This is THE BEST Texas Caviar! A seriously easy recipe that’s colorful, hearty, and packed full of nutrients. Plus, the sweet vinaigrette it soaks in makes it crazy delicious. Great as a salad or dip!
I’ve made a lot of different Texas Caviar recipes (also know as Cowboy Caviar) over the years, but none of them can hold a candle to this one!
Have you ever had it? It’s really just a pickled bean salad, but it’s got great colors, textures, flavor, and nutritional value. Plus the ability to serve it to so many people with dietary restrictions, has catapulted its popularity (think gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, and even vegan).
Why Is It Called Texas Caviar?
Texas Caviar 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.
I tried this particular recipe several years ago when we were back in Wisconsin visiting Paul’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.
- I prefer shoepeg corn in this recipe because it’s smaller and sweet, but if you can’t find it, regular 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.
- Cut out up to 2 tablespoons of sugar if you like your vinaigrette a little less sweet.
You can serve this Texas Caviar as a salad, side dish, relish, or do what I do, enjoy it as a snack or appetizer with blue corn tortilla chips. It’s SO good, I could (and often do) make a meal out of it!
Other bean recipes we love!
Watch the video for The Best Texas Caviar
How To Make This Texas Caviar Recipe
The Best Texas Caviar
- 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
- 3/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 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.