Learn how to make a Texas Cowboy Caviar the way we do here in Texas! Texas caviar is perfect to serve as a dip, a salad, or a side dish. It’s naturally vegan-friendly and gluten-free.

cowboy caviar in speckled bowl on whit3e marble surrounded by tortilla chips

Let a Texan tell you how to make Texas Caviar! Or Cowboy caviar if that’s what you call it in your neck of the woods. But regardless of the name, this is an all in one type of dish! You can make it into an appetizer and serve it with tortilla chips, the way we do down here in Texas. Or you can serve it as a side dish or a ‘salad’ if you’re into salads that are light on the greens and heavy on everything else, the way I am.

All you need to do is open a couple of cans of beans, chop a few veggies, and toss it all with a simple dressing that comes together in a mason jar. Plus, the veggies hold up together pretty well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days so you can meal prep your lunch with this too.

It should come as no surprise that I love making salads that double up as dips or side dishes when you’re throwing together a quick meal for yourself or guests. Have you made my Mexican street corn salad yet? It’s the same concept, but entirely different regarding flavors. You can crush up tortilla chips and add them to the salad, or you can serve them alongside this Texas caviar dip.

Cowboy caviar is light on the waistline, easy on the wallet, and quick to prepare.

hand with chip getting cowboy caviar on chip

On the weekends, I love to have something ready to go in the refrigerator to munch on. Nine times out of ten, when I don’t, I tend to have snackcidents. You know, an accident that you didn’t plan on having with a snack.

Luckily, this makes a ton of cowboy caviar that works well for when I need a quick protein packed lunch option or when I need something to munch on with tortilla chips when I’m binge watching season 2 of Queer Eye.

tortilla chip picking up dip from speckled bowl

What is cowboy caviar?

It’s a salad or a dip that contains black-eyed peas, or other kinds of beans, along with corn, tomatoes, onions that are tossed in light homemade dressing and it most often consumed with tons of tortilla chips. You want to make sure everything is chopped up small, so you can scoop it all up on the chip. Trader Joe’s also sells this stuff in a jar near the salsa so you may have already tried this, and now you can make it at home.

How to make Cowboy Caviar:

You’ll need a few key ingredients: like beans, chopped tomatoes, corn, and onions – the rest is up to interpretation.

  • I like to add fire-roasted corn to my cowboy caviar. The charred corn adds a new flavor to the salad one that you can’t get if you were to use plain, frozen, or canned corn. Fire-roasted corn is usually sold in the freezer section of most grocery stores right next to the regular stuff. Recently, I’ve even spotted it in the canned veggies aisle, so there’s no need to roast corn for this unless you want to!
  • I add black beans. Because when do I not? You can swap them for pinto, kidney or even garbanzo beans if you like one of the other types more. Really, this dip is an idea, customize it however you like!
  • I dress it with a dressing. It’s light, it’s refreshing, and I’ll talk more about it in just a second.
  • Finally, avocados. Now, this is optional because I don’t think the original cowboy caviar contained avocados but if you’re a fan of them, why not add them? If you don’t plan on consuming all the cowboy caviar in one go, I do suggest dressing all of the salad, splitting it into two containers, and then just adding avocados to the portion you’ll be able to finish. The salad will easily last you 3-4 days in the refrigerator, and you can add fresh avocados when you’re ready to eat the leftovers!

ingredients for dip in cans and bowls on white marble surface

combining ingredients in a bowl with wooden utensils

The dressing for our cowboy caviar:

The dressing is light and refreshing with just a little bit of kick to amp up all the flavors. Just shake all the ingredients in a mason jar and drizzle it on. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • olive oil
  • lime juice
  • chipotle chili powder (or ancho)
  • garlic powder
  • ground cumin
  • salt and pepper

It’s a salad; it’s a side dish, no wait it’s a dip!

My cowboy caviar is whatever you want it to be 🙂

caviar dip in bowl with tortilla chip

Yield: 8-12 servings

Healthy Texas Cowboy Caviar

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Learn how to make a Texas Cowboy Caviar the way we do here in Texas! Texas caviar is perfect to serve as a dip, a salad, or a side dish. It's naturally vegan-friendly and gluten-free.

Healthy Texas Cowboy Caviar


Cowboy Caviar:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas
  • 1 ½ cups fire-roasted corn (or regular is fine too)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 cup EACH: red onion, diced AND cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons jalapenos, chopped
  • 2 small avocados, diced
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro (or parsley)


  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or ancho)
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: garlic powder, cumin powder, AND salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  1. DRESSING: Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a mason jar, cover and give it a few good shakes until the dressing is well combined; set aside.
  2. COWBOY CAVIAR: Add all the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl, mix it together and toss it with the dressing. Taste and adjust with additional salt and pepper as desired.


  • If you don't plan on consuming all the cowboy caviar in one go, I do suggest dressing all of the salad, splitting it into two containers and then just adding avocados to the portion you'll be able to finish. The salad will easily last you 3-4 days in the refrigerator and you can add fresh avocados when you're ready to eat the leftovers!

Have you made this recipe?

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