Southwestern Corn Salad with Chipotle Shrimp

Dare I say that corn on the cob with butter and salt can get old ?! While I do love that classic summery combo, I also love to mix it up. Yes, I do have a YouTube video where I jazz up the classic cob with some compound butters (which I’ve linked below) but you know…we can’t eat butter all the time. And I needed to make something for my vegans out there. That’s where this salad comes in.

southwestern corn and black bean salad  with tomatoes and onions

Lucky for you, this southwestern corn salad is extremely easy to make; keeps in the fridge for days; and goes perfectly with freshly grilled anything. Seriously. I paired it with a chipotle shrimp in these photos, but you can also serve this salad as a side dish for burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, grilled fish…. truly anything thrown on a grill. It just gives off “summer by the pool” vibes. You also can portion it out and serve it on individual plates, or you can just throw it all in a massive bowl and tell people to serve themselves.

If you’re feeling intimidated at all, please know that you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to make this salad. This is the case for all of my recipes but especially this one. The salad is essentially a bunch of freshly chopped ingredients with lime juice and salt. You can use a knife or a food processor to chop the onion and tomato if you feel best doing one over the other. I’m not judging you for taking shortcuts! You do you. The most time consuming part of the recipe is boiling the corn before cutting it off the cob. I’m sure you can find corn off the cob at your store, but in the spirit of summer, go for the real deal. Either sweet or yellow corn on the cob will work here. Don’t use any frozen pre-seasoned buttery corn! Don’t use canned corn! Try not to use frozen corn on the cob! If that’s the only option you have, ok sure. Frozen on the cob is second best. It won’t be as delicious but it’s better than the latter. Ideally you are using fresh, crisp corn for this recipe.

To boil your corn:

In terms of boiling the corn, boil it in a large stock pot full of boiling water for 8-10 minutes. I like a little more crunch in my corn, so I go for 8 minutes. But most recipes call for 10 for that standard tenderness. If you have smaller cobs, also err on the side of 8 minutes. For larger cobs, err on the side of 10 minutes. Feel free to add 1 tsp of salt to the boiling water. If you want to enhance the sweetness of the corn, feel free to add a generous amount of sugar as well (2 tsp-1 tbsp.)

southwestern corn and black bean salad with tomatoes and onions

Southwestern Corn and Black Bean Salad

Fresh corn tossed with lime juice, cilantro, black beans, tomatoes and red onion. Serve as a side dish with a protein or as a "serve yourself" style starter. Perfect bright and zesty flavors for summer!
Total Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


  • 4 cups corn boiled, off the cob (instructions below if needed)
  • 2 cans black beans rinsed and drained
  • 4 medium roma tomatoes diced (should yield about 3-4 cups)
  • 2 cups red onion diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped to taste (stems and leaves)
  • 1/3 cup lime juice *can use 1/2 cup if you prefer extra bright and zesty flavors
  • Salt to taste (I used 3 generous pinches) instructions on salting to taste are below


For the corn:

  • In a large stock pot full of water + 1 tsp salt. Bring the water to a boil. Add the corn and boil for 8-10 minutes, until the corn is bright yellow in color and tender, while still maintaining a little bit of firmness.
  • Place the cooked corn into a bowl of cold water and then run more cold water over the corn until the temperature neutralizes and it's no longer piping hot.
  • One at a time, place the corn on the cutting board, thick side down. Hold the top of the corn firmly, while anchoring the bottom of the corn onto the cutting board. Then use a chefs knife to slice the kernels off the cob, until you hit the spine of the corn. The knife should slide easily down the cob and you may have to rock it back and forth a bit to get all of the kernels off. Repeat with all of the corn until its all off the cob.

For the salad:

  • In a bowl, combine the corn and all of the other salad ingredients. Toss until combined.
  • Taste to make sure the levels of cilantro, salt and lime juice are to your liking. If not, feel free to add a little bit more at a time, then toss and taste. In terms of salting to taste, i recommend adding 1/8 tsp at a time, then tossing and tasting until you reach your desired salt levels.
  • Serve immediately or cover in a sealed container and keep in the fridge up to 4 days.
Keyword black beans, cilantro, corn, lime juice, red onion, roma tomato, salt

If you aren’t vegan and want to jazz this up with some protein, make these super easy chipotle lime shrimp!

Chipotle Lime Shrimp

Super easy chipotle lime shrimp made on a grill or a grill pan. For accessibility purposes, I use chipotle powder in this recipe, but you can also use chipotle adobo as well if you have it on hand!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 4 people


  • Grill pan


  • 1 lb. shrimp fresh or thawed and peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 tsp chipotle powder or more to taste, depends on your spice preference!
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp lime juice *or the juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the shrimp. Mix together un til combined.
  • Add the shrimp and let them marinate for 10-30 minutes.
  • Heat a grill pan on high heat. Don't oil the pan as that will prevent the char marks from forming.
  • Remove the shrimp from the marinade and dry them off with a paper towel. Sprinkle a touch of salt on both sides.
  • With tongs, place as many as you can onto the hot grill pan, making sure none of the shrimp overlap or touch. Cook on one side for 1-2 minutes, until char marks develop, then flip and cook for another 1 minute.
  • If making them in multiple batches, repeat with the next batch. Serve with cilantro and fresh lime. If not serving immediately, keep in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.


If you don’t have garlic or onion powder, you can truly just make this with chipotle powder, lime, and salt! 
Keyword avocado oil, chipotle powder, lime juice, salt

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