Slammin’ Salsa with Black Beans and Corn

Whenever I have open hours at our local natural foods store, I prepare a healthy sample for customers to nibble while they ask me nutrition questions. The sample serves as customer magnet, light refreshment and conversation opener all at once. Not bad for a simple recipe!

To celebrate football season, I recently served a black bean and corn salsa with crispy tortilla chips and subsequently learned that even the busiest shopper will make time for the fresh flavors of this dish. It’s a nutrient-packed alternative to the heavy cream- and mayo-based dips that are popular with the sports-watching crowd. Serve with whole grain chips or veggies for an extra-healthy treat.

Even if you don’t plan to kick back on the couch this football season, you can still serve this salsa at parties — even if it’s a party of one. Try serving it with grilled chicken, fish or tofu, or fold it into a wrap. Top toasted bread slices with salsa for an easy appetizer. Mix with rice to create a unique side. Let your imagination run wild!

Perhaps in the competitive spirit of football season, I continuously try to top myself when making samples for my customers. I’m always looking for inspiration, so I ask you: What’s your favorite use for salsa? What are your favorite sports snacks, whether playing or watching? Maybe they will show up at my next tasting!

Slammin’ Salsa with Black Beans and Corn

Recipe by Jessie Erwin, RD, LDN

Makes 4 cups

1-1/2 cups corn (fresh, frozen or canned – 15 oz. bag or can)
1-1/2 cups black beans, fresh or canned (15 oz. can)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
3 scallions, green sections sliced
3/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 small red or orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
Juice from 2 limes


  1. If using frozen corn, defrost by spreading over a towel-lined baking sheet for 45 minutes. If using canned corn, rinse in colander. Rinse beans in colander to remove excess salt.
  2. In a large bowl, add corn, black beans, chopped tomatoes, red onion, scallions, cilantro, bell pepper and lime juice. Stir to combine.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to combine.
  4. Serve with chips or cut-up veggies.
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Jessie Erwin
Jessie Erwin, RD, LDN, is a registered dietitian and blogger based in Illinois. She shares recipes, healthy living tips and the latest in nutrition research on her website, The Happiness in Health. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.