Cowboy Caviar

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This easy recipe for Cowboy Caviar is fun, fresh, colorful, and endlessly adaptable. It makes a great dip, salad, side dish, or even a topping for grilled meats. Always a potluck favorite!

Cowboy caviar in a bowl on a white plate with tortilla chips.


Cowboy Caviar is a popular Midwestern take on salsa. With a few cans of beans and corn, a pile of crunchy fresh veggies, and a sweet-and-spicy dressing, it might just be the perfect summer appetizer/salad/side dish.

I love it with tortilla chips, but it makes an excellent taco, burrito, or quesadilla topping. Or, serve it with grilled fish or chicken. It’s also delicious stirred into cooked rice or pasta. There are so many ways to enjoy Cowboy Caviar: just pick one and get started!

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for cowboy caviar.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Sugar: The recipe reflects how we make it in my family. But YES, it has a lot of sugar. Please feel free to reduce it or omit it entirely. If you want to reduce it, mix the dressing with just a tablespoon of sugar to start, taste it, and go from there.
  • White wine vinegar: Or substitute apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, or even lime juice. It changes the flavor, but not in a bad way.
  • Extra sweet “shoepeg” corn: Regular canned sweet corn or frozen corn may be substituted for the extra sweet corn. The closest measurement for either option is ¾ cup, but feel free to use the whole 15-ounce can of corn.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. To make the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, sugar, white wine vinegar, chili powder, and salt to taste (I like 1 teaspoon). 
Cowboy Caviar salad dressing in a clear glass bowl with a whisk in the background.
  1. In a large bowl, add tomatoes, black-eyed peas, black beans, corn, red onion, bell peppers, and cilantro.
Cowboy caviar ingredients in a bowl before being mixed.
  1. Drizzle with the dressing and stir to combine. Cover and chill until serving time.
Cowboy caviar in a bowl on a white plate with tortilla chips.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 12 cups of Cowboy Caviar (more or less depending on the size of your bell peppers).
  • Storage: This recipe keeps about 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
  • Make ahead: You can make the dressing up to 3 days in advance. You can assemble the full recipe a day in advance too, but the bell peppers might soften a bit in the dressing.
  • Avocado: Avocado is good with everything. The avocados may darken over time, so the salad may not last as long in the refrigerator.
  • Italian dressing: Many readers like to use a store-bought or homemade Italian dressing in Cowboy Caviar. Start with about 1 cup of dressing, taste it, and see if you want more.
  • Cowboy Rice Salad: Mix some Cowboy Caviar with leftover cold cooked rice.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use dried beans in Cowboy Caviar?

Dried beans are extremely economical and much lower in sodium. Cook each bean variety separately, as cooking times may vary depending on size and age of the dried bean. How many dried beans makes a can? You need to cook ½ to ¾ cup of dried beans for every 15-ounce can of beans the recipe calls for.

How do I make Cowboy Caviar spicy?

Add a few chopped seeded jalapeños or serrano chiles to the salad for a little kick.

Shrimp Ceviche

Shrimp Ceviche is a refreshing salad made with raw shrimp “cooked” in citrus juice and tossed with fresh herbs and vegetables. It’s delicious on tostadas, crackers, or tortilla chips with plenty of hot sauce!

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Perfect drink pairings

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Cowboy caviar in a bowl on a white plate with tortilla chips.

Cowboy Caviar

This easy recipe for Cowboy Caviar is fun, fresh, colorful, and endlessly adaptable. It makes a great dip, salad, side dish, or even a topping for grilled meats. Always a potluck favorite!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 servings (1 cup each)
Course Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine American
Calories 185
4.94 from 537 votes


For the dressing:

For the vegetables:


  • To make the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, sugar, white wine vinegar, chili powder, and salt to taste (I like 1 teaspoon). 
  • In a large bowl, add tomatoes, black-eyed peas, black beans, corn, red onion, bell peppers, and cilantro. Drizzle with the dressing and stir to combine. Cover and chill until serving time.

Recipe Video


  1. Sugar: The recipe reflects how we make it in my family. But YES, it has a lot of sugar. Please feel free to reduce it or omit it entirely. If you want to reduce it, mix the dressing with just a tablespoon of sugar to start, taste it, and go from there.
  2. White wine vinegar: Or substitute apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, or even lime juice. It changes the flavor, but not in a bad way.
  3. Extra sweet “shoepeg” corn: Regular canned sweet corn or frozen corn may be substituted for the extra sweet corn. The closest measurement for either option is ¾ cup, but feel free to use the whole 15-ounce can of corn.
  4. Yield: This recipe makes about 12 cups of Cowboy Caviar (more or less depending on the size of your bell peppers).
  5. Storage: This recipe keeps about 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
  6. Make ahead: You can make the dressing up to 3 days in advance. You can assemble the full recipe a day in advance too, but the bell peppers might soften a bit in the dressing.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 185kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 5gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 201mgPotassium: 336mgFiber: 5gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 872IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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  1. Cam this Cowboy Cavalier be canned..if so will I need to cook it 1st and the jar it and hot water both or just jar cold and hot water bath?5 stars

    1. Hi Patti, this recipe hasn’t been tested for canning. I unfortunately am not a home preserving/canning expert, and for safety reasons I think you should follow recipes that have been developed and tested for canning. Corn is a low-acid food which makes it especially ripe for harmful organisms if it’s not canned properly. The short answer is – maybe this is safe for canning, but I don’t know, so I cannot in good conscience recommend it. I’m so sorry. I hope you love this cowboy caviar and please let me know if you have anymore questions! – Meggan

  2. Made this for a company potluck 3 years ago. People are still asking me for the recipe. I send them toyour website. Very satisfied with your recipe. Thanks.

  3. Did you change the recipe? I have this saved in my favorites, but I thought you omitted the black eyed peas, no sugar, and used a red wine vinegar with a white vinegar?

    1. Hi Laura, thank you for your question! The formatting has changed some over the years, but the recipe is the same. I’ve made it with red wine, and it’s delicious. There are notes that have evolved regarding sugar, which can always be adjusted to preference. Black-eyed peas can be omitted as well. I’m sorry for any confusion, and I hope you’re able to make it to your liking! – Meggan

  4. Sublime! I also added chickpeas, and substituted small sweet peppers over bell peppers, and red beans for black. I will make this for company.5 stars

  5. Absolutely delicious. Omitted the sugar completely. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe with us.5 stars

  6. I’ve made this several times. Everyone loves it. Especially on a hot day. Goes great with Watermelon.❤️🤗5 stars

    1. I’m so glad you keep coming back to my recipe! Thanks so much Barbara! I appreciate you! -Meggan

  7. Cowboy Caviar originated in Texas, not the Midwest. Still doesn’t take away from this great recipe though. A+

  8. An acquaintance gave me a similar recipe that I made and took to a family gathering but I think she left the dressing out therefore it was not a hit at all. I really am looking forward to trying your version. It looks so delicious and healthy.

