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Cowboy Caviar Recipe

4.75 from 4 votes
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posted: 08/29/21

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Cowboy Caviar is one of my favorite appetizer recipes! It is easy to make, has the perfect balance of flavors, and is always a hit with guests!

overhead view of a wood bowl on a blue wood surface surrounded by tomatoes and chips and with cowboy caviar inside

I want to live in a world where it is socially acceptable to sometimes just eat appetizers for dinner. Because, I have in fact eaten a whole recipe’s worth of Cowboy Caviar by myself before.

In my defense, it’s that good.

I have no regrets.

Reader Review

BEST recipe EVER! Love all the ingredients and the taste is amazing!

What is Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar, also called Texas Caviar, is really a salad. (Therefore you go ahead and dig in for dinner in front of your Christmas movie. No judgement.)

Its a combination of black-eyed peas and other veggies with a vinaigrette dressing. It’s usually eaten with tortilla chips, but you absolutely could decide this is taco filling.

In fact, we love the flavors of this dish so much that we turned it into Cowboy Caviar Pasta Salad.

overhead view of cowboy caviar recipe broken down by ingredient - red onions, avocado pieces, tomatoes, corn, black eyed peas and cilantro in the middle

Cowboy Caviar Ingredients

  • canned corn
  • black-eyed peas
  • red onions
  • avocado
  • roma tomatoes
  • cilantro
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • apple cider vinegar
  • hot sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic
overhead view of a clear bowl that is full of the ingredients for cowboy caviar dip, around the bowl is tortilla chips, tomatoes on the vine, cilantro and a striped towel

How to Make Cowboy Caviar

  1. Combine all of the main ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the soft.
  3. Very gently fold everything together so the avocado doesn’t break up.

How to Pick Avocados for this Recipe

When making this recipe, look for an avocado that is firm to the touch. You want it to just have a very slight give when you push on it. When you to go to slice it, it will easily cut up into cubes and will hold up well in the dip recipe.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Use grilled corn. To kick this recipe up a notch, grill two ears of corn and replace the canned corn with that.
  • Swap out the black eyed peas. A lot of people cannot stand black eyed peas. If you are one of them, take them out and use black beans and instead.
  • Leave out the cilantro. If you are one of the unfortunate souls who tastes soup when you have cilantro, just skip it.
  • Add a jalapeño. You already have a lot of heat in this recipe from the hot sauce, but if you want to add a different flavor of spice, throw in a diced jalapeno.

Serving Cowboy Caviar Dip

I think Cowboy Caviar is best served with tortilla chips.

To make Cowboy Caviar low carb, replace the corn with black beans. Then serve this with something like these cheese crisps.

This Cowboy Caviar easily serves a group of 8. It makes 4 cups, so that’s a half cup for each person, with chips.

If you have a lot of people coming over, this is an easy recipe to double. Or if you are putting out a million other snacks, you will be fine as is. (See my list below for other great ideas for a party.)

texas caviar in a wood bowl full of black eyed peas, cilantro, chopped up tomatoes, corn, and red onion

Make Ahead Cowboy Caviar Recipe

This recipe is fine to make ahead of time. The vinegar in the dressing will keep the avocado from turning brown. Cowboy Caviar will keep in the refrigerator for four days.

That said, if you are hosting, I suggest making this right before your guests come over. It will look best that way.

close up of a tortilla chip dishing up texas caviar recipe with black-eyed peas, tomatoes, and corn

OTHER GREAT PARTY RECIPES

Like I said above, this is a great recipe for parties. Here are some other great recipes that would go well with it.

My Corn Salsa is a great recipe to put out because you can just put one bowl of tortilla chips between the two. They are different flavors, but both delicious.

Along that same line of thinking, you could add in my Guacamole.

My Spinach Dip in my Beer Bread Bowl is perfect for parties.

If you make any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you! Let me know what you thought and if you made them for people you love, even better.

overhead view of a wood bowl on a blue wood surface surrounded by tomatoes and chips and with cowboy caviar inside
4.75 from 4 votes

Cowboy Caviar Recipe

Serves: 8 servings
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Cowboy Caviar is one of my favorite appetizer recipes! It is easy to make, has the perfect balance of flavors, and is always a hit with guests!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (do not to use the organic brand – the taste is too strong in this)
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 avocado ripe but firm and diced
  • 15 ounces can black eyed peas drained and rinsed
  • 11 ounces canned corn drained
  • 1/4 red onion diced small
  • 2 tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, hot sauce, and olive oil. Stir in the garlic and season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the remainder of the ingredients, taste, and add more salt and pepper as needed.
  • Serve with tortilla chips.
Calories: 116kcal (6%) Carbohydrates: 13g (4%) Protein: 5g (10%) Fat: 5g (8%) Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Sodium: 77mg (3%) Potassium: 291mg (8%) Fiber: 5g (21%) Sugar: 5g (6%) Vitamin A: 10IU Vitamin C: 15mg (18%) Calcium: 5mg (1%) Iron: 7mg (39%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American

Video

overhead view of a wood bowl on a blue wood surface surrounded by tomatoes and chips and with cowboy caviar inside

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Cowboy Caviar Recipe

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Denise says

    Is there a substitute you can suggest other that black eyes peas?

    • Lisa Longley says

      You could use black beans! That would be delicious.

  2. debi says

    5 stars
    Love it! Have made it 10 times now and my neighbors keep asking for more!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so happy you like it!

  3. Jonnie P says

    I made this and I tweeked it a bit. I had a can of garbanzo beans I rinsed and drained. I also had some sliced black olives I drained them and included in the mix. It was delicious!! Quick and easy. I must say my red onion was extremely strong !!! Next time I’m going to cut back on the red onion just in case it’s strong again . But over all delicious 😋

  4. John says

    4 stars
    I think you are fun, insightful and lovely. Good work and keep it up.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you John!

  5. Carolyne Smith says

    As a ‘Brit’ that isn’t allowed to visit the USA at the moment. (Due to COVID restrictions). I’m definitely going to try this, next time we gave an ‘American Night’ with friends and relatives.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I just need to tell you that our family visited London in 2019 and it was the absolute greatest trip we’ve ever taken. I can’t wait for us to be able to go back.

  6. Sarah says

    Hi, this looks yummy can’t wait to try it, however I’m allergic to Cilantro, what would be a yummy substitute??? It needs a littlw green something? Parsley???

    • Lisa Longley says

      I would first just leave it out and then decide if you really need anything to replace it. I’m not sure parsley would be my pick here. If you wanted that little bit of green, you could add the greens of some green onions.

  7. sherry says

    BEST recipe EVER! Love all the ingredients and the taste is amazing!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so happy you like this as much as me!

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