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 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.
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.
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.
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.
- LIME JUICE – Fresh lime juice gives it some tang.
HOW TO MAKE COWBOY CAVIAR
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the Italian dressing and stir to coat all the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.
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.
WHAT IS SHOEPEG CORN?
OTHER SALAD RECIPES
- 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
- 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.
- Chill in the refrigerator until cold and flavors have marinated together. This is best served the same day as prepared. Serve with tortilla chips.
This really looks good and would like to try this. One question though. The recipe calls for the seeds to be removed from the tomatoes, the pictures shows the seeds in the tomatoes? Do we remove them or not, or is that optional?
The seeds being removed is for Roma tomatoes. If you use cherry or grape tomatoes there’s no need to remove them.
lissssen yaw!! this is THEEE VERY BEST caviar EVER I i had this recipe a gazillion years ago i just had to google it …and i FOUND it wont let it go again!! …many are making caviar with celery (huh?) …..bell peppers!!! ( ….say wha??) …..and i thought i saw ELBOW macaroni (???) …THIS IS A KEEPER!!
This is SO GOOD! I served it with Lime tortilla chips and it was amazing!
Ooh that would be yummy.
Just finished making this for our New Years Eve tonight. It’s DELICIOUS! I’ll be making it often!
So glad you love it too! I made it tonight too!
This would be perfect with tortilla chips on NYE!
This was my summer bbq go-to! Everyone loves it! Great recipe. Thank you!
What is shoe peg corn???
It’s sold by the regular corn and is a little smaller. If you use fresh or regular canned corn, that’s totally fine.
How many servings would you saying makes?
I would say 8-10!
I’m making this for dinner tonight! I’ve had horrible morning sickness with my second child, and this has a lot of what my body needs – beans, tomatoes, avocado- to stay healthy! Thank you for sharing!
Oh my gosh. That’s the worst. I’m so sorry. Hope you feel better.
Christy, this looks SOOOO yummy! I’m a sucker for anything with avocado. Thanks for being a part of the Tailgating collaboration, it’s fun to work with you. Pinned this!
Having never been married nor kids (last of 3 in our little family 15 years apart on me) but get a bang out of ‘observing’ others. Recently retired so I an do/what/when/where I want & trip around a lot in Ft Worth or elsewhere. Gosh we have FABULOUS grocery stores all over the place & a lot of ‘culture’ going on. So I like to cook as luv to ferret out the best in people, places & things & pick your noggin, Keep the hilarity coming!! ~~ cheers
I love hearing that!
Looks delish! Thank you Thank you for posting this! I found this via Free Copycat Recipes, BTW. At one of my sister-in-law’s weddings (yes, I said at one of them, lol), someone made a concoction exactly like this minus the avocado. I wanted the recipe that day, didn’t get a chance to ask for it & have searched the internet fruitlessly ever since. I am super excited to make this & so grateful you shared!
I’ve tasted this before, and it really is good! Nothing like the name suggests…but I guess that’s just because I don’t like caviar! 🙂
Very entertaining post! Those of us with kids are in your corner, sister! Thanks for the recipe! Pinning it.
Thank you so much! I was looking for this for my boyfriend. He loves this dip a lot.
I’ve made this one several times and always have several people ask for the recipe (except this last time…hmmm). My recipe doesn’t have the Italian packet but just has cumin (love me some cumin!). I also throw in garlic and onion powder. I eat it like a salad after the chips are gone. Its soooo yummy and actually healthy!
I actually use the prepared Italian dressing in a bottle not the dry mix. It’s great!
Absolutely love this recipe and your website! I’ve made this at least 4 or 5 times. It’s now always requested of me whenever there is a gathering. Thank you for posting it. If by any chance you have the nutrition information, I’d love to have it.
Just so you know, I’ve been married 44+ years and we’ve got two grown children and three grandchildren. As I look back over my entire life the one thing I would change, and there is only one, is that I would have had more children, lots more if God would have arranged it.
I now realize that having children was one of the ways the LORD worked to keep my mind on making our home a place to honor and glorify Him. With two parents and two children I think we might have taken the task too lightly. For sure the time span was relatively short and we surely engaged in a lot of ‘outside activities’.
When I look at families with many children I realize that those parents were REQUIRED to stay focused on raising the next generation – there was no way it could be anything other than a full time job AND THEN SOME. May each of you be blessed in your mothering and homemaking! Amen
This sounds so easy & delicious! I will definitely try it!
This is looking real good!
What a lovely blog. Great food photography too!
Mmmm….that looks so yummy! Can’t wait to try it!!
You’re posts are hilarious! I can see why it might be wise to wait to have kids, as i do not have any at the moment…
I love to make this! As an alternate, I add english or regular peeled cucumbers and a bit of red pepper flakes or fresh jalapeno.
Keep ’em comin’!
Feeling your pain, as I have 3 kids as well. How about back-to-school shoe shopping with 3 of them? Brutal!!
I too wonder how my mother-in-law did it – my husband is the 2nd youngest of 11. Bless their hearts!
Have a wonderful day!
That looks so delicious, light and refreshing! I must try it, yum! Thanks for sharing!!!