This spicy corn salad is topped with an amazing flavorful dressing, which makes it so different and delicious. That combined with black beans, creamy avocado, crisp tomatoes, sweet mango and herbs makes it so satisfying in many ways.
Spicy Corn Salad
There are a zillion corn salad recipes. Many that look alike. But this one is different. Scoop the salad with crunchy corn chips and it tastes fabulous!
It may look like the other corn salads but the dressing and other ingredients in it make it a flavor packed salad that you will make again and again. The dressing for this recipe is inspired by my moroccan eggplant salad.
Corn, Black Beans, Avocado, Tomatoes, Mango, Onion, Herbs, Jalapeño, Feta Cheese, Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Garlic, Honey, Spices
- Corn: I like it boiled, but you can bake or grill it. Use fresh if you can. Frozen would be okay too.
- Black Beans: This provides a nice contrast in texture, taste and appearance.
- Avocado: Choose firm and fresh avocados. Check out how to choose avocados.
- Tomatoes: I used Roma tomatoes, but cherry or grape would give a nice bite to the salad too.
- Mango: Sweet mango gives nice little surprises in the salad and pairs so well with the other flavors. But you can also try pineapple.
- Onion: Definitely use red onion. You can substitute it with shallots.
- Herbs: Cilantro works great with this salad. To complement that, use either fresh basil or mint.
- Jalapeño: Gives the perfect amount of pungency to balance the salty, sweet and sour tastes in this salad.
- Feta Cheese: This is really optional, but makes the salad very satisfying.
- Garlic: Don't skip this, it takes the salad up a notch.
- Spices: Ground cumin, ground coriander and paprika give this salad dressing an eastern Mediterranean flavor.
How to Cut Corn Without Making a Mess
Listen to Ina Garten! I got this trick from her.
Place a kitchen towel (paper towel works too) on a cutting board when you slice off the corn kernels with a sharp knife. That will make sure the kernels do not bounce all over the place. It’s a simple and effective technique.
Different Ways to Prepare Corn
Although I like to boil the corn for this salad, there are different ways to prepare corn for a variation.
Baking: Place corn with husks in the center rack and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Grilling: Coat the corn with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Then grill corn at medium heat (400 degrees F) for about 7 to 8 minutes, turning it around occasionally, until lightly browned.
This salad is very balanced in its nutritive profile as it combines carbohydrate rich corn, protein rich beans, healthy fat containing avocados with phytochemical and vitamin rich tomatoes, mango and herbs. It is gluten free, egg free, nut free, soy free and vegetarian. Skip the feta cheese to make it vegan and dairy free.
Corn is a starchy vegetable with good fiber content. So, it would be important to include that in carbohydrate counting if you are a diabetic. It also provides potassium, selenium, iron, zinc and magnesium. And it contains antioxidants such as carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, that support eye health.
Black beans are rich in protein and fiber. As a source of some key minerals — phosphorus, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc etc., these beans support bone health. They are a source of antioxidant phytochemicals such as quercetin, kaempferol, anthocyanin and saponins. Other health benefits attributed to regular consumption of black beans are — lowering of blood pressure, cancer prevention, improved gut health, better management of diabetes and weight.
Avocados are loaded with heart healthy monounsaturated fats. And tomatoes are a rich source of antioxidant nutrients, lycopene and other phytochemicals. Mangoes are a delicious fruit, loaded with nutrients and health benefits. I have discussed more about it in this post on an amazing Mango Cake.
What to Serve it With
Make a meal out of this salad by serving it along with one of these options.
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Spicy Corn Salad With Avocado
- 5 ears of corn shucked and cut off the cob
- 1 can black beans 15 oz can
- 1 avocado peeled, diced
- 2 roma tomatoes medium, diced, 1 cup
- 1 mango ripe, firm, diced or pineapple
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or mint
- 1 jalapeño medium, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped (omit if sensitive)
- ¼ cups feta cheese crumbled
- Tortilla chips or pita chips or pita chips, optional
- Take shucked corn in a large cooking pot and cover with water. Bring it to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until it is not starchy.
- Drain the water and immerse in ice cold water. Once the corn is cool, slice the kernels off the cob using a sharp knife. For grilling or baking corn, see note below.
- In a large mixing bowl, take corn kernels, black beans, avocado, tomatoes, mango, red onions, cilantro, basil and jalapeño.
- Whisk the dressing ingredients and add it to the bowl and toss the salad. Crumble feta cheese on the top.
- Crush some pita or tortilla chips on the top or serve them on the side.
- Storage: Corn salad will last for a couple days in the refrigerator. Preferably add the avocado just before serving the salad. And store the dressing also separately and add it prior to serving.
- Frozen or Canned Corn: Frozen is better than canned, but you can use the latter too. Follow package instructions for preparing frozen corn.
- Baking: Place corn with husks in the center rack and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
- Grilling: Coat the corn with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Then grill corn at medium heat (400 degrees F) for about 7 to 8 minutes, turning it around occasionally, until lightly browned.
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