  9. Is there a way to make this last longer in the fridge? Would keeping the dressing separate and making single serve portions to “marinate” each day work? I want to use it as a healthy snack with pita or chips but I’m likely the only one that will be eating it so may not make it through all of it in 3-4 days.

    1. Hi Carrie, thank you so much for your question! In this situation, I recommend scaling the recipe down by half, which should make about 6 cups total. While keeping the dressing separate from the salad should prolong its freshness, the dressing should also still be consumed in 3 to 4 days. Since beans don’t typically come in smaller cans, you can freeze the unused beans by rinsing them, placing them in a freezer-safe bag or container, covering them with water (make sure they are submerged) and freezing. They can be thawed in the refrigerator overnight for when you’re ready to make your next batch. Leftover diced bell peppers can also be pat dry with a paper towel and placed in a freezer safe bag, squeezing all the air out, and stored in the freezer as well. In my experience, fresh tomato doesn’t freeze well. I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any more questions! – Meggan

    1. Hi Taylor, thank you for the question! I am not sure it would hold up well. The flavors would be fine, but I suspect the texture (especially the tomatoes) would be quite mushy after freezing and thawing. I wouldn’t really recommend it. Take care and please write if you have any more questions! – Meggan

  10. It was really yummy and a huge hit at happy hour. Next time I think I will reduce the olive oil a tiny bit and add a little extra vinegar5 stars

  11. I really like this. I love to bring it to potlucks because it is so easy to make, and is vegan. It can be served as a dip, or a side dish, or, my favorite as a hearty veggie lunch.5 stars

  12. This is a great combination of sweet and “kick.” However, I did scale back the chili pepper and add the juice of 1/2 a lime. Doubled the recipe and took it to a church dinner. There we no leftovers! Definitely a keeper.5 stars

  13. I absolutely love this recipe! My kids, husband AND father-in-law all LOVED it. My favorite part about this dish is that it’s so versatile; it can be a topping, a dip(with corn chips delish), or a side dish. You can make it a day before serving, I think it even tastes better the next day so its great to take to a party. Its also a mix of fresh veggies & some canned so super easy to throw together and actually there’s no cooking involved so anyone cam make this5 stars

    1. Hi Denny, thank you for the question! I am not sure it would hold up well. The flavors would be fine, but I suspect the texture (especially the tomatoes) would be quite mushy after freezing and thawing. I wouldn’t really recommend it. Take care! – Meggan

  14. We’ve made this several times – always a hit! My husband hates cilantro and I don’t think I used fresh parsley last time either (I rarely have fresh hers on hand). Any substitution to the fresh herbs? Or can they be left out?

    Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Megan, you can totally leave them out. The best part of this recipe is how customizable it is! – Meggan

  15. This is the first time I made Texas Caviar. I’m going to a Salad Social. This recipe is so good. Eating it making yummy sounds. When I look up recipes I google “Award Winning” what ever I’m making. This time it is Texas Caviar! I could eat the complete bowl this made. I highly recommend. So easy and delicious! Thank you from PA.5 stars

  16. This is absolutely delicious!! My daughter would request it whenever she came home from college.
    She just graduated and home…just made it!!5 stars

  17. Made it with the chili powder which is listed in the recipe and it was delicious! But was just curious if it is supposed to be made with paprika like it shows in the picture of the ingredients?

    1. Hi Bri, thank you so much for pointing that out. It’s a mistake in the photo, the chili powder is correct. So glad you enjoyed and thanks again for pointing that out! – Meggan

  18. Tried this for the first time today and it was AMAZING! I am so looking forward to having it again.5 stars

  19. Absolutely delicious! We use it for appies, omelets and taco filling – friends are requesting more taco nights to come!!! Thank you, Meggan! Absolutely love your site and look forward to my daily “recipe email.!” Love that you have so many plant-based (non-meat) options!!!

    Trish5 stars

  20. Cowboy caviar is so delish and healthy, I use apple cider vinegar with sugar substitute. Also throw in celery and rotel canned tomatoes for crunch and a little heat. 😊

    1. Love the rotel idea for “heat!” I wsa thinking maybe adding some edamame to change it up too! Bite sized, perfect!

  21. This is my go to salad for the summer . Actually I make it all year round 😀everyone loves it even the picky eaters5 stars

  22. I made the Cowboy Caviar for a party recently and it was a hit. The flavors are wonderful! I made the recipe as written but might decrease the amount of sugar next time. This is definitely 5 stars!!!!!!!!5 stars

  23. I love cowboy caviar! This recipe is delicious, very similar to my family’s recipe. Have you ever tried it with lime? Just squeeze the juice of 1 lime and add in some zest, if you want to up the anty.

  24. Received rave reviews from this super easy recipe. I took it on a girlfriends weekend camping trip. I made it the day before, put it in a zip lock bag. There was not a kernel of corn or bean left in the bag. They also demanded the recipe! 😍

  25. Oh my gosh what an incredible tasty treat! I wanted something a bit healthier than simple salsa with a more complex blend of flavor. Ingredients are easy to source and quick and easy to assemble. The result is full bodied taste and texture that one doesn’t need to fret about regarding nutritional value and exceptional taste appeal. The only change I made was to add two deveined and seeded jalapeños and I used garden fresh Campari tomatoes. Many thanks for this gift of flavor and versatility for my table. An immediate family favorite!!5 stars

  26. I use maple syrup instead of sugar about a 1/8 of a cup.
    I make flat out bread with chalula baked into chips for scooping up caviar. I really enjoy this recipe and I make it often.

    Thanks so much.5 stars

  27. Hi Meggan, thanks for the great recipe.

    One quick comment worth passing along… if you use extra virgin olive oil like I did, you’ll probably want to balance it out with more vinegar, sugar, and a couple of hours to let it marry.

