Cowboy Caviar

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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 dip 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!  

Cowboy Caviar

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!

5 / 5 ()
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  • 3 Roma tomatoes , seeds removed, diced
  • 2 ripe avocados diced
  • 1 15 oz can black beans , rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz can black eyed peas , rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ 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)
  • ⅓ cup red onion , diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper , seeds removed, diced into very small pieces
  • ⅓ cup Cilantro , finely chopped


  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice (fresh preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Tortilla chips , for serving


  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.


Calories do not include tortilla chips.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 8 servings, Serving Size:

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 335 Calories

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How to Make Cowboy Caviar

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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.

69 comments on “Cowboy Caviar”

  1. This looks so flipping good! Love all the colors and crunch!

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

  3. This sounds really great, perfect for BBQ season!

  4. This dip looks so simple and delicious. I need to try this one out. Thanks for sharing the recipe..!

  5. I love how easy this is to throw together, it sounds delicious!

  6. 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 :-)

    • It’s delicious either way! Thank you :)

      • 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.

      • 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Am I blind, or is there no avocado in the recipe itself?

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

    Rating: 5
  14. 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.

    Rating: 4
  15. 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.  

    Rating: 5
  16. This looks delicious! Anyone know how many calories per serving?

  17. What would be good in place of the avocados? I don’t like them :(

  18. 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.

    Rating: 5
  19. How many carbs are in this do you know?? Making it tomorrow!

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

    Rating: 5
  21. They sell cowboy caviar at our deli counter for $5.99 lb. Ouch. enjoy!

    Rating: 5
  22. 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. 

  23. How far ahead of serving can you make this?

  24. HIGHLY ADDICTING!!! We took it to camp, and everyone couldn’t get enough of it!

    Rating: 5
  25. Calorie count please?

  26. Just made this and ate so so much . It is serious awesome.

    Rating: 5
  27. 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.

    Rating: 4
  28. 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.

    Rating: 4
  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. I’ve had something similar but it had feta cheese as well. Do you think that would work in this recipe?

  32. 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!!!

    Rating: 5
  33. Made it for a church function and everyone love it!

    Rating: 5
  34. I made this tonight when friends coming for dinner. They all loved it! Thank you for the great recipe!

    Rating: 5
  35. Absolutely delicious!!!!

    Rating: 5
  36. 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.

  37. made this with left over corn on the cob instead of frozen-it was he hit of the party. Excellent!

    Rating: 5
  38. Add fresh spinach and the best salad ever!!!!

  39. Does anyone know the macros/nutrition of this dip?

  40. Love it!

  41. 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.

    Rating: 5
  42. 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!!!

    Rating: 5
  43. 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.

    Rating: 5
  44. 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.

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