Easy Black Bean and Corn Salsa

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This delicious and flavorful black bean and corn salsa is always a crowd favorite! I eat it with chips, veggies, or spoon it over chicken, baked potatoes, or a salad to spice up a healthy meal.

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picture of salsa with beans, pepper, onion, corn, and herbs in two blue bowls on a table with chips

Southwest Bean and Corn Salsa

This black bean and corn salsa is the perfect fresh and healty addition to almost any meal. Making quesadillas? Serve them with this salsa. Tacos? Black bean and corn salsa. Chicken? This salsa! No matter what the question, the answer is “black bean and corn salsa.”

This is also a great salsa for people who enjoy it to dip or on the side, but don’t want to make their dish or snack too spicy. It’s an easy homemade treat that works with almost any palate. 

Interestingly, although salsa is traditionally associated with Mexican cuisine, the use of table salsa was popularized in Mexican restaurants in the United States. In the early 2000s the traditional tomato-based salsa gave way to fun mixes of different salsas that included fruit or corn and bean salsa, like my recipe. 

I’ve also heard this salsa recipe referred to as “cowboy caviar” and as soon as it emerges after cooling in refrigerator, I can’t keep everyone in our family away from it. 

picture of salsa with beans, pepper, onion, corn, and herbs in two blue bowls on a table with chips

How to Make Black Bean and Corn Salsa 

First, assemble the ingredients for this black bean and corn salsa

  • Black Beans – Black beans are a staple in many cultures. They are the perfect base for this delicious salsa. Black beans have a creamy finish and add protein and lots of vitamins to this side. 
  • Corn – Corn adds sweetness and depth to this sumptuous salsa. Although you can use either yellow or white corn depending on your preference, I love the look of classic yellow kernels.
  • Red Onion – Red onion is the sweetest and best onion to use raw in recipes. It has the best finish and adds a crunchy oniony flavor without overpowering this salsa. 
  • Red Bell Pepper – Red bell peppers add sweetness and brightness to this delicious salsa recipe. As bell peppers ripen they get sweeter, which is why green bell peppers tend to have a more bitter flavor and the reddest bell peppers are the sweetest variety. 
  • Cilantro – Cliantro is a fast-growing annual herb known for its aromatic distinctiveness. There are some people who don’t love cilantro, so this is optional if you’re one of those people, although it will change the flavor of this salsa. 
  • Limes – Limes add a tantalizing acidity to this salsa. They add the perfect “zing” to make all the pieces come together. 
  • Olive Oil – Olive oil adds that satisfying finish to this salsa and also adds a little of the “good fats” that we’re told to add to our diets. 
  • Dried Oregano – Although oregano is native to the mediterranean region, it’s been transplanted and grows all over the world. It has a distinctive flavor, and adds depth to many dishes and sauces. 
  • Smoked Paprika – Adding a bit of smoked paprika to this salsa gives it a “zing” and a touch of spice without overpowering the salsa.
  • Garlic Salt – Garlic salt is a staple of my kitchen. A bit of garlic salt goes into almost every savory dish I make. 

Next, use the following steps to assemble the recipe:

  1. Chop the red onion and red bell pepper into small pieces. How chunky or fine you want your salsa will help you to determine size, but I like to chop them about the same size as a black bean or corn kernel so there is a consistency throughout the salsa. 
  2. Finely chop the cilantro into thin ribbons.
  3. Add drained and rinsed beans, drained and rinsed corn, chopped red onion, chopped red bell pepper, and chopped cilantro to a large mixing bowl. Mix and reserve. 
  4. Whisk lime juice, olive oil, dried oregano, smoked paprika, and garlic salt in another bowl.
  5. Pour the dressing over the bowl of veggies, contsantly mixing as you pour.
  6. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving to ensure the flavors fully combine. Enjoy!
picture of salsa with beans, pepper, onion, corn, and herbs in two blue bowls on a table with chips

Tips and Tricks For This Black Bean and Corn Salsa & FAQs

  1. Make this salsa ahead of time – Several hours, or even overnight in the fridge is good for this recipe. It gives all the flavors the time to settle and combine. 
  2. Use it as an ingredient – I love to make a ton of this salsa and then use it as an ingredient in other recipes. It’s a healthy salad dressing, it can add flavor to grilled chicken, fish, or steak, and can be use to top tacos too! 
  3. Having a party? Double it! – This salsa is always so popular, when I’m having a group of friends over I will double the recipe because I always run out and never have any left over! 


How long will this salsa keep?

This salsa is good for up four days in the refrigerator, but if you have it out on a table as an appetizer, I would recommend throwing it away after a few hours.

Do I have to use cilantro?

There are some people who really do not love the flavor of cilantro, for those people I suggest making this recipe with parsley, basil, or another aromatic herb that you do love.

Can I use other beans?

If you prefer a different type of bean, feel free to substitute with whatever you like!

How do I store this recipe?

Keep leftover salsa in an airtight in the refrigerator.

picture of salsa with beans, pepper, onion, corn, and herbs in two blue bowls on a table with chips

What to Serve With Black Bean and Corn Salsa

The most traditional thing to serve is tortilla chips, and for this chunky salsa I really like the scooper tortilla chips.

I also really enjoy serving this salsa and also a bowl of queso!

It makes for a great time to have a little of both. In addition, if you want to mix it up, pour this over the top of Instant Pot Chicken Nachos

For more taco and burrito recipes, find our recent favorites here:

Easy Black Bean and Corn Salsa

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picture of salsa with beans, pepper, onion, corn, and herbs in two blue bowls on a table with chips

Easy Bean and Corn Salsa

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Spicy, tangy, fresh black bean and corn salsa loaded with cilantro, red onion, bell peppers, and lime juice!


  • 1 can (15oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15oz) corn, drained and rinsed
  • ⅓ cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 limes juiced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic salt


  1. In a large bowl, add the black beans, corn, red onion, red pepper, and cilantro. Mix and set aside.
  2. Whisk lime juice, olive oil, dried oregano, smoked paprika, and garlic salt.
  3. Pour liquid mixture over salsa. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Add additional garlic salt and lime juice to taste.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
Nutrition Information
Yield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 83Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 0mgSodium 247mgCarbohydrates 9gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 2g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

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About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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