This easy & fresh black bean salad recipe is loaded with veggies and Southwest inspired flavors. It takes just a few minutes to prepare using nutritious staple ingredients.
Sometimes Sunday night rolls around and I have zero energy to meal prep for the week. I stare at my empty cabinets and weigh the pros and cons.
Do I…A: go out for lunch tomorrow, hope that work is having some sort of pot luck (this happens more often than you’d expect), or throw together a sad lunch tomorrow morning before work?
Or do I B: stifle a yawn, pull open my kitchen cabinets, and pull out a few staple ingredients to make my trusty black bean salad?
For the sake of this post, the answer is option B: I make the darn black bean salad, because it takes just a few minutes to make and lasts a week for meal prep! This recipe relies on budget friendly staple ingredients that I usually have in my pantry and fridge:
- Black beans (canned or from dry)
- Red and yellow bell peppers
- Yellow corn (fresh, frozen, or canned works)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Lime and cilantro
- Southwest inspired spicy-ish vinaigrette
How to decrease the intensity of raw red onions
Red onions often have a strong “bite” to them, thanks to sulfur compounds. This is easy to fix!
Prep the red onion as called for in the recipe. For this recipe, they should be diced. Soak the diced onions in a bowl of cold water for at least ten minutes. The cold water pulls out most of the astringent taste, leaving you with the same old red onion flavor, but without the bite.
Drain the water, pat the red onions dry, and use them in the recipe.
This Fresh Black Bean Salad is as versatile as it is convenient!
This salad is pretty close to Texas Caviar/Cowboy Caviar. Really, the only difference is that there’s no black eyed peas! I omit black eyed peas in this recipe because I don’t usually have them on hand. This salad is all about delicious convenience!
Like I said, I usually use pantry staples for this recipe, such as canned beans and frozen corn. But it’s easy to amp up this simple salad with fresh farmer’s market cherry tomatoes and bell peppers, or other seasonal veggies like fresh zuchinni and green onions. Top with a dollop of greek yogurt or sour cream (non-dairy as needed!) or crumbled tortilla chips for extra flavor.
You can enjoy this bean salad in a burrito or as a taco stuffer, or on top of a bed of greens (black bean salad salad). Try it on vegan sweet potato nachos or as a salsa if you’re looking for a fresh party appetizer.
Fresh Black Bean Salad
- 2 cans (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 carton (8 oz) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup sweet yellow corn
- 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 medium red onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (juice from one large lime)
- 1 teaspoon agave syrup or honey
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 medium avocados, cubed
- In a large bowl, combine black beans, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, corn and cilantro.
- To prepare the vinaigrette, mix together vinegar, lime juice, agave syrup, cumin, chili powder, hot sauce, and salt in a small bowl. Stir the vinaigrette into the salad.
- Right before serving, add the chopped avocado. Top with additional cilantro and lime juice if desired. Serve cold.