Cowboy Caviar

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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!

Cowboy Caviar in a glass bowl with tortilla chips

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.

Ingredients for cowboy caviar in a glass bowl

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!

cowboy caviar in a bowl

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 in a glass bowl with tortilla chips
4.97 from 190 votes
Review Recipe

Cowboy Caviar

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 servings
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
  • cup red onion diced
  • 15 oz black beans rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz 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)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeds removed, diced into very small pieces
  • cup Cilantro finely chopped
  • cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice fresh preferred
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Tortilla chips for serving

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  • 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.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Pour dressing over other ingredients and stir/toss very well.
  • 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, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 248mg, Potassium: 490mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 585IU, Vitamin C: 22.9mg, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 2.1mg

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

Keyword cowboy caviar
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American

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About the author


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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.

More Posts by Samantha

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Recipe Rating


  1. Awesome stuff. my picky family loved it!! Thanks for sharing!! I doubled the jalapeno, and traded out black eyed peas for garbanzo beans. Perfect!5 stars

    1. Hi Kim, we have never tried canning this recipe and I don’t do much canning myself so I am not sure. Maybe another reader can help you out with that.

  2. SOOOOO easy to make, and the neighbors loved it! If I’m in a real hurry, I get the pre-chopped tomatoes, peppers and onions from the produce section at the market. My go-to recipe when I want a healthy appetizer!5 stars

  3. Great recipe. I used fresh from the garden beefsteak tomatoes. Had it with grilled BBQ drumsticks & tortilla chips for dinner. So cool & refreshing on a hot summer evening. Thank you5 stars

  4. I’ve had different variations of this dish. Yours is hands down the best and I use it every time! Thanks for sharing!5 stars

  5. I am now asked to make this at every family BBQ, etc. People beg me to take leftovers home with them. I eat it by the spoonful…you don’t always need chips! This stuff is delicious and addicting!5 stars

    1. With the exception of the avocado, this should keep just fine for about 4 days in the fridge. Enjoy Kathy!

  6. Absolutely delicious!!! Always think of this as a summer dish even though it’s great year round. I ran across your recipe and realized I had almost all the ingredients. Didn’t have lime but added a tablespoon of lemon instead. Similar acidic tone for my tastes.

  7. I love cowboy caviar but most say to use Italian dressing. Yours is unique by creating your own dressing and the use of avocado. I have never at it with avocado in it but I love avocado, so it’s a definite win even without trying it!

  8. Loved this “Appetizer”/Side Dish. Served it last night at our Labor Day eve party.
    Great hit, everyone loved it.
    I thought it took longer than 20 minutes to prepare, but I cut everything up by hand without a slicer, and it was my first time making this delicious dish.
    Will make often!!!5 stars

    1. While you can freeze leftovers, the fresh vegetables will change texture when defrosted. If you do have frozen leftovers they’re great added to soups and chilis as they’re simmering.