Cowboy caviar (sometimes called Texas caviar) is a delicious chilled dip made with beans, tomatoes, peppers onions, and Italian dressing!
This simple cowboy caviar recipe is a great option for your next party (or afternoon snack!). Filled with bright flavors and served with your favorite corn chips, it’s always a hit. Don’t forget other yummy apps like toasted ravioli and air fryer chicken wings!
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Cowboy Caviar Ingredients
- Beans – Black beans and black eyed peas (yes, black eyed peas are actually beans!).
- Tomatoes – Canned diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed. (Peeled and diced fresh tomatoes can also be used).
- Corn – Canned and drained or frozen and rinsed.
- Onion – Red onion, small diced or minced.
- Peppers – Green bell pepper and jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and diced.
- Cilantro – Fresh, chopped.
- Avocado – Peeled, pitted, and diced.
- Lime – Juiced and strained, if desired.
- Dressing – Italian dressing. We typically use bottled dressing but use homemade balsamic dressing or citrus vinaigrette.
How do you make cowboy caviar? (step-by-step)
⭐ First, in a large bowl, mix together beans, tomatoes, corn, onion, peppers, and cilantro.
⭐ Next, add lime juice and Italian dressing. Mix well to coat.
⭐ Then, cover and chill.
⭐ Finally, stir in avocado right before serving.
Scroll down to the printable recipe card toward the bottom of this article for ingredient measurements and detailed cooking instructions.
What is Texas caviar made of?
Black beans, black eyed peas, tomato, corn, onion, pepper, cilantro, lime, avocado, and dressing.
Can you make cowboy caviar ahead of time?
Yes, this can be prepped a full day in advance. Wait until right before serving to add the avocado (or you can skip it entirely) so the avocado doesn’t become brown and mushy.
What kind of corn?
We typically use frozen or canned sweet corn for this recipe, but you can absolutely use fresh sweet corn as well.
Storage and leftovers
Does cowboy caviar need to be refrigerated?
This recipe should be kept in the refrigerator until ready to enjoy. Leftovers should also be refrigerated.
How long will it keep?
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for 3 – 4 days. The avocado will brown and may lose some firmness, but it will still taste good.
Can you freeze cowboy caviar?
We do not recommend freezing this recipe.
Tips, tricks, and frequently asked questions
Why is it called cowboy caviar?
The name is poking fun at the idea that cowboys and/or every day folks don’t eat or can’t afford traditional caviar and this is their chosen alternative.
The recipe originated in the 1940’s and is also sometimes called Texas Caviar.
What else can you add?
Other favorites additions are olives, green onion, red bell pepper, capers, cooked chilled rice, cooked chilled quinoa, raw diced zucchini.
How do I make it the best cowboy caviar?
- Allow the salad to chill at least 20 minutes so the flavors have time to meld.
- Dice the ingredients small so you can get all the flavors on one chip.
- Don’t add the avocado until right before serving so it stays firm and bright green.
What to eat with cowboy caviar (serving suggestions)
This is delicious when served with corn chips at a bbq alongside grilled flank steak, air fryer corn on the cob, and a 7 layer salad. For dessert enjoy a batch of orange fluff or homemade key lime pie.
More delicious dip recipes
Other awesome Tex-Mex dishes
Tools we love
- Large white ceramic bowls – Perfect for serving your favorite salads and soups.
- Giant stainless steel mixing bowl – This bowl is a must have for parties!
How to Make Cowboy Caviar
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- 1 can black beans drained and rinsed (15 ounces)
- 1 can black eyed peas drained and rinsed (15 ounces)
- 1 can diced tomatoes drained and rinsed (15 ounces)
- 1½ cups sweet kernel corn or a 15 ounce can, drained
- ½ large red onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 1-2 jalapeno peppers deseeded and diced
- ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ cup Italian dressing
- juice of 1 lime
- 1-2 avocados diced
- In a large bowl, mix together black beans, black eyed peas, tomatoes, corn, onion, peppers, and cilantro.
- Squeeze in the juice from the lime and add the Italian dressing. Toss to coat.
- Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes (and as long as 24 hours) to allow the flavors to come together.
- Gently stir in the diced avocados right before serving.
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