    Tom5 stars

    1. Hi Tom, thanks for the tip! I’m glad that turned out well for you and that you enjoyed! – Meggan

  28. I left out the sugar because I’m trying to cut back. This recipe is delicious. It was so good that I’ve had friends to ask me for this recipe. Of course I shared! Thank you!5 stars

  29. AMAZING AND A BIG HIT!!!! I made it exactly as directed with the vinaigrette recipe. Served it with scoops tortilla chips at a barbecue what a refreshing treat!5 stars

    1. Hi Gillian, the type of corn the recipe calls for doesn’t have any liquid, so you shouldn’t need to drain. However, if you substitute for regular canned sweet corn, then you should drain and rinse. Hope this helps! – Meggan

  30. Everyone loved this! I used garbanzo beans instead of black eyed peas cause its what i had and it was perfect.5 stars

  31. I have not made this salad yet but, when you say extra sweet corn. Do you mean fresh corn? Can you respond asap? Thanks PBJ

    1. Hi Patricia! You can use fresh or canned corn! If you use fresh and cook it, just make sure it’s cooled before adding in. Hope you enjoy! – Meggan

    1. Hi Deborah, I haven’t tried replacing the fresh tomatoes with canned. You can replace it, but I’m not sure how it would turn out, since this isn’t cooked. I would recommend if you can’t find Roma tomatoes, replace them with another type of fresh tomato. – Meggan

  32. Hi! I made this today but since I’m on Weight Watchers (now WW), I omitted the oil and the sugar. I have to say, the flavors go together so well, I still loved it. I’ve looked on the page a couple of times and can’t find an actual serving size. Can you tell me what that is for your nutritional information. I can put it into my recipe builder and figure out the points. Thanks!!5 stars

    1. Hi Robyn, so sorry for the delay. We will make this and measure the total yield and get you a real serving size! I’ll post it here and email you when we figure it out. Thanks! -Meggan

  33. Just realizing now I don’t have black eyed peas. Do you think this could be substituted for another ? And if So, what would You use ?

    1. Hi Amanda, absolutely! The first thought I had would be to substitute the black-eyed peas with a can of drained kidney beans. I also think drained navy beans or another can of black beans would work well with this. Thanks! – Meggan

  34. You mention avacado in the notes but it is not in the picture nor list of ingredients. How much, if any, do you put in it?

  35. I am giving this recipe a five even though there is sugar in the recipe. I substitute the sugar with a little bit of balsamic vinegar instead.5 stars

  36. Made this for a bbq wonderful! Also, the next day I had a small amount leftover and had the same amount of macaroni salad mixed them together, made a wonderful combination I will definitely do that again.5 stars

  37. Have made this multiple times. I like to add some lime juice and a touch of cumin to dressing. I reduce sugar to 1.5 tbsp.

  38. We love this recipe. I make it often , changing up the spices sometimes and it is always great. I like it better the second day. I sometimes top a salad with this. It adds another layer of flavor and textures.
    Thanks!5 stars

  39. I added half the corn, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, some cumin & a little hot pepper flakes.
    Also add quartered grape tomatoes and avacado right before serving. It is really delish & healthy!

  40. I made this for a BBQ/birthday party & it was the first dish to go!! So many people commented on how good it was. We’ll definitely be making this again!!5 stars

  41. This Cowboy Caviar is my go-to recipe. Everyone always loves it! I add diced avocado whenever I have them on hand. So good.5 stars

    1. Hi Frenchie! Yes, that sounds absolutely delicious! Just cook it and let it cool before you throw it in! -Meggan

  42. Try balsamic vinegar instead of adding sugar. I also like soy sauce to balance the flavors and that five sense of taste–umami. Thanks for the recipe.

  43. I usually add jalopenos, leave out the sugar (diabetic) and add fresh lime juice instead of the vinegar. It just changes it up to a more southwest flavor. Add cooked chicken, quinoa or pasta to it the next day with more of the vinaigrette for a really good side dish or hot weather meal.5 stars

  44. This recipe was great. I used what I had in my pantry and also substituted apple cider vinegar for white vinegar. The results made an easy summer side dish for burgers!5 stars

  45. Love this recipe. Thanks for sharing. My family is crazy about it. I generally substitute whatever is in my kitchen and pantry. It always comes out great. For those worried about the sugar, we substitute Stevia to taste. Voila! Sugar free :)5 stars

  46. We leave out the oil and sugar. I add a Jalapeno pepper diced diced up. I also add a combo of red wine, white wine and a touch of balsamic. Some Cumin and chipotle chili powder. We make this weekly.5 stars

  47. absolutely loved this recipe-such a fun summer side dish. didnt have any black eyed peas so i used a can of canneli beans and it came out just as great! also added a bunch of tajin.5 stars

  48. I made this for the first time last night, with a coupl.e of minor tweaks. I used a bag of Baby Sweet Peppers, (Red, Yellow and Orange), and instead of Roma tomatoes, I used Sunset Wild Wonders Gourmet Medley Tomatoes (Orange, yellow, wtiahite, red, and brown) cut in quarters. Turned out so good I’m making it again today.5 stars

  49. So good! Used 2 cans black beans I stead of black eyed peas (couldn’t find any). Next time I’d use a little less sugar. Yum!5 stars

  50. Made this for the first time last Saturday for a party! I actually followed the recipe and it was spot on delicious and a huge hit!! This will be my future go to for sure!! Thanks 😊5 stars

  51. I just love this ! My family can’t get enough of it. We make a double batch and it’s gone in 1day. I also mix in 1 cup diced avacado and add in some crumbled up bacon.5 stars

    1. Hi Jennie, thank you so much for this! The avocado and bacon additions sound divine. I will definitely try that next time I make if. I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks again – Meggan

  52. What a fantastic recipe. My family and friends love it. I’ve made it about a dozen times and always receive compliments. It’s easy and versatile, too. Sometimes I leave out the chili powder and add balsamic vinegar, sometimes I add garlic and mustard powder to the vinaigrette, sometimes add other vegetables, always rave reviews. Thank you very much.5 stars

  53. I made this for thanksgiving and it made a lot!!! So much that I wondered if you can freeze it. I will probably eat a little more not sure about the rest of my family.5 stars

  54. You had a lot comments about the cowboy caviar so if some already made this observation, I apologize. Onions and bell peppers are some of the few veg that freeze well without blanching so I tried freezing part of a completed batch. And guess what! It was fantastic! I would let it marinate in the fridge for a day or 2 to boost flavor, but wouldn’t this work well as a make-ahead for a large gathering? BTW, your recipe worked well for me, even without cilantro, which I am not fond of. Thanks so much, Kathy/western Wisconsin5 stars

  55. This is the perfect recipe ! Thank you very much for all your time and energy that goes into all that you do!5 stars

  56. I made this today. Since we are on a low carb diet, instead of the sugar and vinigar, i did a little olive oil and chilli powder. Also added chopped green chilis. The k8ds love it a little spicy and so do i. Thank you for the base recipe.5 stars

  57. Everything is spot on except for the onion. Personally I love onions, but half the amount specified would be ideal for me. Or perhaps using a sweet onion instead.5 stars

  58. It was AMAZING!!! I made this for a BBQ party and everyone just loved it. Had only enough left for me to take to work for my lunch. Everyone wanted the recipe. It is so fresh and colorful. What a crowd pleaser. Ill be making this a lot. So healthy also. I didn’t think it was sweet. It was perfect. Thanks so much for this dish. Now im looking for something else from your kitchen. lol5 stars

    1. I’m so happy to hear that Debbie!! I agree. Not sweet – just perfect. :D You made my day. Have a great week! -Meggan

  59. This cowboy caviar is amazing!!! We make it for all our neighborhood gatherings. There are never any leftovers. Use the dressing the recipe calls for (italian dressing would change/ruin the amazing flavor).5 stars

  60. Hi Meggan. This is my first time reading and posting to your site. I came here via Nagi’s Recipe Tin Eats site, where she has a rice salad recipe she claimed was inspired by this Cowboy Caviar recipe.

