Calling all cowpokes — my cowboy caviar recipe is a zesty tastebud fiesta!
Vegetable sides and other side dishes wish they had the punch of cowboy caviar. From beans to corn to avocado, each bite are bean salad recipes homage! And the versatility? Off the charts. This is delicious as a dip with chips, a main dish with your favorite protein, or put it with lettuce to cross into salad recipes territory.
Once avocados are in season, I can’t get enough of them! Did I put them in everything — so the chance to have a delicious dip/main/salad topping/however-you-want-to-eat-it all in one easy to make the dish? Cowboy caviar is an avocado lover’s dream!
- Sweet, savory, zesty — flavors galore!
- Off the charts texture
- Crowd-pleasing favorite
How To Make Cowboy Caviar Recipe
My recipe starts with a simple homemade vinaigrette. As with most of my go-to spring/summer recipes, there’s no mayo in this dip, which makes it safe for transporting and a cool, light treat for a hot, sunny day!
Black beans make up the bulk of this salad. I like them in this dip because they hold their shape well even with all the mixing and dipping. Next comes sweet corn, bright purple onion, juicy tomatoes, and the finishing touch: avocado!
In my opinion, this recipe is incomplete without avocado — it adds a cool, creamy component to the dip that isn’t typically found in this type of recipe.
Add in some cilantro and seasoning, mix, and serve however you like!
Never made this before? You’re in for a treat — for the eyes and mouth!
Cowboy Caviar Dip Ingredient Notes
There are some things to keep in mind when you mix your delicious ingredients together:
- Avocados: These yummy things are technically fruits! Does that make this a fruit salad? You be the judge! Full of good fats, avocados provide a richness of flavor and color, and are surprisingly high in fiber.
- Fresh tomatoes: Fresh is best — especially in the summer when ripe tomatoes are bountiful! I love using standard vine tomatoes, but if you can find heirloom, they bring a delicious sweet flavor. No matter what type of tomato you use, try to remove the seeds before adding so you don’t get an overly watery dip!
- Corn: is a must and can be added as fresh cooked or frozen, thawed, and drained. I often add Trader Joes Brand of “Roasted Corn.” I love the added smokiness the roasting adds to the overall flavor of the dish without me having to go to any extra effort!
- Beans, beans: There are so many beautiful shapes and colors of beans, and they’re all super good for you, so feel free to substitute and/or combine more than one bean in this recipe. Cannellini beans or small red kidney beans both work great!
Tools to Make
There are so few tools needed to make this dish, I guarantee you have all of them!
- Chopping board
That’s it. I’m serious!
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
Treat this recipe like you would salsa — meaning, store it in the fridge when you can! If you have it out at room temp for a party, don’t let it sit in the heat too long.
In the fridge, you’ll get about a week of life out of your caviar!
Can You Freeze This?
Yes! Though not for very long — you’ll only get about two months out of it in the freezer.
To thaw, just let it sit overnight in the fridge. The texture of some of the ingredients may be a bit mushier, but the flavor will still be there!
Make Ahead Tips
If you want to make this ahead of time, mix everything except the tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro. Then, just before serving, add those in, and you’ll have fresh caviar ready to go!
You’re made ahead parts can store in the fridge for up to a week as well.
I usually make cowboy caviar as an appetizer with chips, but this recipe also makes a great salad. Add a little grilled chicken marinade to it, and it’s an easy supper! Or just plop a spoonful on a bed of romaine for a vegetarian dinner. A few scoops also work great on top of roasted crock pot pork tenderloin or fish!
Now, even more fun!
- I prefer not to use garbanzo beans in this recipe, especially when I’m serving it as a dip, just because they’re a little crunchier than other, creamier beans. Maybe you’ll love garbanzo bean salad instead.
- Want some fruit? Add in mango for to turn it into a mango black bean salad for a yummy twist!
- Not enough ingredients? You can make black bean salad instead!
- Lentil salad…Go in a different direction with lots and lots of LENTILS!
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 (15-ounce) black beans canned, drained and rinsed
- 1 (17-ounce) whole kernel corn canned, drained and rinsed
- 3 large tomatoes chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 2 large avocado sliced
- In a large bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Add black beans, corn, tomato, red onion and cilantro and mix to evenly combine. Gently fold in avocado.
- Chill in the fridge for 1 hour to allow flavors to combine. Serve.
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Want more vegetable salad recipes? Here are some picnic and barbecue winners!
- Frito Corn Salad – Everyone’s favorite chip in a salad!
- Carrot Salad – Sweet orange deliciousness!
- Broccoli Cranberry Salad – Crunch, sweet, savory, EVERYTHING!
- Tabbouleh – This cultural favorite brings the CRUNCH!
- Broccoli Cauliflower Salad – Broccoli and cauliflower married happily!
Next time you’re craving something you can’t quite name, go for this recipe! It can be whatever you want it to be. Side dish? Snack? Main? Happiness in a single dish!
Who did you serve your cowboy caviar to? Let me know in the comments!