This cowboy caviar is a colorful and hearty dip that’s loaded with beans, black eyed peas, avocado and veggies, all tossed in a zesty homemade dressing. 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 Texas caviar as an appetizer or side dish, and it’s perfect to bring to a potluck or picnic.
Cowboy Caviar Ingredients
The base of this recipe contains black beans, black eyed peas, tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, corn, avocado and cilantro. The dressing consists of olive oil, lime juice, honey, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.
How Do You Make Cowboy Caviar?
Place the beans, black eyed peas, vegetables and cilantro in a large bowl. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a separate bowl. Pour the dressing over the beans and veggies and toss gently to combine. Serve, and enjoy!
Tips for the perfect dish
- 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.
- I use Roma tomatoes in this dish, as they have less seeds and a firmer texture.
- 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 caviar either as a dip with tortilla chips, or as a salad over lettuce leaves.
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.
This dish typically consists beans and assorted vegetables that are tossed in a simple dressing. It also always contains black eyed peas.
This dish was created in Texas, and is sometimes also referred to as Texas caviar. It got its name as a humorous comparison to true caviar as the round beans may resemble fish eggs.
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 this dish!
- 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.
- Vegetables: Feel free to add other veggies to the mix such as roasted zucchini, poblano peppers or cucumbers.
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 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.
- Make ahead instructions: Assemble according to instructions, except omit the avocado. Refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Add the avocado right before serving.