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No matter what the time of year, if there’s one thing I love, it’s a healthy salad recipe that perfectly blends sweet and savory and is bright, fresh, and full of flavor. That’s this mango black bean salad recipe to a T.
Combining mangoes, black beans, tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, corn, and a simple salad dressing with lime juice and cilantro, perfectly captures fresh Mexican flavors and tastes out of this world!
Best of all, this black bean mango salad is rich in protein, complex carbs, healthy fats, and fiber! So much so that it will keep you satisfied for hours.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To make mango black bean salad you will need just a few simple ingredients.
- Mango: Use a ripe mango with medium softness. My favorite type is Ataulfo mangoes which are smaller and sweeter than the regular Tommy Atkins mango variety.
- Black Beans: These make up the base of the salad. You can use low sodium canned black beans or soak and cook them from dried. The best canned beans to use will be low-sodium, organic, and in BPA-free cans.
- Bell Pepper: I prefer to use either red, orange, or yellow bell peppers, which are sweeter. However, you could also use green bell pepper if that’s what you have.
- Corn: You can use fresh corn or frozen corn. Usually, I’ll use frozen and thaw it under warm water, then drain. However, during summer, I love to make corn on the cob in Instant Pot, cutting kernels off each ear of corn and adding it to the salad.
- Tomatoes: You can use one larger tomato or a handful of smaller tomatoes. I like to use grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes to make the salad less watery. However, you could also use Roma tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, or beefsteak tomatoes.
- Red Onion: Add a lovely tang to the mango black bean salad. You could also use green onion.
- Avocado: Use one ripe avocado, diced. This adds a lovely creaminess and healthy fats to the salad. If you plan to make this salad in advance, save the avocado until just before serving to avoid it browning too quickly.
- Herbs and Spices: I use a combination of fresh cilantro, ground cumin, salt, and chili pepper flakes for a variety of savory and spicy flavors. If you’re not a cilantro fan, you could substitute fresh parsley or mint, though this can change the flavor quite dramatically.
- Salad Dressing: Use a combination of extra virgin olive oil and fresh lime juice. Even better, the lime juice pairs wonderfully with the mango. Alternatively, you may like this black bean mango salad served with my delicious avocado cilantro dressing.
- (Optional) Chili: For a little extra spice, feel free to add in a jalapeño or habanero pepper, finely diced.
How to Make Mango Black Bean Salad
Here is a quick overview how to make mango black bean salad.
- Prep the black beans: Make sure to drain and rinse canned beans with cold water. You do not want the gooey liquid in a salad. Alternatively, you can cook dried beans or make Instant Pot black beans. Add black beans to a large bowl.
- Dice the mango: You can use your preferred method for dicing mangoes. For Ataulfo mangoes, which have thin skin, I like to peel the fruit, cut the flesh away from the pit, and chop it. Once diced, add it to the bowl with beans. For other types of mango, see how to cut mango tutorial.
- Combine all the ingredients: Add the remaining veggies, oil, lime juice, and seasoning right to the salad bowl. No need to whisk the dressing separately. Mix gently to combine all the ingredients.
Taste the mango black bean salad and adjust any of the ingredients to your liking. However, note that the flavor will be best when it’s been allowed to marinate for several hours in the fridge. That way, all the flavors get to meld together!
If you allow it to marinate, then taste it once more before serving and optionally add a little extra of any of the ingredients at that point (lime juice, salt, etc.)
What to Serve Mango Black Bean Salad with?
This refreshing mango black bean salad recipe is best served cold after marinating for several hours in the fridge. It pairs well with many dishes including:
- Chips: It is perfect for scooping up onto chips.
- Tacos: Serve on taco night alongside strawberry mango salsa and your favorite tacos like shrimp tacos, grilled fish tacos and more.
- Chicken: Like grilled chicken thighs or chili lime chicken.
- With Seafood: Mango pairs well with seafood, so feel free to serve it alongside grilled salmon or grilled shrimp skewers.
How to Make Ahead and Store
To make ahead: Refrigerate mango black bean salad in a large bowl without the avocado, olive oil, lime juice, and salt, covered for up to 24 hours. Then add the omitted ingredients and stir before serving.
Store: Once fully prepared, it is best to enjoy this black bean mango salad within 24 hours as the ingredients will release juices, salad will become watery and vegetables soggy.
I do not recommend freezing it, as the fresh vegetables can change texture when frozen and thawed.
Tips for Best Results
Here are my top tips for the best black bean mango salad recipe in the world!
- If you’re using regular canned beans: Not low-sodium canned black beans, then reduce the amount of salt in the recipe.
- Always buy mangoes that aren’t too ripe for salads: If they are too soft, they become mushy and fall apart in a black bean mango salad recipe. Instead, use medium-hard mangoes that will hold their shape well while still tasting sweet.
- If you are using large, seedy tomatoes: Feel free to scoop out the seeds.
More Salad Recipes to Try
If you enjoyed this mango black bean salad recipe, then you might like some of these recipes!
- Quinoa and black bean salad
- White bean salad
- Avocado chickpea salad
- Mexican tuna salad
- Corn tomato avocado salad
- Mango slaw
- Mexican kale salad
You may also like to browse through this list of healthy salads recipes!
Mango Black Bean Salad
- 2 medium or 3 Ataulfo mango chopped
- 1 large tomato chopped
- 1 large bell pepper chopped
- 1 cup corn cooked or frozen (thawed)
- 15 – 19 oz can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup cilantro finely chopped
- 2 tbsp red onion minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 lime juice of
- 2 tsp cumin ground
- 1/2 tsp salt
- red chili pepper flakes to taste
- In a large bowl, add mango, tomato, bell pepper, corn, black beans, cilantro, onion, olive oil, lime juice, cumin, salt, hot pepper flakes.
- Gently stir to combine. If you have time, allow flavors to marry each other in the fridge for a few hours.
- Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 24 hours.
- Make ahead: Refrigerate without olive oil, lime juice and salt for up to 24 hours, and then add before serving.
- I used unsalted sodium black beans, so adjust salt to taste if using regular.
- Avoid buying very soft mango for salad as it will become a mush.
- You can add one diced avocado. Just like with mango, use ripe but firm fruit. And remember it browns easily, so add before serving.
- To thaw frozen corn, run it under warm water in a colander and then drain.