This Mango Black Bean Salad Recipe combines the sweetness of mango, creaminess of black beans and avocado, fresh crunch of bell peppers, and zesty flavor of tomatoes and lime, for a fresh and healthy sweet and savory salad! Best of all, this easy mango salad recipe is rich in protein and fiber, gluten-free, vegan, and ready in under 15 minutes!
Table of contents
Hearty, Healthy, High-Protein Mango Black Bean Salad
No matter what the time of year, if there’s one thing I LOVE, it’s a dish 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!
This definitely wouldn’t be the first time I’ve enjoyed pairing sweet and savory or spicy ingredients either. In fact, I love the combination so much that I have several recipes combining mango and savory elements like this strawberry mango salsa, mango salsa, chicken quinoa bowl with mango and black beans, and even a fruity mango slaw.
There’s nearly always a fruit salsa going in my fridge too, to serve alongside dishes like black bean nachos or healthy black bean burgers, with chips, and -of course – tacos! This black bean salad recipe is particularly similar to this black bean salsa just sized up. However, you can still enjoy it in many of the same ways as its salsa counterpart.
Surprisingly (or not), I’ve been making this black bean salad for almost 10 years! (it was my third ever recipe posted to the blog – wowzah!). Still going strong- and loving it as much now as I did back then.
Best of all, this mango salad recipe is rich in protein, complex carbs, healthy fats, and fiber and contains several of your five-a-day! So much so that it will keep you satisfied for hours. Enjoy this healthy salad recipe in the summer for a refreshing, light lunch or dinner, or in Winter while you dream of those summer days! Alternatively, make up a large batch for potlucks, BBQs, and parties!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Mango: Use a ripe mango with medium softness. My favorite type is Ataulfo (champagne) 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 (methods linked below). 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 if that’s what you have.
- Corn: You can use corn from frozen on fresh. Usually, I’ll use frozen and thaw it under warm water, then drain. However, during summer, I love to make Instant Pot corn, 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/cherry tomatoes to make the salad less watery (great for making-ahead). However, you could also use Roma, heirloom, or beefsteak tomatoes.
- Red Onion: Add a lovely ‘tang’ to the mango black bean salad and juxtaposition against the mango’s sweetness. You could also use/sub for 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 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 parsley or mint, though this can change the flavor quite dramatically.
- Dressing: Use a combination of extra virgin olive oil and fresh lime juice for a simple and flavorful ‘salad dressing.’ Even better, the lime juice pairs wonderfully with the mango. Alternatively, you may like this mango salad recipe 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 the Best 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, plan to spend the time preparing the beans from dry; soaking, and then cooming them (either on the stove or in an Instant Pot – in just 25 minutes!). Add the prepared 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 of 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 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.)
How to Serve?
This refreshing Mexican-style mango black bean salad is best served cold after marinating for several hours in the fridge – though I don’t blame you if you don’t have the patience to wait. Especially as it pairs well with tons of dishes, including:
- Chips: This black bean salad is perfect for scooping up onto chips or alongside oven baked nachos or air fried with guacamole. I try to buy “healthy” chips with natural ingredients, organic or non-GMO, baked and lower in sodium – but use your faves!
- Tacos: This salad is the perfect addition to any taco night alongside Pico de Gallo and your favorite tacos like shrimp tacos, grilled fish tacos, and more! You could also serve it with burritos, quesadillas, and tostadas.
- Chicken: Like carne asada steak, Mexican meatballs, one-pan chicken and rice, coconut lime grilled chicken thighs, or chili lime chicken. It would also pair well with healthy turkey burgers.
- With Seafood: Mango pairs well with seafood, so feel free to serve it alongside this lemon butter cod and other white fish, grilled salmon, grilled shrimp skewers, and seafood-filled tacos and tostadas etc.
You could also serve this black bean mango salad alongside this sweet potato breakfast casserole or Mexican casserole. Alternatively, add some cooked quinoa and the protein of your choice to make it a complete meal.
How to Make Ahead and Store
To make ahead, refrigerate the mango salad in a large bowl without the avocado, olive oil, lime juice, and salt – covered for up to 24hrs (possibly 2-3 days). Then add the omitted ingredients and stir before serving.
Store: Once fully prepared, this black bean mango salad is best eaten within 24 hours as the ingredients will release juices, and it will become watery, and the veg will lose their crispness. However, the salad is technically fine to eat for several days (3-4).
FAQs and Tips
- Can you freeze mango black bean salad? I wouldn’t recommend freezing it, as the fresh vegetables (particularly the tomatoes) can change texture when frozen and thawed.
- If you’re using regular tinned beans: If you’re unable to find low-sodium, then you can use general canned black beans and 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 mush and fall apart within this mango salad recipe. Instead, using 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. I hate having to spend extra time doing this, though, so it’s not necessary.
- I love to cook a big batch of black beans: Then I get to send some to the freezer and save some for other favorite black bean recipes like these black bean brownies, black bean quinoa casserole, and Southwest quinoa salad! Delicious, nutritious, and packed with protein!
More Tasty Salad Recipes to Try
If you enjoyed this black bean salad recipe, then you might like some of these other bean-packed recipes!
- Quinoa and black bean salad
- White bean salad
- Chickpea salad with avocado
- Mexican bean salad
- Mexican tuna 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.
- Make sure to drain and rinse canned beans with cold water. You do not want the gooey liquid in a salad. The “healthiest” canned beans are low sodium, organic and in BPA free cans.
- 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.
- My favourite are Ataulfo (champagne) mangoes that are smaller and sweeter than “regular” Tommy Atkins mango.
- 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.