*Best* Texas Caviar (Cowboy Caviar) – A Couple Cooks


This Texas caviar (Cowboy caviar) will have everyone crowded around the bowl! It’s full of big, zesty flavor and perfect for parties.

Texas Caviar aka Cowboy caviar

Here’s a tasty dip with a party vibe: Texas caviar (aka cowboy caviar)! This Tex Mex combination of black eyed peas, colorful vegetables, and zing vinaigrette dressing works both as a chip dip or healthy side dish. It was invented in Texas and then spread all over the US. This party dip always has friends gathered around the bowl at our house: and for good reason: it’s just that irresistible!

Why is it called Texas caviar or cowboy caviar?

How did this dip get its name? Some people call it Cowboy caviar, a nickname for Texas caviar. The colorful dip was invented in Texas around the year 1940 by a woman named Helen Corbitt. She first served it on New Year’s Eve at a country club, possibly because black eyed peas are known as a lucky New Year’s Eve food.

It caught on and when she later served it at a Texas hotel, it was dubbed “Texas caviar” because of it’s similarity to the look of real caviar, a fancy appetizer made with fish roe. The name stuck and it’s been used ever since!

Texas caviar

Ingredients in Texas caviar, aka Cowboy Caviar

Just like a good potato salad, everyone has their own spin on the ingredients in Texas caviar. The common denominator: black eyed peas are a must! From there, there are all sorts of variations on the vegetables and dressing. Here are the essential fresh ingredients you need:

  • Black eyed peas, canned or cooked (see below)
  • Black beans, canned or cooked
  • Corn
  • Red bell pepper
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Green onions
  • Jalapeno pepper
  • Cilantro

Texas caviar dressing

Let’s talk Cowboy caviar dressing. A common spin on this recipe uses store-bought Italian dressing, but it’s much tastier with homemade! The dressing is simple to whip up using just a few ingredients you’ll likely already have in your pantry and spice drawer. Here’s what’s in this Texas caviar dressing:

  • Lime juice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Spices: Garlic powder, cumin, and oregano
  • Olive oil

How to make Texas caviar: simply chop all the veggies, then whisk up the dressing and stir it together. Easy as that! Jump to the recipe below for the specifics.

Cowboy caviar

What are black eyed peas, anyway?

Black eye peas are not really not peas at all: they’re beans! Black eyed peas are part of the legume family with black beans and chickpeas. While they’re often eaten in the American South, are eaten all over the world.

One of the most popular black eyed peas recipes in the US is as a lucky New Year’s Day tradition: Hoppin’ John, a dish with rice and pork. But there are so many other ways to serve them, like Texas caviar! A few of our other favorites as black eyed pea salad or as a side dish.

Black eyed peas recipe

Canned vs cooked black eyed peas

For Texas caviar, we like using canned black eyed peas because they’re quick and easy! They also have a pleasantly soft texture that easily soaks up the dressing. But some stores don’t carry them (at least where we live!). So you also can cook your black eyed peas from dry. Here’s what to do:

  • Place ½ pound dried black eyed peas in a large pot with 2 cups vegetable broth, 2 cups water and ¾ teaspoon kosher salt. (Or, cook the entire pound and double these ingredients! Use leftovers for another recipe or a double batch.)
  • Cook 40 to 50 minutes until they’re tender but still hold together, then drain.

How to serve Texas caviar

There are lots of ways to serve Texas caviar or Cowboy caviar, but the most popular is with chips! Here are a few more ideas to get your wheels turning:

Storage and leftovers info

Want to make it in advance or store leftovers? Keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Texas caviar aka Cowboy caviar

More dip recipes

This Texas caviar is a perfect party dip! Here are a few more dip recipes you might enjoy:

This Texas caviar recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.


clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon


This Texas caviar (Cowboy caviar) will have everyone crowded around the bowl! It’s full of big, zesty flavor and perfect for parties and cookouts.

For the vegetables

  • 2 15-ounce cans black eyed peas (or 3 cups cooked)
  • 15-ounce can black beans (or 1 ½ cups cooked)
  • 1 15-ounce can corn (or 1 ½ cups frozen and thawed)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 medium jalapeno, seeded (optional)
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

For the dressing

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Drain and rinse the beans and corn.
  2. Dice the bell pepper. Chop the cherry tomatoes. Thinly slice the green onions. Seed and dice the jalapeno pepper. Chop the cilantro.
  3. Add all the vegetables and beans to a bowl. Mix with the kosher salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, and cumin. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix to combine.
  5. Eat immediately, or refrigerate until serving (it tastes even better after allowing to marinade 30 minutes or longer). Serve with chips for dipping. Stores refrigerated for up to 3 days. 

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Texas caviar, Cowboy caviar


Source link

admin chef

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top