Cowboy Caviar

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Cowboy Caviar is one recipe everyone raves about!

A fresh, simple dip that can be thrown together in under 15 minutes!

This Cowboy Caviar makes a great side dish for any picnic, potluck, or party, and is a great way to use up your summer produce!

A fresh, simple dip that can be thrown together in under 15 minutes! This Cowboy Caviar makes a great side dish for any picnic, potluck, or party, and is a great way to use up your summer produce!

I tried cowboy caviar for the first time at a potluck last summer and was instantly obsessed.  

I didn’t expect it from this unassuming, summery dip that at first glance I confused with chunky salsa or pico de gallo, but one bite and I knew that I was hooked for life.  

The saltiness of the chips combined with the freshness of the tomatoes, the crispness of the pepper, the subtle heat of the jalapeno, the faint hint of lime and garlic…. It was heaven.  

A replication of the highest order was necessary, and since that first fateful bite last year, I have perfected my own recipe for cowboy caviar and I am so excited to share it with you today.  

A fresh, simple dip that can be thrown together in under 15 minutes! This Cowboy Caviar makes a great side dish for any picnic, potluck, or party, and is a great way to use up your summer produce!s!

I made this cowboy caviar for my family last weekend for Easter, and after baking both my signature carrot cake and coffee cake for brunch, I wanted something a little less sweet, and definitely something that wouldn’t require turning on the oven.  

This cowboy caviar is easy to make, just a matter of chopping your veggies and tossing everything together.

If you ask me, the trick to the best possible cowboy caviar is to dice the ingredients that need dicing (the tomatoes, onion, pepper, etc — not the beans!) very small, the smaller the better.  Try to keep your tomato and avocado pieces petite rather than big and chunky (about bean-sized works great!).  An easy way to do this is with my favorite chopper, including for the tomatoes!

To easily cut my avocado, I like to slice it in half and then score it into small pieces using my knife, then just scoop everything out into the bowl with a large spoon!

A fresh, simple dip that can be thrown together in under 15 minutes! This Cowboy Caviar makes a great side dish for any picnic, potluck, or party, and is a great way to use up your summer produce!

Everyone who tried this cowboy caviar loved it and the bowl was scraped clean in record time.

P.S. As you can see in the pictures, I love serving these with tortilla chips, but cowboy caviar also tastes amazing eaten straight by the spoon!  

A fresh, simple dip that can be thrown together in under 15 minutes! This Cowboy Caviar makes a great side dish for any picnic, potluck, or party, and is a great way to use up your summer produce!
4.94 from 116 votes
Review Recipe

Cowboy Caviar

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
A fresh, simple dip that can be thrown together in under 15 minutes! This Cowboy Caviar makes a great side dish for any picnic, potluck, or party, and is a great way to use up your summer produce!


  • 3 Roma tomatoes seeds removed, diced
  • 2 ripe avocados diced
  • 1/3 cup red onion diced
  • 1 15 oz can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz can black eyed peas rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen sweet corn thawed (I just usually toss it in the salad frozen unless I plan on eating it immediately, it thaws quite quickly)
  • 1 bell pepper diced (I used half a green and half a red, but color doesn’t matter)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeds removed, diced into very small pieces
  • cup Cilantro finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice fresh preferred
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Tortilla chips for serving

avatarFollow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest


  1. Combine tomatoes, avocado, onion, black beans, black eyed peas, corn, pepper, jalapeno pepper, and cilantro in a large bowl. Toss/stir well so that ingredients are well-combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. Pour dressing over other ingredients and stir/toss very well.
  4. Keep refrigerated. If not serving immediately, be sure to toss/stir well before serving.

Recipe Notes

Calories do not include tortilla chips.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 214, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 248mg, Potassium: 490mg, Carbohydrates: 23g, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 6g, Vitamin A: 585%, Vitamin C: 22.9%, Calcium: 29%, Iron: 2.1%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword cowboy caviar

More Recipes You Will Love:

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

Pack a little extra heat (and a lot more flavor) into your summer cookout with this easy to make Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad! This easy pasta salad is sure to be the most popular dish at any get-together!

Old Fashioned Bean Salad

This Old Fashioned Bean Salad has been a family staple for years. 4 kinds of beans and a hint of white onion all dressed in a sweet tangy vinaigrette dressing. This is the perfect make ahead side salad for any get together or BBQ!

