Black Bean and Corn Salsa

With black beans, corn, peppers and cilantro, this Black Bean and Corn Salsa is a colorful, tasty, and nutritious appetizer or side.  Eat a rainbow! 

Black Bean and Corn Salsa served

Welcome to my sister’s go to recipe when she brings an appetizer.  She’s a registered dietitian and can be counted on to turn what is often a not-very-healthy course into something that’s nutritious–and still a lot of fun! 

Now I admit I’m partial to fruit salsas like my Mango Pineapple Salsa.  But variety’s the spice of life.  And this week I decided I’d rather have a savory black bean salsa, instead of one based on fruit or tomatoes.

My husband loved it for snacking in front of the football draft!  And I thought it was great as a Cinco de Mayo dress rehearsal! 

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Why You’ll Love This!

Tasty.  Savory with a little kick of heat, this appetizer will make your taste buds happy.

Nutritious. This provides lot of fiber and a little nutrition from, well, almost everything in it!

Easy. Do a little chopping, mix a few ingredients, open a bag of chips and you’re done!

ingredient shot

What You’ll Need

Ingredient Notes

  • Black beans. With the corn this forms the bulk of the salsa. You can use home cooked beans (from dried) or canned beans. You  can also substitute another type of bean if needed. 
  • Corn. With the corn this forms the bulk of the salsa.  I used canned corn but I have used frozen or cut it from the cob in the past.
  • Red onion.  This adds savory flavor.
  • Tomato. This adds flavor and nutrition.
  • Jalapeno pepper. This adds a little kick of spice.
  • Red pepper.  This adds flavor and nutrition.
  • Cilantro. This helps the salsa taste like salsa!
  • Garlic, cumin.  These provide a flavor boost.
  • Salt, pepper.  Salt and pepper serve to enhance the flavor.
  • Lime.  Lime adds a tart note and more “salsa” flavor.

Special Tools

  • No special tools required!

Step by Step Directions

 Mix the salsa ingredients.

mix ingredients

Serve with chips or other dippers.


How to Serve

Black Bean and Corn Salsa is delightful as an appetizer or as a side with any number of dishes.

As an appetizer, the classic dipper is, of course, tortilla chips.  But go with crackers, pita chips or whatever you have.  Or make it extra healthy by serving with vegetables.  In that case, choices that you can cut wider such as cucumber or zucchini chips will work best to hold the salsa.

And don’t forget to serve this as a tasty side or condiment.  Perfect, of course, with Mexican or Southwest food like these White Chicken Enchiladas, salsas can also complement meat or seafood.  I’ve done Mango Salsa & Pork Chops, Broiled Salmon with Fruit Salsa, and even Vegan Breakfast Tacos with Pomegranate Salsa.

Corn and Black Bean Salsa meets all many special diet requirements just as is.  This includes vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free.  I guess this makes it a good item to bring to almost any event!

black bean and corn salsa

Tips & FAQs

Can I add avocado?  If I’d had an avocado, I might very well have chopped and added it, so sure.  If you do, remember that cut avocados tend to brown, so it won’t keep as well (though the lime juice will help).   

What if I like things hotter?  One side effect of using natural ingredients is that they aren’t all the same.  So if you happen to get a jalapeno pepper that’s a little on the mild side, you may feel this needs more kick.  In that case you can add more jalapeno, add a pinch of cayenne or a little bit of hot sauce.  Not a problem!

Can I use frozen pepper?  Surprisingly yes!  You can almost never use a frozen fruit or vegetable in something that is served raw because the cell membranes break down and they turn mushy.  But chopped peppers are a delightful exception to this. 


Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

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Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

With black beans, corn, peppers and cilantro, this Black Bean and Corn Salsa is colorful, tasty and nutritious. Eat a rainbow!
Author: Inger
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 150 kcal


  • 1 15- ounce can black beans
  • 1 15- ounce can corn or about 1 ½ cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper finely diced
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • ¼ - ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove minced or pushed through garlic press
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Juice from 1 lime


  • Mix salsa ingredients.
  • Serve with tortilla chips.


Calories: 150kcal
I am not a health professional and nutrition data is calculated programatically. Accuracy may vary with product selection, calculator accuracy, etc. Consult a professional for the best information.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Updated from original, published on May 6, 2018

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9 thoughts on “Black Bean and Corn Salsa

  1. Christie

    5 stars
    Yes to all of this! Not all salsa has to have tomatoes in there. I love me a good corn and bean salsa. This one looks so yummy!

  2. David

    We make a variation on this that we love. It goes so well with so many dishes! Gorgeous jewel-tones in the photos!

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