Cowboy Caviar

Hiya! Just dropping in on this very chilly Saturday with one of my new favorite finds—Cowboy Caviar!! if you are planning on doing any football (or other) TV watching this weekend, I highly recommend adding this to the experience!


As usual, I am late to the party. How has it taken me so long to discover the wonderfulness of Cowboy Caviar?!! I’ve been seeing it around for years but because of the “caviar” in the title, I shut myself off to it, but guys, there is absolutely no caviar to be found in this salsa-like dip/salad (maybe that makes some of you sad but to me, with the kiddie-like palate, it is a huge relief!). Apparently, when it first became a thing, which was decades ago mind you, it was originally made with black-eyed peas which sort of resemble caviar and thus the cute and catchy title.

Title aside, this will very likely be my go-to party appetizer for so many reasons. First and foremost, it is a great big explosion of taste and color—a real party for your mouth with all those beans, tomatoes, onions, jalapeños and more in a light, lime-spiked vinaigrette.


Next up, is the fact that the whole thing comes together in a matter of minutes and can be made a day ahead, especially if you keep the vinaigrette separate to avoid any potential sogginess, though I have to say we were still happily eating this on Day 3 the first time I made it.

Then, there’s the fact that despite the exciting taste, this “caviar” is actually good for you—think of it as guilt-free party fare, which is particularly good during these January resolution times (though this dip works for any time of year)


Finally, there is the scoop-ability factor, which as you can see is working like gangbusters here.


So…pick up the ingredients for this while you’re out doing your Saturday chores and then hunker down with a big bowl and veg out (in more ways than one) in front of the screen. Weekend heaven!

Cowboy Caviar

Makes enough for 6-8 as a party dip—I would double if it’s the only thing you’re serving and you have a bigger crew

Prep Time: 20 minutes tops


  • 1.4 cup olive oil

  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime

  • Large pinch of sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon honey

  • 15 ounce can beans, rinsed, drained and patted dry (I have made this with pinto beans and black beans—both are great)

  • 4-5 scallions, thinly cut

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced

  • 1 small red onion, finely diced

  • 1 red pepper, seeded and finely chopped

  • 1 jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed, minced

  • 2 -3 tomatoes, finely chopped

  • Large handful fresh parsley, chopped

The Recipe

1. Place the oil, lime zest and juice, salt and honey in a bowl and whisk together well.

2. If you are making this to serve immediately, place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss together. If you are making this a day ahead or even hours ahead, Dorie advises that you wait until you are ready to serve to add the tomatoes to avoid mushiness. In all honesty, I’ve made this ahead with the tomatoes and it was gobbled up by all, but who am I to argue with Dorie? In any event, add about 3/4 of the vinaigrette and toss. Taste and add additional salt if necessary. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers. If not serving right away, cover and refrigerate until ready. If the ingredients have soaked up too much of the vinaigrette, toss with a bit more. Otherwise, you can use the remaining vinaigrette for another salad—just store it in the fridge for up to one week.


Note: Recipe loosely adapted from Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan. I tinkered with this a lot—subbed in and out ingredients and spices.

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