beans, corn, diced onions, bell peppers, cilantro, lime juice, and seasonings in a bowl according to the recipe instructions. You can also add any other desired ingredients at this stage.
- Refrigerate: Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or transfer the salad to an airtight container. Place it in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to meld. The salad can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
- Add Avocado Just Before Serving: Avocado tends to brown when exposed to air, so it’s best to add it just before serving to keep it fresh and vibrant. When you’re ready to serve the salad, dice the avocado and gently fold it into the salad mixture.
- Season and Garnish: Give the salad a final taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. You can also garnish with extra chopped cilantro, lime wedges, or a sprinkle of additional seasonings.
- Serve: Serve the black bean and corn salad with avocado immediately, and enjoy!
By preparing the majority of the salad ahead of time and adding the avocado right before serving, you ensure that the salad maintains its optimal taste, texture, and appearance. This approach allows you to enjoy a flavorful and refreshing dish that’s perfect for any occasion.
Black Bean and Corn Salad
For the salad:
- 2 cups cooked black beans (canned or freshly cooked)
- 1 ½ cups cooked corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
- 1 avocado, diced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons lime juice (about 2 limes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (if you want smoky flavor)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked black beans, cooked corn, diced red bell pepper, chopped red onion, halved cherry tomatoes, and chopped cilantro.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, minced garlic, ground cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
- Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients in the large mixing bowl.
- Gently toss the salad to ensure everything is well combined and coated with the dressing.
- Let the salad sit for about 15-20 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld together. Then add chopped avocado before serving and lightly mix.
- You can garnish the salad with additional chopped cilantro before serving if desired.