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Texas Caviar

This is the best Texas caviar! A very simple, colorful and nutritious recipe. Plus, the sweet vinaigrette they’re topped with makes them so delicious. Great as a salad or dip!

I have made many different recipes for Texas Caviar (also known as Cowboy Caviar) over the years, but none of them compare to this one!

Texas Caviar Recipe

I tried this particular Texas caviar recipe several years ago when we were back in Wisconsin visiting my husband’s hometown. His best friend’s wife served it and the first thing I noticed was the green bell pepper and celery – literally my two least favorite foods. But after one bite, I wanted to hoard the entire bowl to myself. And I might have!

Unlike most Texas Caviar recipes that I’ve had and/or made that are drained from the vinaigrette, this one soaks in it. Plus, it’s sweet. So of course it was like my new BFF.

What is Texas Caviar?

Texas Caviar (also know as Cowboy Caviar) is really just a pickled bean salad. It originated in the 1950s (I believe), being compared to true caviar, which is crazy expensive cured fish eggs. I guess because the beans are small and round? I have no idea. It was simply made with black-eyed peas, peppers, and onions, in a vinaigrette, but it’s evolved so much since then with additional spices and ingredients, making it saltier or sweeter to suit your tastes.

Because of its great colors, textures, flavor, nutritional value, and the ability to serve it to so many people with dietary restrictions, its popularity has catapulted. (Think gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, and even vegan).

Ingredients Needed

This cowboy caviar recipes calls for a few canned good, fresh vegetables, and pantry items for the dressing.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)

  • Canned goods – Pinto beans, Black-eyed peas, and white shoepeg corn.
  • Vegetables – Sweet diced onion, diced celery, and diced green bell pepper.
  • Vinaigrette – apple cider vinegar, vegetable oil, sugar, water, salt, and pepper.

Recipe Variations

  • Use regular white corn. I prefer shoepeg corn in this recipe because it’s smaller and sweet, but if you can’t find it, regular white corn is fine.
  • Switch up the beans. Pinto beans and Black-Eyes Peas are my favorite combination for this recipe, but you could try black beans, navy beans, or chickpeas.

How to Make Texas caviar

It’s so easy to make this recipe! Here’s a brief summary:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)

  1. Add ingredients to a bowl. Add all the beans and veggies to a large bowl.
  2. Make the dressing. Bring all ingredients for the vinaigrette to a boil in small pot, then remove from the heat to cool. Pour the cooled sauce over them; toss to coat.
  3. Serve. Texas Caviar can be served as a salad, side dish, relish, or as a snack or appetizer with blue corn tortilla chips.

Texas Caviar

This is THE Best Texas Caviar! Colorful, hearty, and packed full of nutrients. Plus, the sweet vinaigrette it soaks in makes it crazy delicious. Great as a salad or dip!
Prep Time 20 days
Total Time 20 days


  • 1 can (15 ounce) pinto beans ,rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounce) black-eyed peas ,rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (11 ounce) white shoepeg corn ,drained
  • 1 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced green bell pepper

For the Vinaigrette

  • 1  teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil


  • Add sauce ingredients to pot; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let it cool. 
  • In a large bowl, combine the pinto beans, black-eyed peas, corn, onion, celery, and bell pepper. Poor cooled vinaigrette over the mixture and gently toss to coat.
  • Serve as a salad, side dish, relish, or dip with tortilla chips.

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