Corn & Black Bean Salad with Smoky Honey-Lime Dressing

19 comments Spring and Summer Recipes, vegetables and salad I may earn money from products/companies mentioned in this post. This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission, at no extra charge to you, when you shop through my links. You're support is greatly appreciated!
A richly-colored corn and black bean salad sits in a clear glass serving bowl. A green and blue plaid tea towel sits near to the bowl with a wooden spoon resting on top. A platter of grilled shrimp sits behind the bowl of corn salad, it's slightly blurred. The corn and black bean salad has brightly colored ingredients that include yellow corn, red ripe cherry tomatoes, green fresh peppers, bacon bits and hearty black beans.
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.
For raw corn husks rest near a clear glass bowl filled with their fresh corn kernels.
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!

Fresh ingredients are being prepared for this flavorful corn salad. A set of small clear glass bowls filled with chopped fresh green peppers, chopped celery, whole cherry tomatoes surround a small purple plastic cutting board. A fresh jalapeno pepper is sliced in half on top of the cutting board and whole fresh purple onion sits beside the cutting board.
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!

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Corn & Black Bean Salad with Smoky Honey-Lime Dressing

Recipe by Marcelle at A Little Fish in the Kitchen Course: vegetables and salad


Prep time


Cooking time



This Corn and Black Bean Salad with Smoky Honey-Lime Dressing is light yet satisfying and it goes with everything from the grill. With all of it’s bright colors, it’s pretty easy on the eyes too!


  • 4 large ears of fresh, sweet corn, husks and silk removed or sub one can (15 oz) of sweet corn kernels, drained

  • 1 can (15 oz) black bean, rinsed and drained

  • 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, rinsed, sliced or halved

  • 1 large stalk celery, finely chopped

  • 4 pieces bacon, crispy cooked and crumbled into bit (reserve at least 2 tablespoons drippings)

  • 2 tablespoons reserved bacon drippings or another light cooking oil

  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, or Italian parsley, coarsely chopped

  • 1 small avocado (optional)

  • 3/4 cup Mexican cotija cheese (optional)

  • Extra teaspoon chopped fresh herbs for garnish

  • Smoky-Honey Lime Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 2 tablespoon honey

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

  • dash or two of both salt and pepper (to taste)


  • Make the smokey honey-lime dressing first. Combine all the dressing ingredients on the list in a small bowl. Stir, cover and set aside.
  • Rinse and clean corn cobs and pat dry with paper towels. Over a large bowl, carefully use a sharp knife to remove the corn kernels from the cob. Discard the corn cobs.
  • Heat one tablespoon of the reserved bacon drippings or another light cooking oil in a large skillet. Add the fresh corn kernels and cook until just tender (about 2-3 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and transfer corn kernel back to a large bowl. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
  • Add the bean, chopped veggies and chopped jalapeno to the corn and mix well. Fold in the chopped cilantro and bacon bits.
  • Just before serving, peel, pit and chop the avocado. Gently fold the avocado and crumbled cotija cheese into the salad. Give smokey honey-lime dressing a quick stir and pour evenly over the salad. Toss lightly with spoons to coat.
  • Garnish with extra chopped herbs and serve immediately. Enjoy!


  • Two cans (15 oz) of sweet corn kernels (drained), or 4 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed can be substituted for fresh corn, if preferred
  • If using avocado and cheese in this recipe, be sure to add those ingredients just before serving for best results.
  • from A Little Fish in the Kitchen at Please contact the author for permission to republish.


  1. Anne Lawton

    I made this salad last night to serve as a side with fajitas. It was so good! Everyone loved the dressing. I used frozen corn, but can’t wait until the summer so I can try making it with fresh corn, I’m sure it’s amazing!

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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… 🙂

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

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

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

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

  11. 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.

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

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