Charred Corn Salad with Black Beans + Poblano…a sweet + refreshing summer salad topped with feta and a creamy lime vinaigrette. Just the thing for a taco bar or backyard BBQ!
OH, HEY…This recipe appears as part of our Taco Bar Party menu. Check it out for all the make ahead recipes and prep checklist!
Charred Corn and Black Bean Salad
This salad has it all…smoky-sweet corn, creamy black beans, earthy roasted poblano, and crisp red bell pepper. Topped with crumbled feta and creamy lime dressing, its pops of flavor and texture are just as good as it looks.
This is an easy make ahead salad for summer entertaining — think backyard get-togethers, a taco bar fiesta or an all season long barbecue side dish.
Ingredients + Substitutions for Charred Corn Salad
In addition to kosher salt + fresh cracked black pepper to season this dish, you’ll need…
- Corn on the cob — fresh sweet summer corn is the best, but if you’re not in the mood for shucking or it’s not in season, frozen corn can be used. The recipe card below provides instructions for using both!
- Poblano pepper — roasting these, on the grill or under the broiler, enhances their smoky, earthly flavor. We’ll be removing the tough skin, too…and roasting helps that process along. If you’d rather not go through the step of roasting and removing the skin, substitute a small can of diced mild green chiles.
- Black beans — I love canned organic beans. They are easy to use and taste great. You can soak and cook your own beans if you’d like.
- Red bell pepper — we’ll just chop these up for a crisp, refreshing bite to the salad.
- Red onion — just a little to compliment the other flavors. Feel free to add more if you don’t mind having onion breath.
- Dressing — the creamy vinaigrette is made with light mayo, avocado oil, lime juice, fresh garlic + chili powder.
- Feta cheese — I often use feta in Latin-style dishes because it’s readily available and similar to queso fresco…which you can absolutely use if you have access to it.
- Cilantro — is a nice compliment to all these flavors (and just looks pretty sprinkled on top).
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Let’s Make a Black Bean and Corn Salad!
I’ll walk you through the grilling version of this recipe. For instructions on charring the corn and poblano indoors, refer to the recipe card below.
- Preheat your grill. Brush some oil on the ears of corn and season with salt + pepper. Place the corn and poblanos directly on the hot grates. Rotate every couple of minutes to char on all sides. It should take about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Place the poblano in a bowl and cover it. (Like that silicone bowl cover?!) The steam that builds up will help loosen the outer skin. Once cooled, you can peel the skin away and discard. Seed and chop the poblano. Cut the kernels off the cobs.
- Add the dressing ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the corn, poblano, black beans, diced bell pepper, and red onion to a large bowl. Drizzle the dressing over and toss to combine.
Transfer the salad to a serving dish. Top with crumbled feta and chopped cilantro. You can garnish with a couple lime wedges for added flair!
Some Helpful Tips
- To make charred corn salad ahead, mix together the main salad ingredients but don’t add the dressing. Just before serving, toss with the dressing and garnish with feta and cilantro.
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
- Use a bundt pan to cut the kernels from cooled corn cobs. The pan will catch the corn and eliminate the need to chase down all the kernels that inevitably tumble to the floor.
Other Ways to Enjoy This Recipe
In addition to being a side dish, you can think of this as a relish of sorts, too. Imagine adding a generous spoonful of this refreshing salad to…
- Tacos, burritos, nachos + breakfast tostadas
- Salads + buddha bowls
- Grilled steak or chicken as garnish
- Hot dogs!
Or, set out a bowl next to a basket of tortilla chips for dipping!
Check Out These Other Salads + Sides!
- Grilled Chicken + Corn Summer Salad
- Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
- Hand-Chopped Chimichurri Sauce
- Grilled Asparagus with Anchovy Breadcrumbs
Charred Corn Salad with Black Beans + Poblano
- 3 ears corn on the cob husk + silk removed (or 1½ cups frozen corn, thawed + drained)
- 1 poblano pepper
- ½ tbsp avocado oil
- kosher salt + fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 cup black beans (canned) rinsed + drained
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- ¼ cup red onion diced small
- ⅓ cup feta cheese crumbled
- 2 tbsp cilantro chopped
- lime wedges optional
- 2 tbsp light mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1½ tbsp lime juice from about 1 lime
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ tsp chili powder
- To char corn on the cob + poblano on the grill: preheat your outdoor grill on high for 10 minutes. Brush or rub the ears of corn + poblano with avocado oil and season with salt + pepper. Place them on the hot grill and cook of 10-12 minutes, turning frequently to get even charring all over. Keep a close eye on your corn so it doesn't over-char or burn. Remove the corn to a plate and allow to cool. Remove the poblano to a bowl and cover tightly. Once cool enough to handle, stand the cob on its end and cut the kernels off with a knife. Remove the outer skin, stem + seeds from the poblano, then chop.
- To char frozen corn kernels in a pan: preheat a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 tbsp of avocado oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the corn and season with salt + pepper. Stir to combine and continue to stir every couple of minutes to get an even char throughout. This may take up to 15 minutes. When the corn is charred to your liking, remove it to a bowl to cool.
- To char the poblano in your oven: preheat your broiler and set the top rack about 6 inches below the element. Set the poblano on a sheet pan and broil on one side until charred, flip over and repeat. Remove to a bowl and cover tightly. Once cool enough to handle, remove the outer skin, stem + seeds, then chop.
- In a large bowl, combine the corn kernels, chopped poblano pepper, black beans, red bell pepper and red onion.
- In small bowl or jar, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Taste and season with salt + pepper. Drizzle this over the vegetables and toss to coat. Taste again and adjust seasonings as needed.
- To serve, transfer salad to serving dish. Sprinkle crumbled feta and chopped cilantro on top. Add some lime wedges to garnish.
Nutritional values are estimated and provided as a general guideline only.