We could eat this black bean salad for every meal in summer, even breakfast. This is the salad I make when I have to take a dish to an event because it is so quick to make, and everyone comes back for seconds. This black bean salad recipe is the best advertisement for delicious no-oil eating. It is easy to expand by adding more tomatoes or frozen corn.


  • Two 16-ounce cans black beans drained and rinsed WELL!
  • 1 very large tomato, chopped
  • 1 package frozen corn
  • ½ Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • ½ lime, juice and zest
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or more to taste


  • Add beans, tomatoes, corn, onion, and water chestnuts to a bowl (glass looks pretty) and mix. Rinsing the beans well keeps the salad from looking gray.
  • Add cilantro, lime, and balsamic vinegar and mix again. Serve alone or with cucumber open-faced sandwiches for a perfect meal.

Comments (18)

(5 from 10 votes)

Recipe Rating

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So easy and so delicious. And you can have it alone, as a side, on chips or on salad…versatile too!


This is so delicious and so easy! I love it in a wrap with some greens and smashed avocado, on a bed of greens and cooked farro, or with a handful of baked corn chips for a snack. I use a 26 oz bag of corn, just one 26 oz can of black beans, and a punnet of cherry tomatoes instead of one large tomato.

Liane Lyle

Is it possible to write the recipe using cups instead of 'packages'? What is available here may be totally different to what you can buy in your neighbourhood.


This recipe can be modified based on preference. For example, I love corn, and I prefer fewer beans, so I add a 26 oz bag of corn and only one 26 oz can of beans. Experiment and see what you like!


Great summer fixings


Can you substitute something for the fresh tomato when they are not in season?


I use a punnet of cherry tomatoes because they tend to be sweeter year 'round. Or maybe you could try a jar of salsa? I'd opt out of the vinegar though, because it would it get too soggy.


Easy and delicious!


I just made this for the first time – I could not believe how delicious it is! I used parsley instead of cilantro as am not a fan of the latter. Thank you.


Excellent salad and easy to put together. I didn't have water chestnuts (or the suggested jicama) but found that celery and apples are good substitutes and provided the important crunch to the salad. Rave reviews and the apples really stood out as a great addition.


So good! I've made for events and just for at home.

Corey Wendlandt

Try this one


This was the first recipe I tried after starting WFPB. It is simple and delicious. I make it regularly and someone will usually ask for the recipe when I take it to an event.


Excellent recipes, thx


In my country water chestnuts isn't available. How can I replace it? A kohlrabi will be ok? Or better lose?


Can you get jicama? It has a similar consistency to water chestnuts but it has a bit more sweetness to it. It's juicy and crunchy like water chestnuts. Kohlrabi is more closely associated with the broccoli/cauliflower family.


Delicious! BTW - Jicama makes a good substitute for the water chestnuts.


This is delicious! It is great for potlucks and company. I can actually eat the whole thing myself (over the course of about three days, of course)!

About the Author

A headshot of Jane and Ann Esselstyn

About the Author

Ann Crile Esselstyn, M.Ed., and Jane Esselstyn, R.N.

Ann and Jane Esselstyn are a mother-daughter team with decades of experience developing delicious, healthful dishes both for their family and for Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s many grateful patients. They co-authored Be a Plant-Based Woman Warrior and The Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, and regularly feature heart-healthy recipes on their popular YouTube channel. Ann developed the recipes for The New York Times bestselling book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. Jane is a wellness instructor and a plant-strong presenter and cook, as well as a married mother of three. She created the recipe section for the bestselling Plant-Strong and The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet, and co-authored The Engine 2 Cookbook with her brother, Rip Esselstyn. Ann and Jane live next door to each other in Cleveland, Ohio. Follow them on Instagram. Photo by Donna Ruhlman
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