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5 from 1 vote

This cowboy caviar recipe is delicious paired with tortilla chips or on top of your favorite salad. Plant-based and protein-packed, it might just become your new go-to vegan snack. Did you know that this easy bean salad is also commonly referred to as Texas caviar?

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Green and tan hand made bowl filled with bean dip and corn chips.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Quick & Easy: This dip recipe is ready in just 15 minutes. Does it get better than that?
  • Nutritious: This simple recipe has great nutritional value. It is packed with fiber and healthy plant-based fats! This will help keep you fuller longer. It also makes a complete protein as it contains both beans and corn. 
  • Versatile: I love this easy recipe because it is so versatile. These simple ingredients make for the perfect side dish, a healthy appetizer, a green salad topping, or an addictive dip!
Refreshing bean dip in a shallow bowl on a wooden table.

What Is Cowboy Caviar?

Cowboy Caviar was first created in 1940 by Helen Corbitt, a New Yorker turned Texan. She was an extraordinary chef and cookbook author. The key ingredient for this bean salad is black-eyed peas. Depending on the recipe developer and chef, the other ingredients vary from recipe to recipe. That being said, Texas caviar commonly includes black beans, onion, tomato, bell pepper, corn, cilantro, and more! Cowboy caviar is a deliciously cooling bean salad that can be enjoyed on its own, as a dip, or on top of your favorite salad or entrée.

Shallow green and tan colored bowl with bean dip, lime wedges, and corn chips inside.

Texax Caviar Ingredients

Simple ingredients. Opted for canned beans and frozen corn if you want this to be a quick recipe. 

  • Black-Eyed Peas: This is a staple in this cowboy caviar recipe. Other beans and ingredients may vary depending on the recipe developer or chef. You can use canned beans for the quickest recipe, or instant pot black-eyed peas work well too. 
  • Black Beans: One of my favorite beans to use! When I make Texas caviar, I may use kidney beans instead, depending on what I have on hand.
  • Corn: Corn is a great addition to this recipe. I prefer sweet corn for cowboy caviar. Freshly cooked corn or frozen corn is best for this recipe.
  • Avocado: Fresh avocado adds a creaminess to the mix.
  • Red Onion: Onion adds a welcomed mild spicy flavor to this delicious recipe. If you aren’t the biggest fan of red onions or don’t have any on hand, feel free to use a sweet onion. Your Texas caviar recipe will still be delicious with a slightly different flavor profile.
  • Cilantro: The most debated herb. Cilantro adds its own flair. Feel free to skip it if you are part of the 11% of the population that can’t stand it.
  • Tomatoes: Adding fresh tomatoes to this wonderful recipe adds an interesting shape and texture to the mix. Using grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes works really well. Cutting them in half or quartering them adds a nice shape to this black bean salad.
  • Green onions: I love adding green onions to this recipe. They pair well with cilantro and add another dimension to this great recipe. 
  • Red wine vinegar: I’m a fan of red wine vinegar because of its sweetness. 
  • Lime Juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Bowl of cowboy caviar on a wooden table.

Step-By-Step Instructions: How To Make Cowboy Caviar

Have you ever made an easier recipe?

1. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix thoroughly. 

2. Serve with vegan tortilla chips or however the heck you like!

Close up of handmade bowl filled with cowboy caviar.

Recipe Variations

This cowboy caviar recipe is tasty as is. You’re welcome to make any of the alterations, though!

  • Beans: Traditionally, this bean dip calls for black-eyed peas. However, you could sub black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, or great northern beans. It will taste a bit different, but I always opt for whatever I have on hand. 
  • Corn: I like to use frozen corn for convenience but cooked fresh corn is a great option too. If you are a fan of canned corn, go for it! I would just recommend rinsing it really well before adding it. 
  • Fresh Veggies: Some people like to add chopped red bell pepper or green bell peppers for an additional crunch! If you’re looking for some heat, think about adding some minced green chilies for a little kick.
  • Texas Caviar Dressing: This recipe uses red wine vinegar and lime juice. However, you could simply toss in some Italian dressing, a vinaigrette dressing, or a cilantro lime dressing. 
  • Vinegar: Instead of red wine vinegar, you could use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar. Balsamic vinegar can be delicious, but it wouldn’t be my first choice for this recipe. 
  • Oil: If you are using a homemade vinegar-based dressing, adding olive oil or avocado oil to this Texas cowboy caviar recipe will add smoothness to it. 
  • Spices: Salt and pepper are the base. You can play around with the flavor profile, though. Garlic powder, chili powder, 
  • Feta Cheese: Another variation to this original recipe is vegan feta cheese. 


Close up of Texas caviar with corn chips sticking out of it.

How To Eat This Simple Dip

This tasty recipe is the best dip for warmer weather. Grab a bag of your favorite corn chips and dig in. Alternatively, grab a spoon and enjoy it straight up, or use it as a “dressing” on your favorite green salad.

How should cowboy caviar be stored?

Cowboy caviar should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge. Any type of airtight container will work. However, using a glass container can keep it fresher for longer.

How long is Texas caviar good for?

This easy bean salad can be kept in the fridge for 3-5 days. However, this recipe calls for avocado, so if you do plan on storing it for more than a day or two, then I would keep the avocado separate and just add a bit to each serving as you go.

Angle view of bean, corn, tomato, and cilantro dip with two slices of lime.


What is the actual name of cowboy caviar?

Cowboy caviar has a few different names. Alternative names include Texas Caviar and Black-Eye Pea Salad. 

Is Pico De Gallo and Cowboy Caviar the same thing?

No, Pico De Gallo and Texas Caviar are not the same thing. The main difference is that Cowboy Caviar tends to include vinegar in its dressing, whereas Pico De Gallo does not. In addition, Texas Caviar includes beans and avocado. 

Can I use canned beans?

Yes! Canned beans are a great option. However, if using canned beans, I recommend rinsing them thoroughly first.

More Vegan Recipes

Tan and green shallow bowl with sliced cherry tomatoes, white beans, kidney beans, and more.


Refreshing bean dip in a shallow bowl on a wooden table.
5 from 1 vote

Cowboy Caviar

Yield 10 -12 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
This cowboy caviar recipe is delicious paired with tortilla chips or on top of your favorite salad. Plant-based and protein-packed, it might just become your new go-to vegan snack. Did you know that this easy bean salad is also commonly referred to as Texas caviar?


  • 1 1/2 cups black beans, cooked
  • 1 1/2 cups black-eyed peas, cooked
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet corn, cooked
  • 2 large avocados, cubed
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, diced
  • 2 clumps green onions, chopped
  • 3 cups tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • Juice from 4 medium limes


  • Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix thoroughly. 
  • Serve with vegan tortilla chips or however the heck you like!


Please read through the above blog post for helpful tips & tricks!


Calories: 92kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Trans Fat: 0.002g, Sodium: 182mg, Potassium: 336mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 456IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 1mg

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