(Cowboy) Texas Caviar

There’s nothing quite like grabbing a handful of tortilla chips and diving into a bowl full of fresh veggies, sweet corn, beans, tomatoes and herbs dressed with a tangy “vinaigrette” otherwise known as Texas (cowboy) caviar.

I made this salad a few months ago and it’s honestly all I can think about some days, so I just go ahead and make another giant batch and go to town. I am not sick of it and I don’t plan to ever be sick of it.

Cowboy caviar in a white bowl with tortilla chips

How to make (cowboy) Texas caviar

  • The first step is to make the “dressing”. If you look at the ingredients list, it’s totally a dressing, but for some reason I feel weird about calling it a dressing. Is Texas caviar a salad? A dip? I am not sure, nor do I really care, but for the sake of moving forward with this, let’s just call it a dressing. It’s a mixture of olive oil, red wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar), a little bit of sugar, chili powder and oregano. I’ve also seen some renditions with cumin, so if you’d like to toss that in, go for it!
  • Next, you’ll chop your veggies and herbs. This includes bell pepper, jalapeno, red onion and cilantro. You can use any color bell pepper (or multiple), you can adjust how much jalapeno you do or don’t add (same goes for the onion) and you could also add a handful of fresh parsley in addition (or in replacement of) the cilantro. You do you, friend.
  • Lastly, you’ll add the black eyed peas, which are a staple/classic ingredient in Texas (cowboy) caviar, black beans, sweet corn and fire-roasted tomatoes. For the sweet corn, you can use fresh, frozen or canned. Fresh is always best, especially if you grill or roast it first, but if you’re in a pinch or making this when sweet corn isn’t in season, I recommend thawing frozen sweet corn with canned corn being the last resort (it’s a textural thing). As for the tomatoes, you can also use fresh. I have a gazillion tomatoes in my planters during the summer months, so I use fresh, but other times of the year I use fire-roasted canned tomatoes. They’re quite dynamite, I might add.
  • After you’ve seasoned it to taste, stir it up and serve with tortilla chips!
Cowboy caviar ingredients in a white bowl

How to store this “caviar”:

This salad is good for about 3 days in the refrigerator. Make sure it’s sealed in an airtight container, preferably glass. Because there is vinegar in the dressing, it’s best not to store it in a metal bowl because the vinegar can react with the metal and give your caviar a bit of a metallic flavor.

Nobody wants that. Glass is king!

What to serve with Texas (cowboy) caviar:

  • Serve spoonfuls of this caviar over your nachos or tacos. Seriously. I discovered this just last week and it’s changed my life. I do chips + chicken or beef taco meat + lots of melted cheese + plain Greek yogurt + so much Texas caviar and it’s SO GOOD. No recipe beyond this one required.
  • Alongside a perfectly grilled burger
  • On top of these blackened fish tacos (with or without the pico)
  • As a topping for these taco lettuce cups or taco-stuffed smashed potatoes (I wasn’t kidding about the tacos)
  • If you’re feeling extra when it comes to nachos, you could spoon the caviar on top of sheet pan chili nachos
Cowboy caviar in a white bowl with a spoon

Other appetizer and dip recipes I know you’ll love!


(Cowboy) Texas Caviar

Cowboy caviar in a white bowl with tortilla chips

Easy black-eyed pea and black bean salad with loads of fresh veggies and herbs and a light dressing.

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 10-15 mins
  • Cook Time: 0 mins
  • Total Time: 10-15 mins
  • Yield: Serves 8 1x
  • Category: Side Dish, Appetizer
  • Method: No-Cook
  • Cuisine: American




  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves


  • 15-ounce can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 ½ cups cooked sweet corn (from fresh, frozen or canned)
  • 1 medium bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • ½ small red onion, peeled and minced
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bag tortilla chips, for serving


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, black pepper, chili powder and oregano.
  2. To the bowl, add the black-eyed peas, black beans, tomatoes, corn, bell pepper, jalapeno, onion and cilantro and stir to combine. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  3. Serve with tortilla chips.


Substitution Tip: Try 2 chopped roma tomatoes instead of the can of diced tomatoes.


  • Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories: 208
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 327mg
  • Fat: 10g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 24g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: side dish, appetizer, dip, summer, no-cook, no cook

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