Cowboy Caviar made with beans, corn, bell peppers, cilantro, and green onions in tangy homemade dressing is the perfect party dip! Serve with tortilla chips, or as a salad for a potluck or BBQ.

There are so many choices when it comes to classic party dips, and a few of my all-time favorites are my Philly Cheesesteak Dip, Homemade Dill Pickle Dip, and Spinach Artichoke Dip! I’m also a huge fan of Mango Salsa.

Cowboy Caviar Recipe served with tortilla chips

Cowboy Caviar Recipe

Cowboy Caviar is one of my FAVORITE party dips, made with pantry ingredients like beans and corn, mixed together with some fresh bell peppers, tomatoes, and onions, tossed with a tangy dressing. You can serve this with tortilla chips, or put it out as a side salad for a potluck or BBQ. Plus, you can make cowboy caviar from common pantry ingredients, making it easy to throw together last minute or when you’re running low on groceries and don’t want to make a trip to the store. I like to serve cowboy caviar with BBQ Chicken Drumsticks or Smoked BBQ Ribs. Cowboy Caviar is vegan, gluten free, and the PERFECT healthy side dish!

Cowboy Caviar on a tortilla chip

What is cowboy caviar made of?

Cowboy caviar is a mix of pantry ingredients like black eyed peas, black beans, and corn, mixed with some fresh vegetables like bell pepper, tomato, onion, and green onions. You can also add fresh herbs like cilantro, and finish it off by mixing everything together in a tangy vinaigrette dressing.

One of my favorite parts about this recipe is that you literally throw it all into a bowl, and stir it together. That’s it, so easy!

What else can you add to cowboy caviar?

Honestly I don’t like to be limited when I’m cooking. Add whatever you’d like, or whatever you have available to you! Here are a few of my favorite options.

  • Red beans
  • Avocado
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Poblano peppers
  • Cucumber

Why is it called cowboy caviar?

It is called cowboy caviar because it was created in Texas in the 1940’s, which is also why it’s sometimes referred to as Texas Caviar. It’s customary to serve this at potluck or BBQ events, or bring it to New Year’s Eve for the black eyed peas, which bring prosperity to the new year.

Can you make cowboy caviar ahead of time?

Yes, cowboy caviar is the perfect dish to make ahead of time. In fact, the longer you let it sit in the dressing, the better it will taste! I make this a day ahead of time, and just save adding the cilantro for right before you serve it, so it looks bright and fresh.

Can you freeze cowboy caviar?

I would not recommend freezing cowboy caviar, because you want to get that fresh crunch from the vegetables in this dish. Once you freeze them, they will soften and just not be the same texture. It is best served fresh.

How long does cowboy caviar last in the fridge?

Cowboy caviar will last in the refrigerator, in a tightly sealed container, for 3-4 days.

Cowboy Caviar Dip served with tortilla chips

Tips for Making Cowboy Caviar

  • Dice all ingredients as small as possible. This helps the dish look better, and helps when people go to scoop it up on a tortilla chip without making a mess.
  • I like to make my own dressing for this so I can control the flavor, and I like to keep it sugar-free and as healthy as possible. But, if you’re short on time, you can use bottled Italian dressing. I prefer the regular, non-creamy dressing. You can also add my Greek Salad Dressing if you have any left over!
  • If you hate cilantro, you can leave it out entirely, or replace it with fresh parsley.
  • For the dressing you can substitute the apple cider vinegar for red wine vinegar. I just personally like the flavor of the apple cider vinegar.
  • If you want to turn this into a full meal, add cooked diced chicken or shrimp and stir together.
  • Level this up by topping with cooked diced crispy bacon!
  • If you want this to be even spicier, add a few dashes of cayenne pepper to your dressing.

What is a substitute for black eyed peas?

Any beans will work in this recipe. I would use white beans or red beans. Or you can double the black beans.

What can you dip in cowboy caviar?

  • Tortilla chips
  • Gluten Free Crackers
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Top chicken or fish, or serve over eggs in the morning.
Cowboy Caviar Recipe served with tortilla chips

Cowboy Caviar Recipe

Cowboy Caviar made with beans, corn, bell peppers, cilantro, and green onions in tangy homemade dressing is the perfect party dip! Serve with tortilla chips, or as a salad for a potluck or BBQ. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine: American
Author: Jacqui
Yield: 6 servings


Cowboy Caviar

  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 11 oz can yellow corn, rinsed and drained
  • 2 large roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper, diced (any color)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, minced


  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander


  • Add all ingredients to a large bowl and stir together. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Calories: 109kcal (5%)Carbohydrates: 6g (2%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 9g (14%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Sodium: 394mg (17%)Potassium: 177mg (5%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 3g (3%)Vitamin A: 1226IU (25%)Vitamin C: 44mg (53%)Calcium: 13mg (1%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
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