Cowboy Caviar Easy
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  • Food: Cowboy Caviar
  • Writer: Nicolas Wilson
  • Content-Type: Food Blog

Aren’t you all aware that I’m from Oklahoma? Ali phoned me for bean salsa advice the other day, and I told her she was close to making cowboy caviar, a famous bean salad recipe in the South.

It can be served as a salad or as salsa. Cowboy caviar is a hit at potlucks in either case.

Because Ali had never heard of cowboy caviar (also known as Texas caviar), I was concerned that you, too, had been denied this amusingly named delicacy.

Black-eyed peas and black beans, diced tomatoes, maize, bell pepper, onion, and cilantro are combined in a tart Italian dressing to make cowboy caviar.

Cowboy Caviar Healthy
Food: Cowboy Caviar (Source: Dear Crissy)

Most cowboy caviar recipes have one flaw: they’re frequently drenched in store-bought Italian salad dressing. As a result, they can be excessively greasy and include unneeded preservatives.

Instead of using store-bought Italian dressing, I made a simple, homemade version from scratch. Although this recipe makes a lot of dips, I don’t think you’ll have any trouble eating it all.

Cowboy Caviar

15-minute prep time

15-minute total time

This all-natural cowboy caviar recipe (also known as Texas caviar) is made from scratch! It’ll be a smash at your next party whether you serve it as a dip, salsa, or salad. The recipe makes a large amount of “caviar,” roughly 8 cups.


Cowboy caviar

  • 2 (14-ounce) cans of black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained, or 3 cups of cooked black-eyed peas
  • 1 (14-ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups of cooked black beans
  • 1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears of corn), or 1 (14-ounce) can of corn, drained
  • ¾ cup chopped red onion (about ½ small red onion)
  • 1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes (I used about 4 Roma tomatoes, about ¾ pound)
  • 1 medium red, orange or yellow bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro, leaves, and stems
  • 1 to 2 jalapeños, ribs removed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 avocado (optional)

Italian dressing

  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar or lime juice
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Cowboy Caviar
Food: Cowboy Caviar (Source: Dear Crissy)
  1. Combine the drained black-eyed peas, black beans, corn, sliced tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, and jalapeno in a large serving bowl. If you’re going to include avocado, wait until you’re ready to serve the dip to dice it so it doesn’t brown in the meanwhile.
  2. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a cup until emulsified. Toss the salad in the dressing until everything is completely combined. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Allow the mixture to marinate for at least 20 minutes before serving for the finest flavor. If you’re going to add avocado, do it right before serving.


  • SUGGESTIONS FOR SERVING: Don’t forget the chips! I also like to serve this dip on lettuce with a squeeze of lime, crumbled feta, and a sprinkle of crushed corn chips or toasted pepitas as a green salad.
  • STORAGE SUGGESTIONS: This dip will keep in the refrigerator for three days if kept covered.