You know I’m from Oklahoma, right? I grew up eating cowboy caviar, also called Texas caviar. This is a classic bean salad recipe popular in the south. You can serve it as a side dish or in Salsa. Anyway, people go crazy for cowboy caviar at potlucks.

Cowboy caviar is made with black eyed peas and black beans, chopped tomatoes, corn, bell peppers, onions and cilantro in a spicy Italian dressing. I usually think of cowboy caviar as a warm-weather salad, but it’s made with ingredients that are readily available year-round.

Cowboy caviar is actually perfect for New Year’s Eve, when you’re craving something fresh but hearty and you’re trying to reach your quota of black-eyed peas!

I have a problem with most cowboy caviar recipes-they often swim in store-bought Italian dressings. As such, they can be much too greasy and contain unnecessary preservatives. Instead, I made a simple homemade Italian salad dressing from scratch. It’s easy to make and tastes awesome.

This recipe makes a great bowl of dip, but I don’t think you’ll have a hard time polishing it off. I hope you enjoy this naughty joy!

Ingredients Of Cowboy Caviar

See the full recipe below. The Italian dressing is made with ingredients from the pantry. Here’s what you need to know about fresh ingredients:

Black-eyed peas and black beans

Beans are the backbone of this healthy salad. Canned beans are good to use, or you can cook your own if you like. One can is equivalent to one and a half cups of cooked beans.

Tip: Drain your beans and corn very well before adding them to the bowl. If they are watery, dilute the flavor of the Dressing.


Depending on the season and availability, they prefer to shell fresh corn or use frozen corn (just soak it in cold water until it is completely thawed) or open a can of corn.


Ripe red tomatoes are ideal. If tomatoes are not in season, I will look for Roma tomatoes (three to four of them) or cherry tomatoes (a pint would be perfect for this recipe). You can use canned tomatoes, but it will change the taste and mood a little. Fresh is the best.

Peppers and Jalapeño

A red, orange or yellow bell pepper will do. If you can tolerate a little heat, you will love Jalapeños. If you are nervous about Jalapeño, you can reduce the spiciness by using only one of them and making sure to remove the seeds and membranes before chopping.

Red onion and coriander

I know that these ingredients can polarize and I promise that there are not too many of them in this recipe. Don’t skip them!

Tip: Be sure to chop your ingredients so that they live up to the structural theme of “caviar”.

Optional Lawyer

Ripe avocado, although not traditional, is a welcome addition to this bean salad. Wait to add the avocado just before serving so that it doesn’t brown, or serve individual portions with a few avocado strips on top.

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