    Keeping my post short, I live in MA, and found the amount of sugar to be too high; 2 TBS (1/8 cup) was perfect. I’m not judging – this is simply what I prefer, and definitely understand how people would enjoy more/less sweetness.

    I also like the complexity of THIS recipe. I’ve had plenty of similar salads/salsas, but this makes a good side dish (as well as a dip for chips); the addition of avocado makes sense too, though I haven’t tried this yet. During the hot weather, I’m always on the lookout for side dishes which can be prepared and eaten cold for a few days – and this fits the bill perfectly. Thanks!5 stars

  61. I also added kidney beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans (all unseasoned), and taco seasoning, as I love ALL beans, and everyone said it was delicious. Also added banana peppers as I have an abundance of them in my garden and cherry tomatoes too. Love this recipe! Thanks for sharing it:-)5 stars

    1. Hey Melissa – I’m not Meggan or affiliated with her site in any way. I’d say that as soon as the beans/peas start to smell, or the cilantro starts to get a bit slimy (~3 days), it’s time to dump it. Hope that helps…

  62. Hi again Meggan! I’m off to outback Australia next month and remembered how much we loved this recipe. Because I can get a hold of all of the ingredients easily out there, make a batch up and keep it for a few days in the fridge for days we are too busy to cook much. I am going to my pin it to my list for the trip plus take the recipe I printed out too for when we have no power and am eating under the moonlight. Love your blog!

    I don’t understand why the person above had an issue with printing it out. I got one page with zero ads.5 stars

  63. Hi Cheryl, I’m sorry about that. You need to use the “print recipe button” (it’s located in 2 places, immediately at the top under the recipe title and then again in the recipe card). If you just print the whole post, the whole post will print. Best of luck to you, and no, I definitely won’t share your address! I can delete it out of the comment after I reply. Sorry again.

  64. This is one of my favorite dip recipes! I love how healthy, fresh, and delicious it is! 5 stars

  65. Awesome recipe…….great flavor!
    Note to self:  added 1/4 tsp honey dijon mustard to dressing for emulsifier …..keeps it from separating.5 stars

    1. Great idea Michael! Plus also delicious. Thank you, and glad it worked for you! Take care. :D

  66. I serve this as a side dish. Added chopped avocados. As for the Dressing, I used omitted the vinegar and sugar and used fresh lime juice, minced garlic, smoked paprika and cumin. So GOOOOOOD!5 stars

  67. Thank you for this recipie. I make it often for potlucks, where it’s always a hit! .It’s great just the way it’s written, but today I’m adding a chopped garlic scape cause they’re growing in the back yard.5 stars

  68. Loved loved loved this recipe! I made it for my mother-in-laws visit and she commented on how delicious it was too. I was worried about the sugar but didn’t need to be. Tasted great but I did use fresh corn and sauteed it quickly instead of canned super sweet corn. I’ve pinned it and it’s a keeper.5 stars

    1. I am pretty sure people have, you’d just waste your life digging through the comments to find out. It would basically be Black Bean Salsa without the sugar… which is amazing!!! You could use red wine vinegar and lime juice instead, if you wanted. That’s how I make my black bean salsa. Delish. Thank you!

  69. I made this 2 times this week and it is delicious. The only changes I made was used 1 can of fire roasted drained tomatoes and 1 can of drained rotel in place of the raw tomatoes.. (not a fan of raw). I added 3 chopped jalapeno’s for some heat.. and it was delicious. Will defiantly keep this recipe. Thanks5 stars

    1. I love your changes! The thing about canned fire-roasted tomatoes is, the fire-roasted-ness adds SO much flavor, and you don’t have to do anything extra to get it. Plus it saves you on the chopping time. Same with Rotel – more flavor with less work. And I love that you added jalapenos! Amazing, thanks for the comment Terri!

  70. I made this yesterday. I used chili lime seasoning. I also used a food processor for the veggies, but they turned out pretty mushy. Next time I will not use the processor. Something is missing. It was YUMMY but needs something.5 stars

  71. I was a little scared to add ANY sugar so I tested it first with a small serving. WOW! Yummers! I added a scant 1/4 cups of sugar and I believe my company will really like this. That is if it lasts until tomorrow….nice recipe. Thanks!5 stars

  72. I threw a cowboy caviar concoction together tonight and THEN found your recipe.  As it was it was passed around 3x!  Next time I’m making your recipe Meggan.  Seems everyone likes it….alot!  What I love is that these ingredients are pantry/refrigerator staples, so it’s quick to put together as a side dish for home, or to bring to a potluck/party.5 stars

  73. Haven’t tried this yet but I am from the Midwest(Mn & WI) and have never seen it with sugar. Will be willing to try but will cut back on the sugar. I’ve always seen it made with Italian dressing either store bought or homemade. My recipe calls for a couple of chipotles in adobo sauce. And hominy in place of the corn. Though I have used corn and prefer it.5 stars

  74. Love this dish in the summer because it’s so cool and crispy, but here in Michigan we eat it a lot more in the winter months, because we get sick of all that heavy potato-y cheesy stuff. As for a topping, my whole family much prefers just a wee bit of yum yum sauce. Try it.5 stars

  75. Love,  Love, Love!  I am making it for the 4th time.   I don’t like things super sweet so I just put in 1 1/2 t. of sugar and it was perfect.  Perfect ingredients and it tastes so fresh!  I am actually making it right now as we speak!  One thing I did add was a teaspoon of chipotle chili pepper.  I love a smoky flavor. Don’t really know if it really changed the taste though, LOL.  5 stars

  76. This Recipe is Excellent! No need for “See Notes”! The Balance between the Sweet and and Chilly Powder With Oil is Perfect. You cannot please everyone…… Will Always be Haters out there. 5***** stars from Me!5 stars

    1. Hi Glenda! A few of the fresh veggies might soften a bit in the dressing if you make more than a day in advance. I would certainly feel good letting it sit overnight, and there is no risk of anything turning bad if you let it sit in your fridge for 3 or 4 days. If you want to make it that far ahead, though, and you’re worried about softened peppers, you could always prep all the ingredients and the dressing and hold them separately and toss it together an hour before you need it. Or the night before you need it. I hope this makes sense! Thank you!

    1. #MinnesotaPotluck is my new favorite hashtag! :) Thank you so much for letting me know! Take care.

    1. Hi Courtney! Sorry I was gone all day and couldn’t reply to you until now. You should be JUST FINE with white balsamic! Honestly, any kind of vinegar is good in this recipe. It doesn’t really matter. No sweat! I hope you think so too when you try it. :) Thank you! Sorry again for the delay.

