This wildly versatile Black Bean and Corn Salsa will have you dreaming up all sorts of ways to use it: tacos, burritos, breakfast backup?!!
And you can easily turn it into a meal with a few additions so it’s worth keeping it in mind if your kitchen needs a kickstart.
I think it tastes best when accompanied by a pop of lime flavor so definitely keep a lime on standby for a final squeeze!
Black Bean and Corn Salsa
You might get a slight upgrade if you have access to fresh corn but I think it’s worth making this pantry version at some point; it’s just as good and it comes with the added benefit of being accessible year round.
I usually start by draining and rinsing both the corn and beans. You might have to add in some extra salt if you do this but I think it’s worth it to get rid of the liquid they’ve been resting in. (Note: I used a combo of yellow and shoepeg corn in this batch but any corn will do.)
I like this salsa best when the beans are kept in check by the corn and tomatoes, so we’re using a 2:1 corn to beans ratio. So in the above pic we’re starting with:
1 can corn (approx. 2 cups)
1/2 can black beans (approx. 1 cup)
3 plum tomatoes
Keep in mind that you can always add in the other half can of beans if you want a more hearty version.
We’ll also add:
1/2 red onion
12-15 sprigs cilantro (approx. 1/2 cup chopped)
juice of 2 limes (approx. 1/4 cup total)
1 teaspoon salt
Give it a good mix and just like that you’re already on the verge of a tried and tested flavor combo.
Of course, I find it hard to not add a bit of smoky chipotle to this mixture so we’ll add 1 tablespoon of adobo sauce, but you can consider this optional.
Using a full jalapeno and the tablespoon of adobo sauce will give it a palpable heat but feel free to dial back and use 1/2 jalapeno for a milder version.
I find it easiest to slice off a chunk of Cotija and then pull across it with the flat part of the knife; it should crumble quite easily.
Combine well and take another taste for seasoning and lime. I added another pinch of salt and a final squeeze of lime to this batch.
If all went according to plan you’ve got the lauded bean-corn flavor combo as the main attraction but heavily supported by a burst of spicy limey salty goodness.
You can use this Black Bean and Corn Salsa in all sorts of dishes. I typically make a big batch and then use it to whip up tacos on the fly. Melt some cheese in a tortilla, add the salsa and some avocado bits and you’ve got an instant meal.
And while it’s technically called a salsa, it comes with the added benefit of being the perfect foundation for an epic taco salad. Add some chopped romaine along with some chunks of protein and dinner is served. I’ll put up a detailed recipe for this at some point.
Okay, don’t forget to keep some lime on standby as I find that a final burst of acidity really makes this Black Bean and Corn Salsa come alive!
Black Bean and Corn Salsa
- 1 can corn
- 1/2 can black beans
- 3 plum tomatoes
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 jalapeno
- 12-15 sprigs cilantro
- juice of 2 limes (plus more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cotija cheese (optional)
- Drain and rinse the corn and black beans, adding them to a mixing bowl. Note that we're only using 1/2 can of black beans in this version.
- Finely chop the 3 tomatoes, 1/2 red onion, 1 jalapeno, and 12-15 cilantro sprigs; adding them to the mixing bowl. I usually twist off and discard the thicker, bottom portion of the cilantro stems but keep the upper stems.
- Add the juice of 2 limes, 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, and 1 teaspoon salt. Combine well and take a final taste for seasoning, adding more salt or lime if necessary.
- Garnish with a generous sprinkling of Cotija cheese. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge.