This black bean salad recipe, courtesy of Jenn Segal of Once Upon a Chef, is a huge crowd-pleaser. This make-ahead black bean salad is ideal for summer cookouts because cooking it ahead of time is key – it gets better and better the longer it sits. Pair it with Once Upon a Chef’s Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken and Cornbread Muffins for an easy & delicious Southwestern-inspired meal.

Serves: 6-8
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredient List (lime vinaigrette included)

  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 ears fresh cooked corn, kernels cut off the cob
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots, from one medium shallot
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, best quality such as Colavita
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest (be sure to zest limes before juicing them)
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 2 Hass avocados, chopped

Black Bean Salad Instructions

  1. Begin by cooking the corn in boiling salted water.  A few minutes is all it takes — you want it super crisp. Refresh the corn under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Place the corn on a clean dish towel set over a cutting board, then use a serrated knife to cut the kernels off the cobs. (The dishtowel both dries the corn and prevents it from bouncing all over the place.)
  3. Next, rinse and drain the black beans.
  4. Combine the corn and black beans with the remaining ingredients, except for the avocado.
  5. Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight.
  6. Right before serving, dice the avocado and add it to the salad mixing it gently, being careful not to mash avocados. It’s important to add the avocado at the last minute to keep it from turning brown.
  7. Toss well, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. You may find that it needs a bit more salt or a squirt of lime juice, as the flavors tend to mellow in the fridge.
  8. Garnish with more chopped cilantro if desired. Serve at room temperature