  77. I made this with balsamic white vinegar instead of white wine vinegar? Do you think it will taste ok? :/ Just realized this mistake. Thank you!!

  78. Can’t wait to make this for our work “BBQ Challenge”. I am a Cheesehead also and totally off the sugar! Yay for me and them too! As I am sure they will enjoy this delectable dish as much as I will making it. Thanks so much for sharing!
    Go Packers!5 stars

    1. Cheeseheads 4Ever! And yes to no sugar, I mean, I eat sugar but I strive to eat less. Or none. It’s hard! But you inspire me to keep trying! As long as you don’t swear off cheese, we can be friends. :) GO PACKERS!!!!!!!

    1. Obviously Wisconsin has people who watch their sugar intake! :) I just happen to not be related to A-N-Y of them, I guess, ha ha!

  79. Hi Meggan,

    This turned out deeelish!! It’s so fresh and healthy!! I changed the dressing a bit by reducing the sugar to 1 Tbs, reducing the oil to 1/4 cup, adding fresh garlic, cumin, paprika, dried jalapeno flakes, lime juice, and a dash of Tequila [hope you don’t mind….I’m a TexAZ girl]. I’m taking it to a dinner party tonight as an appetizer (served with tortilla chips).

    I think the original dressing is great, too. Just depends on what you’re hankerin’ for at the time! :-)
    I hope there’s leftovers….mmmm lunch!!5 stars

  80. This is a great recipe!  I reduced the sugar and added some fresh ginger and cubed avacado……..yummy and so healthy.5 stars

  81. Thanks! I used about 2 tsb sugar & added Xtra chili powder, jalapenos and garlic (sorry, just us Texas essentials ) My only suggestion would be adding dressing to taste instead of first, was way too much liquid for me, saved mine with 8 sheets of Bounty. Couldn’t get the stars to work but a 4 or 5 for sure.5 stars

    1. Yes to all of this! You’re right, the dressing should be to taste. I love Texans. :) Thanks Donald!

  82. I made this the other night and it was literally gone in 10 minutes! I did read some of the reviews and only added 1/4 cup of sugar. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I will be making it all summer!5 stars

  83. Disappointed with the last “Texas Caviar” recipe I tried, I’m going to give this one a whirl because the ingredients look more in line with what I expect. Although, most recipes I have eaten or have made use Tiger Sauce for the seasoning. Have you ever tried it in this recipe as a substitute?

    1. Hi Marcia, I have never heard of Tiger Sauce! But I looked it up and it looks AWESOME. I was curious where you are from and if that is a regional condiment. The only thing I noticed is (at the least the recipe I saw) it has no sugar. My Cowboy Caviar is quite sweet, so please tread lightly if you are worried about sugar! Anyway, I am definitely going to experiment with tiger sauce and see where it leads me. I appreciate the info and I hope you aren’t disappointed in my cowboy caviar! Take care.

  84. I make this every week, never change one thing and it’s just the BEST!  Sometimes I mix a serving of it with chilled Quinoa for a quick lunch, I serve it with Tostito Scoops and often we just eat it as a relish with our meal.  This one is a Winner Winner Chicken Dinner for sure!!!!! Thanks so much for posting.  P.S.  I’m from Nashville, so I’m a Southern lady and the sweetness of it is just perfection!5 stars

    1. Hi Stephanie, there are way too many comments for you to go through them all, but I feel like tons of people have subbed honey for the sugar. I have tried it myself too and loved it! I will add a recipe note to that effect. Thank you for your comment!

  85. We tried this recipe at our housewarming party this weekend and loved it (no cilantro for us though)! One of the most popular items at our party! We loved it. We will definitely be making this again! We also shared the recipe on our blog too (with credit given here of course)!5 stars

    1. Awwww that’s so great to hear, Jason! Yes, cilantro is the best thing to leave out if you hate it. :) Thanks for the link back and I’m so glad you liked it. It’s a favorite around here! Take care.

  86. I can’t get enough of this stuff! I have found that sweet italian dressing works really well instead of the sugar and vinegar….It’s sweet, but not too sweet.5 stars

    1. Hi Tina, thank you so much! I’m so glad you love it. Which dressing are you using? Sweet Italian dressings are a personal addiction of mine. Sounds like a great substitution! Thanks for sharing. :)

  87. OMG this stuff is delicious!  And we love the sugar in it…we use every bit of the 1/3 cup (plus a tablespoon or so more…we are from the south :)!  It is the perfect combo of salty, sweet and fresh!5 stars

    1. High-fives for ALL THE SUGAR, Lori! Thank you so much, glad you loved it. :) I sure do! XOXO

  88. I just made this for the first time and absolutely loved it! I left out the cilantro because my husband hates it, and as you recommended I started with only a tablespoon of sugar and I found that to be perfect! I think if you are looking for more of a salty savory flavor, one tablespoon of sugar is perfect! Will definitely be making this again and again, thanks so much!!5 stars

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Ashley! Glad you started off small on the sugar and loved it. :) And yes, leave out the cilantro if someone isn’t a fan! It’s the easiest thing to do and nice to have one less ingredient to buy. :) Take care and thanks a lot!

  89. To be true to the recipe I made it pretty much exactly like it is written. I did substitute  Poblano pepper for about 1/3 of the bell pepper. My red onion was too strong apparently because it overpowered the dish. I too found it to be too sweet with 1/3 cup of sugar unless using it strictly as a relish. I’m not crazy about black eyed peas so using this as a relish to mix with the black eyed peas we also had for new years made both dishes more palatable. I would make this recipe again but with only 1/2 the sugar, maybe less.

  90. Loved this recipe for new year’s potluck appetizer! Used 1/4 cup sugar and a 1/2 tsp of black pepper but otherwise made exactly as you have it. I agree the sugar it partly what makes this “cowboy caviar” vs. a more tex-mex style recipe. It also makes it kind of a special treat. Thanks !5 stars

    1. Thank you so much Melissa! I’m making it myself, too. You must be from the Midwest if you love the sugar too. :) I think just that little tweak makes it so good and different. Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks Bec! I’m planning to try it soon with coconut sugar for those who prefer that. :) Thanks again!

    1. Hi Nadine, I am not sure it would hold up well. The flavors would be fine, but I suspect the texture would be quite mushy after freezing and thawing. I wouldn’t really recommend it. Thanks for your question!

