Texas Caviar Dip is made with shoepeg corn, black-eyed peas or black beans, fresh tomatoes, lots of chilis, and a sweet and tangy red wine vinegar dressing. This salad will be the number one hit at your next party!
I’m not sure what makes this a Texas dish, but it sure is good wherever it comes from.
We like Texas Caviar with lots of fresh vegetables like bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, and corn when it’s in season. And when it’s not, just use a can of shoepeg corn. My sister-in-law, Joanne, uses cans of Rotel and water chestnuts. You can add just about anything to this fabulous dip.
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What is Texas caviar?
Texas Caviar is a bean salad made with black-eyed peas, corn, and other vegetables. And there are probably as many variations as there are Texans!
This zesty mixture is also known as Cowboy Caviar. It’s usually served as an appetizer with corn tortilla chips, but we also love it for lunch or with arugula for a light supper. It’s healthy, filling, and delicious!
How do you make Texas caviar?
You can make this easy Texas Caviar recipe from ingredients you have on hand, but you’ll probably need to add a few things too. I use a lot of fresh ingredients so there’s a good bit of chopping involved, but the end result is so worth it. You’ll have a Texas Caviar dip that your guests will devour!
Step 1. Chop the fresh ingredients, drain and rinse the canned ingredients, and place everything in a large bowl. Stir gently to mix.
Step 2. Mix ingredients for dressing in a jar and shake well. Pour over salad and stir gently to mix.
Step 3. Serve and enjoy!
Serving suggestions for cowboy caviar dip
- Serve with tortilla chips
- Make nachos — pile Texas Caviar on chips, top with cheese, and heat in the oven until cheese melts
- Place on top of a pile of arugula and serve as a lunch salad
- Use this cowboy caviar dip along with Pimento Cheese Queso Fundido, Pimento Cheese, Vidalia Onion Dip, Guacamole, or Fried Green Tomatoes for a tasty appetizer menu
Texas Caviar variations
- Use black beans instead of black-eyed peas
- Try different vinegars in the dressing
- Use bottled Italian or red wine vinaigrette in a pinch
- Add fresh avocado
- Stir in chopped, cooked chicken or shrimp, or ground beef to make a hearty meal
- Add Cotija or feta cheese
- Cook your black-eyed peas instead of using canned
- Chop your vegetables very small so the dip is easy to pick up on chips (this handy chopper makes that so EASY!)
- Store in an airtight container for 4-5 days
- You can freeze the cowboy caviar (without avocado) in an airtight container. It will not be as good as when you first make it! This is probably when I would use for nachos.
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- 2 15- oz. cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed (check ingredients to make sure they don’t have liquid smoke)
- 1 15- oz. can shoepeg corn, drained and rinsed
- 1 small jar pimentos, drained
- 1 can green chilis, drained
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- ½ red bell pepper, chopped
- ½ yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
- ½ cup chopped scallions
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro or parsley, (or both)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt, (may need more to taste)
- Juice from 1/2 lime
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
- ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- Place ingredients in a jar and shake until well mixed.
- In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients and stir gently but mix well. Stir in vinaigrette and mix well. Keeps in the refrigerator for several days.
Update Notes: This post was originally published May 28, 2014, and on May 18, 2021, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.