Looking for a fun, delicious, and easy to make appetizer? Texas Caviar is your answer! This tasty dish often served as an appetizer or a side dish, is filled with flavorful vegetables, black-eyed peas, and a zesty dressing. A crowd pleaser that's healthy and delicious.
Texas Caviar Dip (also known as Cowboy Caviar) was created in Texas by the food director for Nieman Marcus. It was named as a playful and humorous comparison to fish caviar, but a more affordable, rustic version. Don't worry, it has no fish or real caviar in it! It's like a crunchy fresh salsa or a Tex-Mex bean salad!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Flavor Explosion - you'll love the combination of beans, corn, peppers, and fresh herbs with a refreshing dressing.
- Nutritious - packed with fiber, protein, and essential vitamins, making it a healthy addition to your diet.
- Easy to Make - simple ingredients and instructions, whip up a batch in no time.
- Adaptable - served as a dip with tortilla chips, as a topping for grilled meats or fish, or even as a salad on its own.
- Crowd Pleaser - loved at parties, potlucks, and barbecues.
- Can Black Beans - 15oz or 400g
- Can Black Eyed Peas - 15oz or 400g
- Can Corn Kernels - 15oz or 400g
- Red Onion - adds a crisp and refreshing bit
- Peppers - Red and Green Peppers
- Jalapeño - for a kick of spice
- Tomatoes - vine ripened has best flavor
- Cilantro - adds burst of freshness
- Dressing - olive oil, vinegar, sugar, chili powder, salt, Tabasco
Equipment You'll Need
- Vegetable Chopper - easiest way to chop vegetables
- Cutting Board and Knife
How to Make Texas Caviar
- Rinse - over a colander in the sink, drain the cans of beans and corn and rinse well with water.
- Combine - in a large bowl, combine the black-eyed peas, black beans, corn kernels, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, red onion, and cilantro.
- Make Dressing - in a small jug, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, sugar, chili powder, tabasco, salt and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the oil and mix.
- Toss - pour the dressing over the vegetable mixture and gently toss to coat evenly.
- Refrigerate - cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Serve - enjoy chilled with tortilla chips, as a salad or as desired.
How to Serve Texas Caviar
- Dip with Tortilla Chips - one of the most flavor dips, surrounded by tortilla chips, perfect for scooping! You won't even miss the salsa!
- Salad - serve as a salad on its own. Enjoy as a light lunch with protein, or was a side salad.
- Topping for Grilled Meats or Fish - spoon a generous amount of Texas caviar over grilled chicken, steak, shrimp, or grilled snapper.
- Avocado Toast - spread a layer of avocado over toast, and generously spoon Texas caviar for a tangy crunch.
Texas Caviar Variations
- Avocado - add diced avocado for a creamy variation. Toss gently with lime juice to prevent browning.
- Mango - for a tropical twist, add diced mango to the mix. Adds sweetness that complements the tangy flavors.
- Spicy - increase the heat by adding extra jalapeno peppers or a dash of hot sauce to satisfy those who love a spicier kick.
- Mediterranean - add chopped Kalamata olives, feta cheese, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
- Protein - toss with grilled chicken, shrimp, or cooked quinoa to turn your Texas caviar into a heartier main course.
Recipe Tips and FAQs
- Time - for the best flavor, marinate in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Even tastier when prepared a day in advance. If adding avocado, only mix in before serving so it's not mushy and brown.
- Sauté - for a softer texture, lightly sauté the bell peppers and onion before adding them to the mix.
- Save Time - use a vegetable chopper to cut all the vegetables the same size. Maybe you're great at dicing vegetables, but the chopper is a great timesaver!
- Skip the Spice - limit the spice level to your preference by reducing the amount of jalapeno peppers or skipping them altogether.
- Herbs and Spices - customize the dressing by adding parsley or basil, or spices such as cumin or chili powder, to suit your taste.
Can I Use Different Beans?
Absolutely! While the traditional recipe calls for black-eyed peas and black beans, you can experiment with other beans like pinto beans, kidney beans, or chickpeas.
How Long Does Texas Caviar Last?
If stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, Texas caviar can last up to 3-4 days. However, it's best enjoyed within the first 24-48 hours for optimal freshness.
Can I Make Texas Caviar in Advance?
Yes, Texas caviar can be made a day in advance. Just make sure to refrigerate it and give it a good stir before serving.
Can I Freeze Texas Caviar?
Due to its fresh vegetable components, Texas caviar is not suitable for freezing. It's best enjoyed when freshly made.
Game Day Recipes You'll Love
- Air Fryer Twice Baked Potatoes
- Bread Bowl Spinach Dip
- Greek Meze Appetizers - including Tzatziki and Spinach Feta Triangles
- Homemade Salsa with Chipotles
- French Onion Dip - made from scratch
- Blue Cheese Dip for Everything!
- Hot Crab and Artichoke Dip
- Bake Brie with Jam
- Chipotle Guacamole
- Jalapeño Popper Deviled Eggs
If you've never made Texas Caviar, you're missing out! Perfect for parties, barbecues, cookouts, picnics, game day, tortilla dip, or a side dish with lunch or dinner. Explore with your favorite variations, the possibilities are endless! Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- Vegetable Chopper optional
- 1 can black beans 15oz (400g)
- 1 can black eyed peas 15oz (400g)
- 1 can whole corn kernels 15oz (400g)
- 1 small red onion diced
- 1 red pepper diced
- 1 green pepper diced
- jalapeno optional
- 1 lb (500g) tomatoes chopped
- 1 avocado chopped (optional)
- 1 bunch cilantro chopped
Texas Caviar Dressing
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- few dashes Chipotle Tabasco Sauce optional
- Over a colander in the sink, drain the cans of beans and corn and rinse well with water.
- In a large bowl, combine the black-eyed peas, black beans, corn kernels, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, red onion, and cilantro.
- Using a small jug, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, sugar, chili powder, tabasco, salt and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the oil and mix.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetable mixture and gently toss to coat evenly.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Enjoy chilled with tortilla chips, as a salad or as desired.
©PetersFoodAdventures.com *originally posted October 2016, updated June 2023