Garden Fresh Bruschetta

While we usually think of bruschetta as the tomato portion of this recipe, the word bruschetta actually refers to preparation of the bread (cut, olive oil and garlic’d). It isn’t always topped with tomatoes, it can be made with other ingredients too (like mushrooms or cheeses), but this tomato concoction is my favorite!

More Recipes You'll Love

About the author


pinterest facebook twitter instagram

Samantha is the creator behind the dessert blog “Sugar Spun Run”, a website she began as an excuse to appease her insatiable sweet tooth. Here she shares original, from-scratch desserts, usually of the chocolate variety. If she’s not in her kitchen (more likely than not coated in a fine dusting of powdered sugar), you’ll probably find her hanging out with her husband and their two dogs, Penny and (Princess) Leia.

More Posts by Samantha

Latest & Greatest Dishes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. A crowd pleaser. I used fresh minced garlic and upped the acid (more vinegar and lime juice to my taste). Used it as an accompaniment to grilled pollo and carne asada wrapped in a lightly grilled flour tortilla – yum!

  2. I just made this dish for a cookout this weekend. The hostess prefers vegetables to meat. I wanted a dish that she would like. When I removed the cover her eyes lit up at how beautiful this dish looks. I strayed a little from the basic recipe by added a zucchini and chopping that, a can if Rotel, and red and yellow peppers as well as the green. The avocado was great and I’m not a fan of this but it was delicious. Even the meat eaters loved this dish and put it on their burgers and ate it with their steak tips. I love this dish because if the versatility and how it pleased everyone that ate it. I am going to make this my signature dish at events I’m invited to this summer. Thank you so much for giving this recipe to us all.

    1. The recipe is above. If you are not seeing it, can you please let me know what device you’re using (iphone/computer etc) and which browser (safari or chrome) so I can check it for you?

  3. Wow. Must be an incredible recipe. My family devoured the entire bowl before the brats came off the grill. I never had a chance to even try what I made, but everyone raved about how great it was! I’m told I must bring it to every family event, now.


    1. You will have to double the recipe next time John, or we highly encourage quality control (aka. sampling while cooking)!

  4. The recipe is great but saying it takes 10 minutes to prepare is absurd! Block out a couple hours if you have no chopper and have to do the job by hand. I’ve made it before and the addition of avocado was a nice addition to my version.

    1. A chopper does definitely help speed up the process Sharon! But so happy to hear you loved the addition of avocados!

  5. Incredible appy! The crowd loved it and EVERYONE asked for the recipe! (Even the guys!)
    Ok…so here are my changes….(PS…I never reply to these but I just LOVED this one so much that I thought I would jump in!)…
    I switched out Diced Hatch Green Chili’s for Jalapenos (because I crave green chili’s!), and I added Garbanzo beans in instead of bell pepper (yuk!), I also added sliced black olives into it.
    The dressing is the BOMB and you should stick to it exactly written!

    I have also made it into a light meal by adding ground sausage and some rotini pasta (colored…for more of a visual punch!)

    No matter how you make this….you will be a hit at any party! Awesome Dish!!

    1. Thank you Bee! And thank you for sharing your substitutions. This recipe is so easy to change up, and I agree, always awesome!

  6. This looks maxing, I can’t wait to try it!

    Did you use a fresh jalapeño or from a jar?

    How long would it last in the fridge? Like could I make it and have it for lunch for 3 days is it an eat on the day kind of thing?

    1. I use fresh jalapeno, but canned or pickled jalapenos will work great for this recipe Micha. With the exception of the avocado, this should keep just fine for about 4 days in the fridge.

  7. I have made this recipe twice before and it is delightful! However I have also made adjustments from time to time based on what I have on hand. I added garbanzo beans and Great Northern beans (canned, drained, both) to the original because my family loves beans. Took a lazy shortcut with a bottle of Wishbone red wine vinaigrette dressing. Used cherry tomatoes, quartered, because the Romas I had on hand were getting a bit soft. While I LOVE the addition of the frozen corn I could also recommend the BirdsEye (or equivalent) bag called “Fiesta Mix”.

    1. I love your suggestions Lori, thank you for sharing!! I’ll have to look for the Fiesta Mix, sounds like a perfect fit.

  8. Someone shared this on FB yesterday 02/12/19 and I made it today 02/13/19. The recipe and proportions are perfect, nothing needs to be changed. Thank you, now I’m hooked for life.

