How To Make Black Bean and Corn Salsa


Be careful making this, unless it looks like something you’re going to want to keep doing over and over. Because as soon as you share it with friends, they’re going to start asking you to bring it to every party you go to.

This happened when I made the bruschetta pizza a couple of years ago. I made it about four or five times before the summer was over. Same with this black bean and corn salsa.


100906-170455_Lg3-4 ears corn (or one 16-ounce can)
1 can (16 ounce) black beans
1 medium red onion
2 fresh jalapeños
juice of 2-3 limes
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons salt


If you’re using fresh corn you’ll have to cut it off the cob. A while back I showed a trick I stole from Kristin for using a Bundt pan to cut the corn from the cob. But I couldn’t find my Bundt pan, so I had to use the next-best trick, which I got from a reader (but can’t find where).

For this one, put a small bowl upside-down inside a larger bowl.

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Pretty good, right?

Now juice a lime into it.


Rinse the beans and add them.


By the way, “rinse the beans” doesn’t mean run a little water into the can and pour it out. Canned beans have a bunch of sludge on the bottom that is fine for baked beans, but you don’t want it in salsa. Pour them out into the colander and run them under cold water until the water runs clear.

Oh, and back where I cut the corn off the cob? I really should have broken that up. I tried with a fork, but I was mashing it, turning it into cream corn. So I did it by hand.


Do you know a better way to break up corn that’s been cut off the cob? I’d love to hear it down in the comments.

Anyway, dice the onion and mince the jalapeños and add them.

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You can use white or yellow onion instead, I like red because it looks better with the corn and black beans.

Add the cumin and the salt and give it a stir.

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Taste it and add more lime juice, salt or cumin as needed.


And that’s it.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Black Bean and Corn Salsa


  • 3-4 ears corn (or one 16-ounce can)
  • 1 can (16 ounce) black beans
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 fresh jalapeños
  • juice of 2-3 limes
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt


Rinse the beans and corn. If you're using fresh corn on the cob, cut the kernels off and separate them.

Dice the onion and mince the jalapeño.

Combine beans, corn, onion and jalapeño, and add the juice of one lime. Add cumin and salt, stir and taste.

Add more lime juice, cumin or salt as needed.


  1. In the summer when you have a barbeque going, put the salsa minus the beans in a pan (I use a disposable aluminum pan). It gets a delicious roasted flavor that can not be duplicated. If you are smoking, that is even better.

  2. I often make something very similar to this, except tomatoes replace much of the corn and I add a little diced red pepper. It can be eaten as a salad, too, if you want to be healthy. But I usually eat it with tortilla chips, because I do not want to be healthy.

  3. Um, red BELL pepper, that is. Not a chile.

  4. Not everyone has the gene that makes cilantro taste good, but for those of us that do, add a fistful of chopped cilantro to this recipe! Lovely salsa!

  5. Yum, that looks delicious and easy.

  6. I remember that tip about the bowl but I couldn’t find it either!
    As for breaking up the corn after it’s cut off the cob… my suggestion is to not make the cut so deep into the kernals on the first pass, thus avoiding the clumps altogether… easier said than done, however!

  7. I make a cold quinoa salad that has all these ingredients but also with celery, quinoa, olive oil and cider vinegar. Still good with tortilla chips.

  8. This is so crazy that you posted this today, because I started talking about the fact that I wanted to make it, and then my boss said that her friend who is a truck driver broke a pallet of Chi-Chi’s tortilla chips, so she suggested bringing in a few bags of chips, and we can all make whatever kind of salsa and dips we want and bring them in friday. Just a quick question though: In the picture you have garlic, but not in the ingredients list or the recipe. Just want to make sure I’m not missing anything. Thanks again.

    • Oh and the other thing I wanted to say this is perfect because my boss is allergic to tomatos!

    • You caught me. :-) Yes, I was planning to add the garlic, but when I started tasting it after I added the cumin I decided to leave it out. I should have put a note in there about that.

      • I appreciate you getting back to me on this. Can’t wait to make it for Friday! I’ll try and time how fast my co-workers gobble it down. Thanks again.

      • I made it tonight. It was incredible. That was also the first time I’ve ever tried black bean and corn salsa, and I agree with leaving the garlic out. I used the juice of 3 whole limes and was surprised at how much juice is necessary to tie the salsa together, but it is fresh and incredible! Thanks again.

  9. The Women’s Group here makes this as a salad which they serve on top of tostadas as a side with their tamales. The only difference is they add a good quantity of cilantro. It is super delicious and they get lots of great comments on it.

    And by the way .. I LOVE the way your blog’s read more opens … I may take the time to change mine …

  10. OMG! My family loves this stuff! I make it every time we have tacos! I especially love it because I refuse to eat raw tomatoes! I find that the red onion gives it a little something that the white onion cant come close to!


    PS…we love to eat our black bean and corn salsa with lime tortilla chips!

  11. I have a funky little tool that I bought at the Wire Whisk, a “candy store” for foodies. It has a round blade and an easy-to-hold handle, and it adjusts to the cob in size. I’ve used it to cut corn off raw cobs and cooked. It seemed frivolous at first, but after cutting the corn off 3 dozen ears, I decided it had earned its way.

    The kernels come off separated, not in clumps like mine always did with even a sharp knife.

  12. This recipe is making my mouth water! I usually get the black bean and corn salsa from Wal-Mart. I love that with this recipe I can add as many jalapeno peppers as I please. Might even add a Habanero for a little more sweat factor.

  13. I make a corn salad in which I want the corn to stay in clumps. All it takes to break up the clumps is to stir it verrrrrry carefully in an effort NOT to break them. Works like a charm. Now if I could just figure out how to KEEP the clumps…

  14. I love making different type of salsa, this looks amazing simple and delicious.

    Sometimes, we have a gathering of friends and we have salsa bar (with at leas 7-8 type of various home made salsas), corn chips, pita chips and sour dough bread and couple of food related movie and great fun.

  15. hey Drew! ok we are totally sucked in.. thanks for posting this just in the nick of time! A mention for you:

  16. I make a black bean and corn salsa like this, with lime and cumin. I also add diced roma tomatoes, chopped avacado, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. It gets a bit juicier, but the avacado thickens the juice so it’s not watery like fresh tomato salsa gets. It’s especially good when I take the time to roast the corn and jalapeño in the oven (because I don’t have a grill).


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