Cowboy Caviar Recipe

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This is my favorite Cowboy Caviar Recipe! This recipe is from my friend, Kathleen. Whenever we have a neighborhood get-together she brings a bowl just for me. Yep, just for me. She knows I love it. Just a small bowl to eat all by myself. She brings a large bowl for the rest of the group.

The reason I love this recipe so much is that I have almost all the ingredients in my pantry. The other items like tomatoes and Cilantro are always in my garden. I keep all the different canned goods in my pantry so I can make this recipe all summer. You can make it with different beans and serve it with different kinds of chips. I can actually eat it just as a meal. The great thing about this recipe is that it is a healthy and tasty treat.

It seems so often the meals that taste the best have sugar or other things to add flavor that really aren’t good for you. Not with this tasty recipe. We can eat this and feel good about it. My husband would want a piece of meat with it. I could easily be a vegetarian. I just bought some meat at Costco and I tell you the prices just keep going up. So, my family is eating less meat and more beans, quinoa, rice, and lots of vegetables.

Depending on where you live, this recipe is called Cowboy Caviar or Texas Caviar. It’s a really popular recipe to take to a tailgate party or your next family reunion. There is something about the combination of blackeye peas, beans, corn, avocados, a red bell pepper, onions, cilantro, and fresh lime. I use an Italian Salad dressing drizzled over the ingredients.

Cowboy Caviar Recipe

Items You May Need In The Kitchen:

Cowboy Caviar Ingredients

  • Blackeye Peas: they have a dense consistency and a full, earthy flavor. They are used when making many dishes like salads, soups, stews, and even some casseroles. dry black-eyed peas can be sprouted as well.
  • Black Beans: when black beans are cooked they have a creamy texture with a slightly sweet flavor.
  • Corn: we have all had corn on the cob with melted butter with salt and pepper. Well, frozen corn, fresh corn, and even canned corn go well with many spices. It’s perfect in salads, salsa, casseroles, as a side dish, soups, and stews. It has a sweet unique flavor most people love.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: Most cherry tomatoes are sweet and full of antioxidants. They have thinner skin types and are juicy in the center, they are perfect for salads and salsas.
  • Red Bell Pepper: All bell peppers add a variety of health benefits to any meal. They are good, freshly cut, sauteed, or added to scrambled eggs! Red bell pepper is my favorite one for salads and salsa. They have a sweet tender taste that melts in your mouth.
  • Sweet Purple Onion: Purple onions are somewhat milder than their counterparts, the yellow and white onions. This makes them popular for eating raw in salads and salsas.
  • Avocados: They are earthly, creamy, and spread like butter! They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
  • Cilantro: You either love or hate it, right? I love Cilantro! The tender leaves add a stronger version of parsley with a tangy citrus flavor.
  • Fresh Limes: Lime zest or lime juice will enhance so many fruits and vegetables. It gives salsa that extra boost of flavor we all love.
  • Italian Salad Dressing: Italian salad dressing is a simple oil and vinegar vinegarette that’s easy to make from scratch or use a dry package to make it. It adds flavor to salads or salsa.
  • Salt and Pepper: both spices add flavor and help to bring all of the flavors together.
  • Tortilla Chips: The corn tortillas are crispy and ready to scoop any salsa!
Read More of My Articles  Nine Easy Recipes To Use Your Food Storage Every Day

Cowboy Caviar Recipe

Step One: Gather the Ingredients

Gather your ingredients so you’re ready to make the recipe. I used a dry mix to make the Italian Salad Dressing. Do you love fresh ingredients as much as I do?


Step Two: Drain Corn

Drain the cans of corn.

Rinse The Corn

Step Three: Rinse Beans

Rinse and drain the black beans.

Rinse the Black Beans

Step Four: Rinse Peas

Rinse the blackeye peas and drain them.

Rinse The Black Eye Peas

Step Five: Rinse Tomatoes

Rinse the cherry or grape tomatoes and then cut them in half.

Rinse and Cut The Tomatoes

Step Six: Combine Vegetables

Grab a large bowl and combine the blackeye peas, black beans, corn, and chopped purple onions.

Start Layering Ingredients

Step Seven: Add Tomatoes

Now, add the sliced tomatoes to the bowl.

Keep Adding More Ingredients

Step Eight: Add Peppers

The next step is adding the chopped red bell peppers.

Add the Red Bell Peppers

Step Nine: Drizzle Juice

You can use bottles of lime juice or fresh limes to drizzle over the salad. Add the chopped avocados.

Add Fresh Lime Juice

Finished Product

Pour the Italian Salad Dressing over the ingredients and stir until covered. Add salt and pepper if desired. Serve cold with tortilla chips.

Cowboy Caviar Recipe

Cowboy Caviar Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Cowboy Caviar Recipe
Cowboy Caviar Recipe
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
0 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8 people
Author: Linda Loosli
  1. 1. Grab a large bowl and layer the blackeye peas, black beans, corn, chopped tomatoes, red bell pepper, purple onions, avocados, and cilantro.

    2. Drizzle the lime juice over the salad.

    3. Make the salad dressing as directed on the packet.

    4. Pour the dressing over the ingredients in the large bowl.

    5. Salt and Pepper if needed.

    6. Serve cold with tortilla chips.

    7. Great as a side dish, too!

    8. Please store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

How do I store the leftovers?

