This Texas Cowboy Caviar Recipe is fresh, flavorful, and simple to make. Ultimate party food favorite, served with tortilla chips for a healthy side dish or appetizer.
Cowboy Caviar comes together with fresh veggies, beans, and a zesty homemade dressing.
It's quick and easy, the best make-ahead refrigerator salsa, making it perfect for any summer party, picnic, or potluck!
Where did Cowboy Caviar originate?
Texas! This salad of of black eyed peas in a vinaigrette-style dressing was created around 1940 by Helen Corbitt.
She first served the dip on New Year's Eve at the Houston Country Club. When she later served it at Austin's Driskill Hotel, it was given its name, Texas Caviar.
So why is it called cowboy caviar? It's meant as a comical compariation to true caviar, an expensive hors d'oeuvre.
Cowboy Caviar is a quintessential Texas dish that's commonly served on New Year's Day. But I say, why wait all year?! It's big, bold, zesty flavor is perfect for parties and tailgating.
Cowboy Caviar Ingredients
- Black-eyed peas
- Black beans
- Bell pepper
- Red onion
- Cilantro, optional
Cowboy Caviar Dressing
Some believe store bought Italian dressing is better but I believe the best dressing for cowboy caviar is homemade.
You can whip it up in just seconds with common pantry staples. Here's what you need:
- Olive oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Lime juice
- Sugar or agave
- Dried oregano
- Ground cumin
- Garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
How to Make The Best Texas Caviar Dip
Y'all, this recipe couldn't be simpler! Just chop all the veggies up, drain and rinse the beans, and toss everything together with the dressing.
You can use canned corn, but I had extra corn on the cob, so that's what I used! For the tomatoes, use tomatoes on the vine or cherry tomatoes.
I like letting the dip chill in the fridge for about an hour or so, but this dish is great served at room temp or chilled.
Why you'll love it:
What's not to love about this cowboy caviar dip recipe? In case you need some more convincing, here ya go!
- Light and wholesome
- Healthy and homemade
- Vegan, vegetarian, plant based, dairy free, egg free, gluten free
Want more Texan recipes?
While I was born in California, I've spent a majority of my life living in the Lone Star State. Check out these iconic popular Texas foods next:
Cowboy Caviar Recipe FAQ
This recipe is my take on the original cowboy caviar with Italian dressing. Since it’s easy to adapt, feel free to tweak ingredients to make it your own. You’ll need two types of beans, vegetables, and a vinaigrette dressing.
Use chickpeas or garbanzo beans instead!
Make sure you’re using vegan-friendly sugar or use your favorite sweetener instead, like agave.
Store cowboy caviar covered in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
Serve as a dip with tortilla chips or as a salad over a bed of lettuce.
If you enjoyed this dish, you'll love these too:
- Dairy Free 5 Layer Dip
- Vegan Street Corn Dip
- Dairy Free Beer Cheese
- Eggless BLT Pasta Salad
- Vegan Macaroni Salad
Cowboy Caviar Recipe with Homemade Dressing
- 2 15-ounce cans black eyed peas
- 1 15-ounce can black beans
- 1 15-ounce can corn
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper
- ½ small red onion
- 1 medium jalapeno
- ½ cup chopped cilantro to garnish
Cowboy Caviar Dressing
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar or agave
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Drain and rinse black-eyed peas, black beans, and corn. Toss into a large mixing bowl.
- Chop the vegetables into similar size pieces then add to the mixing bowl.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the mixture. Toss well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.
- Enjoy immediately or let chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Serve with tortilla chips!