Texas Caviar, also known as Cowboy Caviar, is a delicious and super simple recipe that is perfect for New Year’s Eve or Cinco de Mayo. It is so quick and easy to combine black-eyed peas, black beans, bell peppers, and cilantro with a zesty and flavorful lime vinaigrette. This Southern recipe goes great with chips or you can serve it as a healthy side dish.

A bowl of Texas caviar is served for a healthy side dish.

The Best Cowboy Caviar

Some may call it Cowboy Caviar, but those of us here in the Lone Star State know it’s true origin… thus, proudly sticking with the name of Texas Caviar!

Although the name is a bit tongue-in-cheek, I will say that I would take a bowl full of Texas Caviar ANY day over the traditional stuff.

Served as a dip with tortilla chips, or eaten as a side salad for New Year’s Eve to bring in good luck…

Any way you serve it, this light and refreshing dish is loaded with flavor, so quick and easy to make, and is sure to become a new menu favorite for your holiday or football parties!

What is Texas Caviar?

Texas Caviar, often called Cowboy Caviar, is a simple dip recipe that is delicious with chips or even piled on top of a salad.

While you could include a variety of ingredients, it traditionally has black-eyed peas, black beans, and corn, along with fresh additions like onion, jalapeños, and cilantro. Everything is pulled together with a zesty lime vinaigrette.

Helen Corbit first created and served this black-eyed pea and black bean salad tossed in a tangy vinaigrette for a New Year’s Eve celebration at the Houston Country Club.

It then made its way to the Driskill Hotel in Austin, TX (my hometown now for 8 years!) where it finally earned its’ title.

A side by side picture shows the ingredients for Texas caviar.

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make this Texas Caviar recipe include:

  • Black Eyed Peas. These make up the bulk of the dip. You can either buy canned or make your own at home. Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas are super quick to make, or you can cook them up on the stovetop.
  • Black Beans. You need about 1 ½-cups, which is equivalent to 1 can. Be sure to rinse and drain the beans before mixing them in if you choose to use canned. Some people like the flavor of pinto beans better, feel free to try them out instead of the black beans.
  • Corn. Both canned or previously frozen will work, as long as the corn is cooked. Boil the corn and then remove the kernels from the cob if you are using fresh.
  • Bell Pepper. Pick either red or green peppers. A red bell pepper offers a nice contrast of color to the cilantro and jalapeño and is a tad sweeter.
  • Red Onion. This adds a pop of color and has a nice bite. You can also substitute it for green onions or a sweet onion if you don’t want as much of a pungent flavor.
  • Jalapeño. Include this for a nice kick. To get even more spice use up to 3-4, or even swap them out for serrano peppers.
  • Vinaigrette. A simple dressing made from olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, and sweetener. Apple Cider Vinegar was tested in this recipe and gives the best flavor, but white wine or even distilled white vinegar will do. Honey is preferable but agave nectar or regular sugar are good vegan sweetener options.
  • Seasonings. Cumin, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper round out the taste. The mix is much like taco seasoning so you can use that instead if you don’t have the individual spices on hand.
  • Cilantro. It is best not to leave this out since it brings so much freshness to the dish. Stir it in just before serving so it does not get soggy.

How to Make Texas Caviar (Cowboy Caviar)

The basic steps for making Texas caviar are simple to follow:

Rinse and Drain the Beans

Place the black eyed peas and black beans in a colander to drain the excess liquid. Rinse with running water until the liquid runs clear.

Mix it Together

Add the black eyed peas, black beans, corn, bell pepper, red onion, and jalapeños into a large bowl.

Stir until everything is combined.

All of the ingredients are combined in a bowl.

Make the Vinaigrette

Put all of the vinaigrette ingredients into a high speed blender. Blend or shake until it is emulsified. Depending on your blender this will take from about 10-20 seconds.

If you don’t have a high speed blender, a food processor or a mason jar with a lid can be used instead.

Dressing is made in a nutribullet or high speed blender.

Toss and Refrigerate

Drizzle the vinaigrette over the veggies and beans and toss everything until all of the ingredients are coated.

Let the salad rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight. This allows the flavors to meld together and tastes incredible!

Dressing is poured over the caviar ingredients.

Add Cilantro

Mix in the chopped cilantro and toss to combine just before serving so that it does not get soggy.

Chopped cilantro is added to the bowl.

