What to Eat on Hot Summer Nights (Recipe: Versatile Black Bean Salad)

Written by Katie of GoodLife Eats.

With temperatures hovering just under 100 degrees F since we returned from our vacation I have decided one thing about meal time: It is simply way too hot to cook right now. But that doesn’t mean I can’t prepare dinner for our family. We still have to eat something.

Grilling is a great option during these hot months. It keeps the heat where it should be: outside. I was so inspired by all of the great grilling recipes shared here on Simple Bites over the past week and can’t wait to try some of them.

I have never grilled with a cedar plank before. And after a recent trip to Greece, I’m dying to get my hands on some Haloumi so I can make Danny’s Grilled Peach and Haloumi Salad.

But what do you do when it’s too hot to even go outside? Many times I’ve felt to the point of near heat exhaustion as I stood over a grill flipping meat and vegetables.

That is when it’s time to break out the salads and other no-cook dinner recipes. Because popsicles and ice cream aren’t acceptable main dish choices on a regular basis.

I love diving into a crisp, cool salad for dinner after a hot day. This Black Bean Salad is a staple around here during summer. It’s full of colorful vegetables, beans and flavor. But more importantly, it is versatile.

black bean salad

all photos by GoodLife Eats

Uses for Black Bean Salad

  • Eat like salsa with store bought or homemade tortilla chips
  • A topping for grilled meats
  • Inside steamed flour or corn tortillas with cheese and avocado or guacamole for no-cook tacos
  • On top of a bed of mixed greens for a simple, Mexican inspired salad.
  • Inside an omelet or on top of scrambled eggs
  • Tossed with chilled couscous or quinoa; sprinkle with feta or other cheese of choice

Recipe: Black Bean Salad

If you’re looking for a simple, no-cook option for the upcoming Fourth of July Festivities, this black bean salad will make a great addition to your party. Think of it as a healthier version of traditional chips and salsa.

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup diced orange bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup diced fresh tomato
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1/3 cup diced English cucumber
  • 3 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 jalapeno, deseeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • the juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon canola or grapeseed oil
  • 2 – 3 dashes cumin
  • 2 – 3 dashes coriander
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine the beans, bell pepper, tomato, corn, cucumber, green onion, jalapeno, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Stir until ingredients are well distributed.
  2. In another bowl, combine the lime juice, oil, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Pour over the bean mixture, tossing to combine. Chill until serving time.

More Cool Dinner Recipes for Hot Days

Chilled Soups | Simple Bites
Gazpacho | Oh She Glows
No-Bake Grilled Vegetable Lasagna | GoodLife Eats
Santa Fe Chicken Salad Wrap | GoodLife Eats
Turkey Subs with Artichoke and Sun Dried Tomato | GoodLife Eats
Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Almond Dipping Sauce | GoodLife Eats

What do you serve on nights it’s too hot to cook?

About Katie G

Katieโ€™s lifelong interest in food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. Katie Goodman is the cook, recipe developer, and self-taught photographer behind GoodLife Eats. It is there that she shares what she finds good in the kitchen and in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week.

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Comments

  1. I love this salad. My sister in law makes one like it and it is always devoured at family gatherings. Thanks for the reminder. I think I’ll make it this summer too.
    Barefeet In The Kitchen’s last post: Strawberry Peach Jam Ice Cream

  2. My family just left Las Vegas after nine years. I understand “too hot to cook”. Salads are my go when it’s even too hot to step out onto the patio to grill!

  3. This sounds great, very quick and easy to put together. When it gets too hot to cook I pretty much survive on simple salads like this.
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen’s last post: watermelon, heirloom tomato and feta salad | picking the perfect melon

  4. This is right up my alley! Yum!

  5. This is right up my alley too. Great recipe and photo as always from the incredibly talented Katie
    alison @ Ingredients, Inc.’s last post: 3 Ingredient Simple Peach Sorbet

  6. Looks Delicious! I may add some black beans to my grilled corn salad to achieve something similiar. Thanks for a great idea =)
    @alanecooke
    Alan Cooke’s last post: Potato Salad Prose

  7. This is one of my stepmom’s all-time favorite side dishes – I can’t ever make it without thinking of our family’s outdoor dinners in the summer. yay!
    Casey@Good. Food. Stories.’s last post: Parts is Parts: Embracing the Hot Dog

  8. Danielle Omar says:

    Love, love, love black bean salad! I would add sliced avocado to the mix! Yum!

  9. Katie @ CookGardenSew says:

    Thanks for posting this. It looks delicious! Now if I could only find a chip recipe that doesn’t involve buying tortillas. I can make tortillas and bake them but they are pretty thick for chips. Anyone have a recipe?
    Katie @ CookGardenSew’s last post: Light Up the Night Sky

  10. This black bean salad looks to die for, and great for a barbecue!

  11. Love this simple and wonderful summer salad recipe! On summer nights, I usually grill– chicken or fish and throw it into a salad.
    Lori @ RecipeGirl’s last post: Fireworks Cookies

  12. When it is too hot too cook I try to convince my husband that we should have ice cream for dinner! He usually won’t go for it so I end up making a salad and grilling some chicken!
    Heather @ Sweet Sins’s last post: Crepes

  13. What a great refreshing Summer salad. Love it and your photos are amazing!

    Love!

