My recipe for The Best Cowboy Caviar is bursting with fresh summer flavor! From the tangy dressing and creamy avocado, to the medley of corn, beans, and tomato, this is the salsa dip you don’t want to miss!
Easy Cowboy Caviar Dip
Yeehaw! Have you ‘uns ever tried cowboy caviar? Because you’re going to want ten gallons of this delicious fresh-veggie and bean dip, once you taste it!
Okay, that’s enough puns, I get it, I get it. Seriously though, this super-yummy summer recipe is one of my all-time faves! I just get in a good mood (ergo: too many puns) when I make a big batch of this stuff.
Not familiar? Seriously!? Oh you just wait! Cowboy caviar is made with fresh tomato, avocado, onion, cilantro, a super-savory Southwest vinaigrette, and canned beans and corn. It’s a tex-mex love affair.
What You’ll Need
Get ready for flavor! This easy dip is packed with intense taste, thanks to the hot sauce, garlic, mustard, green onions, and many other goodies.
- Olive Oil: You’ll need ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Red Wine Vinegar: This type of vinegar has a fruity depth that’s hard to beat!
- Hot Sauce: To add some spice and tang, add about 2 teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce.
- Garlic: Mince or press two cloves of fresh garlic.
- Cumin and Paprika: These two spices add a hint of Tex-Mex to the seasoning blend. Use half a teaspoon of each.
- Dijon Mustard: You can also substitute stone-ground mustard or plain yellow mustard.
- Black Pepper: I use ¼ teaspoon, for a classic bite.
- Avocado: Dice up one avocado.
- Black Beans: You’ll need 1 can (15 ounces) of black beans, rinsed and drained.
- Black Eyed Peas: Rinse and drain a 15 ounce can of black eyed peas, also.
- Corn: For our last canned item (so easy!), rinse and drain an 11-ounce can of corn kernels.
- Tomatoes: You can use whatever kind of fresh tomatoes you like, chopped or cut into small pieces! I used 2 cups of cherry tomatoes, quartered.
- Bell Pepper: Any color is fine! I prefer red bell pepper. Dice it up small.
- Green Onions: Wash and thinly slice about ⅔ cup of green onions.
- Cilantro: Feel free to omit the cilantro if it’s not to your taste! Otherwise, plan on ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro.
- Salt: To taste.
- Tortilla Chips: For serving.
How to Make Cowboy Caviar
Once you’ve got all of your ingredients prepped, making cowboy caviar is super easy! All you have to do is combine the ingredients and adjust for salt!
- Make the Dressing. In a large salad bowl, combine the dressing ingredients: olive oil, vinegar, hot sauce, garlic, cumin, paprika, mustard, and black pepper. Whisk together until well blended.
- Add the Avocado. Add the diced avocado to the dressing and gently toss to coat. Making sure the avocado is coated in the dressing will help it keep its color.
- Add the Remaining Ingredients. Next, add the black beans, black eyed peas, corn, tomatoes, peppers, green onions, and cilantro and salt; mix gently until well-combined. Taste, and add more salt if needed.
- Enjoy! Serve with tortilla chips.
Tips for Success
- Smaller Is Better: To get the best out of your ingredients, make sure to dice them up finely, about the size of a bean or corn kernel. That way, the consistency will be like a salsa dip.
- Marinate: If you have time, feel free to chill your cowboy caviar in the refrigerator for half an hour or so before serving. That will allow the flavors to mingle. Plus, it’s amazing served cold!
- Customize: Make this recipe your own by swapping out ingredients. Don’t like black eyed peas? No problem! Use chickpeas, pinto beans, or cannellini. Don’t like heat? Omit the hot sauce and enjoy a milder taste! (See below for even more variations!)
I’m sure you can imagine how versatile this basic recipe is. Here see some easy variation ideas to help you make it your own.
- No Beans: Try replacing the beans and blackeyed peas with diced grilled zucchini. So delicious!
- Bacon for the Win: Everyone loves a sprinkle of real bacon crumbles in this yummy dish.
- Cheesy Dip: Combine equal parts cowboy caviar and your favorite queso dip for a Tex-Mex treat.
Ways to Serve this Dip
So this is technically a dip, but honestly, it’s much more versatile than that! It makes a wonderful side salad, topping, or relish, too! Here are some yummy ways to enjoy this refreshing summery recipe.
- With Chicken: Cowboy caviar is awesome as a little side salad with a few Everything Bagel Chicken Strips to round out the menu!
- With Pork: Spoon a bit of cowboy caviar over a Juicy Grilled Pork Chop for the perfect touch of acidity and spice.
- As an Entree: Serve as-is with a variety of dippers, like corn chips, chickpea chips, or plantain chips. Want something a little extra? Add some chopped Mojo Grilled Chicken!
How to Store Extras
- Store leftover cowboy caviar in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Do not freeze.
The Best Cowboy Caviar
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 can (15-ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15-ounces) black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (11-ounces) corn kernels, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered or halved
- ½ cup diced red bell pepper
- ⅔ cup thinly sliced green onions
- ⅓ cup finely diced red onions
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Salt, to taste
- Tortilla chips, for serving
- In a large salad bowl combine oil, vinegar, hot sauce, garlic, cumin, paprika, mustard, and black pepper; whisk until incorporated.
- Add the diced avocado to the dressing and gently toss to coat.
- To the avocado, add the black beans, black eyed peas, corn, tomatoes, peppers, green onions, red onions, and cilantro; mix gently to coat.
- Add salt and taste; adjust accordingly.
- Serve with tortilla chips.