Cowboy caviar is a flavor packed mix between a salad and a salsa. Filled with black beans, black eyed peas, avocado, corn, tomatoes, jalapenos, and more - this cold salad is the perfect party appetizer.
So what is cowboy caviar? This flavorful concoction is a mix between a vegetable bean salad and a salsa. Like a dip or a salsa, you can serve it cold with tortilla chips.
Or, use it to top a mix greens salad, your next batch of tacos, or eat all alone with a fork. That's the brilliance of cowboy caviar, it can be enjoyed in so many ways.
You'll find beans, avocado, corn, tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, jalapenos, and cilantro in this magical salsa-dip. Plus, it's topped with an amazing homemade vinaigrette that ties all of these fresh flavors together.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Black beans and black eyed peas are a nice combination for variety and visual appeal. However, you're welcome to use all of one type of bean, or even substitute with other beans you have on hand. Any beans will work.
For no heat at all, substitute your jalapeños for more bell peppers. Try using yellow, orange, or red bell peppers for more color!
Halved cherry tomatoes are a great substitution for roma tomatoes.
If you are part of the population who hates cilantro, feel free to substitute cilantro with parsley instead.
I used frozen, thawed corn in my cowboy caviar. If your corn is still frozen, feel free to toss it straight into the salad, as long as you're not serving it immediately. The small kernels of corn thaw quickly.
You can also use cooked corn on the cob that's been cut off the cob. In a pinch, canned corn, rinsed and drained, will also work.
I suggest making your cowboy caviar at least 30 minutes ahead of time to allow the flavors to meld.
This salad holds together well and can even be made one day ahead of time. Store your salad in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
How long can you keep cowboy caviar?
Cowboy caviar will keep for 3-4 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator. After four days, discard any leftovers.
- 14 ounces canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 14 ounces canned black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup corn
- 4 roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 avocado, diced
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, juice of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- In a very large bowl, add your rinsed beans and prepared onions, peppers, corn, tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro. Set aside.
- In a bowl, add all of your dressing ingredients: olive oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, honey, salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano. Whisk to combine.
- Pour dressing over your prepared salad ingredients and gently toss until evenly coated.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Will keep for 2-3 days refrigerated in a sealed container.
- Black beans and black eyed peas can be substituted with any other cooked beans.
- Cowboy caviar can be made a day ahead, and is best served within a day of preparing. Will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
- Fresh corn, or frozen, thawed corn is recommended. If your corn is still frozen, feel free to toss it straight into the salad, as long as you're not serving it immediately. The small kernels of corn thaw quickly.
- Cilantro can be substituted with parsley.
- The dressing can be substituted with your favorite vinaigrette or Italian dressing instead.