Easy Cowboy Caviar

4.92 from 12 votes

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This Cowboy Caviar is such a tasty and easy chip dip, like guacamole but with more textures and flavors. It is also great used as a salsa on tacos, burritos or other Mexican dishes.

Cowboy caviar with chips
Featured with this recipe
  1. Ingredients in Cowboy Caviar
  2. What to Serve with Cowboy Caviar
  3. Additions and Substitutions
  4. Frequently Asked Questions about Cowboy Caviar
  5. Pass the Dip, Please!
  6. More Mexican Fare
  7. How To Make Cowboy Caviar
  8. Cowboy Caviar Recipe

There are few things that hit the snacking spot like a big pile of chips and something yummy to dip the chips in. That’s where this Easy Cowboy Caviar recipe comes in. It’s so simple! We make a big batch of this for game days, potluck parties, or movie nights and it’s always the first bowl cleaned out! It’s perfect to make ahead of time and let all the ingredients get to know each other in the bowl. And, not to get all mathematical, but the flavors of the black beans, sweet corn, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and lime all meld together to create a whole even greater than the sum of its parts.

Ingredients in Cowboy Caviar

This easy side dish or dip comes together with just a few fresh ingredients. Stir your favorites together and you’ll be absolutely amazed at the flavors! Here’s what you need:

  • Black beans – One can of your favorite brand of black beans. You can substitute for pinto beans or black eyed peas if you like.
  • Corn – one can, or a cup of frozen sweet white corn.
  • Roma tomatoes – dice three (or more!) fresh tomatoes into small or bite size pieces.
  • Avocados – two extra large, ripe avocados, or three medium, diced.
  • Cilantro – half a bunch, finely chopped. Find fresh cilantro in the produce section of the grocery store.
  • Lime juice – use the juice of one lime, or a couple of tablespoons of bottled lime juice. Add more to taste.
  • Salt  – one teaspoon, or more to taste
  • Pepper – to taste
Close up of the ingredients in Cowboy Caviar

What to Serve with Cowboy Caviar

Serve with a giant pile of your favorite chips (regular or gluten-free) or use a scoop or two as a salad topping with some olive oil and red wine vinegar to make a simple vinaigrette. 

This is the kind of dip that is best served fresh. If you do make it in advance, don’t give it more than a few hours to sit. Otherwise you risk the avocados turning a little brown.

Cowboy caviar scooped with chip

Additions and Substitutions

This Cowboy Caviar recipe (or Texas Caviar as it’s also called) is great all on its own. But it’s always so great to see how readers have adapted or enhanced recipes to fit their family’s tastes. Put a scoop on top of grilled chicken, or a side of tortilla chips. In the case of Cowboy Caviar, there are several things you can try. 

  • Roasting corn kernels before adding it gives a new flavor to this dish. 
  • Using fresh cobs of corn is a perfect way to use up summertime produce. Cut the fresh corn kernels off the stalk and roast or add in fresh.
  • Some people like to add diced red onions to the mix. 
  • A little cumin, chili powder or red wine vinegar can add a unique flavor
  • Substitute black beans for pinto beans, or black-eyed peas. They’re high in fiber and nutrients.
  • Add any veggies you like! Try some red, green or orange bell pepper, green onions or diced garlic.
Ingredients for cowboy caviar

Frequently Asked Questions about Cowboy Caviar

Why is it called Cowboy Caviar?

Cowboy Caviar is also known as Texas Caviar, and was created by Helen Corbitt, the legendary culinary director at Neiman Marcus in downtown Dallas, in the 1940s. It’s a popular potluck staple in Texas and other states as well.

Is Cowboy Caviar just pico de gallo?

It’s similar to a type of pico de gallo but has more texture and flavor because it’s made with beans, avocado and crisp corn.

Why is Cowboy Caviar so good?

Even veggie and tomato haters love this dish! All the ingredients blend together with herbs and spices and textures. Basically, there’s something in it for everyone. You’ll love it!

READ MORE: 75+ Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Pass the Dip, Please!

While we are on the subject of dips, there are so many kinds to try. Check out some of our more of our popular dips and salsa recipes.

More Mexican Fare

This Cowboy Caviar can be used in a bunch of different ways. But if you’re cooking up some great Mexican dishes, like our Crock Pot Mexican Shredded Beef, or the tasty Mexican Lasagna, consider adding Cowboy Caviar and chips on the side.

How To Make Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy caviar with chips and cilantro

Cowboy Caviar

4.92 from 12 votes
This cowboy caviar is such a tasty and easy chip dip. It has
guacamole feel, but I like it better. It is also great used as a salsa
on tacos or other Mexican dishes.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican/Spanish
Servings 6




  • Drain and rinse beans and corn in a colander.
    Drained corn and black beans
  • Dice Roma tomatoes and avocados.
    Cut up tomatoes and avocado
  • Rinse, stem, and chop cilantro.
    Cut up cilantro
  • Toss everything together in a large bowl with lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with tortilla chips.
    cowboy caviar on linen

Nutrition Information

Calories: 169kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 5gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 7mgPotassium: 552mgFiber: 8gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 400IUVitamin C: 12.6mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 1.3mg

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About the author

Emily Walker

Emily lives in Meridian, Idaho, with her husband, Beau, a physician assistant, and her three incredible children: a son and two daughters. Travel is one of her favorite ways to experience new cultures and cuisines, and she has a love for all things Disney.

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4.92 from 12 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    This is one of our favorites! I always make a double batch because it gets eaten so quickly and I want to make sure I get some too.

  2. 5 stars
    LOVE THIS!!! I substituted black-eyed peas (for a NYE dish) and added a little chopped orange bell pepper. It is incredible!!! I may never eat any other salsa again… Happy New Year to you and your readers!

    1. Thank you so much! Great idea with the black-eyes peas! I will have to try that next time. Best wishes to you for 2014!

  3. 5 stars
    I paired this with your Chicken Lime Tacos and they were perfect! Looking for an excuse to make it again!

  4. 5 stars
    I made some last night and can't stop eating it. In fact, I'm eating some at my desk right now. I added some garlic granules to give a little more flavor, but that's the only addition I had. So, so good! Mmmm!

  5. 5 stars
    This has been a favorite of my family for years. We like to add a bit of Worcestershire sauce (maybe 1-2 tbl. spoons). Also everyone thinks that it's better the day after, so we put it in the fridge overnight to let the flavors really come together.