Appetizer Tex-Mex

Corn and black bean salsa recipe

Corn and black bean salsa DSC8842

Goodness! Where has this week gone? I can’t believe it’s already Saturday! I reckon this is what happens when you have a book coming out almost a month—your life starts to get a little busy.

Take this week for instance. My publisher came over to my apartment to shoot some videos for the book. As you can tell by the lack of videos on my site, this is uncharted territory for me—so I spent most of my prep time wringing my hands and wondering why my publisher even needed video. I was a nervous wreck. But on the day of the shoot, it all went well and turned out to be surprisingly fun.

There were a couple of other moments when I had to be in front of the camera this week, too. At least these were still shots, so I didn’t have to worry about talking. Though one shoot was so complicated, all the furniture was shifted around my apartment to accommodate the equipment needed. As such, my couch ended up in my sliver of a kitchen. And that pretty much sums up my week—everything is a bit topsy-turvy, and instead of me being in the kitchen, my living room furniture has ended up there instead.

Corn and black bean salsa | Homesick Texan

This is not to say, however, that I am complaining. On the contrary. I’m having the time of my life. While I am most comfortable when I’m cooking, doing all these other activities has taken me way out of my comfort zone and this is thrilling. I was recntly reading a book where the main character has to do something bold that he’s never tried before, which gets his heart racing. When he’s done, he says to himself, “I’ve done my cardio exercises for the day!” And that’s exactly how I feel.

While there hasn’t been too much happening in my kitchen this week between it being filled with living room furniture and the stiflingly hot temperatures here in New York, I do have an old heat-wave standby that I’ve thrown together and kept on hand—my corn and black bean salsa.

This salsa is something I’ve been making since college, inspired by a potluck dish one of my mom’s friends used to share. Now, there are several corn salsa recipes in my repertoire, but this one is notable for the fact that you don’t have to turn on your oven, stove or grill. You simply take uncooked freshly shucked corn and cooked black beans (in this heat, I just use canned) and toss them with some fresh jalapeños, bell peppers, cilantro, lime juice and olive oil. While it’s great just like that, I have been known to throw in some bacon even though that does require a bit of stove time.

This corn and black bean salsa is terrific with tortilla chips and makes for a good side dish, too. It’s also a fine topper on shrimp, scallops, fish and chicken. But no matter how you eat it, know that it will keep you cool.

Corn and black bean salsa | Homesick Texan

Now then, many of you have been asking about my cookbook. If you’re interested in learning more about my book, I’ve set up a page that shows how to pre-order it and some examples of the inside spreads. Please, take a look!

Corn and black bean salsa DSC8842
5 from 1 vote

Corn and black bean salsa

Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 6
Author Lisa Fain


  • 2 cups freshly shucked sweet corn, about 4 cobs or 2 cups frozen
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, drained
  • 1/4 small red onion, diced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Pinch cayenne


  1. Mix together the corn, black beans, red onion, garlic, jalapeño, red bell pepper, cilantro, and cumin. Stir in the olive oil and lime juice. Add salt and cayenne, then taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

  2. Allow to chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. Can use as a dip or on tacos or with grilled meats. 

Recipe Notes

For extra flavor, stir in 4 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled.

  1. Highlands Ranch Foodie

    I've been looking for a tried and true corn and black bean salsa recipe. It's finally sweet corn season in Colorado, so will be trying this soon. Looking forward to your cookbook, congratulations.

  2. Gotta love canned beans…so handy in this heat

  3. One of my very favorite summer dishes. We add loads of tomatoes and jicama too.

  4. Heidi @ Food Doodles

    That looks delicious. And I have just enough corn leftover to make it 😀 Thanks for sharing!

  5. Lisa Fain

    Highlands Ranch Foodie–It's sweet corn season here, too. I love this time of year! And thank you for the kind words about the cookbook.

    Ghfiii–Canned beans are indeed a plus when it's too hot to cook!

    Sharon–Yum! That's what I love about this dish, just about anything goes! Avocado is pretty terrific, too.

    Heidi–You're very welcome. Enjoy!

  6. Michelle Stiles

    I am so excited about your cookbook! It will be a great birthday present… to myself! My husband is a Texan living in Washington with me. He will be stoked on some food that makes him homesick.

    I am going to whip up a batch of this salsa this afternoon and call it dinner.

  7. Lisa Fain

    Michelle–I hope you enjoy the salsa! And while I'm biased, I do have to say that's an excellent present to yourself. Happy birthday!

  8. Becki (Becki's Whole Life)

    Love this salsa – a nice change from tomato based salsas. I have never sprinkled bacon on top of salsa, but oh my, yum! The smokiness adds a great flavor, I am sure!

  9. Lisa Fain

    Becki–Bacon makes everything better!

  10. I don't think there will ever be a shared recipe or story that doesn't resonate with some cockles of our hearts … thank you for all these good ingredients mixed together to create too-hot-to-cook hit-the-spot refreshment food! & commenter comments expand the list of possible ingredients (jicama, yes!). I've shared your blog with a son's friend (Rice U student) traveling & blogging from Spain. She is having a summer to remember but those tinges of homesickness are likely helped by your HT blog & recipes until she returns to Lone Star soil. BUT, the recipe, the entry … thank you, sharing with my sis in Colorado where I am visiting now. We continue to look forward to the cookbook's debut (pre-ordered when first heard it could be!).

