Load up on veggies, protein, and delicious flavor with the Best Cowboy Caviar Recipe. This dish brings together 16 ingredients to create a dip that is absolutely bursting with refreshing flavor. It’s great for pairing with your favorite chips, using as a flavorful addition to meat dishes, or even throwing on your favorite tacos!
Delicious vegetable-packed cowboy salad
Today we’re cooking up (minus the cooking) a delectable and refreshing recipe that’s sure to hit the spot and satisfy all of your summer salsa cravings! To get more specific, I’m sharing with you the best cowboy caviar recipe… ever. Also referred to as “Texas caviar,” “cowboy salsa,” or “cowboy salad,” this dish has made its rounds on the Internet lately, taking social media by storm. And for good reason!
Not only is it mouthwateringly tasty, but it’s also incredibly easy to throw together (literally). There is no cooking required — just a bit of vegetable dicing and mixing!
Ingredients in the best cowboy caviar recipe
This recipe has two sets of ingredients: those for the dip, and those for the dressing. Each item brings delicious flavor to the dish, and together they make an appetizer, snack, or even meal that you’re going to love!
- Black beans: First up for the dip is 1 15oz can of black beans. These need to be drained and rinsed prior to using.
- Corn: Next, add 1 15oz can of corn. Like with the beans, drain and rinse prior to adding to the bowl. I like to use sweet corn for this! You can optionally use fresh corn cut off the cob as well.
- Black-eyed peas: Follow the corn with 1 15oz can of black-eyed peas, once again drained and rinsed. If you don’t have a can of these handy, you can use pinto beans instead.
- Roma tomatoes: Add some sweet tomato flavor with 3 deseeded Roma tomatoes. Be sure to dice these into small pieces before adding to the dip.
- Jalapeño: Next, deseed and dice 1 jalapeño. If you like a bit of heat, you can opt to leave some of the seeds intact.
- Bell pepper: Dice up a red bell pepper, deseeding before chopping. I love to use red for the distinct flavor.
- Red onion: Add some potent onion flavor with 1/2 of a small red onion. Like the other veggies, dice it into small pieces before adding to the bowl.
- Cilantro: Last but not least, include 1/2 cup of fresh chopped cilantro.
- Olive oil: The base of the dressing is created with 1/2 cup of olive oil. I don’t recommend substituting this with another oil — olive will be best here.
- Lime: Add a citrusy zing with the juice of 1 lime. Lime juice always makes this type of dish taste even better, so be sure to include it!
- Red wine vinegar: Next, throw in 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar. This is going to mix well with the oil and lime, adding a slightly sweet flavor.
- Honey: 2 tbsp of honey is going to take this dressing the extra mile. It’s a subtle addition, but one that makes a huge difference.
- Salt and pepper: Add flavor with 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper.
- Garlic powder: Throw in 1/2 tsp of garlic powder. Every dish is made better with garlic, and this one is no exception!
- Chili powder: Last but not least, finish off the dish with 1/2 tsp of chili powder.
Kitchen tools needed to make cowboy caviar
To create this dish, you will need a cutting board and chopping knife, large and small mixing bowls, a stirring utensil, whisk, and various measuring cups. Those include 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, 1 tbsp, and 1/2 cup.
How to make easy cowboy caviar dip
This recipe comes together easily and with no baking or cooking required. First, we’ll combine ingredients like black beans, corn, tomatoes, etc. for the dip, and then we’ll create the cowboy caviar dressing with an olive oil and lime juice base.
First, chop and prepare all of the vegetables.
Then, add all of the dip ingredients to one large mixing bowl.
Grab a small mixing bowl and whisk together the dressing ingredients. Once mixed, pour the dressing on top of the dip and toss until everything is well combined.
Serve with chips, on top of meat, in tacos, or however you’d like!
Is this recipe vegan?
Honey is the only animal product in this dish, making it very simple to create a vegan cowboy salsa. To do so, simply omit the honey or replace it with a vegan bee-free honey substitute (yes, it’s a thing!).
Can I add additional ingredients to this dish?
That’s definitely an option! To beef up your cowboy caviar further, optional additions include chopped avocado, chopped green bell pepper, diced green onions, and essentially any sort of topping you’d use on nachos!
How much cowboy caviar is in this dish?
This cowboy caviar recipe yields 12 1/2 cup servings. It makes a great appetizer or side dish!
Does this cowboy caviar recipe feed a crowd?
For sure! This dish is great for including on the table during gatherings. Place it next to a bowl of chips or include it as a topping on a taco bar, and guests will be in for a treat!
One of the great things about this easy cowboy caviar is that it is truly so versatile. It’s forgiving as far as ingredients are concerned, which means you can mix and match items depending on what you have in your pantry! Here are some swaps that you can make if you find yourself missing an item or two.
- Black beans: Out of black beans? Feel free to swap them with pinto or kidney beans.
- Black-eyed peas: Much like the black beans, these can be substituted with pinto beans if necessary.
- Roma tomatoes: Though roma is preferred, any type of tomato will work when diced into small pieces! You can use beefsteak tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, etc.
- Red bell pepper: This is likely a given, but red bell peppers can be swapped with orange, yellow, or green!
- Red onion: The intense flavor of a red onion works incredibly well in this dish, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use a different type. If necessary, feel free to use white or yellow onion instead.
- Red wine vinegar: This ingredient can be swapped with balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar. Because we’re only using 2 tbsp, a swap isn’t likely to make a difference in the flavor of the dish.
- Garlic powder: Lastly, garlic powder can be swapped for the “real deal” if preferred. To use minced garlic instead, add it in the amount of 2 tbsp.
Cowboy caviar is a great make-ahead or meal prep dish because it lasts in the refrigerator for up to about 4 days. Simply transfer it to an airtight container before storing, and you can enjoy it all week!
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
There are many more dip recipes where this one came from. To explore more tasty dippable dish variations, check out my full list of dips, or try one of my favorites below!
- Honey Sriracha Chicken Dip
- Light Jalapeño Popper Dip
- Philly Cheesesteak Dip
- Healthier Buffalo Chicken Dip
Photos by Moriah Sawtelle and recipe by Erin Antoniak.
- 1 15oz 1can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15oz can corn, drained and rinsed
- 1 15oz can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
- 3 roma tomatoes, deseeded and diced small
- 1 jalapeño, deseeded and diced small
- 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and diced small
- 1/2 small red onion, diced small
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- Chop and prepare all veggies.
- In a large bowl, add all dip ingredients into one large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Pour over top of dip and toss until well combined.
- Serve with chips, on top of meat, in tacos, etc!
There may be affiliate links in this post! By purchasing a product I recommend, I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use myself. Thank you for supporting Erin Lives Whole, it helps keep this blog afloat 🙂