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large white bowl filled with cowboy caviar
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3.84 from 6 votes

Cowboy Caviar Recipe

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.
Prep Time50 mins
Inactive Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 50 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Tex Mex
Keyword: cowboy caviar easy, cowboy caviar ingredients
Servings: 7 cups
Calories: 168kcal
Author: Brooke



  • 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
  • ½ rounded cup red onion finely chopped
  • cup orange bell pepper chopped
  • cup red bell pepper chopped
  • cup yellow bell pepper chopped
  • cup jalapeño seeded and finely chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 medium lime freshly squeezed


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lime juice from 3 medium limes
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pickled jalapeño brine
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced


  • Place all the salad ingredients except the cilantro in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cover the bowl and chill the cowboy caviar for 1 to 4 hours. 
  • Add the cilantro and more fresh lime juice before serving.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  • 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.


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 205mg | Potassium: 328mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 447IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 2mg