Zesty Corn & Bean Salad

There’s something about fresh corn on the cob that just makes me think of summer barbecues out on the grill.  My dad would always come home from work, having stopped at an Amish or Mennonite product stand, with bags of corn in hand.  It was always the kid’s job to shuck all the corn on the back porch to ensure we didn’t get those silk strands all throughout the house.  My mom would boil it all and serve it with butter sticks (which I think are a PA thing?) and salt.  Meals with corn always reminded me that summer was here.  This salad is one of those recipes that are great for leftover corn.  We always managed to have a few ears leftover after picnics, and this is the perfect side dish for another meal!  It has a little heat, but the cotija cheese helps cool that down while adding some extra deliciousness.  This one is an easy ‘put everything in a bowl and mix’ recipe.  This corn salad recipe can also be made the night before and kept in the fridge until dinner.  The longer it marinates, the better it gets!  So chop up some veggies, throw this in a bowl, and you’re on your way to summer with this salad!


  • 4 ears of corn, shucked and kernels cut off
  • ½ of a red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 – 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed (can also substitute garbanzo beans or navy beans)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 T of red white vinegar
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (if you don’t like the smoked flavor, use regular paprika)
  • 4 T of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Garnish:

  • ½ cup of cotija cheese (optional, omit to make vegan or dairy-free)
  • ¼ cup of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 avocado diced


Prepare, cut, and place all the vegetables in a large bowl.  Juice limes, add to bowl along with all other ingredients, except garnishes.  Stir everything together to combine evenly.  Place in fridge and let set for 30 minutes – 1 hour to marinate.  Remove from fridge, top with cotija, parsley, and avocado to serve.  Enjoy!


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