Black Bean Salad
Updated: Dec 6, 2020
Black beans, red bell peppers, tomatoes, corn, avocado and some spices – what’s not to love?! This black bean salad is perfect any time, but especially now with all the fresh in-season tomatoes, corn, and peppers available in the store. It is versatile, colorful, fresh, and easy to make and keeps for a few days, so make a lot and enjoy it for a few meals.
Of course, it is full of nutrient dense vegetables, low in saturated fat and loaded with antioxidants. The health benefits of the individual ingredients are each substantial, but when combined they make this a super nutritious dish. The black beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber, as well as folate, zinc and iron. Bell peppers provide excellent amounts of vitamins C, A and B6. Tomatoes are also a good source of those vitamins, plus potassium and a variety of carotenoids (including lycopene and beta-carotene), the phytonutrients that help prevent chronic disease.
This classic black bean salad is a staple recipe for summer. It’s packed with bright, refreshing flavors from the tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro and a nice kick from the vinegar, jalapeno, and red onion.
This recipe is vegan and cholesterol and gluten-free. The oil can be reduced or omitted to make it more like a salsa and lower the calorie and fat content. It is also incredibly versatile. If you don't have one of the ingredients, just leave it out or substitute something that you do have on hand.
In addition to being tasty and nutritious, another great thing about this salad is that there are many ways to enjoy it. You can add it to a bowl of fresh greens for a delicious salad. You can enjoy it as a dip with fresh baked tortilla chips. You can wrap it in a whole grain tortilla, too – just be sure to drain as much liquid as possible first. You can mix it with some cooked quinoa. And the salad gets even better after it sits for a little while and the flavors have had a chance to blend, so you can try it a different way during different meals!
3 15-ounce cans of black beans or 4 ½ cups cooked black beans, rinsed and well-drained
2 ears of corn, shucked, or 1 cup of defrosted frozen corn
2 bell peppers, orange, yellow or red (or a combination), chopped
1 cup tomatoes (quartered cherry tomatoes or chopped large tomatoes)
1 cup chopped red onion
½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 medium jalapeño, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime), to taste
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
¼ cup white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt, to taste
1 cup chopped mango
1 cup chopped jicama
In a large serving bowl, combine all of the ingredients and toss to combine. Taste, and adjust seasoning to taste.
Cover and chill to enhance the flavors—preferably for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Serve with chopped avocado, extra cilantro and/or roasted pumpkin seeds.