  9. Would highly suggest using dry black eyed peas and black beans. Make them a little al dente. The canned ones tend to be too soft in my opinion. A decent Italian dressing will work great as well.

  10. This is the shit. My go to dish to bring. Everyone loves it and asks for the recipe.
    Make it. You won’t regret it.

    Side note: I double the dressing but sub the sugar for a dash of maple syrup. And I’m obsessed with avocados so I add 4. I also over do the cilantro and lime juice, I throw some lime zest in there too.

  11. That was an understatement that the Cowboy Caviar a party favorite! It was literally devoured! We ran out of tortilla chips and the hostess scraped what little was left in the bowl to save until later! The only thing I beg to differ on is the 10-minute prep time! While I may not have made this before, it took me almost 45 minutes until I was done cleaning and dicing all of the ingredients. I’m sure it won’t take that long the second time around but it was well worth every minute spent!

  12. Can this be made the day before? I was hoping I could mix everything, except the avocado the day before & then just add the avocado a few hours before serving. thanks for your time

  13. I made this for a party and it was INHALED by everyone! The flavors were spot on, and the longer it sat in the fridge prior to serving, the better everything tasted. Totally saving this one to make again and again.

  14. I made this and topped off some scrambled eggs with it. It was fantastic! Definitely recommending this in the future!

  15. This is one of my all time favorite recipes, especially in the summertime here in Texas! To switch it up and make it a meal in itself, I’ll add in some diced chicken and a little pasta! Yummy!

  16. I am on Dialysis and this looks like the perfect protein side dish for me. I will be headed to the store later. My mouth is watering. It looks delish.

    1. You sure can! The flavor will change slightly depending on which vinegar you use, but it’ll taste great!

  17. Made this and love it! Only thing I did differently was roast the tomato, onion and bell pepper so that it wasn’t as acidic/strong. The vinaigrette is amazing and totally am going to use this on my salads too! 5 stars across the board!

    1. You could use chick peas, any other type of beans you like, or simply add more black beans. Enjoy, Raechel!

  18. Now I’m very picky. Hate vinegar lol. Made this to the recipe and I am now addicted. It is fantastic. We mixed it into our taco salad and put some aside for tomorrow for late night munching. <3 my new go to.

  19. I made this for a scrapbook workshop. It was devoured! I added an extra Roma tomato, an extra avocado and I added sliced black olives. we also added it to some homemade burritos … so good!
    thanks for the recipe. :)

  20. We have a slight variation on this recipe. Instead of the dressing, we use a small bottle of Pace Picante Dauce, and heat you desire. My kids grew up eating this gir a hot day snack, and they still love it as middle aged adults.

  21. I have had this in the past from a friend of mine. It’s was amazing, I could not stop eating it. The recipe she used called for Shoepeg Corn. Not sure what difference is so I thought I’d mention it. Making it tonight for sure.

  22. This little gem of a recipe  is incredibly easy and received rave reviews from family and friends!  I plan on making it for a Spring Fling that a neighbor is hosting.  Thank you so much for sharing!

  23. I want to make your recipe for Cowboy Caviar but was wondering if there would be a big difference if I used Lemon juice instead of lime juice. It looks wonderful and would love to take to a BBQ next weekend

    1. I have only tried the recipe as written, but lemon juice should not make too big of a difference. If you try it, let me know how it is!

  24. So you take ingredients that originated from native Americans and Spaniards, mix it together and put cowboy on the name? Strange, I guess the thievery never stops

    1. Every continent has recipes that have been brought over from other countries. Most of them are called different things. Don’t make everything a race war.Every race on this earth has experienced loss of some kind with their ancestors. Enjoy the recipe, and just be happy.

    2. Really? You are going to quibble over the name of an appetizer?! She did not originate the name, it has been around for years. I am all for not offending any group of people, but this has to be the strangest and most petty comment on a name ever! “Thievery”!
      I rarely comment on other’s posts, couldn’t resist on this one. Try the recipe, call it what you want and simmer down. I’ll bet if you take it to an event, others will ask “Who made the Cowboy Caviar, it is outstanding?!”

  25. I had this at a party last weekend & could have eaten the entire bowl myself. Loved it!! Don’t care for green peppers so will leave those out. We are traveling this week-end and would like to know how far ahead you can make it. Planning on sealing it in jars and making it the day before we leave. Concerned about the avocados loosing color. Thanks again for a great recipe!!

