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large white bowl filled with cowboy caviar

Cowboy Caviar Recipe

  • Author: Brooke
  • Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
  • Yield: 7 cups 1x


Cowboy caviar is a healthy recipe that is easy to make ahead for a party.  Marinate this simple dip with a homemade vinegar dressing that is best served cold.  Black eyed peas, black beans, shoepeg corn, and fresh raw veggies drizzled with lime juice are a winning summer combination for kids and adults alike.


Units Scale


  • 15 ounce can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 11 ounce can white shoepeg corn, drained and rinsed
  • 8.5 ounces grape tomatoes, finely chopped (240g)
  • 1/2 rounded cup red onion, finely chopped (140g)
  • 1/3 cup orange bell pepper, chopped (45g)
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper, chopped (45g)
  • 1/3 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped (45g)
  • 1/3 cup jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped (45g)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (13g))
  • 1 medium lime, freshly squeezed


  • 1/2 cup olive oil (120 ml)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (from 3 medium limes; 60 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (30 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon pickled jalapeño brine (15 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced


  1. Toss: Place all the salad ingredients except the cilantro in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Whisk: In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, jalapeño brine, freshly squeezed lime juice, sugar, garlic, and spices until well combined.  Alternatively, place in a mason jar and shake.
  3. Pour: Slowly pour dressing over the salad and stir well.  Adjust seasonings to taste.  Some people like it with more vinegar, sugar, salt, or lime juice.
  4. Chill: Cover the bowl and chill the cowboy caviar for 1 to 4 hours. 
  5. Squeeze: Add the cilantro and more fresh lime juice before serving.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  6. Serve: Cowboy caviar tastes best chilled with scoop-style tortilla chips.


  • Want more spice?  The fresh jalapeños only provide extra crunch, but if the seeds are left you'll have a spicy kick.
  • Squeeze the lime juice fresh with a citrus press or reamer for the best flavor.
  • Want the best texture?  Cut the vegetables small and the same size, the size of a bean.
  • Need a substitute for shoepeg corn?  You can substitute sweet yellow corn (fresh, canned, or frozen).
  • Need lower sodium?  Use no salt black eyed peas and black beans, and frozen or fresh corn instead of canned.
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Chopping
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex

Keywords: cowboy caviar easy, cowboy caviar ingredients