Cowboy Caviar (Texas Caviar)

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 This budget-minded dish is chock-full of colorful veggies and black beans, dressed with a tangy, spicy homemade dressing. Whether you call it Texas Caviar or Cowboy Caviar, it is perfect as a side dish or an appetizer served with tortilla chips.

cowboy caviar in a teal bowl with wooden spoon served with blue and yellow corn chips

Are you looking for a tasty side dish to contribute to a picnic, potluck, or party? Texas Caviar hits all those notes, and is also perfect as a light lunch option.

Every time I make this dish everyone raves about it. The best part is that it is truly simple to make and is practically a no-cook dish.

TIP: I roasted the corn for added flavor, but if you want a shortcut, feel free to use canned corn.

Pull out your best knife for this Cowboy Caviar recipe. This budget-minded salad is chock-full of colorful vegetables and black beans in a tangy and spicy dressing that really hits the spot. Get ready to do some chopping!

TIP: Make this dish ahead (minus the avocado). The longer this salad sits the better the flavors marinate.

colorful bell peppers, red onion, corn on the cob, tomatoes, jalapeño and cilantro to make texas caviar

Cowboy Caviar is similar to my black bean salad, but loaded with lots more veggies. It’s a versatile and healthy dish that can be thrown together in under 20 minutes. I promise, you’ll be both proud to serve and happy to eat this amazing dip/salad/appetizer wonder.

chopped tomatoes, jalapeño, bell peppers, avocado, onion to make cowboy texas caviar and a mason jar filled with dressing


Can you make this ahead of time?

Heck yes! This dish actually tastes better after it marinates overnight in the fridge. Just be sure to hold off on adding the avocados until you’re ready to serve to avoid browning.

How long can I refrigerate this dish?

This makes a great meal-prep dish that can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Whether you’re preparing for a party ahead of time or looking for easy and healthy packed lunch options, this is a wonderful recipe. 

TIP: Do not add the avocado prior to refrigerating, or it will oxidize and turn brown.

Taking fresh cilantro out of a glass full of water with two hands

Do I need to add cilantro?

If you hate cilantro, feel free to omit or replace with fresh parsley.

What kind of beans should I use?

I use two cans of black beans, but you can substitute other types of beans. Instead of black beans, try pinto beans or feel free to use a combo of black beans and black-eyed peas to bring good luck. 

What kind of vinegar works best for this recipe?

My recipe calls for red wine vinegar, but you can use apple cider vinegar, rice wine vinegar or plain white vinegar if that’s all you have. The flavor of this dish is always a hit no matter which kind of vinegar you use.

plentiful corn on the cob at the grocery store

What kind of corn is best?

If it’s in season, I like to use fresh corn that has been grilled and cut off the cob for a naturally sweet crunch and roasted flavor.

Feel free to use regular canned sweet corn (not creamed) that has been drained or thawed frozen corn. 

TIP: You can still roast frozen corn! Just preheat the oven to 400F, spread a bag’s worth out on a foil lined cookie sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When it’s golden, you’re ready to roll.

How to roast corn on the cob 

I usually roast corn on my stovetop on an open flame rather than firing up my grill outside. If you don’t have a gas stove, you can do this on a gas or charcoal grill outside.

TIP: Using a bundt pan is very helpful when removing kernels from fresh corn on the cob. Simply stand your cob in the center and slice. The wide bowl around the center core will easily catch all the kernels and keep your mess to a minimum.

corn on the cob being roasted on a cast stovetop indoors

Whether you want to call this Texas Caviar or Cowboy Caviar, the results are all the same: delicious, crunchy and oh-so-satisfying. Be sure to whip up a batch and let me know how it goes in the comments below!

More easy bean side dish recipes

Love the Texas Caviar recipe? Be sure to pin it for later use!

Cowboy Caviar (Texas Caviar)

I guarantee this dish will be the hit at your next picnic, potluck, or party! This budget-minded salad is chock-full of colorful veggies and black beans in a tangy and spicy dressing that really hits the spot. Serve it as a side salad or with tortilla chips for an awesome dip.
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  • In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, cilantro, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Toss with dressing until well combined.


  • This dish calls for red wine vinegar, but you can use apple cider vinegar, rice wine vinegar or even plain white vinegar.
  • Feel free to use corn on the cob, canned sweet corn (not creamed), or thawed frozen corn. 
  • You can easily make this dish ahead of time, just omit the avocados until you're ready to serve.
  • Refrigerate leftovers up to 3 days.
  • Nutrition facts do not include tortilla cups / chips


Calories: 73kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 103mg, Potassium: 179mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 220IU, Vitamin C: 21mg, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 1mg

I’d love to see what you cook!

Tag #MUYBUENOCOOKING if you make this recipe.

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Photography: Jenna Sparks

Originally published: May 2018. 

This post is in partnership with Kroger. As always, thank you for reading and for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.