Corn & Black Bean Salad with Smoky Honey-Lime Dressing

Fresh corn on the cob has always been one of my favorite things and it’s one ingredient I don’t make time for nearly enough. I use canned or frozen corn as quick substitutions in lots of our family favorite recipes. Truthfully, no one seems to mind the shortcut, and the dishes typically turn out just fine and tasty. But, there's just something so satisfying about using fresh produce instead the easy alternatives every time I get the chance.  

So, for the first time in way too long, I picked up several ears of fresh corn a couple of weeks ago. It just sounded so good and it looked so pretty in it's big bin at the store. We grilled some of it the same day I brought it home, and boy, was that a serious treat! I was happy to see that the kids ate it so well, but who could blame them? After all, grilled corn on the cob is seriously delicious with a good smear of butter and a light sprinkle of salt and pepper. We have all been enjoying it being on our dinner plates so often this month. 

Corn on the cob and all of it's golden, yellow glory is pretty much the perfect summertime side dish, if you ask me!

I had about four large ears of corn left, and I decided to make fresh corn salad to use them up. I’ve seen all kind of corn salad recipes shared on social media lately and most them have been bathing in luscious-looking, tempting creamy sauces and dressings.

However, I couldn’t stop thinking about pairing the rest of my fresh corn up with hearty black beans and dressing it with a smoky, cumin-infused honey-lime dressing. So I did just that!  

The smoky honey-lime dressing turned out to be a big hit and it compliments the flavors of this earthy salad perfectly. This has become one of our favorite side dishes in the last few weeks and I know I'll be making lots more of it before summer's over.

This corn and black bean salad is light yet satisfying and with all of it's bright colors, it's pretty easy on the eyes too!

Yield: 6-8 servings

Corn & Black Bean Salad with Smoky Honey-Lime Dressing

prep time: 40 MINScook time: 15 MINStotal time: 55 mins
This salad is best served immediately after it's made, but if some ingredients are reserved to be added just before serving, it can be made ahead of time and chilled overnight (be sure to read the notes below!) It's a light alternative to the popular, heavy Southern creamed corn and it pairs up perfectly with all kinds of grilled meats or fish!


Corn & Black Bean Salad
  • 4 large ears of fresh, sweet corn, silk and husks removed
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small, green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced or halved
  • 1/4 -1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped (to taste)
  • 1 large stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large fresh jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 pieces crispy cooked bacon, crumbled (reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings)
  • 2-3 tablespoons (to taste), fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small avocado (optional)
  • 3/4 cup crumbled, Mexican cotija cheese (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped cilantro, for garnish
Smoky Honey-Lime Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • dash or two of both salt and pepper
  • Two cans (15 oz) sweet corn, drained or 4 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed can be substituted, if preferred
  • If you'll be preparing this salad ahead of time and you plan to add chopped avocado, wait and add the avocado just before the salad is served to ensure a nice pretty green color!
  • If using cotija cheese, put off adding it in until just before serving as well.


For Salad
  1. Make your honey-lime dressing first and set it aside. Instructions follow.
  2. To start the salad, rinse the cleaned cobs of corn with water and pat dry with paper towels. Over a large bowl, carefully use a knife to remove the corn kernels from the cob. Discard corn cobs.
  3. Heat one tablespoon of the reserved bacon drippings, or another light cooking oil, in a large skillet. Add the fresh corn kernels and saute until just tender (2-3 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and pour corn kernels back into the large bowl. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the beans, chopped veggies and jalapeno to the corn and mix well. Fold in the chopped cilantro (except for reserved teaspoon of chopped cilantro) and bacon bits. Peel, pit and chop the avocado, if used. Gently fold the avocado pieces and crumbled cheese (if using) into the salad.
  5. Give smoky honey-lime dressing a quick stir and pour over the salad. Lightly toss salad with spoons to coat. Garnish with the reserved teaspoon of chopped cilantro and serve immediately.
  6. Give the salad a quick stir before serving and enjoy!
For Dressing
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl with a small whisk.
Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. Definitely my kind of everyday salad..the shrimp looks very juicy and tender too.

  2. I always tell myself that frozen corn is almost as good as fresh, and it's true. But it isn't AS good, is it? :-) This looks terrific -- thanks.

  3. something much like this is my go-to summer picnic contribution! i could seriously eat it with every meal. :)

  4. Oh, boy, does this look spectacular! I love fresh corn and summer corn salads are the best!!!

  5. Love all the different colours, flavours and textures in this and the dressing sounds so good.

  6. Corn is definitely one of my favorite things this time of year. I can't get over how delicious this salad sounds! That vinaigrette I'm pretty sure I could eat with a spoon :) Have a great weekend, Marcelle!

  7. Hi Marcelle, thinking about you and your family this morning as we just watched the news, looks like some pretty rough weather. Sending hugs your way....

    Love this salad, summer corn is the best!

    1. Thank you so much, Cheri! It's been devastating for three coastal towns we visit often and truly love. Still waiting for the rain to stop here. Truly unbelievable events.

  8. What a wonderful, perfect seasonal recipe! I love it. Like you, fresh corn is one of my favorite things – Mark's, too – but he won't let me use frozen corn! I have to sneak it into the house if I want it… :)

  9. I love salads like this. I think we all have our own versions and yours sounds great! Hope you are staying dry. We have family in Galveston!

    1. Hi there Abbe, thank you! Won't be sad when Harvey finally evaporates... that's for sure.


Back to Top