Black Bean Salsa

Black bean salsa is a delicious mix of corn and beans, wonderful for parties. You can eat it scooped up with tortilla chips. It goes very nicely beside other more common salsas, such as guacamole, tomato salsa, and the ubiquitous hummus dip. You can also combine it with black bean dip if you have some black beans left over.

This black bean salsa recipe is quite easy and fast, especially if you use canned beans. I do prefer making the salsa from fresh beans, though, so I will give instructions for doing that as well.

Note that you will have to spend 8 hours soaking the black beans, if you cook them from dry, and, for optimum flavour, another 8 hours letting the mixture sit. If you’re in a hurry, you can soak the black beans in the morning, cook them and prepare the salad in the evening, and then chill the mixture in the fridge overnight. Otherwise, you can use canned black beans to speed things up, and if you absolutely have to, you can leave the mixture to sit for less time. It is still good even just after making, but giving it more time in the fridge will definitely help.



3 cans of black beans, or 2 cups of dry black beans and 1 tsp baking soda

1 can of sweet corn, or 1 1/2 cups of frozen sweet corn

Five medium tomatoes

Two bunches of spring onions (green onions)

A small fistful of coriander leaf (cilantro)

Half a lime

Salt to taste

1 medium clove garlic (optional)

Chili peppers (chili powder, fresh chili peppers, chili sauce) to taste (optional)


If you are preparing fresh black beans, first soak them overnight with the baking soda. Make sure to cover them with lots of water as they absorb a lot. You can also soak them in the morning and cook them in the evening. As a rule of thumb, black beans need at least 8 hours to soak.

Now drain away the soaking water and put the beans in a saucepan with some new water. Boil for 15-25 minutes, until tender. Remember not to overcook them, as it is good that the beans have a little bite for this recipe. (See also: How To Cook Black Beans)

In the meantime, defrost your sweetcorn, or drain it from its can, as applicable.

Dice your tomatoes. Chop your spring onions: chop the white part finely, and the green part more roughly.

Chop your coriander leaf finely. Squeeze your lime. Chop your garlic finely, if you’re using garlic.

Make sure your beans have cooled, as you don’t want their heat causing the fresh vegetables to wilt. If you are using frozen sweetcorn, you can mix it with the beans now instead of having defrosted them earlier. This should serve to bring both their temperatures towards room temperature in 5-10 minutes.

Now mix all of the ingredients together.  Add your chili carefully, if you are using that, and also add salt incrementally, tasting each time for both until you have a good amount of spiciness and saltiness.

Leave to sit in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. While not absolutely necessary, this will greatly help bring out the flavours.