  11. Lisa Fain

    Barbara–Thank you! And I can't wait to add jicama to mine next time, too. Enjoy your time in Colorado!

  12. Fredericka

    Congrats to a fellow 'Roo! My AC magazine came yesterday and I devoured the article featuring you (get that, "devoured"?). It was an excellent article & nice photos. I love the blog & can't wait for the book – will place my early order today.

  13. Lisa Fain

    Fredericka–Thanks for stopping by! Go Roos!

  14. muybuenocookbook

    Wowza! Loving the preview of your cookbook! I will be sure to pre-order when available. Best of luck — your blog and cookbook are beautiful!

  15. Lisa Fain

    Muybueno–Muchas gracias!

  16. Anonymous

    I keep corn, black beans and a can of diced tomatoes (sometimes with peppers) in the fridge all summer. With simple additions, this makes many a meal for hubby and me. The other nite we filled tortillas with the mix, sprinkled with some shredded cheese and rolled them up. After about a minute in the microwave, we slathered on guacamole and had a grand light dinner.

  17. Lisa Fain

    Anon–That's a great idea!

  18. I am so excited for you, Lisa, about your cookbook. I can hardly wait to get it! I have just pre-ordered it. My family goes back to the 1800's in Texas, but I have been in Arizona for the last 20 years, so your recipes remind me of the comfort food that flows easily through my veins. This is a book I will hand down to my grandson someday so that he can remember his Texas heritage.

  19. Lisa Fain

    Kenna–Thank you for pre-ordering the book! We may move far from home, but we'll never forget the comfort of Texas food. l

  20. If you use frozen corn, do you need to let it thaw before you put it in the salsa?

  21. Lisa Fain

    Janus–No, you don't need to thaw the corn.

  22. How funny! Just what I've been eating for the past week 🙂

  23. I put in an pre-order for your cookbook as I've loved every recipe from your website that I've made. If the internet collapses after the arrival of your book and the country falls into chaos, I will at least have your recipes to carry me through as I scavenge for jalapenos in the wreckage of the old world and eat my way into the new.

    Can't wait for the book to arrive!

  24. Muffin Tin

    Will you go on a signing tour? Can't wait to get your book!

  25. Heather @ chiknpastry

    can't wait for the book! meanwhile, the salsa looks great 🙂

  26. I think you need to come to Toronto on your signing tour Lisa! Will you do the 5 minute cooking segment we see on so many morning programs ?

  27. Lisa Fain

    Amy–Me too!

    Muffin Tin–I'll be going to Texas, and maybe some other places. Will post my schedule soon.


    Tommy–I'd love to come to Toronto. What's a good bookstore there?

  28. Gayla Parish

    I made this yesterday and it's awesome! I've made another version with vinegar but the lime juice really gives it a wonderful flavor and the cumin and cayenne give it a kick. This one is a keeper!

  29. Lisa Fain

    Gayla–I'm so glad you liked it!

  30. I added two roasted serranos, one roasted habanero, two roasted green cayenne (which I think were mislabeled because there is no heat) and one roasted sweet green pepper and sweet paprika. I forgot the onion. Will rectify on next try. Thanks!

  31. Anonymous

    Hot tip for cutting corn off the cob– Use a bundt pan resting on a damp towel, so it doesn't slip around. The little hole in the bundt pan holds the base of the corn cob steady while you cut off the kernels. Cut kinda shallow the first pass down the cob, then use the flat side of the knife to scrape out the remaining part of the kernels. This is SO GOOD when made with fresh sweet corn. Super fast and no nonsense.

  32. love this!!! We used to have something similar in AZ all the time and I ate it like a champ! Can't wait to bring this back and make it at home 🙂

  33. cookies and cups

    Great recipe! I could eat salsa like this all day everyday!

  34. mytwocentsworth

    This is very similar to my black bean/corn/red pepper concoction which I like to eat right out of the bowl (but I may have to tweak mine in the direction of your recipe). A tip for those who live close to a Trader Joe's: In the freezer section you will find packaged "fire-roasted" corn–a great substitute if you can't get the good fresh stuff.

  35. Anonymous

    Not sure how I came upon your blog-but it's wonderful. My mouth is watering over the beautiful photos! An expat Californian in Paris, and I miss Tex-Mex more than I can tell you! Haven't found any Masa Harina yet-but will try the flour tortilla recipe-thanks!

  36. This is so good. I love to top cilantro polenta with a bean salsa. Cannot wait to try yours!

  37. Anonymous

    oh my goodness this is good… made some yesterday… might have to make more today 🙂

  38. Yum! I just made some, and it is delicious. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  39. Victoria

    My Mom always added jicama to this salad too — love your recipe, thanks!

  40. Sean Peake

    Would this survive canning in a pressure canner?

    • Lisa Fain

      Sean–Unfortunately, I’ve never used a pressure canner so I have no idea if it would survive. Probably not, though, as it’s not soupy. You’d probably want to add some pureed tomatoes.

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