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person holding a spoonful of cowboy caviar

Crowd Pleasing Cowboy Caviar

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


Crowd pleasing 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.



For the Salad

  • 15 ounce can black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 11 ounce can white shoepeg corn, rinsed and drained
  • 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 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (45g)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (13g))
  • 1 medium lime, freshly squeezed

For the Dressing

  • 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 jalapeno 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


Making the Dressing

  1. Mince the garlic.
  2. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, jalapeno brine, freshly squeezed lime juice, sugar, and spices in a medium bowl.

Making the Salad

  1. Rinse and drain the canned black eyed peas, black beans, and corn.  Place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Rinse the bell peppers and jalapenos, remove the seeds and membrane, and finely chop.  If you have sensitive skin, wear food-safe gloves when handling the jalapenos.
  3. Chop the red onion and tomatoes.  Add the peppers, onion, and tomato to the bowl and stir well.
  4. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir well to combine the flavors.  Adjust seasonings to taste.  Some people like it with more vinegar, sugar, salt, or lime juice.
  5. Cover and chill 1 to 2 hours.  (If chilling overnight, leave out tomatoes until closer to serving time.)
  6. Just before serving, add in the cilantro and squeeze more fresh lime juice.  Stir.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  7. Serve chilled with scoop-style tortilla chips, as a side salad with grilled meat, or in a lettuce wrap.


  • The fresh jalapeños only extra crunch, but if the seeds are left you'll have a spicy kick.
  • You can skip the chilling time, if you're in a hurry, but for the best flavor allowing time to marinate is the way to go.
  • For the best texture and use as a dip, cut the vegetables small and the same size.
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Chopping
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex

Keywords: cowboy caviar, texas caviar