    1. This dressing is similar to a lime vinaigrette, although not completely the same. I have only ever tried this recipe with my homemade dressing!

  26. We don’t do cilantro due to hubby’s “tastes-like-soap” gene. Has anyone ever substituted parsley successfully? Thanks!

    1. It would be great with parsley too. Sprinkle cilantro on top of yours when you eat it if you like! Enjoy, Doris!

  27. Hello, my family doesn’t like avavfos what ever it’s called the green vega table  looks yuky .what could I use instead ? 

  28. I double this recipe on a Friday evening thinking my husband and I could eat on it all weekend..Nope didnt happen. I cut back on jalapeño little bit used cans of beans,peas and corn..and we ate ut as a side dish with pork chops.It was so good my husband said this recipe was a keeper.

  29. I would like to make this as a side dish for about 25 people. Could anyone tell me the what the measurements might be for a crowd this size?

  30. The Caviar Salad was very good. But I added a little more dressing and more yellow onions . I will make it 
    Many times more. Great!

  31. Great God almighty! One of the best dips I’ve ever had the pleasure of consuming! This will be a staple in our house from here on out. 

  32.  I made this recipe this morning. It is absolutely delicious and one that I will make again and again. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. 

  33. Omg, this recipe is easy and amazing. I tasted it as soon as it was finished and I’m sure it will be even better tomorrow when all the flavors combine. Exactly what I have been looking for!!! Thank you for sharing it with us!!!!

  34. I didn’t make it yet, but I know it’s good because I love all those ingredients!  And I learned a great way now to chop an avocado efficiently

  35. OMG! I will certainly try this. It is a complete meal in itself.
    Sent to me from a former colleague spendinng winter in Mexico.
    My question: what can we replace the jalapeño with ?
    It is not always available in my neck of the snowbanks (Montreal)
    Thank you!

  36. This was a really good dish given to me by a co-woker/friend, called Texas Trash.  Ummy dish and may want to serve it with a side of chips an salsa !  Yum!

  37. I’ve made this and love it! Does anyone know how long these keeps? I’m thinking of putting in all of the ingredients outside of the avocados and dressing on a Sunday, then serving it combined on a Monday.

  38. I have made this recipe twice; once for my Bunco group of 12 ladies and once for my family on College Game Day. It is a CROWD PLEASER! The Bunco Group ate every bite in 30 minutes and my family ate it until they could eat no more. Love! Love! Love!

    1. We apologize for any inconvenience! There was a glitch on the site which has now been fixed. Please let us know if you have any further trouble.

  39. This is a great recipe, wonderful taste, versatile and cannot wait to try this with home grown tomatoes next summer. Make it once use as side dish all week.

  40. A co-worker brought this to our BBQ. Oh my goodness. I even hate cilantro but loved this appetizer. The fresh lime was the perfect finishing touch.

  41. Made this for the first time today and for sure it won’t be the last time. It is absolutely scrumptious!! Next time I think I’ll add a bit more lime and find better/tastier tomatoes. The kids mixed it with their taco meat and devoured it. I don’t even like avocados but this was delicious with the texture of the rest of the veggies. I love that the beans replace animal protein. Super for a snack anytime. Just perfect. Thank you for sharing this easy delicious recipe!!!

  42. I have eaten this, but did not have the recipe. Thank you so much for sharing it. I am going to make it with some adjustments, as my husband cannot have salt. But it is a healthy dip/salad. He is also diabetic, so this will work better than something sweet. I will not be able to serve the chips with it, but he will just eat it as a salad. Again, thank you so much for sharing.

  43. Wondering how much this makes and if I should double it?? This looks sooo good, and I want to make it tomorrow, but we are having about 15 people over.

  44. Love love love this!!! I am addicted to it!! Fixed it for a meeting the other night and everyone raved about it wanting the recipe! You don’t need the chips although it is yummy with the multigram scoops but I love it as a side dish or snack!!!

  45. Would love to make for potluck, its going to b in late sept – thru early oct. Can i make this at home and take to potluck. or will it be safe. if i make it at home, it wont get eaten till 2 hrs later. any suggestions would be appreciated.

