This easy Texas Caviar is filled with black eyed peas, black beans, corn, and more colorful vegetables. Spice up this easy, flavorful dip recipe with some fresh jalapeño, and add some avocado for extra flavor!
Easy Texas Cowboy Caviar
I don’t know of many dips that can also be served as side salads, but Texas Caviar, also known as Cowboy Caviar, can! It’s the first of many fantastic qualities that this dip has.
Texas cowboy caviar is made with tender black beans, black eyed peas, juicy corn kernels, crisp bell peppers, and seeded jalapeños. All of that is covered in a light dressing, which is sweet and smoky at the same time. The chili powder gives it a little kick, the lime juice adds zest, and the sugar rounds out the flavor combination. All in all, this easy dip is a delight for the tastebuds, and it requires almost no effort to create. Seriously. No effort. Just 5 minutes of mixing!
As mentioned above, you can serve it on the side of your favorite barbecue, dip tortilla chips into it, gobble it down as a super light, super quick lunch, etc. The choice is yours!
What is Texas Caviar?
This dip recipe originated in Texas, made with black eyed peas, black beans, corn, red and green peppers, onion and a vinaigrette-like dressing. It functions as a delicious dip for both appetizers and snacking.
It is jokingly called ‘caviar’ to make a comparison to fish roe caviar, which is much more expensive than this vegetable version is. Both are served at parties, but it’s a lot easier to make Texas caviar from scratch!
So, as you can see, caviar doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be simple, cost-friendly, and delicious all at the same time.
And you can use fresh veggies to make it, which is always a plus if you’ve got a garden or a farmer’s market right around the corner!
Here’s what you’ll need to whip a bowl together:
- Beans: You’ll need a can of black eyed peas and a can of black beans. Both need to be drained, rinsed, and dried.
- Corn: I used a can of sweet corn, drained and dried.
- Bell Peppers: I like to use a red bell pepper and a green bell pepper (for differing flavors and colors), diced small.
- Onion: Grab a red onion and dice it before starting.
- Jalapeños: Seeded and diced. These are optional, but I like a little heat in my caviar.
- Cilantro Leaves: Chopped lightly, for flavor.
- Olive Oil: This is the base for the light dressing.
- Lime Juice: Fresh squeezed is best because it offers the brightest, tangiest flavor.
- Red Wine Vinegar: Rice vinegar works too.
- Seasoning: Combine garlic powder, sugar, chili powder, ground cumin, and salt.
- Avocado: Diced – this is optional, but I love the creaminess it adds.
How to Make Texas Caviar
Alright, let’s get into this 5 minute dip! I have just a couple tips for you before we dive into the instructions, which are:
- Drain the black eyed peas, beans, and corn before starting. Rinse them, then pat dry with a paper towel.
- Once you’ve added the vinaigrette, let it sit for an hour to meld the flavors for best results.
That’s pretty much it, so here are the rest of the directions:
Mix the Beans and Veggies Together: In a large bowl, combine the black eyed peas, black beans, corn, red and green bell peppers, red onion, jalapeño, and cilantro. Toss to combine and set aside.
Mix the Dressing Together: In a medium sized bowl whisk to combine the olive oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar, sugar, chili powder, cumin and salt.
Combine Both Components: Pour the olive oil mixture over the bean mixture and toss to coat. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Add avocado, if desired, and serve with crackers or chips.
Ways to Use It
Texas caviar is very versatile – there are so many delicious ways to use it! I like to keep some around at all times during the summer. You never know when you might need a quick appetizer, and easy side salad, etc.
Here are some of my go-to ways to serve and use this dip:
- With Chips and Crackers: Put out a bowl of Texas caviar with tortilla chips, and watch it disappear! This is a simple yet delicious appetizer option.
- On Top of Burgers: Instead of loading up your burger with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and more, spoon some caviar on there and enjoy.
- As a Side Salad: I like to serve it on the side of summer meals like grilled steak, baked chicken, grilled salmon, etc.
- On Quesadillas: Instead of topping your quesadillas with pico de gallo or salsa, throw on some Texas caviar!
How to Store
You can store this Texas caviar for up to 3 days in an airtight container, in the fridge. I recommend not adding any avocado until you’re ready to serve, or it will brown.
The Best Texas Caviar
For the Caviar:
- 1 15.5 oz can black eyed peas, drained, rinsed and dried
- 1 15.5 oz can black beans, drained, rinsed and dried
- 1 15 oz can sweet corn, drained and dried
- ½ cup red bell pepper, diced small
- ½ cup green bell pepper, diced small
- ½ cup red onion, diced
- 1-2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
- ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped lightly
- 1 avocado, diced (optional)
- In a large bowl, combine the black eyed peas, black beans, corn, red and green bell peppers, red onion, jalapeño, and cilantro. Toss to combine and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl whisk to combine the olive oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar, sugar, chili powder, cumin and salt.
- Pour the olive oil mixture over the bean mixture and toss to coat. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Add avocado, if desired, and serve with crackers or chips.
More dips and Sauces
Looking for more easy dip recipes for appetizers and snacks? Try these ones out:
- Hot Spinach Dip
- Homemade Easy Tartar Sauce
- Monster Cookie Dough Dip
- Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
- Basil Pesto Sauce
- Homemade Pico De Gallo
- Creamy Sweet Chili Sauce
- Crockpot Jalapeno Corn Dip
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