This cowboy caviar is a colorful and hearty dip that’s loaded with beans, avocado and veggies, all tossed in a zesty homemade sauce. It’s the perfect make-ahead dish for a potluck!
I love a hearty dip, and this colorful cowboy caviar never disappoints. It’s loaded with different types of beans and veggies in the most delicious dressing. I make this cowboy caviar as an appetizer, side dish, and it’s perfect to bring to a potluck or picnic.
How Do You Make Cowboy Caviar?
This recipe is as simple as tossing together corn, beans, black eyed peas, tomatoes, peppers, onion and avocado in a simple dressing. For convenience sake, I use canned black beans and black eyed peas, but you can also use frozen black eyed peas if needed.
Tips for cowboy caviar
- Cowboy caviar can be made up to 8 hours before you plan to serve it. If you’re making this dish in advance, omit the avocado, and stir it in right before serving.
- You can substitute other types of beans instead of black beans, I’ve used pinto beans before and it’s delicious.
- Not a fan of cilantro? Use sliced green onions instead.
- I typically use frozen thawed corn kernels, but you could use canned corn or even fresh corn off the cob.
- Serve your cowboy caviar either as a dip with tortilla chips, or as a salad over lettuce leaves.
Cowboy Caviar Variations
While I typically serve my cowboy caviar as a dip, sometimes I like to add more ingredients to turn it into more of a meal. There are so many different ways to customize cowboy caviar!
- Protein: Stir in 1 1/2 cups of diced cooked chicken or small shrimp, then serve as salad.
- Bacon: Stir in 1/3 cup cooked crumbled bacon right before serving.
- Spicy: Leave some of the seeds and ribs in the jalapeno, and add a dash of hot sauce to the dressing.
- Cheese: Add 1/3 cup of crumbled feta or cotija cheese.
Can I freeze cowboy caviar?
I wouldn’t recommend freezing this dip. While the beans will hold up just fine in the freezer, the tomatoes and avocado will not fare as well. I’d recommend simply making your dip 1-2 days before your event to save on some prep time, then store it tightly covered in the refrigerator.
Once you try this recipe, you’ll find yourself making it on a regular basis. It’s great for entertaining, but also perfect for a lighter lunch option.
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Cowboy Caviar Video
- 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 can black eyed peas rinsed and drained
- 1 cup tomatoes seeded and finely diced
- 1 jalapeno seeded and finely diced
- 1 cup corn can be fresh, canned or thawed from frozen
- 1 avocado chopped
- 3/4 cup red and/or orange bell pepper seeded and finely diced
- 1/2 cup red onion finely diced
- 1/3 cup cilantro leaves chopped
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place the beans, black eyed peas, tomatoes, jalapeno, corn, avocado, bell pepper, onion and cilantro in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, honey, chili powder, cumin and salt and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the bean mixture and toss gently to coat. Serve as a salad or with chips.
This post is sponsored by SignUp.com. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Dinner at the Zoo possible! This post was originally published on July 26, 2017 and was updated on March 7, 2019 with new content.