    1. Hi Staci, I consider this more of an appetizer (served with tortilla chips like salsa). However, if you wanted to be healthy, you could eat it as a side dish or a topping to grilled meats, something like that. However, traditionally it is an appetizer. I hope you love it! Thanks for your question. :)

  91. Can’t wait to make this, thanks for sharing. Always looking for a new side for myself, or for impressing my guests! I love your blog! Keep up the good work!5 stars

  92. Wow, really love this salad! (w 1T sugar, and a jalapeno!).  Found this by accident when I was looking at your ancho chile powder technique (from poblano peppers, we have a bunch growing), and made it to surprise my wife.  I bookmarked this site to find some more treasures!  Thanks.5 stars

    1. Hi Sam! Wow thank you so much! :) Sounds like you made a pretty fantastic version of the Cowboy Caviar. So excited you have poblano peppers growing. That’s definitely my favorite pepper! Thank you so much and have a great day. :)

  93. I have made your cowboy caviar (with less sugar) several times now. Everyone loves it! This is great for parties and potlucks because it won’t go bad (or taste bad) if you can’t keep it chilled the whole time. Thank you so much for giving me a delicious way to eat my veggies! 5 stars

    1. Hi Nadine, that is so great to hear! And you are right, it’s nice to have something that won’t spoil because of mayo or whatever. It is definitely the best way to eat vegetables and beans! :) Thanks so much for trying the recipe and I’m glad you like it.

  94. I tried this at a birthday party yesterday and it was amazing! And I don’t usually like beans! The version I had also had chick peas in it and they used Garlic Expressions dressing and marinade. I think there are a lot of variations you could do with this recipe.5 stars

    1. Hey Karen! I will definitely have to seek out that dressing, it sounds fabulous. So glad someone made Cowboy Caviar! It’s so good and like you said, the sky is the limit! Have a great week!

    1. Hi BB! Three Bean Salad is on my list to post next, it’s really good. :) Thanks so much for trying my recipe and I’m glad you enjoyed it! Take care.

  95. I make this all the time, love it! Side note: try substituting apple cider vinegar for white wine vinegar, gives it a nice tangy bite! I usually add the juice of 1 lime as well, it brightens up all of the flavors. Also makes an awesome topping for scrambled eggs or omelettes. This has been a family favorite for years!!!!5 stars

    1. Hi Cindy! Your tweaks sound awesome, especially the part about eating the Cowboy Caviar with eggs omelettes, Hellloooo high-protein breakfast! In the best possible way! Thank you so much, have a lovely day. :)

  96. Love this!  But, here in New Mexico we add green chillis to everything.  So, I added some chopped roasted mild green chillis and made a double batch hoping for leftovers (there are 4 of us). No such luck!  Finished it in one day.  The kids asked me to make more tomorrow….5 stars

    1. Green chiles are great in this recipe! I’ve tried it myself. They are good in everything, like you said. :) I cannot believe the four of you ate A DOUBLE BATCH in one day. Wait – I can believe it. So happy to hear that, thank you Pam!

    1. Hi Cassandra, yes absolutely! Sometimes canned black eyed peas are hard to find, so just substitute whatever you have on hand or can locate. Cannelinis are great. Thank you so much!

  97. Hi Meggan I have yet to make this and looking forward to it. My question is,,if I were to use dry beans and soak them would you know the quantity? I have a big bin of 7 beans and would like to soak them and use them for your recipe but I am uncertain how much I should use. Any idea??? Would I have to cook them after I soaked them? Clearly I have not done this before…lol.5 stars

    1. Hi Joanne! First, you will definitely need to cook the beans after you soak them. The package should tell you how to cook them (it’s probably something like, boil them for an hour, or faster if you use a pressure cooker although I’ve never used one myself). I looked up the conversion of dried beans to canned beans. You’re replacing 2 cans of beans (the black-eyed peas and the black beans), and it looks like 1/2 to 3/4 cup dried beans = 1 can of beans. So, it’s up to you if you want to use 1 cup total or 1 1/2 cups total. Depends on how many you’re feeding, I think! There will be MORE than enough dressing/sauce if you want to go with 1 1/2 cups of dried beans and cook those up. Good for you for putting your giant bag of beans to work! Good luck and thanks for your questions. I love to feel useful. :) Take care!

  98. I have been making Cowboy Caviar a lot this summer. The recipe I use is very similar to yours. Each time I make it, I add something a little different. It depends what is in the fridge. In fact, I just made a batch to take to my cousin’s for tomorrow. We are going to be making several batches of pear strudels. We are going to need to snack on something to keep our strength up. Lol. For the dressing though, I have been using a roasted garlic olive oil with balsamic vinegar that I purchased at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. That stuff is AMAZING! I use it in everything.5 stars

    1. Roasted Garlic Olive Oil with Balsamic Vinegar….?!?! That sounds AMAZING!!! Pretty sure I could drink that straight. And yes, I’m so happy you throw “whatever” in your Cowboy Caviar, not everyone is comfortable doing that but it’s such a good way to be! It’s different every time, you can use stuff up, and you don’t get bored. Pear strudels? Sounds exhausting. :) Good luck to you! Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Hey Carol! You could just leave the corn out entirely and not worry about it, or you could add another bean (or bell pepper) in its place. Another commenter added pineapple instead of sugar, that sounds pretty good to me too! I feel like diced up cucumber would also work. Good luck!

  99. We up in Michigan don’t use the sugar at all. nor does it have the red or green peppers. Instead, we have avocado, tobasco sauce, white not sweet corn, green not red onion, and only the black beans. I’m excited to try this version!5 stars

    1. LOVING your variation Kelli! Especially the avocado. :) Thank you so much for sharing!

  100. I normally don’t comment on many recipes but I have to say- this is great! I’ve had it before but never made it and it turned out great. I don’t think it was too sweet at all! I only added half the sugar to the dressing at first, but after tasting it decided it was still too bitter with the vinegar and oil so added the rest of the sugar and it is perfect. Doesn’t taste at all sugary which I was worried about after reading some of the reviews. (I am also in the Midwest- MN here!) it’s just like all of the other recipes o have tasted before- actually I think it’s better! Thanks!!5 stars

    1. So great to hear Melissa! Makes me so happy. :) I love MN and was in Minneapolis/Hanover at the beginning of July. It’s one of my favorite places! Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed it and it worked for you. And yes – all the sugar for me, please. :) Thanks for leaving your thoughts!

  101. Wowwweee!! Oh my goodness! Had this at a birthday party and my hubby and I LOVED this!!Now I have to make it all the time! My hubby requires it to be in the fridge at all times! Have given batches to a lot of people and they ask for the recipe and, of course, I give them your site! I do want to say that my hubby doesn’t like me using sugar, so I only put in half the sugar and may try honey the next time. Keep the fantastic recipes coming and THANK YOU to Aunt Tammy! 5 stars

    1. Thank you so much Carol! That’s all just so fantastic. :) I appreciate you spreading the word about my little ol’ blog! I think other readers have used honey in the recipe with great results, and I’m planning to try that myself at some point. Just so I can write in the variation! Thank you again for your kind words and support. :) Take care!

