Avocado black bean salad is an easy, cold lunch or side dish for your next picnic or summer meal. Black beans, avocado, red pepper, and red onion are tossed in a fresh and bright lime vinaigrette.
This avocado black bean salad is an easy recipe to make for a quick summer lunch. With just 15 minutes of prep it's ready to serve!
Black bean salad also makes a great side dish for taco Tuesday or your next barbecue. Use as a taco topping, stuff into pita bread or a tortilla, add to a bed of lettuce, or enjoy on its own. The options are endless!
You'll love the homemade lime vinaigrette dressing - it's bright and fresh, with zesty lime flavor. Plus, it's made from scratch with just a handful of simple ingredients.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Black beans - Can be substituted with another bean you have on hand - kidney beans or black eyed peas would work well.
- Red bell pepper - Can be substituted with other colors of bell pepper, like green or yellow. For hotter flavor, add in a diced jalapeno as well.
- Avocado - Adds creamy texture to the salad.
- Lime - Adds acidity and lime flavor to the dressing. We're utilizing the juice and zest of one lime for this recipe.
- Olive oil - Can be substituted with canola oil or vegetable oil.
- Seasoning - Salt and cayenne pepper enhance the flavor of your black bean salad. Cayenne pepper can be substituted with black pepper for a milder flavor.
Mixing your vinaigrette
A vinaigrette is one of the easiest salad dressings to make at home. Oil and vinegar are typically used to make a vinaigrette, but today we're swapping out the vinegar with freshly squeezed lime juice.
In addition, you'll zest your lime and whisk it into the vinaigrette for extra citrus flavor. Salt and cayenne pepper add flavor to your dressing. Add extra cayenne pepper for a spicier dressing.
What to serve with black bean salad
Black bean salad can be served on its own as a cold salad, used as a taco topping, or added to a main course as a side dish.
Here are a few ways to serve black bean salad and utilize leftovers:
- Serve with tortilla chips as an appetizer, like cowboy caviar.
- Add to tacos, nachos, or burritos as a topping or filling.
- Serve over chopped leafy greens as a salad
- Make a cold lunch wrap - Add to a tortilla with a few leaves of lettuce, sliced tomato, and a smear of spicy aioli.
This salad can be made several hours ahead and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Want to make your salad the day before? Prepare as directed but omit the avocado. Store the salad covered in the refrigerator overnight. Just before serving, slice the avocado and toss into the salad.
How long does black bean salad last?
Since this salad includes avocado, it's best served within about a day for best visual appeal. The vinaigrette dressing coats the avocado and helps slow down oxidizing/browning. But you'll notice after about a day the avocado will begin to brown. Browning avocado is still perfectly edible, but will look less pretty, which you'll want to keep in mind if serving to guests at a party.
Any dish using canned beans will keep for 3-4 days total in the refrigerator, and the avocado will be noticeably brown at this point. After that, any leftovers should be discarded.
Avocado Black Bean Salad
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 30 ounces canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 avocados, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
- In a small bowl, add the zest and juice of one lime along with the olive oil, salt, and cayenne pepper. Whisk to combine.
- Add beans, avocado, bell pepper, red onion and cilantro, tossing to coat.
- Serve immediately, or cover and chill until ready to serve.
- This recipe makes six side salad servings or four larger lunch sized servings. Recipe can be stretched further when served as a taco or salad topping.
- Recipe can be made several hours ahead of time - cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- If making a day ahead, omit avocado, then slice and add just before serving. Avocado will slowly brown over time.
- Salad will keep for 3-4 days when tightly sealed in the refrigerator.
- 1 lime = about 2 tablespoons of lime juice and 2 teaspoons of lime zest.