Easy Vegan Summer Potluck Idea

Black Bean Corn Salad and Chips

Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salad

I know there are lots of variations on the corn and black bean salad out there, but this is my favorite. It’s an easy go-to for hot summer days, keeps well for potlucks and you can eat it with chips like a salsa or as a salad. It’s even good on top of greens or on a baked potato.

toasted corn and beans

One of the reasons I love the flavor of this version is because the corn is toasted before adding it. A few times when I had leftover grilled corn-on-the cob, I sliced off the kernels and used those – and that was the best because they were almost caramelized. The rest of the time I settle for frozen corn and toast it over high heat on the stove until it starts to brown.

black beans and red onion

I don’t use oil in the dressing, just a little when I toast the corn. Most similar recipes call for it. I’ve been trying to go as oil-free with my cooking as possible, but you can certainly drizzle your favorite salad oil in if you feel it needs it. We’ve gotten used to oil-free and find it’s great with just the vinegars.


Black Bean and Corn Salad


  • 4 cups corn kernels (frozen, canned, fresh and steamed - your choice)
  • A drizzle of oil for toasting the corn, plus a few tablespoons of water
  • 1 15-oz can of black beans
  • 1 medium to large chopped red bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped red onion, can add more to taste at end
  • 3/4 cup torn cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Variations: sprinkle the corn with chili powder and salt during the last few minutes of toasting; sprinkle sunflower seeds on top of the salad; experiment with additional chopped vegetables, like zucchini or cucumber; add crushed red pepper for spice


  1. Coat a large frying pan very lightly with oil, add corn. With heat on medium-high to high, let corn toast until it starts to get tan and some of the edges start browning, stirring frequently. Add water a tablespoon at a time (or more oil) if corn starts to stick. Let cool for a few minutes.
  2. In large bowl, mix the black beans and the rest of the vegetables. Add corn.
  3. Mix 1/4 cup of each of the vinegars, salt and pepper in a small measuring cup. Stir and add to corn and black bean mixture. Taste and add more vinegar if you want a stronger flavor.
  4. Mix salad well and taste for flavoring. The flavors are best when it can chill for a few hours. Adjust seasonings as necessary.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips, or as a stand-alone salad.

Black Bean and Corn Salad with chips