Cowboy Caviar is a colorful and hearty dip loaded with corn, black beans, black-eyed peas, and other fresh vegetables, tossed with an Italian vinaigrette dressing. Check out my other appetizers, too!

Bowl of Cowboy Caviar Recipe with Chips Around it on a Cutting Board.
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Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar, also known as Texas Caviar, was said to have been created in the 1940s by Helen Corbitt, who was living in Texas. She was asked to make something with black-eyed peas. Well, since she wasn’t a fan of black-eyed peas, she added other ingredients to help hide the taste of the peas. Thus, we have Cowboy, or Texas, Caviar. I also have Cowboy Caviar Pasta Salad that has the same delicious flavors with added noodles.

Raw Ingredients Before Assembling Cowboy Caviar Recipe.


Vegetables: I stuck with many of the vegetables that are common in this dip. And, of course, I had to include black-eyed peas, which are the reason this dip was created!

Cilantro: Yes, I know not everyone is a fan of cilantro. However, I would encourage you to start with a little bit of it in this dip. However, if you have a super strong distaste for it, you could leave it out.

Dressing: Make your own Italian dressing to pour over the vegetables. Or, use store-bought Italian vinaigrette.

Pouring Dressing Over Cowboy Caviar Recipe.

What are Black-Eyed Peas?

Well, you may know the Black-Eyed Peas as a musical group. However, in this case, the black-eyed peas are what gets this dip or side dish started. (Did you catch the musical reference there?) Black-eyed peas are technically not peas, but beans. They are part of the legume family and are a cream color with a black spot that looks like an eye.

If you really don’t want to use black-eyed peas in the dip, you can certainly double up on another favorite vegetable in the mix. Or, use another variety of cooked beans.

Dipping a Chip Into Cowboy Caviar Recipe.

How Long will Cowboy Caviar Last?

This dip should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last 3-4 days if you are lucky. Once you start eating this by the spoonful, it may not last very long!

More Dip Recipes

Dipping a Chip Into Cowboy Caviar Recipe.
5 from 2 votes

Cowboy Caviar

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Cowboy Caviar is a colorful and hearty dip loaded with corn, black beans, black-eyed peas, and other fresh vegetables, tossed with an Italian vinaigrette dressing.


  • 1 container (10 ounces) cherry tomatoes, finely chopped (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped (about ¾ cup)
  • 1 can (15.25 ounces) yellow corn, drained
  • 1 can (11 ounces) white corn, drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) black-eyed peas, drained, rinsed
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded, finely chopped (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 1 cup Italian vinaigrette, or less to taste
  • tortilla chips, for dipping


  • In a large bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, yellow corn, white corn, black beans, black-eyed peas, jalapeno, red pepper, orange pepper, and yellow pepper.
  • Pour up to one cup of the Italian vinaigrette over the vegetables, starting with less and tasting to see if more is needed. Mix well, adjusting the amount of dressing as needed. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Serve with tortilla chips.

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Reader Comments

  1. My only suggestion would be to put all your canned veggies in the fridge the night before so everything is already cold when you put the recipe together.

  2. I use Rotel drained instead of jalapeno peppers and cherry tomatoes. I also add lime juice for a different taste. This is a fantastic side or I use it for a dip with sour cream on the side.

  3. I love making this, but I am the only one that eats it and it always makes too much. Is it possible to can or freeze this? I do add avocados to this…


    1. You can halve the recipe. Or yes, you can freeze it for up to 2 months in an airtight container. When you are ready to eat it, just place it in the fridge for a day or so days to thaw. Stir prior to eating.

  4. Oops!!I forgot to say I add black eyed peas, plus the liquid they are canned in. Also, a little garlic powder is good too!!
    Thank you, Chrystal

  5. Amanda; Your recipe sounds delicious, & I will try it, although I am not fond of Italian dressing—will probably use ranch or blue cheese dressing. Whenever I make this, I make it a hot dish. I start with browned hamburger, onions, cilantro, tomatoes, bell peppers, and regular canned corn plus creamed corn, and a little tomato sauce if liquid is needed. It can be served in taco shells or tortillas. Please give this a try & let me know your opinion?

5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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