Healthy Texas Caviar (aka Cowboy Caviar) features black eyed peas and black beans with veggies and avocado tossed in a lime & apple cider vinaigrette. It’s an easy to make appetizer, side or light meal!
Texas Caviar, also known as Cowboy Caviar, is a colorful and nutritious, easy bean salad with veggies and vinaigrette, typically eaten as a salsa with chips. The recipe has been modified over the years, adding color and extra flavor, but you can find the original pickled black eye peas recipe at Texas Monthly.
Is Texas Caviar Healthy?
Ingredients You’ll Need
Beans, fresh veggies, avocado and spices are tossed with a simple zesty dressing creating a colorful, healthy and hearty party dip everyone will love!
Here is everything you’ll need, included ingredient variations:
- The Beans: Use fresh cooked or canned black eyed peas and black beans. If using fresh cooked, use about 1 1/2 cups. Feel free to change up any of the beans called for with chickpeas.
- Bell Pepper: Bell peppers add color, crunch and sweetness. Use your favorite color. I’ve used 2 red bell peppers, but any combo of colors would work and add even more color.
- Corn: Sweet corn is such a great addition to this cowboy caviar, adding color and sweetness. Use canned, frozen (thawed) or fresh corn cut from the cobb, about 1 – 1 1/2 cups. Another popular corn you may consider using is shoepeg corn.
- Onion: Diced red onion adds another layer of color and flavor. Green onions will do well here too, using the green and pale green parts only.
- Jalapeno: Adds flavor, a little heat and color. Feel free to leave a few seeds in for an extra spicy kick!
- Avocado: Creamy and delicious, just about everything is better with avocado! But if you don’t have any on hand, you’ll be fine without it.
- Cilantro: Fresh and colorful, use as much cilantro as you like! If you’re not a fan, feel free to omit it and try adding parsley instead.
- The Spices: For a little kick in flavor, we’ll use a combination of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper. It’s mildly flavored and each ingredient can be adjusted to suite your taste.
- The Dressing: The Texas caviar dressing is super simple and consists of a little olive oil, lime juice and apple cider vinegar. Feel free to sub in with balsamic vinegar, or red or white wine vinegar for a change. Omit the olive oil to make the dressing oil free, just add a 2 tablespoons more of vinegar.
How To Make Texas Cowboy Caviar
- Drain and rinse the black eyes peas and black beans.
- Drain the canned corn, or if using fresh corn cut it off the cobb.
- Prep and dice the red peppers, jalapeno, avocado and onion.
- Chop the cilantro.
- Assemble the salad by adding the beans, corn, bell pepper, jalapeno, onion, avocado and cilantro to a large bowl, top with spices, apple cider vinegar, optional oil, lime juice and salt & pepper, and toss well to coat. Taste for flavor.
- Eat right away, or let the salad rest in the refrigerator for a few hours to let the flavors mingle.
How To Store Leftovers
Refrigerator: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freezer: I do not recommend freezing cowboy caviar due to the avocado, but if you omit it, freezing is just fine and will stay fresh up to 2 months in a freezer safe container.
This Texas Caviar has a fresh and tangy flavor and can be served in a variety of ways. A few of my favorite options are:
- Texas Cowboy Caviar typically served chilled, although it’s great at room temperature too.
- Serve it as a dip scooped up with your favorite tortilla chips, or for a fresh take, endive is sturdy and perfect for scooping.
- You can also roll it up in a tortilla, use as a taco filler for corn tortillas or leafy greens, and top with Vegan Cashew Sour Cream for a delicious meal.
- Or make it into a salad tossed with chopped romaine or other leafy greens, and topped with pepitas, hemp hearts or sunflower seeds and extra lime juice.
I love making a batch and grazing on it throughout the day. It’s a great munchie food to huddle around during game time and movie nights.
Since it can be made ahead of time it’s perfect for parties, potlucks, picnics, and BBQ’s. It’s colorful and will make a great centerpiece to any buffet or communal table!
More Appetizer & Dip Recipes
- Mango Salsa
- 7 Layer Mexican Dip
- Spicy Vegan Coleslaw
- Quick & Easy Vegan Pasta Salad
- Vegan French Onion Dip
- Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
If you try this Texas Caviar recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.Print
HEALTHY TEXAS CAVIAR (COWBOY CAVIAR)
Texas caviar is perfect to serve as a healthy dip, salad, or side dish. It’s naturally vegan, gluten-free and loaded with protein and fiber!
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Total Time: 10 min
- Yield: Makes about 4 cups 1x
- Category: Salad, Side
- Cuisine: Vegan
- 1 can (15oz) black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (14oz) corn, drained
- 2 red bell peppers, finely diced
- 1 jalapeno, finely diced (a few seeds are ok)
- 1/2 red onion, finely diced
- 1 large or 2 small avocados, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 limes, juice of
- 3 – 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- mineral salt & pepper to taste
Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, ad generous pinch of salt. Set aside. (You can also just pour the ingredients over the assembled salad before tossing, as mentioned in the post, but mixing will help dissolve the spices.)
Prep: Drain and rinse the black eyes peas and black beans. Drain the canned corn, or if using fresh corn cut it off the cobb. Dice the red peppers, jalapeno, and onion. Chop the cilantro.
Avocado: The easiest and quickest way to dice an avocado for this recipe, is to slice it in half, remove the seed, using a knife, score the flesh in to segments, using a cross-hatch pattern, being careful to not break through the skin. Scoop it out using a large spoon, getting as close to the skin as possible, in one swoop.
Assemble: In a large bowl, add the beans, corn, bell pepper, jalapeno, onion, avocado and cilantro. Pour the dressing overtop and toss well to coat. Taste for flavor.
Eat right away, or let the salad rest in the refrigerator for a few hours to let the flavors mingle.
Leftovers will stay fresh for up to 4 – 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I don’t recommend freezing this salad/salad if adding avocado, if planning on freezing, omit the avocado and add it when serving. Freeze for up to 2 months.
Makes about 2 quarts.
Optional add-ins or substitutes:
- Fresh or canned tomatoes, such as Rotel
- Fresh minced garlic
- Handful of sliced olives
- Chopped celery
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Shoepeg corn
Nutritional information includes the oil, if omitting the oil, the fat will be cut in half to around 5.1 grams per serving.