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Creamy Black Bean, Red Pepper and Corn Salad with Avocado and Cilantro

The sun. The warm air. The sounds of laughter and roar of the lawnmower. The scent of freshly cut grass.

When I sat down earlier to write this blog post, all of these things beckoned me outside. I tried to soldier on but all I found was a sputtering of ho-hum sentences curving around the photos I had so carefully edited earlier.

Finally, I conceded defeat, snapping my laptop shut and heading outside to trim our bushes, play an impromptu game of soccer and grill burgers for dinner.

In the end, I was smiling, no longer held hostage by words that wouldn’t come or feeling of being torn between what I needed to do and what I wanted to. It just goes to show that sometimes the best thing we can do is to walk away and let life happen.

This salad is a let life happen sort of thing too. It’s so simple that it can practically be made with zero planning. Red pepper, avocado, corn, black beans … these are things we practically always have on hand here at this time of year. Avocados are in season and affordable at about $1 each. We easily eat three each week. Lime juice? It’s my citrus of choice, so it’s almost always in the fridge in some form or another.

Altogether, it’s a magical combination that makes a perfect side dish for lunch or dinner. Or you could totally snack on the leftovers. Don’t worry — I won’t tell.

What this salad isn’t is terribly unique. Yes, I actually said that. This is the version that I whip up but there are dozens of other similar ways to make it.

Mine was inspired by a salad my cousin shared with me at the beach recently. Hers had lemon juice as the citrus and a few more ingredients (tomatoes and some sort of onion, if I remember correctly).

Meanwhile, I made this for a family party on Saturday and arrived to discover that another very similar salad was also on the table. That cool, tangy version used a lot more lime juice and had green onions and tomatoes in it but no avocado. It was so refreshing. That’s three versions … all from within our one family.

Do you have one too? Spill in the comments!

The avocado lends a smooth creaminess to this salad, enveloping the red peppers, black beans and corn. It has enough cilantro to give the salad that earthy freshness without allowing the pungent herb to overtake the other flavors. It’s a perfect balance, even if you aren’t usually a big cilantro fan. But cilantro fans might want to double the amount. But for me, it’s just right.

This salad? It’s just lovely for spring.

Yield: 8 servings

Creamy Black Bean, Red Pepper and Corn Salad with Avocado and Cilantro

Creamy Black Bean, Red Pepper and Corn Salad with Avocado and Cilantro
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 2 ears fresh corn, peeled, boiled for 10 minutes and kernels removed
  • 1 large red pepper, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (I use organic)
  • 1 Hass avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Stir together the corn kernels (break apart any large clumps, but small ones are okay), red pepper, cilantro, black beans and avocado. Drizzle with lime juice and olive oil. Toss well. Season with salt and pepper to desired flavor.
  2. Chill until ready to serve.
  3. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to two days.

Quickest Side Dishes

Thursday 5th of February 2015

[…] Creamy Black Bean & Corn Salad with Avocado (15 minutes) […]


Sunday 25th of May 2014

Happy Memorial Day! My version is one can drained black beans, one can corn, chopped red onion. chopped red bell pepper - All tossed with a bottle of Ken's Asian dressing. Makes a great side or I usually serve it with Doritos Scoops.


Tuesday 8th of May 2012

Its a nice kind of recipe..I really want to try it..Thanks for sharing with us..


Wednesday 9th of May 2012

Thanks, Jeanie. Let me know what you think!


Tuesday 8th of May 2012

It sounds like your day outside was a much needed respite!


Wednesday 9th of May 2012

I think so! I hate walking away from work, but sometimes you just have to.


Tuesday 8th of May 2012

Honestly I never like to have black bean in salad. They have starchy taste and I just don't like it. SO next time I make this salad I would skip the black beans. Just hope it still give its best taste. Thanks.


Wednesday 9th of May 2012

You can definitely make it without though it will lose some of the bulk making it a lighter salad.

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