Serving

Pair this dish with tortilla chips to make it a dip for an appetizer.

You can also present it as a side dish or salad along with an entree.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Make the dried black eyed peas, dried beans, and fresh corn if using. Mix up the vinaigrette up to 3 days in advance. Keep the veggies and dressing separate in the refrigerator until ready to mix and serve. Or, completely make the dish except for the cilantro up to 24 hours ahead of time.
  • To Store: Seal in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-5 days.
  • To Freeze: It is not recommended to freeze Texas caviar as the texture will change quite a bit after thawing.

Is Texas caviar healthy?

Yes, it is! This gluten-free recipe offers protein, fiber, potassium, calcium, and vitamin C.

Is Texas caviar keto friendly?

Unfortunately, the beans, corn, and peppers all contain too many carbohydrates to be considered keto.

Is Texas caviar served cold?

Yes, this recipe is best enjoyed chilled, but can also be enjoyed warm, if you’d prefer.

A chip is used to eat this bean and corn dip.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Cook in an Instant. Make your own Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas and Instant Pot Black Beans instead of using canned.
  • Finely dice. Cut the peppers and onions into smaller pieces so you get some in every bite.
  • Bring in the luck. Serve with Jalapeño Cornbread and Collard Greens for a festive New Year’s celebration.
  • Rinse thoroughly. If canned beans are selected, make sure to drain the liquid and wash the beans with water.
  • Save the cilantro. Mix this in just before serving so it tastes fresh and doesn’t get soggy.
  • Prep ahead of time. Blend the vinaigrette in advance, and even fully prepare the dish the night before serving.

More Party Dip Recipes

Dips are the best snacks for a crowd since they’re so easy to prepare in advance. Mix up a variety of flavors to serve at your next get-together.

This Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip is a classic, and of course you can’t go wrong with Classic Hummus and Homemade Guacamole.

For a South-of-the-border flair, go with Black Bean and Corn Salsa, Mexican Street Corn, or Roasted Tomato Salsa.

And if you’re a fan of seafood, you have to try this Smoked Salmon Dip or Shrimp Ceviche.

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5 from 1 vote

Texas Caviar Dip Recipe

Texas Caviar, also known as Cowboy Caviar, is a delicious and super simple recipe that is perfect for New Year's Eve or Cinco de Mayo. It is so quick and easy to combine black-eyed peas, black beans, bell peppers, and cilantro with a zesty and flavorful lime vinaigrette.
A bowl of Texas caviar is served for a healthy side dish.
Yield 12 servings
Prep 25 minutes
Total 25 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 cans black eyed peas about 3 cups
  • 1 can black beans about 1 ½ cups
  • 1 can corn about 1 ½ cups
  • 1 bell pepper red or green, finely diced
  • ¼ cup red onion finely diced
  • 2-4 jalapeños seeded and finely diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped

Vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¾ tsp. salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Rinse and thoroughly drain the black eyed peas and black beans if using canned.
    1 can black beans, 2 cans black eyed peas
  • In a large bowl mix together the black eyed peas, black beans, corn, bell pepper, red onion, and jalapeños.
    2 cans black eyed peas, 1 can corn, 1 bell pepper, ¼ cup red onion, 2-4 jalapeños, 1 can black beans
  • Add the vinaigrette ingredients to a high speed blender and blend for 5-10 seconds, or until emulsified. Alternatively, a food processor or a bowl with a whisk can be used.
    ¼ cup olive oil, 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, 2 Tbsp. lime juice, 2 Tbsp. honey, ½ tsp. cumin, ¼ tsp. paprika, ¼ tsp. garlic powder, ¾ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • Pour the vinaigrette over the bean salad and toss until well coated. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
  • Just before serving, add chopped cilantro and toss to combine.
    ¼ cup cilantro
  • Serve as a side salad or as a dip with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 1 vote

Video

Notes

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Make the dried black eyed peas, dried beans, and fresh corn if using. Mix up the vinaigrette up to 3 days in advance. Keep the veggies and dressing separate in the refrigerator until ready to mix and serve. Or, completely make the dish except for the cilantro up to 24 hours ahead of time.
  • To Store: Seal in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-5 days.
  • To Freeze: It is not recommended to freeze Texas caviar as the texture will change quite a bit after thawing.

Nutrition

Calories: 56kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 122mg, Potassium: 49mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 413IU, Vitamin C: 17mg, Calcium: 6mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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