Explore the bursting flavors of the Southwest with our mouthwatering Cowboy Caviar recipe! This vibrant and hearty dish combines nutritious beans, crisp veggies, and a zesty dressing to create the ultimate crowd-pleasing appetizer or side.

Cowboy Caviar Recipe

If you need a dish that not only tickles your taste buds but is also healthy and versatile, then this Cowboy Caviar recipe is just the thing for you! It comes straight from the Southwest U.S.A. and brings with it a pop of color and an amazing blend of different tastes and textures. And guess what? Unlike its pricey counterpart – the traditional caviar – Cowboy Caviar is all about being friendly to your pocket without compromising on the taste and nutrition!

This version stars hearty black beans and black-eyed peas, combined with the fresh crunch of bell peppers, jalapenos, and corn. All of this gets tied together with a kicky dressing of red wine vinegar, oregano, olive oil, and a dash of honey. Want to tell those at work on Monday that you supped on caviar over the weekend? Read on.

Why You Will Love Recipe

  • Such a delicious way to get a load of beans and vegetables into your diet.
  • Perfect for parties where you will have lots of people to feed. Just add a whole lot of tortilla chips and you’ll be sorted.
  • You can easily tweak it to suit everyone’s diet, making it the ultimate choice for friendly get-togethers, potlucks, or even just a laid-back dinner at home.
  • The dish will actually improve if left in the fridge, as the ingredients’ flavors will have a chance to mingle. That’s why preparing Cowboy Caviar in advance is not only doable, it’s recommended!

Ingredients

While the ingredients list is long, this meal doesn’t require any cooking so it all evens out in the end, right?

The Dressing:

  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper

The Caviar:

  • 1 can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • 1 Yellow red, or orange pepper, diced
  • 1 ½ cups corn kernels, cooked
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 3 tbsp cilantro, shredded
  • salt and pepper
Cowboy Caviar Recipe

Instructions

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: N/A
Yields: 6-8 servings

  • In a bowl, whisk together the honey, garlic, vinegar, oregano, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Cowboy Caviar Recipe
  • In a large serving bowl, add the beans, red onion, peppers, corn kernels, jalapenos, tomatoes, cilantro, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Cowboy Caviar Recipe
  • Pour over the dressing and then mix together until well coated.
Cowboy Caviar Recipe

Variations

  • Add some avocado for some creaminess.
  • Squeeze fresh lime juice over the caviar for a zesty twist.
  • To crank up the heat factor, toss in more jalapeno or go for a spicier kick like serrano or habanero peppers. Just remember to keep an eye on your guests’ spice tolerance levels when you’re going spicy.

Serving Suggestions

You can use it as a dip. Just stock up on corn chips or tortilla chips (or learn to make your own Festive Party Tortilla Chips with this recipe) for a fab appetizer. For a hearty meal, add grilled chicken (Fiesta Lime Chicken), fish, or steak (Cube Steak) as an entrée and serve the caviar as a fresh side. You can also add the caviar to a burrito or taco (Oven-Baked Chicken Tacos) as a scrumptious filling or alongside these Shredded Beef Enchiladas. Last, if you want to keep things vegetarian, layer the caviar atop a fresh bed of greens or cooked grains.

Cowboy Caviar Recipe

Tips and Tricks

  • Let the dish chill in the fridge for at least half an hour before you serve it up. It helps the flavors meld.
  • Go for dried beans and put in a little extra effort to soak and cook them yourself. While it may take a bit more time, it’s significantly cheaper.
  • Put it in the fridge for a few days and it will still taste great. Just hold off drizzling the dressing until you are about to serve the caviar. This will keep those veggies nice and crunchy.

FAQs

Can I use canned corn instead of fresh?

Yes, canned or frozen corn works really well.

Can I use different beans in Cowboy Caviar?

Have fun switching up the beans to match your fancy. Instead of black beans and black-eyed peas, you could go for kidney beans, pinto beans, or chickpeas. Just be sure to rinse them before adding them to the bowl.

Is Cowboy Caviar suitable for vegans and vegetarians?

Cowboy Caviar is naturally vegan and veggie friendly. If you’re serving this with other treats like chips or proteins, just be sure those are plant-approved, too.

See Also

Why is it called Cowboy Caviar?

In a word, irony. It was created by a specialist of Texan cuisine by the name of Helen Corbitt in the 1940s. The “Cowboy” part acknowledges its roots in the South, while the “Caviar” part is a tongue-in-cheek reference to actual caviar (a.k.a., fish eggs), which is an expensive delicacy — something THIS caviar clearly is not. It has more fiber, though, so there’s that.

Cowboy Caviar Recipe

How to Store Cowboy Caviar

Seal it in a container and it will stay yummy for up to 4 days in the fridge. Hosting? Keep it cool during your party; don’t leave it out for more than 2 hours.

I don’t recommend freezing this dish, though. It could affect the texture and flavor, especially of the veggies.

Lastly, prep and store the dressing separately to avoid turning the other ingredients to mush. Keep it in the fridge for a week. If you made lots of it, think about using it for other salads or as a marinade.

Cowboy Caviar Recipe

Cowboy Caviar Recipe

About a Mom
Explore the bursting flavors of the Southwest with our mouthwatering Cowboy Caviar recipe! This vibrant and hearty dish combines nutritious beans, crisp veggies, and a zesty dressing to create the ultimate crowd-pleasing appetizer or side.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 12 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 159 kcal

Ingredients
  

The Dressing:

The Caviar:

  • 1 can black-eyed peas rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans black beans rinsed and drained
  • ½ red onion finely diced
  • 1 yellow, red, or orange pepper diced
  • 1 ½ cups corn kernels cooked
  • 1 jalapeno finely diced
  • 2 tomatoes diced
  • 3 tbsp cilantro shredded
  • salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a bowl whisk together the honey, garlic, vinegar, oregano, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • In a large serving bowl, add the beans, red onion, peppers, corn kernels, jalapenos, tomatoes, cilantro, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Pour over the dressing and then mix together until well coated.

Notes

  • You can prepare this dish ahead of time. Put it in the fridge for a few days and it will still taste great. Just hold off drizzling the dressing until you are about to serve the caviar. This will keep those veggies nice and crunchy.

Nutrition

Calories: 159kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 2gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gSodium: 106mgPotassium: 251mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 486IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg
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