Fresh, zesty, and flavorful, this Texas Caviar is loaded with black eyed peas, black beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers and avocado all drizzled in a tangy cilantro lime dressing. This easy to make recipe can be served as a side dish, appetizer, dip or salad! Perfect for setting out at a party.

Reasons We Love this Cowboy Caviar…

  • The Dressing: this zesty, tangy dressing is loaded with flavor thanks to the fresh lime juice, honey, and splash of white wine vinegar. Not to mention a healthy handful of fresh cilantro to brighten it all up. The dressing is what brings this cowboy caviar together.
  • Adaptable: this recipe can be whatever you ned it to be! A fun, colorful dip. A protein packed corn salad. Or a flavorful topping for tacos or nachos.
  • Allergen friendly: this is a great recipe for parties since t can easily meet several dietary restrictions. It is gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, and with a swap of honey for maple syrup or another sweetener it can be vegan.

Ingredients Needed:

Ingredients needed to make Texas Caviar laid out on the counter.

Notes on Ingredients:

  • Black Eyed Peas: if using dried beans, they will need to be soaked and cooked until softened first. Or you can use canned beans for ease. Look for no sodium options.
  • Black Beans: if using dried beans, these will need to be soaked and cooked until softened also. Or use canned beans for ease, look for no sodium options.
  • Serrano Peppers: these add a bit of heat, if you are concerned about the heat substitute for jalapeños or just use a green bell pepper as a substitute. Make this dish for those who will be enjoying it.
  • Lime Juice: fresh is always best since there’s no extra sweeteners added.
  • Corn: use fresh corn cut from the cob, will need to be cooked to soften. Frozen corn will need to be thawed and patted dried. Or use canned for ease.

How to Make:

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette for Cowboy Caviar in a jar after mixing.
  1. Prepare the dressing for the corn salad by combining the ingredients needed into a medium size jar and shaking to combine, you can of course also whisk it together in a small bowl.
  2. Prep all of the ingredients (beans, corn, veggies) according to instructions and stir to combine in a medium size bowl.
  3. Pour the dressing over top and stir to combine. Add in the diced avocado and chill for 2 hours before serving.
Fresh veggies and beans in a bowl to mix up into cowboy caviar dip. Before and after dressing being added.
Up close view of Texas Caviar mixed with the dressing and garnished with lime wedges.

Tips for making this recipe:

  • Combine the ingredients for the dip except for the avocado before adding the dressing. This helps to prevent mashing the avocado up while stirring everything together. 
  • Once the dressing is added and stirred into the dip, then you can add the chunks of avocado. 
  • Let the dish chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours prior to serving. This allows the dressing to coat the ingredients and gives a better flavor. 
  • If you are making this dip ahead of time and storing overnight, leave out the avocado and add that in the day you will serve. This will help prevent the avocado from browning. 

Texas Caviar: FAQs

What are other names for Texas Caviar?

This dish goes by several names: Cowboy Caviar, Southern Caviar, Lonestar Caviar, Tex Mex Caviar, Black Eyed Pea Caviar or Dip, and Texas Corn Salad.

What are Black Eyed Peas?

Black eyed peas are actually beans, a member of the legume family, that originated in North Africa. They are now a staple in Southern cooking. There is actually a Southern tradition of eating black eyed peas on New Years which was believed to encourage luck in the new year. Cowboy caviar and Hoppin John are both popular recipes featuring black eyed peas. Also check out my Texas Black Eyed Pea recipe for a Texan flair.

How to serve Texas Caviar?

This recipe can be served as a dip with homemade tortilla chips, or as a protein packed side dish alongside some grilled fish, shrimp or chicken. It also works as a side or topping for your favorite nachos or tacos.

Dipping tortilla chips into a bowl of Texas Caviar.

Recipes to serve Texas Caviar with:

Bowl of Texas Caviar black eyed pea dip served with lime garnish.

Texas Caviar Recipe

5 from 9 votes
Texas Caviar. Fresh, zesty, and flavorful, this dish is loaded with black eyed peas, black beans, corn, tomatoes, bell pepper and avocado all drizzled in a cilantro lime dressing. This easy to make recipe can be served as a side dish, appetizer, or salad!

Ingredients

  • 1 15.5 ounce can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15.25 ounce can corn, drained
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced
  • 2 serrano peppers, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced

Dressing

  • ½ cup extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup white Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp lime Juice, fresh squeezed
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp Honey

Instructions

  • In a medium size mixing bowl add the black-eyed peas, black beans, corn, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, and diced serrano peppers. Stir to combine.
  • In a jar add the ingredients for the dressing, shake to combine. 
  • Pour the dressing over the black-eyed peas mixture. Stir to combine. 
  • Add in the diced avocado.
  • Cover and store in the refrigerator. Allow to marinate for at least 2 hours before serving.
  • Serve with tortilla chips. 

Notes

Storage and Make Ahead:
  • If storing the dip overnight, leave the avocado out and add in the day of serving. 
  • Store in covered container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 345kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 18g, Fiber: 11g
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The recipe Texas Caviar was first published February 9, 2018. Updated December 27, 2022. Recipe remains unchanged.

Photography by the talented @ModernFarmhouseEats