This Cowboy Caviar recipe (Texas Caviar) will have everyone swarming over the bowl OR serve it as a protein topper to make EVERYTHING better! It can be thrown together in 20 minutes, is endlessly adaptable, and make-ahead friendly (tastes even better the next day), for a stress-free potluck, party, and/or picnic win. This Texas Caviar recipe is elevated by homemade tangy, zesty dressing infused with a bevy of seasonings that will have everyone declaring it the “best Texas Caviar they ever tasted!”
Watch How to Make Texas Caviar
FOR THE Salad/Dip
Texas Caviar Dressing Ingredients
This recipe for Cowboy Caviar isn’t complete without the bright, tangy, zippy, sassy dressing. The dressing requires less than 5 minutes to prep and can be made days ahead of time. You will need:
Ultimate Cowboy Caviar Recipe FAQs
The exact origin of Cowboy Caviar is unclear, but according to one account, Helen Corbitt, the culinary director at Neiman Marcus in Dallas, Texas, is credited with inventing the dish in the 1940s or 1950s.
The story goes that she created the recipe as a flavorful and visually appealing alternative to traditional caviar, which was expensive and not readily available. The combination of beans, corn, peppers, and other ingredients was meant to resemble the appearance of caviar, hence the name. It is said that Helen Corbitt’s version of Texas Caviar gained popularity and became a signature dish at Neiman Marcus, solidifying her reputation as a culinary innovator.
Since then, Cowboy Caviar has been a pride and joy of many Texans, a staple at potlucks, and even fried at the State Fair of Texas.
Cowboy caviar is known by several other names, depending on the region and the variations of the recipe:
1. Texas Caviar: This name reflects the dish’s origins or popularity in the state.
2. Southwestern caviar: Given its close ties to Southwestern cuisine and flavors, Cowboy Caviar is sometimes called Southwestern Caviar.
3. Bean Salad: Since Cowboy Caviar primarily consists of beans and vegetables, it can be simply referred to as a bean salad.
4. Mississippi Caviar: In some areas, especially in Mississippi and neighboring states, Cowboy Caviar is known as Mississippi caviar. The recipe may have slight variations but follows a similar concept.
5. Corn and Bean Salsa: This name emphasizes the salsa-like consistency of Cowboy Caviar and the presence of corn and beans in the dish.
No, Cowboy Caviar is not the same as pico de gallo, they are distinct dishes with their own unique characteristics and uses.
Pico de gallo is a fresh salsa made with diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. It is typically served as a condiment or topping for Mexican dishes. Pico de gallo has a bright and vibrant flavor, with the focus on the fresh ingredients.
Cowboy Caviar, on the other hand, is more of a bean and vegetable salad or dip. While it may contain some similar ingredients to pico de gallo, such as tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime juice, Texas Cavier also includes additional components like beans (black beans and black-eyed peas), corn, bell peppers, avocados and a tangy vinaigrette dressing. The combination of these ingredients gives this dish a heartier, tangier and more complex flavor profile compared to the simplicity of pico de gallo.
Cowboy Caviar (Easy Recipe)
Save This Recipe To Your Recipe Box
You can now create an account on our site and save your favorite recipes all in one place!
- 1 10 oz. pkg. cherry tomatoes, halved, quartered if large
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1 15 oz. can black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1½ cups fresh corn kernels from 2 to 3 cobs or 1 15 oz. can sweet corn, rinsed and drained
- 1 orange bell pepper, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded, deveined, finely diced
- 1/3 cup packed cilantro, minced (measure before chopping)
- 2 ripe avocados, diced
- Tortilla chips
- In a large bowl, stir together all of the “Caviar” ingredients (don’t add avocados).
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together.
- Pour the dressing over the Caviar and stir to combine.
- Time permitting, refrigerate for 1 hour or until ready to serve.
- Fold in the avocado.
- Season to taste with salt, cayenne pepper and/or lime juice. Serve as a side salad, or protein topper, or incredible with tortilla chips!
StorageStore the recipe for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. It will last for up to 5 days, but the avocados will start to turn brown and the vegetables soften a bit.
Prep Ahead Options1. Fully assembled: Make the complete recipe (with or without avocados) and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 hours. Drain off excess liquid before serving.
2. Without avocados: Make the Cowboy Caviar through tossing with the dressing, but hold the avocados. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. Stir, then drain off excess liquid before adding the avocados and serving.
3. Prep ingredients: The dressing and ingredients can be prepped, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to assemble for up to 2 days by layering in this order:
- Black beans
- Black eyed peas
- Bell peppers
- Red onion
- Add avocados when ready to serve
Did You Make This Recipe?
Tag @CarlsbadCravings and Use #CarlsbadCravngs
Leave a Review, I Always Love Hearing From You!