Canned Corn, Black Bean and Avocado Salad (with Quinoa)
If you're fed up with bland-tasting salads this canned corn, black bean, and avocado quinoa salad is a must-try. With sweet corn kernels, cool tangy feta, smoky black beans, creamy avocado and a super refreshing cilantro/coriander and lime dressing there's a tonne of texture and flavour in every mouthful. Not to mention fibre, protein, healthy fats and a host of other nutritional benefits. What's more, this excellent all-rounder of a salad comes together so easily, using canned corn instead of fresh to ensure it's on the table in just 30 minutes.
The post contains additional information and helpful tips to ensure the recipe turns out great the first time. Please use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end if you are in a hurry!
- Fresh and delicious - there's so much flavour and texture packed into a bowl of this salad with sweet corn kernels, cool tangy feta, smoky black beans, and creamy avocado finished with a zesty cilantro/coriander and lime dressing.
- On the table in 30 minutes
- Healthy - packed with fibre, protein, healthy fats and much more. And did you know that canned corn is just as nutritious as fresh (and so much more convenient)?
- No obscure ingredients - you should be able to get everything you need to make this salad from your local store.
- Make-ahead friendly - the salad can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. Just make sure you store the dressing separately to prevent it from going soggy.
🛒 Ingredients and variations:
You should be able to find all the ingredients to make this salad at your normal supermarket.
Corn: you can used canned, fresh or frozen corn. If you are using frozen or fresh corn you will need to cook it first in the microwave or by simmering it on the stove
Black beans: canned beans are my go-to because they are quick and convenient, but you can also use dried beans if you prefer. Cook them first on the stove or instant pot. You could also swap the black beans for pinto beans, kidney beans or chickpeas.
Feta: adds a cool fresh tanginess to the salad that can also be achieved using sour cream or cottage cheese. Queso Fresco or cotija are great choices if you can get hold of them. You can also add some cooked chicken if you would prefer a leaner protein.
Red onion: you can substitute this with spring onions/scallions or white onion.
Quinoa: you can use another grain instead such as rice or couscous. Or if you would prefer to enjoy this salad as a side dish you can omit it and reduce the amount of dressing by half.
Toasted tortilla pieces: these are an optional topping that adds a satisfying crunch. You can also top or serve the salad with tortilla chip pieces.
Yoghurt, cilantro/coriander and jalapeño dressing: You can omit the jalapenos if you are sensitive to spice and if you prefer a dressing without yoghurt you could make lime vinaigrette instead.
🧑🍳 Canned corn, black bean and avocado salad in 4 easy steps
1. Tortilla croutons
Place a frying pan on a medium heat and add olive oil. Fry the tortilla strips for a few minutes, tossing to ensure they are toasted on both sides. Set aside when done.
2. Black beans and corn
Add a little more olive oil to the frying pan and add the black beans, smoked paprika, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and salt, and cook for a few minutes until the beans soften. Then add the canned corn, cook for a few more minutes until hot and remove the pan from the heat.
3. Make the dressing
Make the dressing using a hand blender or food processor. Add coriander/cilantro, jalapeños, fresh lime juice and yoghurt to a food processor or blender and blitz until a smooth liquid is formed. Then add the olive oil.
Put the cooked quinoa, black beans, corn, avocado and crumbled feta in a large bowl. Pour on the dressing, toss and top with the toasted tortilla strips and additional optional coriander/cilantro and jalapenos, and serve.
- Keep an eye on the tortilla strips when you toast them. They can go from nicely brown to burnt in a matter of seconds
- Ensure any liquid from the canned corn and black beans is fully cooked off before adding them to the salad
- Use pre-cooked quinoa if you are short on time. Quinoa takes around 20 minutes to cook and even longer to cool. Store-bought quinoa is a real help when you are in a hurry.
Is canned corn/tinned sweetcorn good for you?
Canned corn offers similar levels of nutrients to fresh corn according to a 2021 study. This means you'll get nutrients that benefit eye health, vitamin B, iron, protein, potassium and a lot of fibre at a lower cost without the time and hassle required to prepare fresh corn.Do you need to cook canned corn?
Canned corn is already cooked and can be consumed straight from the can. However, the taste and texture improve if you heat it on the stove or in the microwave and add oil or butter as well as seasoning.Is it okay to eat canned corn every day?
Canned corn provides almost the same level of nutrition as fresh corn. It is high in fibre and nutritious, however, it is also very high in starch. Canned corn is a healthy food choice in moderation, but consuming it every day is not advised due to its high sugar content.
The salad can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you are planning to eat the salad over a few days store the dressing separately to avoid a soggy salad. Adding fresh avocado when serving is also advised so it does not oxidise and turn brown.
😋 Check out my other canned corn recipes
Canned corn is nearly as nutritious as fresh corn and is much cheaper and easier to prepare. Most importantly, after a little oil, butter and seasoning it can taste really good. It makes a tasty topping for Easy Weeknight Chicken Ramen and this Vegetarian Burrito Bowl. It is also a key ingredient in my comforting Tuna Pasta Bake and can be used to make Mexican Street Corn Soup.
Sopa De Elote Recipe (Mexican Street Corn Soup)
Easy Weeknight Chicken Ramen Recipe
30 Minute Vegetarian Burrito Bowl
Easy Creamy Tuna Pasta Bake
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Canned Corn, Black Bean and Avocado Salad (with Quinoa)
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tortilla wrap (optional) - cut into strips
- 1 400g (14 oz) can black beans
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 250g (or 1.5 cups) drained canned corn (Note 1)
- 600g (or 21oz) cooked quinoa - (240g (or 8oz) uncooked quinoa)
- 1 avocado - chopped into 1cm/1/2 inch squares
- 200g (or 7oz) feta - crumbled
- 1 small red onion - finely chopped
- Additional jalapeno and coriander/cilantro to serve
- Large handful of coriander/cilantro
- 3 tbsp lime juice (approx 1.5 limes)
- 130g (or ½ cup) plain Greek yoghurt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Place a frying pan on a medium heat and add one third of the olive oil. Add the tortilla strips when the oil is hot and toast for a few minutes, tossing to ensure they are toasted on both sides. Set aside when done.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the frying pan and add the black beans, smoked paprika, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and 2 thirds of the salt, and cook for a few minutes until the beans soften.
- Add the corn and cook for a few more minutes until hot and remove the pan from the heat.
- Make the dressing using a hand blender or food processor. Blend all of the dressing ingredients except for the olive oil until a smooth liquid is formed. Then pour on the olive oil and blend until incorporated.
- Put the cooked quinoa in a large bowl, add the black beans and corn, avocado, crumbled feta and red onion.
- Pour on the dressing, toss together, top with the toasted tortilla strips and top with additional (and optional) coriander/cilantro and jalapenos and serve.
- Equivalent to one 325g / 187 oz can. If you are using fresh or frozen corn, go by the drained weight and ensure the kernels are cooked by simmering in boiling water for a few minutes or cooking defrosting the frozen corn in the microwave.