A fresh and tasty dip or salad that everyone will rave about! This cowboy caviar is a perfect side dish for picnics, potlucks, and parties, and it’s ready in just 15 minutes!
This wonderfully flavourful and oil free cowboy caviar is covered in a tangy dressing, that’s perfect for salad or dip.
A fantastic dish that’s not only naturally vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free, but this version is also oil-free, and refined sugar-free.
Serve it with homemade tortilla chips for the ultimate treat.
What is Cowboy Caviar?
Cowboy caviar, also known as Texas caviar is a truly flavourful, budget-friendly dish that is perfect for dipping.
It traditionally contains black-eyed peas, which are said to bring luck!
Plus, add some chopped vegetables and a tangy, sweet dressing.
Black-eyed peas are said to bring good luck and fortune, so they are traditionally eaten on New Year’s Day to bring prosperity for the new year.
(But feel free to enjoy it all year long!)
Its colourful ingredients make it a wonderful spring or summertime dish as well, and it makes a perfect party dip any time of the year.
Here’s what you’ll need for our oil-free cowboy caviar recipe.
- Beans: A mix of black beans and don’t forget the black-eyed peas!
- Veggies: I’m using chopped tomato, jalapeno, red onion, red pepper, and corn.
- Herbs: I like cilantro, but you may also try parsley, basil, or dill if you prefer.
- Dressing: Made up of lemon juice, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and smoked paprika. I’m skipping the olive oil more commonly found in this salad to keep this dish virtually fat-free.
(This is a summary with step by step photos, full recipe measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Add all the chopped veggies, beans (drain first), and herbs to a mixing bowl.
Then pour the dressing on top, mix well and serve.
Serve your cowboy caviar as a side salad or a dip with chips or crackers.
Variations + Substitutions
This super adaptable dish can be made to your tastes, and to suit what you have on hand.
- If you belong to the “cilantro tastes like soap” club, sub the cilantro for fresh parsley or dill.
- Use frozen and thawed corn, canned sweet corn, or even leftover corn on the cobb. Anything works here.
- For the bell pepper, I use red bell pepper, but any colour you have works great.
- If you want extra heat, use more jalapenos. Or add some cayenne pepper or a splash or two of hot sauce to your cowboy caviar dressing.
- Spices! Add additional flavours like cumin, chili powder, oregano, and salt and pepper, to taste.
- You may also add black olives, celery, garlic, avocado, green onion, or TEQUILA! You’re welcome.
You may prepare the ingredients ahead, but I recommend dressing the dish no more than a few hours before serving as some of the veggies will soften.
That said, if you have leftover cowboy caviar, it keeps about 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
For delicious and easy party dips
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- 15 ounce can black eyed peas drained & rinsed (approx 1.5 cups)
- 15 ounce can black beans drained & rinsed (approx 1.5 cups)
- 1 red bell pepper diced (or colour of choice)
- 2 firm roma tomatoes diced
- 1 cup frozen corn thawed (or canned)
- ⅓ cup red onion diced
- 1 jalapeno finely chopped & seeds removed
- ½ cup fresh cilantro chopped (or parsley or dill)
For the Dressing
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice approx. half a lemon
- 2 tablespoons lime juice approx. 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika or sweet
This popular chip dip is made with simple and healthy ingredients like beans, corn, pepper, avocado, tomato, and a sweet and tangy dressing.
Just like cowboy caviar, this dish contains beans, corn, bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and tomato. It originated in Texas where it was first served at the Houston Country Club on New Year’s Eve where it got its name.
This dish got its name due to its humble and budget-friendly ingredients. But despite its ingredients, this dish delivers BIG flavours.