A healthy, make ahead side dish, this Fiesta Salad is perfect for your next BBQ, picnic, pot luck or meal prep.
Need something quick, easy, healthy and very delicious to just have on hand in the fridge or bring to a party? This is it! I pretty much always have a container of this on deck at all times. It’s one of my favorite non-lettuce based, meal prep salads!
Every bite is like a party (fiesta!) in your mouth. Black beans, crunchy corn and peppers, juicy tomatoes, creamy avocado and a zesty vinaigrette. It will make you want to dance!
It’s so good on it’s own, but what I love most about this salad is the versatility. Serve it with tortilla chips, pile it on top of romaine for a quick and easy taco salad, stuff your burritos or quesadillas with it. Use your imagination!
Let’s get into how to make it.
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Ingredients & Substitutions
This salad has everything! Protein, carbs, healthy fats. Fiesta salad a perfectly balanced (and also vegan) meal all in one!
Black beans – Beans make up the hearty base of this salad and make it chock full of healthy protein. My pantry is always stocked with black beans for salads, tacos, soups and more. One of my favorite staples!
Peppers – I like to use both bell peppers and/or poblano peppers and jalapeño for some heat.
Corn – Fresh or frozen will work. If I’m making this during peak summer, I throw a few extra ears of corn on the grill and char it a bit for that smoky flavor. If you don’t want to mess with fresh, grab a bag of the frozen Fire Roasted Corn from Trader Joe’s. It’s bomb.
Red Onion – Finely diced so there’s no big chunks of raw onion.
Cilantro – Love it or hate it, it makes this salad pop! If it’s not your thing, leave it out.
Tomatoes – You can use halved cherry or grape tomatoes or dice up a larger one.
Avocado – I slice the avocado and garnish the salad with it just before serving. If you mix it in ahead of time, it will turn brown. This is the trick to making it ahead of time and enjoying for several days.
A Zesty Dressing – I highly recommend making my Cilantro Lime Dressing for this salad. If you want to skip a step and grab something from the store to save time, I recommend this one with all clean ingredients.
Additions – During the summer, sometimes I mix in some cut up grilled zucchini or crunchy cucumbers. I’ve also been known to add cheese to pretty much everything and can recomend serving this with some salty, crumbly cotija on the side for sprinkling.
Fiesta salad couldn’t be easier to make. It’s a bit of work in the chopping but it only takes a few minutes to throw together and you can make it ahead of time!
Finely dice onion and peppers. If using cherry or grape tomatoes, cut them in half. If using a larger tomato, dice that up as well.
Make sure to drain, rinse and let dry your black beans. The liquid will make the salad watery and coat the veggies in bean sludge. It just won’t come out as pretty and the black beans will mask the flavor of everything if you skip this step. Don’t do it!
Add all of the ingredients, minus the avocado, to a large bowl and toss with dressing.
When you’re ready to serve, slice up some avocado and top the salad. If you mix the avocado in while prepping, it will turn brown so leave that step until the very last minute!
I think this salad is best when made a day in advance. Store it in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Perfect for a BBQ, picnic or a grab and go healthy meal prep salad!
What to serve with Fiesta Salad?
This salad is so versatile, you will be making it all the time. Enjoy on it’s own, with tortilla chips, as a topping for your taco salad or whip it up for the perfect bbq or picnic side that everyone will love. It pairs well with grilled chicken, steak or burgers and also works as a filling dish on it’s own for the vegans and vegetarians in the group. Definitely try it with the homemade dressing below!
- 1 15 oz can of black beans drained and rinsed
- ¾ cup corn cooked fresh, defrosted frozen or canned
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper seeded & diced
- ½ cup diced red onion
- ¾ cup halved cherry or diced tomatoes
- 1 avocado
- ½-3/4 cup of Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette or other zesty lime dressing
- Fresh cilantro for garnish
- Drain and rinse black beans and set aside to dry.
- Dice bell pepper, jalapeño and red onion. Halve cherry tomatoes or dice large tomato.
- In a large bowl, combine black beans, corn, peppers, onion and tomato.
- Using a wooden spoon, gently toss with Cilantro Lime Dressing.
- When ready to serve, garnish with sliced avocado, cilantro and add more dressing to taste.