This bright and vibrant Cowboy Caviar is also know as Texas caviar. It's a delicious option for casual parties and tailgating. While it's scrumptious served with tortilla chips for dipping, it can also be used as a side dish or as a topping for salads and tacos. Regardless, it adds punch and flavor to any meal.
Easy Cowboy Caviar Recipe
I'm a vegetable fan of all kinds. I suppose that's why a simple and fresh side like this cowboy caviar is so appealing. You can use it to top casseroles like my Southwest Casserole with Sweet Corn Crust or Cornbread Crusted Taco Pie. It goes equally well with taco salads and tacos, too. I've also been know to create a sort of Southwestern-style fried rice using this as a main ingredient in the mix. I think, it's super fun to make fusion dishes and incorporate flavors from different cuisines into one fabulous dish. Flexible recipes are a frugal cook's best friend and this dish fits that mold.
How to Make the Best Cowboy Caviar Recipe
- Ingredients you'll need to make homemade Cowboy Caviar: Black beans, black eyed peas, corn, poblano pepper or jalapeno pepper, red bell pepper, red onion, fresh cilantro and avocados.
- For the dressing you'll need: Lime juice, salt, sugar or honey, cumin, chili powder, granulated garlic or fresh minced garlic, onion powder, hot sauce and vegetable or canola oil. I don't recommend using olive oil for this recipe.
- This Cowboy Caviar is ideal entertaining as you can make it up to 2 days in advance.
- If you'd like to use fresh corn, it can be grilled, steamed or fried prior to adding to the rest of the ingredients.
- It's important to wait until just before serving to add the diced avocado. This is so that it will maintain its bright green color and not oxidize and turn brown before serving.
- Salt is a seasoning that is completely subjective. It's important to taste and add more or less, to personalize the amount to your taste.
- You can use a different combination of beans in the same amount, if preferred. For example, if you aren't a fan of black eyed peas, pinto beans work well in this dish, too.
- Store Cowboy Caviar chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
More Southern Style Appetizers and Snack Recipes to Make
Some days we like to snack for our supper rather than sit down to a full meal. More small bite and snack recipes you may like to try:
- Loaded Mashed Potato Spring Rolls are bound to be the talk of the party.
- Two bite Beef Taco Bites are made using wonton wrappers in a mini muffin pan.
- Better than restaurant copycat Crab Rangoon.
- Buffalo Chicken Meatballs with bleu cheese dressing for dipping.
- For more snacking inspiration check out my Parade article featuring 30 Touchdown Snacks for Football Parties and Tailgating.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 1 14 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 14 oz can black eyed peas drained and rinsed
- 1 14 oz can whole kernel sweet corn drained
- 4 medium Roma tomatoes diced
- 1 medium poblano pepper seeded and diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper seeded and diced
- 1 medium red onion diced
- ⅓ cup roughly chopped cilantro optional
- 2 medium avocados peeled and cubed
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dark chili powder or paprika
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic or 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- few dashes hot sauce i.e. Cholula or Valentina optional
- ¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
- In a large mixing bowl, toss together, tomatoes, black beans, black eye peas, corn, poblano, red pepper, onion and cilantro. (Reserve avocado to add before serving.)
- To make the dressing: In a small mixing bowl whisk together lime juice, salt, sugar, cumin, chili powder, garlic and onion powder and hot sauce. Slowly drizzle in the oil whisking constantly until slightly thickened.
- Pour dressing over the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Chill in an airtight container for 4 hours.
- Mix avocado into the cowboy caviar just before serving as an appetizer with tortilla chips, a side dish or as a topping for salads and tacos.