Black Bean and Corn Salsa

IMG_1028 This salsa is my one of my favorite things to bring as a dish to a BBQ or a party. It is easy and inexpensive to make and is always a crowd pleaser. I made a huge batch last week to bring to a fourth of July party and I’m happy to say that it got rave reviews. I left the leftovers with the house full of boys that hosted the party and was happy to see them still enjoying it a few days later. I wish that I could take sole credit for such an easy and delicious recipe but in fact the originator of such brilliance is my mother. For years she’s whipped out this salsa for any occasion. It’s always a little different – sometimes even including a treat like some diced mango – but it’s always delicious.

My mother is the entire reason why I am able to cook and I owe her all the credit in the world. Thanks to all the days she made me carefully chop vegetables and onions, I am somewhat competent in this arena (though admittedly, I still struggle with cutting as pieces as equal in size as she can). She’s also the master of the see-what’s-in-the-fridge-and-throw-together-an-amazing-dinner technique, something else I’d like to think I’ve learned from her. I’d be so happy to be half the cook she is, so maybe this salsa gets me one step closer.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Time: 15 minutes   Serves: Party sized


  • 1 red onion
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 pepper, any color
  • ½ – 1 cup salsa, any brand
  • 1 15.5 oz can of corn
  • 1 15.5 oz can black beans
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1-2 limes


  • I suggest using a mild salsa and then adding heat as you like with hot sauce. It’s always easy to make something spicier but hard to cool it down once it’s hot.
  • If you don’t want to use canned salsa, chop and use 2-3 fresh tomatoes instead.
  • If you don’t have limes, use a lemon instead

Dice your onion as small as you can.


Add to a mixing bowl (or pot in my case, I didn’t have a big enough bowl) and sprinkle about ½ tsp salt on top. Use your fingers to rub salt all over the onions. Let them sit for 10-15 minutes, this will remove the bitterness. They should rest until no longer pungent – taste one if you need to.


Wash your pepper and chop it up. You want to cut everything into approximately equal sized pieces so try to cut it so that each piece is about the size of a kernel of corn. Toss into the bowl.


Open your black beans, pour into a strainer and rinse so that all the gunk from the can is gone. Allow to drain. Add to the bowl. Drain and add your corn. Add the canned salsa and mix well.


Wash your bunch of cilantro (remove leaves from the stalks) and chop up as finely as you can. Add to the bowl.


Slices your limes in half, juice and add.

Give everything a good mix and then taste. Add more salt if needed or more salsa if it’s too dry.


4 thoughts on “Black Bean and Corn Salsa

  1. A strikingly beautiful dish, and I know I’ll really enjoy this one. I’m not a fan of commercial salsa, so I’ll take you up on your suggestion substitution and use fresh tomatoes instead!

  2. PS – I also meant to say that your comments about your mother and her influence on your cooking were very touching to me. I’ve tried to instill a love for cooking in my kids, and it’s incredibly fulfilling to see them blossoming in their own kitchens now!

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