Cowboy Caviar is one of my favorite side dish recipes to bring to a potluck or summer BBQ because it’s always a big hit. Black beans, black eyed peas, avocado, tomatoes, and shoepeg corn tossed in a light zesty Italian dressing. Eat this side salad with chips or just a fork!  There are a lot of recipes out there for easy cowboy caviar but this one has withstood the test of time as the best dip.

Cowboy Caviar in a white bowl

COWBOY CAVIAR RECIPE

As I carted my kids around to Costco and Walmart today, I thought to myself how did my mom do this with 10 kids?

Ask yourself what’s worse than a Costco trip with three kids?

A Costco trip with five kids in the POURING rain! We were all drenched from head to toe.

They say when you have kids it makes you learn patience but I think I’ve only digressed. My mom is the perfect model of patience.
 
 
Believe it or not with ten kids she rarely raised her voice. The handful of times I can remember her losing her patience was after trips to the grocery store.
 
Picture my mom, with a gaggle of kids, pushing 2-3 grocery carts full of food. We would always try to guess the damage at the register only to be hundreds of dollars off.
 
Cowboy Caviar in a white bowl
 

I’m not sure at what point we pushed her over the edge but by the time we pulled in our driveway we were told to get out and take the groceries inside while my mom drove off in the car for a moment to herself to regroup.

Surely she earned some credits to curse like a sailor but she didn’t.

I definitely earned at least some PG rated swearing credits today. I guess I’m learning to flex my patience muscle because I didn’t use ’em.
 
This Cowboy Caviar recipe is always the first thing to be eaten when taken to BBQs. I could eat this alone for lunch. It’s one of my favorite appetizers for feeding a crowd.
 
My mother-in-law Sheri gave me this recipe. All the measurements are approximate to feel free to adjust it to your tastes.

WHAT IS COWBOY CAVIAR?

Cowboy caviar is sometimes referred to Texas Caviar. You can use chips and eat it as a dip, as a relish on chicken or steak, or just with a fork.

WHAT IS COWBOY CAVIAR?

Cowboy caviar is a simple dip sometimes referred to Texas Caviar or Mexican caviar. You can use corn chips and eat it as a dip, as a relish on chicken or steak, or just with a fork. It can be eaten in the winter months or summer months. It’s an easy recipe with colorful veggies.

INGREDIENTS

These fresh ingredients make this a great recipe for a big crowd.

  • BLACK-EYED PEAS – The tradition says that if you eat black-eyed peas on new year’s day you will have good luck for the upcoming year. new year’s day
  • BLACK BEANS
  • SHOEPEG CORN – The corn kernels are small and mild but fresh corn is great here too. I don’t love canned corn as much but it can be used in a pinch.
  • TOMATOES – I prefer to use cherry tomatoes but any fresh tomatoes will do.
  • GREEN ONIONS – Green onions are more mild but a red onion can be used here too.
  • AVOCADO – If you’re not serving until the next day, store in an airtight container and add the avocado the day of serving. For best results, the entire salad is best the same day.
  • ITALIAN DRESSING – You can make a homemade dressing but there are so many good bottled ones.
  • CILANTRO
  • LIME JUICE – Fresh lime juice gives it some tang.

HOW TO MAKE COWBOY CAVIAR

  1. Drain and rinse the black eyed peas, black beans, and corn. Add to a large bowl. Dice the tomatoes, making sure the seeds and insides are removed. You want to do this to make sure that there isn’t too much liquid in the dip.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes and cilantro to the bowl. Slice the green onions finely and add to the bowl. Dice the avocado and squeeze a little of the lime juice over the avocados so they don’t brown as quickly. Squeeze the rest of the lime juice into the bowl.
  3. Add the Italian dressing and stir to coat all the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator until cold and flavors have marinated together. This is best served the same day as prepared. Serve with tortilla chips.

CAN YOU MAKE COWBOY CAVIAR AHEAD OF TIME?

Yes! I usually make it the day of but you can prepare it a day or two ahead of time. Just make sure to not add the avocado until the day of.

 
 
Cowboy Caviar in a white bowl
 

WHAT IS SHOEPEG CORN?

Shoepeg corn is a white sweet corn. It’s smaller then regular corn and has a sweet mild flavor. You can use regular corn as a substitute. Either frozen, canned, or fresh preferably.
Cowboy Caviar - One of our favorite appetizers. Beans, avocado, tomatoes, and corn tossed in a light dressing. the-girl-who-ate-everything.com

Cowboy Caviar

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This Cowboy Caviar recipe is one of my favorite recipes to bring to a potluck or BBQ. Black beans, black eyed peas, avocado, tomatoes, and shoepeg corn tossed in a light zesty Italian dressing.

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 ounce) can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can shoepeg corn, drained and rinsed (see note)
  • 4-5 Roma tomatoes, seeds removed and diced or 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 2-3 diced avocados, ripe but still firm
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin
  • around 1/2 to 3/4 cup Zesty Italian dressing
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped finely
  • juice of 1-2 limes
  • ground pepper and kosher salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the black eyed peas, black beans, and corn. Add to a large bowl. Add the tomatoes and cilantro to the bowl. Slice the green onions finely and add to the bowl. Dice the avocado and squeeze a little of the lime juice over the avocados so they don't brown as quickly. Squeeze the rest of the lime juice into the bowl. Add the Italian dressing and stir to coat all the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Chill in the refrigerator until cold and flavors have marinated together. This is best served the same day as prepared. Serve with tortilla chips.

Notes

Source: Sheri Denney

You can also use regular corn or grilled corn when in season.

If making this ahead of time add everything but the avocado and when you add the avocado squeeze a little lime juice over them so they don't brown as quickly.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
Cowboy Caviar is one of my favorite recipes to bring to a potluck or BBQ. Black beans, black eyed peas, avocado, tomatoes, and shoepeg corn tossed in a light zesty Italian dressing. Eat with chips or just a fork! #cowboy #caviar #potluck #side #bbq #salad