  102. This looks great Meggan! I can’t wait to make this for my nephew’s birthday party that’s coming up! This is just what I was looking for! Thanks for sharing!5 stars

  103. HI Meggan

    Im in London and I made your dish this week to celebrate summer and as an interesting alternative to boring salad and served alongside steak.  I eliminated the sugar altogether and also used raw corn straight from the cobb. It was absolutely delicious!  I don’t think the dish needed any additional sweetness – the peppers and corn added enough in my opinion. Great, great dish and I have already passed it along to a load of friends who will be enjoying the dish across the pond this summer. Thanks again!5 stars

    1. Hi Susan, I’m so happy to hear that!!! Makes my heart sing. :) It’s true, the dish doesn’t really *need* the sugar. That’s just the classic recipe. I love when people modify it to their taste, and I’m positively tickled that folks in London are enjoying Midwestern food. That’s just the best! Thanks again!!!

    1. Hi Sandy, I really have no idea! I don’t know anything about canning or whether special ingredients/methods are required. I used to have a guide to canning around… if I find it and learn anything, I’ll email you. Wish I could help more!

    1. Hi Rachele, I don’t know! I don’t really compute calorie information right now, although it’s clear to me that everyone wants this information. So, I’m trying to figure out the best way to go back and add it. Sorry about that!

    2. Hi Rachele, I’ve now added a nutrition label for this recipe. It’s calculating 194 calories for a 1-cup serving (not including chips). It might be just *slightly* high because it assumes all of the dressing in the recipe is consumed, while in my experience a lot ends up at the bottom of the bowl. But, at least it gives you a pretty good idea of the calories. Thanks for your question!

  104. Can’t wait to make tonight and serve at our fam jam tomorrow! I’m going to sub stevia in the raw (by half) for the sugar. Anyone ever try it with apple cider vinegar rather than white wine variety? Just curious. I’ll be slow cooking a BBQ pork roast and thought the flavor of apple cider would compliment the pulled pork sammies!5 stars

    1. Hi Christy, I have made this with apple cider vinegar and it’s great! I’ve also made it with red wine vinegar and just plain white vinegar too. It’s always a hit no matter which kind of vinegar. I agree the apple cider vinegar is perfect to go with the BBQ pork! I’m crashing your fam jam for sure. ;)

  105. I made this today with a few changes. First, I omitted the sugar altogether. Sugar takes this healthy dish and turns it into an unhealthy dish, IMO, and is completely unnecessary. It adds no nutritional value to the recipe yet feeds the sugar frenzy that most SAD’s are fueled by.

    Next, I used red wine vinegar because that’s what I had on hand. I only used 1/3 cup olive oil because these ingredients are going to make their own liquid and I don’t want a drippy dish. I used red, yellow, and orange peppers to really give it a good visual. Lastly, I used cumin in place of the chili powder to give it a more southwest flavor. This turned out fabulous and I will make this again.5 stars

    1. These are great changes! I have made Cowboy Caviar too with red wine vinegar and it’s one of my favorite changes. I completely understand on the no sugar front, that’s a wise choice although I aim to present the dish in its original form which is why I included the sugar. But it’s always good when people adapt to their own needs, that’s really what it’s all about. Just finding the inspiration for something and then making it exactly the way you might love it. And it sounds like it worked out for you so that’s great! Thanks for sharing all these ideas, I especially want to try to cumin. Take care.

  106. We took this to old school cookout in Pittsburgh. Ribs, brats, and burgers. This was the vegan option. Inevitably, it was a big hit. Thanks, Aunt Tammy!5 stars

    1. AWESOME! I love that this is accidentally vegan. LOL! Ribs, brats, and burgers… my stomach just growled. Thanks for sharing your story. :) Glad it was a hit. Happy weekend!

  107. Love it! I think this amount of sugar is perfect. I make my Cowboy Caviar different each time I make it, a lot depends on my mood. I’d never added sugar before but now that I’ve tried it this way, I can’t wait to do so again. As a Kentuckian, I tip my hat to you Midwesterners, you nailed it!5 stars

    1. Joi, you’ve made my day! Thank you so much. :) I appreciate that you tried the recipe and I’m so happy it worked out for you. Have a great weekend and thanks again!

  108. Great recipe!!!!! Everyone’s tastes are different and l found this recipe way too oily!!! No worries, l rinsed the dressing off with water and started again. This time l added 1 tsp chilli powder, 3 tbls lemon juice and a table spoon of maple syrup. Amazing!!! Thanks so much for sharing!!! My son is a vegan and l’ve never tried black eyed peas until now. I will be adding them in more of my recipes. 5 stars

    1. Thank you, Carol! I’m so glad you were able to make it work for you. I do think it’d be easy to leave the oil out of this, and I’m glad you were smart enough to rinse it off and start over rather than just wasting it. Good job. :) I will definitely try your variation; it’s a lot healthier! Especially for people who are vegan or not eating refined sugar. Many thanks. Take care!

  109. I just made this tonight as a trial to see if it would be good for an engagement party I’m hosting for my daughter this summer. I’ve got to say it is yummy as is, I made it as directed. It is so fresh tasting! Thank you for sharing!5 stars

    1. Hi Theresa, that is SO great to hear! Smart of you to test the recipe in advance, just in case. I’m glad it’s going to work out for you. Congratulations to your daughter, how exciting! :)) Take care and thank you!!

  110. I made this for a cookout this evening and it was a HUGE hit! Friends of mine had made “cowboy caviar” but said they hadn’t had it as good as this recipe! The midwest version is a keeper. Thanks for sharing!5 stars

    1. Hey Lindsey! That’s great news! :) I’ve seen other versions of Cowboy Caviar too, usually more like regular bean salsa or sometimes with avocado. I love this sweet version and I appreciate that you gave it a try! Also happy to hear everyone liked it. That’s not always the case. :) Take care and thank you so much!

  111. This recipe is absolutely delicious.  I ended up not adding the sugar at all and added a clove of minced garlic to the dressing. It was so good…it even tasted batter the next day!!! Thanks for a great recipe!!5 stars

    1. Hi Catherine, I’m so glad you liked it! Yes, it’s pretty delicious even without the sugar. Like a fantastic bean salsa, I think. Especially with that garlic mixed in! Glad you made it work for you. :) Take care!

  112. I have never left a comment before, but here we go!  My son tasted Cowboy Caviar at Costco a few years back and I was floored he went back for seconds. He’s not a huge veggie eater. Needless to say, they stopped carrying the product and life went back to normal. Last week I found this recipe on Pinterest and thought, “why not?”.  Well, I will tell you that I’ve made it twice this week and it will be on our menu indefinitely. I took out the cilantro because I hate it. And my kiddo won’t touch a tomato to save his life, so those are gone too. But it didn’t alter the taste at all. BRAVO! I am uber thankful and impressed.5 stars

    1. Hi Jill! This is all so wonderful. It is one of my favorite ways to eat veggies too, and also to convince others to do so. :) I had no idea Costco ever carried Cowboy Caviar either, that’s so interesting. Yes, ditch the cilantro! I do the same thing for my mom. You made my day, maybe even my week, so thank you so much for sharing your story. :) Take care!

