Black Bean Corn Salad {15 Minute Prep!}

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A simple and filling Black Bean Corn Salad is bursting with flavor and can be ready in 15 minutes or less! 

Black Bean Corn Salad is packed with good-for-you ingredients, is filling enough for a meal, and is finished with a simple two-ingredient dressing. If you’re looking to add some meat to this vegetarian meal, use this Chicken Marinade or Steak Marinade recipe. They’re both delicious!

Overhead image of the ready-to-eat Black Bean Corn Salad with the dressing over it and a fork on the side.

One of the most common comments I get from readers is how they need recipes that are quick and easy to prepare but are also healthy. And as a busy mom of three little ones, I feel the same way myself. I just don’t have the time or energy to create elaborate meals for my family every day. That’s where this Black Bean Corn salad comes in.

This salad assembles in less than 15 minutes and has quickly become the recipe I make when I have “no time” to make a full meal. I hope this recipe can save you some time in the kitchen as well!

Image of the head of romaine lettuce being cut for Black Bean Corn Salad.

Easy two “ingredient” dressing

I’m not often a proponent of store-bought dressings, since homemade dressings are more economical, far tastier, and don’t take too long to make. But there’s always an exception to the rule, and this is one of those exceptions.

To make the prep time for this black bean corn salad as fast as possible, we’ll be using a store-bought dressing (Jalapeño Ranch) mixed with store-bought BBQ sauce. And despite how simple it is, this dressing works really well in this recipe– and it’s delicious too!

Image of the salad dressing being made with the jalapeño ranch dressing and BBQ sauce.

Black Bean Corn Salad in 15 minutes!

Yes, this recipe really can be made in just 15 minutes. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Make couscous: did you know couscous can be ready in about 10 minutes?! I love the couscous in this recipe; it’s fast to make and helps add bulk to this salad–which makes it more filling. See the recipe card for directions on how to make couscous.
  • Chop lettuce: Use a bag of pre-chopped and washed romaine lettuce to make prep time even faster. If you have a couple of extra minutes, take a full head of romaine lettuce instead. To make chopping the lettuce easier, stack 4-5 leaves on top of each other, roll them up like a burrito, and make thin vertical slices all the way down. Finish by making one horizontal slice across all the thin slices. See the pictures above for how I do this.
  • Make the dressing: Stir together the spicy ranch and BBQ sauce. Done!
  • Toppings: Open cans of corn and black beans, drain, and rinse. Slice up a few mini peppers, shred some cheese (or buy pre-shredded for even quicker prep), and open up a bag of corn tortilla strips or chips.
  • Assemble: Toss the lettuce and couscous together, add all the toppings, drizzle the dressing over, and enjoy this delicious Black Bean Corn Salad!


What is couscous, anyway? Cous is pasta, made with semolina wheat flour. Imagine taking a piece of spaghetti and cutting it into the very tiniest pieces possible. That’s what couscous is. Watch the labels when you buy it, though. Israeli couscous is not the same thing. It’s made with much larger pieces of grain and takes significantly longer to cook. The couscous we’re looking for is almost microscopic when in its uncooked state!

Overhead image of the prepped lettuce and couscous for this Black Bean Corn Salad .

Variation ideas

I love how this salad can be modified easily, based on personal taste preferences, or just what you’re craving at the moment. Here are some of my favorite variation ideas:

  • Add grilled chicken or steak. This will add quite a bit of prep time, but the extra protein makes the salad much more filling. However, if you have leftover cooked meat in the fridge, slicing it up will only take a few minutes!
  • Add a scoop of guacamole or a chopped avocado to the salad.
  • Add a thinly sliced red onion. To take away the “bite” of red onion, soak it in cold water for about 5-10 minutes before adding.
  • Switch out the couscous with quinoa (here’s my guide on how to cook quinoa).
  • Add some hard-boiled eggs for added protein and flavor.

Image of the mini bell peppers being cut for this Black Bean Corn Salad.Overhead image of the ready-to-eat Black Bean Corn Salad with the dressing on it.

More QUICK-PREP recipes:

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Black Bean Corn Salad

5 from 8 votes
Simple and filling Black Bean Corn Salad is bursting with flavor and can be ready in 15 minutes or less! 
Print Recipe

Black Bean Corn Salad

5 from 8 votes
Simple and filling Black Bean Corn Salad is bursting with flavor and can be ready in 15 minutes or less! 
Course Dinner, Main Course, Salad, Vegetarian
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword black bean corn salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 527kcal
Author Chelsea


  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 cup water or chicken stock, chicken broth, or vegetable broth (any works!)
  • 1 large head romaine lettuce OR 1 bag pre-chopped romaine lettuce (about 6 cups)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) fire-roasted corn drained
  • 3/4 cup mini sweet bell peppers thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pepper jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup corn tortilla chips
  • 3/4 cup Jalapeno Ranch salad dressing (Note 1)
  • 1/4 cup Honey BBQ sauce
  • Optional: fresh lime, fresh cilantro


  • COUSCOUS: Prepare the couscous according to package directions. (Bring 1 cup water or stock/broth to a boil and once it boils, remove it from the heat, stir in couscous, and place the lid on. Let stand for 2-4 minutes.) Fluff the couscous with a fork. (Don't let the couscous stand covered too long before fluffing, as it gets harder to fluff the longer it sits). Place in the fridge while preparing everything else.
  • LETTUCE: Coarsely chop the lettuce. Wash and thoroughly dry the lettuce. (A salad spinner is great here.) Chop into bite-sized pieces. For faster prep, use a bag of pre-washed and chopped romaine lettuce. Add lettuce to a large salad bowl.
  • SALAD: Add the drained and rinsed black beans, drained corn, and thinly sliced bell peppers on top of the lettuce. Add the cooked, fluffed, and cooled couscous right on top and toss with two salad spoons until everything is combined. If eating all at one time, toss the salad with dressing in the large bowl. (See next step for making the dressing.) Separate dressed salad onto plates and add cheese and tortilla strips in even amounts on plates. If you aren't eating this salad all at once, toss individual plates with dressing.
  • DRESSING: In a small bowl, whisk together the jalapeno ranch and honey BBQ sauce. Drizzle over salads to taste. (You may not use all of it depending on how much dressing you like.) 
  • If desired, add freshly chopped cilantro and fresh lime. Enjoy salads immediately after dressing.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: For a similar homemade dressing whisk together the following in a small bowl: 1/4 cup BBQ sauce, 1/4 cup honey, 1/2 cup mayo, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, salt & pepper to taste.
Nutritional information will vary, depending on the brand and the amount of dressing used.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 527kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 796mg | Potassium: 248mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1614IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.




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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe Chelsea……(:
    A real nice medley of flavors!!!!!
    Thank you!!!!!
    (I would just try to reduce the sodium a bit, but other than that, this salad is beyond fantastic!!!!! (:

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