It’s chips and dip season and cowboy caviar is here to stay!
If you’re obsessed with the Tiktok green goddess salad and want an alternative salad to eat with tortilla chips, this is for you. Any salad that disguises itself as dip scooped up with tortilla chips is a yes in my books and cowboy caviar is my new favorite.
What is cowboy caviar?
Cowboy caviar, also known as Texas caviar, is a salad made from beans, black eyed peas, and diced vegetables dressed in a zippy tangy vinaigrette and eaten with tortilla chips. You can even eat it as a salad or scoop it up with chips as a dip. It’s kind of a salsa identifying as a salad in the best way possible. Helen Corbitt is the inventor of cowboy caviar – she first made it in the 1940s in Dallas, Texas.
Why is it called cowboy caviar?
Helen Corbitt called it Texas caviar in a tongue-in-cheek way because it’s an appetizer like caviar, but affordable and down to earth. It morphed from Texas caviar to cowboy caviar just because of word of mouth and possibly because it has alliteration going on and it’s cute to say.
Where is cowboy caviar from?
It’s from Texas. Corbitt, the inventor, was originally from New York, but it was invented in Dallas, Texas and originally served on New Year’s Eve, hence the good luck black-eyed peas.
Classic vs Tiktok versions
Tiktok cowboy caviar is trending all over my for you page and this recipe is essentially the one that’s on @brialem’s page. I feel like she is single-handedly introducing it to the masses. It’s always be popular in Texas, but now everyone’s making it. Her version is essentially the same as the classic version but with some distinct differences.
- Classic cowboy caviar has: black beans, black eyed peas, bell peppers, red onion, corn, jalapeños, cilantro, and sometimes avocados.
- Tiktok cowboy caviar has: everything in classic edition but different kinds of beans (even chickpeas!) and no tomatoes. It also has the addition of black olives, sweet and spicy pickled jalapeños, diced mangos, and crumbled feta. Sometimes it has peaches or pineapples added in for a sweet and savory twist.
The dressings are essentially the same, a tangy, zesting lime dressing seasoned with cumin and chili powder.
How to make cowboy caviar
- Make the dressing: Whisk together (or put everything in a jar and shake) lime juice, olive oil, white wine vinegar, spicy honey, sugar, and taco seasoning.
- Prep: Drain and rinse the black beans, black eye peas, olives, and corn. Dice the bell peppers, red onion, mango, avocado, and jalapeños. Try to make everything the size of your beans for a consistent bite. Chop the cilantro.
- Toss: Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss with the crumbled feta and dressing, making sure everything is evenly coated.
- Enjoy: Enjoy as is or with tortilla chips!
Cowboy caviar dressing
The dressing is tangy and delicious. It’s essentially a lime vinaigrette seasoned with taco spices like chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, garlic and onion powder. For ease we’re going to use taco seasoning.
Preparing in advance
Since cowboy caviar is hearty and doesn’t have any leafy vegetables, it holds well in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. Make sure to give it a stir to distribute the dressing evenly and add some freshly chopped cilantro to perk it up if needed. Note: If you’re using avocados, it’s best to dice them up and add them right before serving.
How to serve cowboy caviar
- As a dip. Serve with chips! Serve it up with tortilla chips as an addictive dip. It’s a great appetizer for game day, picnics, parties, potlucks, bbqs, or even as a treat while you’re binge watching your favorite show.
- As a salad. It’s a complete salad with protein and veggies making it healthy, hearty, and filling. You can also use it as a topping on top of mixed greens, kale, lettuce, or just have it as is.
- In tacos or burritos. You can enjoy it inside tortillas as tacos or as a topping with your favorite burrito fillings, like barbacoa or chicken tinga.
- With eggs. Scoop it up on top of eggs or in omelette.
I hope you give it a try. Summer isn’t summer without chips and dips!
- 1 can black beans rinsed
- 1 can black eyed peas rinsed
- 1 can black olives sliced & drained
- 1 can corn drained
- 4 bell peppers diced, 1 each of red, yellow, orange and green preferred
- 1 small red onion diced
- 1 mango diced
- 2 avocados diced
- 2 jalapeños diced
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 cup feta cheese crumbled
- 3 limes juice only
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup vinegar white wine vinegar preferred
- 2-4 tbsp honey spicy honey preferred
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp taco seasoning
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Make the dressing: whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, white wine vinegar, spicy honey, sugar, and taco seasoning. Alternatively, add to a jar with a lid, shake well and set aside.
Rinse and drain the beans and olives and place in a large bowl. Drain the corn and add to the bowl.
Dice the peppers, red onion, onion, mango, jalapeños, and avocados. Chop the cilantro. Add everything, along with the feta, to the bowl with the beans.
Add the dressing and toss to coat. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Enjoy!
If making this ahead, leave out the avocado and dice and add it to the salad right before you eat.
Tiktok Cowboy Caviar
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 200
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 6g38%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.