You will love this Mexican salad for its vibrant colours, texture and bold flavours. I like to call it the Fiesta salad because it looks so festive and is perfect for any celebration, especially to bring to outdoor gatherings, barbecues or Mexican dinner parties. Vegetarian, gluten-free, and can be made vegan-friendly.
Mexican Salad (aka Fiesta Salad)
I love Mexican and Tex-Mex recipes and this salad is one of my favourites.
This festive Mexican salad is made with black beans, corn, avocado, tomatoes, red peppers, cilantro, Cotija cheese or feta and a tangy garlic dressing.
It’s tangy, flavourful, with varied textures and vibrant colours, which make it quite celebratory in my opinion. It’s a real crowd please too as it’s vegetarian, gluten-free and can be vegan-friendly.
I often make it for a barbecue or when we’re grilling outdoors but it’s equally suitable for Taco Tuesdays, Tex-Mex dinner parties, or healthy lunch meal prep.
In addition, this salad is very nutritious: lots of vitamins and antioxidants, plant-based protein (12 g perceive) and loads of fibre which make it satiating, and it’s relatively low in carbs for those counting.
How To Make A Mexican Salad
You will find the full list of ingredients, nutritional info and so on in the recipe card below. Here are some step-by-step pics to guide you along.
Ingredients For My Fiesta Salad
We are using all classic Mexican salad ingredients that you can find in most stores: canned black beans (which you can also cook your own), corn (fresh, frozen or canned), red bell peppers (aka capsicum in Australia), tomatoes, red onions, coriander/cilantro, avocado, lime, olive oil, salt, chili and garlic.
What Is Cotija Cheese?
Cotija cheese is a firm and crumbly Mexican cheese made from cow’s milk. It has a salty and tangy flavour, similar to feta, that intensifies with age. Commonly used as a topping in Mexican cuisine, it adds a savoury element to dishes like tacos, salads, and beans. You can use regular feta instead.
Cooking black beans in the Instant Pot: Black beans can be canned or cooked from scratch. I like using my pressure cooker to do this. I make a batch of beans using 1.5 dry black beans (yields 4.5 cups cooked), 3.5 cups water, 1 stock cube, 1/2 tsp salt, 1-2 bay leaves, 1 clove of garlic and 1/2 onion. Add everything to your pressure cooker, stir and cook on HIGH for 35 minutes. Then release naturally for 20 minutes. Strain and rinse.
Step 1. Dice and chop all the veggies. Rinse and strain the black beans. Cook the corn if needed and strain.
Step 2. Add everything to a large bowl including the seasonings, lime juice and olive oil. Top with feta or Cotija cheese. You can mix the salad without the cheese and scatter it over the top. Sometimes, I garnish with extra fresh cilantro and a few lime wedges.
What To Serve With Mexican Salad
I find this salad to be quite versatile. Because it’s quite satiating in its own right, it can be served as a main meal, especially for lunch. You could add something like cornbread or corn tortillas on the side (I have a great grain-free jalapeno coconut bread recipe here). Or, you could add extra protein on the side like grilled chicken, shredded beef or shrimp.
I recommend serving it as a side with grilled meat, especially something like my cumin butter steak or Mexican chicken schnitzel. It’s great as a side dish with tacos, chicken wings, enchiladas, burritos and Tex Mex casseroles as well.
If you have leftovers, this black bean salad is great with Tex-Mex scrambled eggs in the morning.
Find the full list of ingredients, instructions, and a nutritional breakdown below. If you have questions or cook this recipe, please let me know in the comments, and make sure to rate this recipe so it’s easy for others to find.Print
This Mexican salad (aka Fiesta Salad) is made with black beans, corn, avocado, tomatoes and cilantro and dressing with a tangy garlic dressing. It’s colourful, bold and festive!
- 1.5 cups cooked black beans (1 x 14-15 oz can)
- 1 cup sweet corn (canned or cooked from frozen or fresh)
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1/2 red onion, chopped finely
- 2 tomatoes, chopped into small cubes
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped into small cubes
- 1/2 cup coriander/cilantro, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp chili powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup crumbled Cotija cheese or feta cheese on top
- Rinse and strain the black beans.
- Cook the corn kernels if using frozen or fresh corn. Rinse under cold water and strain.
- Dice and chop all ingredients.
- Combine everything in a large bowl together and dress the salad with olive oil, lime juice, salt, chili powder, and garlic. You can toss the cheese through the salad or leave it out and top the salad once it is mixed.
- Optional: You could add extra spices like cumin, ground coriander or smoked paprika.
- Vegan version: Omit the cheese or use a plant-based friendly alternative.
- Cooking black beans in the Instant Pot: Black beans can be canned or cooked from scratch. I like using my pressure cooker to do this. I make a batch of beans using 1.5 dry black beans (yields 4.5 cups cooked), 3.5 cups water, 1 stock cube, 1/2 tsp salt, 1-2 bay leaves, 1 clove of garlic and 1/2 onion. Add everything to your pressure cooker, stir and cook on HIGH for 35 minutes. Then release naturally for 20 minutes. Strain and rinse.
- Serving Size: 1-1.5 cups
- Calories: 367
- Sugar: 7.4 g
- Sodium: 891.8 mg
- Fat: 20.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 37.5 g
- Fiber: 13.8 g
- Protein: 12.6 g
- Cholesterol: 16.7 mg
Keywords: Mexican Salad, Fiesta Salad, Black Bean Salad, Mexican Corn Salad, Corn, Avocado, Tomato, Tex Mex Salad