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Texas Caviar Recipe (Black Bean and Corn Salsa Dip)

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Need an amazing dish for your potluck? This Texas Caviar Recipe is always a hit! Peppers, black beans, black-eyed peas, and corn in a sweet vinegar dressing combine to make a delicious Texas Caviar Dip! (This dip is also commonly known as Cowboy Caviar or Black Bean and Corn Salsa.) 

Scroll to the bottom for a printable recipe and short video.

Texas Caviar

Texas Caviar Dip (aka Black Bean and Corn Salsa)

I tried a version of a Texas Caviar Dip recipe for the first time at a New Year’s Eve party a few years ago. (The black-eyed peas make it a perfect dip for New Year’s.)  I had one little nibble of the bean salsa/dip and was hooked. I could not stay out of it!  

My friend who brought the dip told me it was called Texas Caviar.

Being from Texas, you would’ve thought I’d heard of this before, but … nope, never heard of Texas Caviar!

Her version was slightly different – more savory. She used chopped tomatoes, diced firm avocado, and bottled Italian dressing. It was really good! (See that savory version here.

I think this sweeter version of Texas Caviar (made with a sweet oil and vinegar dressing) is even better. The crunchy chopped veggies absorb the sweetness of the dressing, so the longer the salsa marinates, the yummier it is.

texas caviar

Why you’ll love This Texas Caviar

  • Make-ahead option – Texas caviar tastes better the next day as it allows time for the flavors to mingle, so go ahead and prep it the day before you want to serve it.
  • Colorful – Not only does this salad taste great, but it’s vibrant and colorful appearance makes it even more enticing.
  • Modifiable – You can easily use different beans, add some spice, or throw in some fresh herbs.
  • Crowd pleaser – Believe me, this salad will go fast. Everyone loves it!

Ingredients And Tips For Texas Caviar

(Ingredients at a glance; find the full recipe with ingredient amounts in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.)

  • Corn: You can use frozen or canned corn. Just drain canned well.
  • Beans: You’ll need a can of black beans and black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed. Either one of these can be replaced with pinto or kidney beans, but I really like how the black beans stand out.
  • Celery, red, and green bell peppers: These give the Texas Caviar a nice crunchy texture. If you are not a fan of green bell peppers, you can reduce the amount or leave them out. I will say that, as someone who does not care for green bell peppers with the sweet dressing, you really don’t notice them.
  • Onions: you will need both a green onion and a white onion.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar gives the dressing acidity and brightens the flavor. In a pinch, you could substitute rice wine vinegar.
  • Olive oil: I like to use a light-tasting olive oil for this recipe.
  • Sugar: white granulated sugar sweetens the dressing.
  • Salt and pepper: Add salt and pepper to taste.
texas caviar dip

How To Make Cowboy Caviar

1 Combine all the salad ingredients. In a large bowl, mix together everything except the oil, vinegar, and sugar.

2 Make the dressing. Add the vinegar, oil, and sugar to a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil. Remove from heat and let it cool.

3 Toss dressing with salad ingredients. Add the cooled oil/vinegar mixture and salt and pepper to the chopped veggies, stir, and make sure everything is well coated.

4 Let the flavors develop. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve with scoopable chips.

Recipe Tips & Variations

  • If you can, prepare this Texas caviar the night before you want to serve it so the flavors have time to develop and mingle.
  • Make sure to rinse and drain the beans well.
  • Cut the all veggies into a small dice making sure they are all about the same size. This looks nice and makes it easier to eat.
  • Swap the black beans for pinto or kidney beans.
  • Throw in a diced jalapeno for a spicy kick.
  • Add chopped avocado

Storage

  • Store uneaten Texas caviar in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Eat straight from the fridge or at room temperature.
  • I don’t recommend freezing this caviar as the vegetables and beans won’t have the same texture.
texas caviar recipe

FAQs

What exactly is Texas Caviar anyway (and how did it get its name?)

Texas caviar is a salad made with black beans, black-eyed peas, onions, and peppers in a vinaigrette-style dressing. 

The origins of the recipe are actually an interesting story. It was developed in the 1940s by Helen Corbitt, a native New Yorker, who was challenged to make a recipe with local Texas ingredients. She first served the recipe on New Year’s at the Houston Country Club, and the recipe was later given the name Texas Caviar when she served it at the Driskill Hotel in Austin as a play on the comparison to actual caviar. (Texas caviar is also called Cowboy Caviar.)

Do I have to use so much sugar in the recipe?

Feel free to reduce the amount of sugar however the dip will not be nearly as tasty. Part of what makes this recipe such a hit is the sweet dressing. You could definitely replace it with a cup-for-cup sugar substitute if desired. If you are looking for a version that does not have added sugar, check out this Bean and Corn Salsa. (It’s made with beans, corn, tomatoes and avocado in an Italian dressing.)

What to serve with Texas Caviar?

I think corn chips are the best (either scoopable tortilla chips or Fritos), but this Texas Caviar makes a great side dish for burgers and hot dogs, too. I also really enjoyed adding a few tablespoons to my salads.

How long will this Texas Caviar recipe last?

Since this Texas Caviar recipe does not use avocados, it will last in the fridge for 4 to 5 days if tightly covered.

texas caviar dip

Other fun dips and appetizer recipes you might enjoy:

Did You Make This Texas Caviar Recipe?

Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or a review in the comments section below. If you share an image on Instagram or Facebook, be sure to tag me and use #scatteredmomrecipes!

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texas caviar

Texas Caviar

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 5 reviews
  • Author: Jamie Sanders
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 30 minutes + overnight

Description

This Texas Caviar Recipe is an amazing potluck recipe and is always a hit. Peppers, black beans, black eyed peas and corn in a sweet vinegar dressing combine to make a delicious Texas Caviar Dip! (Black Bean and Corn Salsa)


Ingredients

Scale
  • 10 oz frozen corn
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
 

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together everything except the oil, vinegar, and sugar.
  2. Add the vinegar, oil, and sugar to a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil.  Remove from heat and let it cool.
  3. Add cooled oil/vinegar mixture to the chopped veggies, stir, and make sure everything is well coated; add salt and pepper.
  4. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Serve with scoopable chips.
Enjoy!

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Texas Caviar Recipe is always a hit at potlucks. Peppers, black beans, black eyed peas and corn in a sweet vinegar dressing combine to make a delicious Texas Caviar Dip! (Black Bean and Corn Salsa)

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36 Comments

  1. Do you drain the dressing before serving?

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      no, but if you feel there is too much liquid, feel free to remove some.

  2. Can you can this salsa?

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      I have not tried, but I don’t see why not. My favorite canning book can be found here: Ball Canning Bible

  3. Dina Scarber says:

    What kind of sweet oil for the sweet version?

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      You are making the sweet oil by adding sugar to it.

  4. I made this for new years, it was really good! My grocery store carries precut onions and peppers, so I used those and made this in about 5 minutes.






  5. We loved this recipe, thanks!






  6. This was the recipe I was looking for! It’s great, our whole family loves it.






  7. I love this sweeter version best!






  8. I made this and the oil solidified on top! Is that how it’s supposed to turn out???

    1. The emulsion should keep the olive oil from separating and coagulating, although some olive oils are more prone to solidifying in the fridge than others. You might try setting your refrigerator to 39 or 40 degrees and keeping the dressing as far away from the cold air intake as possible.

      In this case, the oil solidifying will not hurt anything, just take it out of the fridge and bring it back to room temp and restir.

      Hope that helps.