  46. I have made this a few times. My recipe differs a bit. It uses drained 15 oz can of diced tomatoes instead of fresh. This could be handy in winter or when making on a camping trip. Can also use 1 cup of bottled Italian dressing. I will be trying your version of dressing in the future…Probably better. For corn I’ve used blanched fresh ear of corn, cut off cob. Also like the frozen. Jalapenos…I hate them, but when chopped finely they are not spicy at all. Instead of fresh, I’ve used the bottled variety…brands like Mt. Olive or Marzaretti. Agree…Everyone loves this.

  47. my sister in law makes a version of this, and it’s sooo yummy, although she doesn’t have avocado or pinto beans in her’s…and she uses a can of drained ‘n washed white corn, not the frozen corn this recipe calls for. The jalapeno pepper can also be increased or omitted depending on the likeness of “heat” level…I’ve made this a couple times for church potlucks, and it’s always gooone…you can serve either with “scoops” for dipping or as a side salad…I’ve done both.

  48. This recipe is absolutely delicious! I couldn’t stop eating it. Ate as a dip with Tostitos and with triscuits. Making it again for camping.

  49. Loved it!  I didn’t add the Jalapeño or black eyed peas simply because I misread the ingredients so I didn’t have them but this is so fresh and yummy!  The cilantro is a must. 

  50. This was really awesome!! I did put a little cayenne pepper in the dressing mix and extra lime juice. Soooo yummy!!!!

  51. I made this yesterday and my husband and I ended up eating it for dinner. I left out the salt and sugar. Will be making it all summer it’s so delicious. Thank you.

  52. I made this with the addition of toasted cumin seed.  It. Is. So. GOOD!  My family horked so much down they weren’t hungry when dinner was ready.  

  53. I literally just finished a bowl of “Cowboy Caviar”. It was absolutely delicious with my favorite tortilla chips. The only thing I tweaked was the sauce because I used too much olive oil. I didn’t have red wine vinegar but I used some balsalmic vinaigrete dressing and it was soooooo delicious.

  54. I just came across your site yesterday for the first time and tried your Cowboy Caviar last night – ohhhh woowwww do I LOVE this stuff. Thank you. We now have a new “staple” in the house!

  55. You mention a chopper in your blog for the cowboy caviar. The link takes you to a page full of different choppers. Which one do you use? Having arthritis in my hands I’d like a chopper that dices like this.

  56. I wish I knew which of the many choppers that showed up when I clicked that link the author means when it says “favorite.”

  57. The cowboy caviar is great! we’re obsessed with the product of the same name sold at Trader Joes. You can’t beat making it fresh like this though.

  58. I have eaten this many times and made it a few times. Your recipe is very similar to mine, though I thought I would share of couple of things I do differently. Reduce the salt by 1/2 and double the garlic. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and 2 tsp of raw honey. The red wine vinegar is delicious, but if it is unavailable, I have had great success with raw apple cider vinegar. In any case, I am pleased you published this and will be making very soon. Oh, by the way, this is delicious served on a hot baked potato as a main course.

    1. do you use the same dressing recipe and just substitute apple cider vinegar instead of red wine vinegar, sticking with the 2 Tablespoons? thanks!

    2. Great comments! The idea of serving this warm over a baked potato rocks! Thanks for your suggestions! I haven’t made this in a while but I will be certainly making it to serve over a baked potato for my husband and I! I am so glad that I signed up for this newsletter! How fun!

  59. Love all of the flavors and the ingredients in this! Definitely perfect for summer. I actually never cook with black eyes peas but this has given me a fantastic idea for how to incorporate them into a dish!

  60. I have heard of cowboy caviar, and knew it was veggie, but I didn’t know quite what it was. It looks and sounds sooo good! I love all of the ingredients and your tips for keeping everything small certainly makes it more of a dip than a salad (which would be great too of course). Great recipe :-)

      1. We call this Texas cavier.  It is one of the best things on a chip you will ever want to eat.  I like it with the little bowl shaped chips.  Get more dip in your mouth with them.

      2. This is amazing! It is/was called Georgia caviar years ago! Maybe it has moved around the states some. It really is yummy. I did want to mention, although in the video, in this recipe listing the ingredients, nothing is mentioned about the lime….

        Although I have always just included never really measured, but you still may want to include as one of the ingredients!
        Thanks for the recipe!

  61. That looks so nutritious and healthy. I love adding beans to my salad too. Red wine vinegar sounds wonderful in the dressing