I store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Can I freeze this recipe?

I wouldn’t recommend freezing it because the fresh vegetables would become soggy and mushy. Fresh is best.

Why is it called Cowboy Caviar?

It’s my understanding after a little research, I quote Wikipedia, “That around 1940 by Helen Corbitt, a native New Yorker made it. She first served the dish on New Year’s Eve at the Houston Country Club. When she later served it at the Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas, it was given its name, “Texas caviar,” as a humorous comparison to true caviar, an expensive hors d’oeuvre of salt-cured fish roe. It has also been called cowboy caviar.”

What is Texas Caviar made of?

It’s made with a combination of beans, tomatoes, peppers, and onions. They serve it over fish, as a dip and as a freshly packed salsa.

Can it be made ahead of time?

You can make it up to 8 hours ahead of time before serving it to your family or guests. I love it the next day as well, but the avocados get a little mushy. I think it still tastes great. Here again, fresh is best.

Can you water bath or pressure can this recipe?

As a Master Canner Preserver, I can’t recommend canning this safely. Please make it fresh when you want to serve it.

What can I serve with this recipe?

  • Tortilla Chips
  • Refried Beans
  • Barbecued Steaks
  • Barbecued Chicken
  • Tossed Salad
  • Flour Tortillas

Final Word

I hope you try making this Cowboy Caviar Recipe, I think you will love it. You can add or skip the ingredients you like or don’t care for. It’s that simple. Here again, it’s all about cooking from scratch, and this recipe is so good, my friends! May God Bless this world, Linda

12 thoughts on “Cowboy Caviar Recipe

  • August 5, 2022 at 7:24 am

    I’m no fan of black beans but I bet this recipe would work fine if pintos were substituted. Looks delicious!

    From the title of the post I thought you were going to be discussing catfish caviar–that I enjoyed greatly as a kid.

    • August 5, 2022 at 7:44 am

      5 stars
      I love this!!!! I do eat as a meal a lot for lunch or dinner. Lol. I add jalapeño pepper to it and it is so good. Not always the avocado because of heat and getting brown and mushy but great for picnic or tailgating or anything. Filling and has good protein and veggies. What could be bad!?!?!

      • August 5, 2022 at 10:12 am

        Hi Kristin, thanks for the 5 stars, my sweet friend! Yeah, the avocado does get mushy the next day. It’s good without the avocados as well!! It’s all good! Linda

    • August 5, 2022 at 10:11 am

      Hi Ray, any bean would work, really! My husband would love catfish caviar!! Linda

  • August 5, 2022 at 7:44 am

    5 stars
    I love this!!!! I do eat as a meal a lot for lunch or dinner. Lol. I add jalapeño pepper to it and it is so good. Great for picnic or tailgating or anything. Filling and has good protein and veggies. What could be bad!?!?!

    • August 5, 2022 at 10:13 am

      Hi Kristin, I bet our friend, Harry from Texas would add some jalapeño peppers!!!! Life is good with this recipe! Linda

  • August 5, 2022 at 8:17 am

    I like the recipe because when I look at the ingredients I see what is basically salsa with corn and beans added to it. It’s like you combined three different recipes.

    We have made bean salad using red or pink, black, white or even Garbanzo beans to which you add some chopped green peppers and onions. And you can mildly rinse or fully rinse the beans as you prefer and then you add some vinegar or Italian dressing. It’s like a meaty salad, lots of carbs and protein, but still has a light flavor.

    Also a tossed salad with red beans and Garbanzo beans is just so good. Again beans add protein.

    I myself have added some green peppers, red are good as well, to a pot of canned corn and it seems to create a nice cool flavor. The peppers and maybe a bit of onion or some bacon bits give it a little flavor boost.

    So all these different foods work nicely together. And the flavors of each dish are different so you can use the same group of foods, but you won’t feel as if you are eating the same thing often. Many feel that beans are a good substitute to meat when it isn’t on hand. In an emergency situation variety or even the appearance of variety is important for morale and nutrition. Many of us do eat the same things often, but if we can have a 30 day meal plan I don’t think anyone would complain or feel like they were eating the same things every day.

    I KNOW Linda that you think about all aspects of food storage and you take into account what your family will eat, what they enjoy, and what can be stored. I find those books with simple recipes (Just a few things) and that teach you how to make meals from canned foods are very helpful.

    My only complaint is calling it caviar…. I don’t eat any kind of seafood and I would not eat fish eggs either. Yucky, Eww!

    • August 5, 2022 at 10:54 am

      Hi Frank, Eww is right on eating real fish eggs! This recipe is so old I wonder now why they called it that!! I love your comment! Linda

  • August 5, 2022 at 12:26 pm

    Linda, once in awhile I’d catch a catfish with full egg sacs. When we cleaned the fish we’d fry the egg sacs along with the fillets. They were soooooo good.

    • August 5, 2022 at 5:00 pm

      Hi Ray, oh my gosh, my husband would have loved that. He used to fish in Teton Valley in Idaho. Life is full of awesome memories! Linda

  • August 5, 2022 at 2:09 pm

    5 stars
    I love this! So tasty and fresh! Thank you!

    • August 5, 2022 at 5:01 pm

      Hi Heidi, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend! I’m so glad you liked it! Linda


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