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!
What is Texas Caviar?
Texas 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).
Texas Caviar Recipe
I tried this particular 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.
How to Make Texas caviar
It’s so easy to make this recipe! Here’s a brief summary (scroll down for the detailed printable card.)
- Canned goods: pinto beans, back-eyed peas, white shoepeg corn (all rinsed and drained.)
- Fresh veggies: sweet onion, celery, green bell pepper (all diced)
- For the Vinaigrette: cider vinegar, sugar, vegetable oil, water, salt, and pepper.
You simply bring all ingredients for the vinaigrette to a boil in small pot, then remove from the heat to cool. Then add all the beans and veggies to a large bowl and pour the cooled sauce over them; toss to coat and serve!
Texas Caviar can be served 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!
- 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.
How Long is Texas Caviar Good For? You can serve this right away or refrigerate until needed. Leftovers will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Other Bean Recipes
Watch it Being Made
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.