Easy Cowboy Caviar Recipe

Crowd-pleasing & hearty with a zesty dressing, this Easy Cowboy Caviar Recipe is always a hit at parties and family gatherings. You can mix it up in about 20 minutes prep time and it’s the perfect make-ahead for a potluck.

Cowboy Caviar has become one of our favorite party recipes, along with my baked chicken meatballs, pigs in a blanket, air fryer chicken wings and air fryer coconut shrimp. Add them to the menu too!


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What is cowboy caviar?

Cowboy caviar is also known as Texas caviar. A popular, colourful dip or salsa recipe, it’s often seen on social media like TikTok. It features a combination of beans and fresh vegetables along with a delicious tangy dressing that brings all the flavors together.

This fresh black-eyed pea dip was created by dietician and chef Helen Corbitt in the 1940s. It has withstood the test of time. Tried, tested and true, this crowd-pleasing zesty dip has no caviar but it does taste exquisit scooped up with nacho chips!

The delicious tangy but sweet cowboy caviar dressing is so good as Guy Fiery would say you could eat it on its own off a plate. It’s that good!!

Close up of cowboy caviar in serving bowl.

Also try my party recipes like million dollar dip, 7 layer dip, warm pizza dip, best devilled eggs and tasty pizza poppers!!

What you’ll love about this recipe:


  • QUICK & EASY – a great last minute appetizer!
  • FLAVORFUL – a burst of vibrant flavors; a party for your taste buds
  • CROWD-PLEASING – perfect for any occasion

Cowboy caviar ingredients

Be sure to check out the full recipe and ingredient list below in the recipe card

  • Black Eyed Peas – feel free to subsitute with your favorite mixed beans if you don’t have black eyed peas.
  • Black Beans
  • Red Onion – in a pinch? substitute sweet onions
  • Avocado – look for ripe avocado that give just a little when squeezed
  • Roma Tomatoes – diced we like to use Roma tomatoes because they have less seeds which are great for dip recipes
  • Green and Red Bell Pepper – chopped
  • Corn Kernels – can of corn you can use fresh canned or thawed frozen corn
  • Garlic Cloves – fresh garlic for best flavor here!

Substitutions

Make cowboy caviar without avocado by omitting it altogether. Try adding mango, cucumber or chickpeas in it’s place.

Step by step instructions for how to make cowboy caviar

You can find a full, printable recipe card by scrolling to the bottom of this page. Did you know that I also have a handy jump-to-recipe button at the top!?

Ingredients for cowboy caviar dressing in a glass bowl with a wire whisk.

Cowboy caviar dressing recipe

This tangy dressing combines perfectly with the beans and veggies in this ‘bean salad’ as I like to call it. It’s quick and easy to make.

STEP ONE – In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, granulated sugar, salt, pepper and lime juice. Set aside.

Ingredients for the cowboy caviar in a glass bowl, ready to have the dressing added.

STEP TWO – In a separate, large mixing bowl, combine the roma tomatoes, red onions, jalapeno peppers, bell pepper, sweet corn, black eyed peas, black beans, garlic and Cilantro.

STEP THREE – Pour the dressing on top of the mixture, then stir in the chopped avocados. I like to add the avocados last in case they are a bit on the ripe side and softer.

Variations

Cowboy caviar with Italian dressing – replace the homemade dressing with Italian dressing to make things simpler.

Sandra’s Tips & Tricks

  • If you’re making this appetizer in advance, don’t add the avocado until 30 minutes before serving. You know how it can get mushy!
  • Leftovers taste decliious piled on top of your favorite burrito!
  • Want to skip the nachos? Serve it up with a fork and let’s call it a salad!

Storage and freezing instructions

Cowboy caviar keeps in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Give it a good stir to combine the dressing with the ingredients again before serving.

Other dips perfect for scooping up with nachos!

Print
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Cowboy caviar in a white bowl with nachos on the side.

Cowboy Caviar


  • Author: Sandra Flegg
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings

Description

Crowd-pleasing & hearty with a zesty dressing, this Easy Cowboy Caviar Recipe is always a hit at parties and family gatherings. You can mix it up in about 20 minutes prep time and it’s the perfect make-ahead for a potluck. 


Ingredients

4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

2 avocados, peeled and diced

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 cup red onion, diced

1 can (19 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (19 ounces) black eyed peas, rinsed and drained

1 can (12 ounces) corn, drained

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 and 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Instructions

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, granulated ssugar, salt, pepper and lime juice. Set aside.
  2. In a separate, large mixing bowl, combine the roma tomatoes, red onions, jalapeno peppers, bell pepper, sweet corn, black eyed peas, black beans, garlic and Cilantro. 
  3. Pour the dressing on top of the mixture, then stir in the chopped avocados. I like to add the avocados last in case they are a bit on the ripe side and softer. 

Notes

Storage instructions:Cowboy caviar keeps in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Give it a good stir to combine the dressing with the ingredients again before serving.

If making one day ahead, do not add the avocado until 30 minutes before serving.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: cowboy caviar, easy cowboy caviar recipe, cowboy caviar dressing, cowboy caviar dip, Texas caviar

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