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A simple corn and black bean salad with Mexican-inspired flavours. Fresh, bright, and perfect for any summer table!

Summer means barbecuing and barbecuing is nothing without great salads to accompany great mains. Am I right?  This Mexican Corn and Black Bean Salad is the perfect accompaniment whether your main be steak, chicken, or tofu.  It’s adaptable to almost anything you can serve it with – especially if your main has been grilled!

For me, corn is synonymous with grilling. I’m not sure I’ve ever been in charge of a grill where corn has not be a part of the menu.  I’m a huge fan of the classic grilled corn on the cob – especially when it’s slathered with a herb butter – but, for this particular instance, I wanted a corn dish but with a sensibleness to the eating part.  (We had company for dinner and I really didn’t think gnawing on a corn cob was guest-friendly!)  This way, we got great flavour without the messy hands and beard!

Now, Dear Reader, if I were preparing this dish for me alone, I would have increased the spice factor just a little. If you think you can handle more heat, you can certainly add extra chili powder or even some fresh diced chilies – that would be fantastic!  The sour cream does cool down the spice, so taste as you go and adjust accordingly.

Again, I used chili powder in this version. You can certainly use cayenne pepper if you want more heat. You can also add a little bit of cumin. I would have added cumin to this recipe, but I don’t care for the taste of cumin.

If there were a lot more ingredients in this salad, I would have added it, because most likely the ingredients would have helped to mask the taste, but since there’s basically corn, black beans, and sour cream, I left it out.

Another option is rather than adding finely chopped fresh parsley to this salad, you can opt for cilantro. Mexican-inspired dishes love cilantro! And, because of the chili powder and the sour cream, cilantro would pair very well with the other ingredients. But, I cannot eat cilantro. It tastes like soap. Nobody can tell me otherwise!

Even if you’re not grilling, you can make this salad. You don’t need to grill and char corn on the cob to make this. I have made it many times with frozen corn that I’ve added to a hot skillet without any butter or oil. Once the corn thaws and the moisture begins to evaporate, it will char.

Obviously the char from the stove top will not be authentic like that of an outdoor grill, but you’ll get some of the flavour and certainly some of the visual appeal. The Mexican Corn and Black Bean Salad you see in the photographs was prepared using frozen corn. I did not char the corn too much, because when sauteing frozen corn over high heat, it loses it’s plumpness and I didn’t want that particular look for the photos.

Whether you use frozen corn or fresh corn is up to you. Even though frozen corn might “deflate” a little bit, and fresh corn will get a better looking char, the important thing is the taste. And, this Mexican Corn and Black Bean Salad, Dear Reader, has lots of taste!

If you decide to add extra chili powder, or if you want to keep the spice level at a minimum, In my opinion, it’s the fresh lime juice that gives this salad it’s punch and kick. Please do not try to use bottled lime juice that you can find in most grocers. Buy a fresh lime. A little goes a long way!

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3.67 from 3 votes

Mexican Corn and Black Bean Salad

A simple corn and black bean salad with Mexican-inspired flavours. Fresh, bright, and perfect for any summer table!
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican, North American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Lord Byron’s Kitchen


  • 8 ears fresh corn, grilled and cut from cob, cooled (or 4 cups frozen corn – see post for details)
  • 1 1/2 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 whole lime, juiced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup green onions, thinly sliced (plus more for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley or cilantro, finely chopped (plus more for garnish)


  • Preheat your grill to medium-low. This heat will prevent the corn from burning.
  • Be sure to remove all husks from the corn. Brush the corn with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Place the corn on the grill and cook for 2-3 before turning. Continue to do this until the corn is cooked and slightly charred in spots.
  • Allow the corn to cool completely before cutting the corn from the cob.
  • Lastly, add the corn to a large bowl with the remaining ingredients. Toss and refrigerate for one hour.
  • Garnish with chopped chives and serve chilled. Enjoy!

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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. I saw this on Pinterest and my first thought was what a great BBQ side you could serve to folk who are picky about using fingers, I guess 'great' minds think alike! Super sounding recipe!
    1. My inspiration for this post came from Pinterest. I was looking for a corn salad, because I didn't want our dinner guests to chow down on a corn cob. I'd like to be able to say that it was for their benefit, but the real reason is I didn't want them getting corn cob splatter on my table cloth. ;)

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