  14. Marie Brannon says:

    I certainly know how you feel since the temperatures where I live are already in the 100s F but I don’t mind as long as there is some shade during the day and something cool to drink. In the summer I organize my days so that I cook anything that needs cooking straight after breakfast. Then I work until the kids come back home and then prepare the rest of the meal; so we tend to eat everything cold. Sometimes everyone craves hot food from the barbecue – but my husband does that!
    Marie Brannon’s last post: Panasonic Fuzzy Logic Rice Cookers

  15. Love black beans and I love this salad! Summer perfection!

  16. What perfect timing! I was just coming over here to find a recipe for the weekend that was gluten free, dairy free, and had no cilantro, and what did I see right there on the front page as if it were written for me? Two out of three isn’t bad, and I can skip the cilantro! Getting together for a meal with my family and my sister’s future in-laws is quite tricky with all the allergies and sensitivites floating around. Thanks for saving me a lot of searching!

  17. We are headed out on our first weekend trip in our new-to-us RV. This sounds like a great salad to bring with us! (it is going to be REALLY hot where we are, not likely to grill!)
    Will defintely give it a try! I love that you can change it all around as well, to suit your tastes!
    Bernice
    Living the Balanced Life’s last post: Wonder Woman doesnโ€™t live here anymore

  18. I have never met a black bean salad I did not love. This one looks like I will absolutely adore it. I can just eat it straight out of the bowl. Don’t even need a chip. And on a hot summer day, I can think of nothing more delightful. thanks.

  19. Mmmm this looks soo delicious I can’t wait to try it myself!! I’m so glad I came across your blog, I’m saving it to my favorites! Consider me your newest follower :)

  20. This is a great idea. We love all these ingredients and it’s so simple. Very festive.
    Nancy @SensitivePantry’s last post: Simple Summer Smoothies

  21. It looks sumptuously delicious! This salad is really perfect meal this summer! Thank you for sharing this great recipe! :)
    Krisha@fireproofsafesshop.com‘s last post: Gun Safes

  22. I just love the simplicity of this recipe. And even better, I love that it gives you an excuse to eat tortillas for dinner! Don’t have to tell me twice!
    Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)’s last post: Swiss Chard Gratin

  23. Black bean salad is one of my favorites during the summer, and your version looks perfect! I always make it with grilled veggies for quick and easy vegetarian fajitas.
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction’s last post: S’mores Cookie Sandwiches

  24. This looks good, and I don’t even like beans!

    When it is too hot to cook, I make pasta salad early in the day and refrigerate until it’s time for dinner. Boiling water for pasta doesn’t seem too terrible at 11:00 in the morning as opposed to 5:00 in the afternoon!
    Rheagan’s last post: What we have been up toโ€ฆ

  25. I had a version of this in the rice cooker last night alongside some quinoa and for breakfast this morning in scrambled eggs. Neither of those are no-cook options, but it’s rainy and COLD here!
    Kristin’s last post: Canada Day Breakfast Poutine

  26. It looks simply delicious! This is exactly what I’m looking for,an easy and no cook meal. Perfect summer salad this summer! :)
    Miranda@ecarpetcleaningservice.com‘s last post: Carpet Cleaning Tips

  27. Made it just as directed except I had to squeeze the plastic lime (didn’t have any fresh ones on hand) and I don’t eat jalapenos, so that was omitted. It was just what I needed… both last night as a side and today on salad. Thank you!

  28. I love this salsa, eat it all the time. The cumin gives it a fabulous taste. It was the first salsa I made that wasn’t all tomatoes, about 15 years ago :) love, love, love it!
    Diane {Created by Diane}’s last post: Cheerwine Ice Cream Soda Float

  29. Katie @ CookGardenSew says:

    I made this for lunch today and it is absolutely delicious! I used kidney beans because that’s what I had on hand. I agree that the cumin makes the whole dish. It’s like a taco salad, and I don’t miss the meaty taste because the beans and cumin mimic it well.
    Katie @ CookGardenSew’s last post: Growing Excitement

  30. This is delicious! I’m not a huge cilantro fan, so I only did have 1 Tbsp of it. I also used light tasting olive oil (all I had in the house) and I used probably a whole Tbsp of that as well. It’s soooo good. I made it as side for my homemade Fiesta Lime Chicken (never going to Applebees again :P ) with some Mexican rice. It was perfect.

  31. This looks delicious and fresh! I have always made Orange and Cranberry Couscous Salad when I wanted something more consistent to eat on hot summer days, but now I’ll have an alternative :)
    The Hearty Thought Community’s last post: Orange and cranberry couscous salad

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