    1. Hi Amy, I would say the veggies (the peppers, mostly) lose some of their crunch if they sit over night. But, I still think it tastes delicious. If anything, you could mix the salad dressing part separately and assemble a bowl of all the beans and veggies, and just toss it together at the last minute. That should preserve the freshness! Thanks!

  113. Sounds fantastic. I was at a grad party and the host served this but instead of sugar, she added one can of crushed pineapple for the sweetness. It was very delicious!5 stars

    1. THAT sounds like a genius idea. It’s perfect, it really is. It would give the sweetness plus pineapple is just delicious. Great idea!

  114. I am making this now. A friend brought this recipe to a group and everyone loved it! :) I was wondering how long will it keep in the fridge? I am the only person in my home that will eat it. So I am just wondering if I can have a week of lunches or if I need to share before it spoils. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Carmen! It should be fine for 3-4 days in the fridge. So maybe not quite a week? I’m so glad you loved it though! Have a lovely weekend. :)

    1. Thanks Jill, you and I are obviously on the same page here. :) Have a great weekend!

  115. I tried this recipe for dinner last night, and it was so refreshing! My husband even enjoyed it. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Thank you so much, Laurie! I am so happy to hear that. It’s a huge favorite in our house. :) Have a great week!

  116. Yum! Made this today for a potluck–doubled the recipe except kept the dressing the same–it is delicious!
    Thank you for this keeper!5 stars

    1. I am so delighted to hear, that Sue! Yes, I don’t think you’d need to double the dressing if you’re doubling the recipe. I hope everyone loved it. It’s definitely a hit in my house! Have a great weekend. :)

  117. I made this today. (left out the sugar) My husband ate a bowl as is. I sprinkled a little crumbled goat cheese into it. YUM! And so healthy. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Thank you so much for the update Nell! I’m sure it would be delicious without the sugar (I love black bean salsa which is similar). And goat cheese… YES! Amazing! Thanks for letting me know it worked out for you. :)

  118. I made this last night and it was a HUGE hit with my husband, 6 year old, and especially my 18 month old!  We loved it!  It was delicious and so easy to make!  Thank you for the recipe!5 stars

    1. Awwww yay Leah! I’m so happy to hear that! It’s a huge hit in our house and I’m so happy to share the joy. :) Have a great weekend!

  119. Just used this as a starter recipe, changed quantities and a couple of things and…. Wow fantastic! Really good base dressing idea and a really flexible recipe!  One to keep. Likewise, did limited sugar, because the corn gave that sweetness.5 stars

    1. Great, Frances! I’m so happy to hear that. :) You’re right, the corn gives sweetness. Glad you could make it work for you!

    1. Hi Julie, I have 12 servings listed in the post which is a rough guess. The recipe makes about 3 quarts of Cowboy Caviar which is 12 cups, so that’s assuming 1 cup per person. I’d say it’s a rough guess because it might depend on how big your onion is or things like that. And of course, it depends on how much your guests each. This is the size recipe I would make for a potluck where there are other dishes around and people will be grazing. I hope this is at least somewhat helpful. Good luck! If you have other questions just let me know. Thanks.

  120. Hi! I was wondering if you can make this in advance? Like the day before an event or do the veggies get gross?

    Thanks!5 stars

    1. Hi Erika! I think you can make this the night before without problems. I have for sure enjoyed leftovers for a couple of days after without issue. Just in case you have a higher standard for such things, though, you could chop all the vegetables the night before and have them in separate containers, mix up the dressing, and just toss it together shortly before serving it. That would be your best option if you’re worried. Thank you!

  121. Meggan I love this! I made it for the first time today because it was obviously going to be awesome and IT WAS! I just ate some for “lunch” and it will be served alongside burgers and fries tonight! (And probably any leftovers will be paired with the BBQ’ed ribs tomorrow!)
    I loved the sugar but didn’t have any white wine vinegar-let me tell you that red wine vinegar works just fine!
    I am from Texas and living in Mississippi and I give my stamp of approval but it is probably like BBQ sauce, spaghetti, and chili-everyone has a preference and no way is every the same! 5 stars

    1. Yay Brittany, that’s so great to hear! I am not surprised that red wine vinegar works. I feel like any kind of vinegar would work. Even the plain old white stuff my mom uses to clean glass, with all that sugar it would probably still taste good. :) So glad you and I agree on Cowboy Caviar! xoxo PS: I had 2 burgers today (one at brunch and one at dinner). I think I might have a problem. LOL

  122. Just wondering if anyone had tried coconut sugar or pure maple syrup to replace the white sugar? I am definitely going to experiment with this to make the recipe totally raw, plant-based. Yum!5 stars

    1. Hi Amy, I think that is a great idea! I have been thinking the recipe needs a makeover. I mean, I love it with the sugar but I could eat it all the time, constantly, if it didn’t have all the sugar. :) I will definitely post any updates I figure out. I hope you find something that works for you too!

    1. Hi Carol, general storage times for leftovers are about 3 to 4 days, and I think Cowboy Caviar would be good for that long. I hope that helps. If not, just let me know! Thanks!

  123. This is absolutely delicious, thank you so much for sharing. It’s going to become my staple for BBQ’s and parties for sure ?5 stars

    1. Hi Nicci, THANK YOU! This is so wonderful to hear and I really appreciate that you took the time to let me know. :) I personally love the stuff and can’t stop eating it, ever. Thanks again and have a wonderful week! :)

  124. I made this today. I had to double the recipe because a lot of people were coming over.  I should not have added extra sugar, it made it too sweet. First time to double it, won’t add the sugar next time. Or was there something I did wrong?

    1. Hi Tracy, I think it must come down to personal taste. Another reader commented today that he thought it was too sweet, but this is exactly how we ate it growing up and still the way we eat it today. And be “we” I guess I mean everyone I know in the Milwaukee area. If you doubled the vinegar and olive oil, doubling the sugar shouldn’t have been a problem. I will make notes for people to go easy on the sugar though. I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you! You definitely didn’t do anything wrong.

  125. This looks delicious and would love to make it. I do have a question though, do you think I could substitute the green bell pepper with finely chopped celery hearts? Green peppers and I don’t get along to well, but the red ones do not bother me….go figure.5 stars

    1. Hey Dani! Yes, I think you should absolutely substitute whatever vegetables you want, ever. Celery hearts would be great. I love the crunch. I put those in my 3-bean salad (which is also full of beans and a sweet/sour dressing) and it’s just perfect. Possibly even better than peppers. I’m going to have to try that next time! Thank you so much. :)

  126. I hope I didn’t offend you with my proof reading mention. I just always miss a correction, then go nuts trying to fix it. As for your Xavier. I am sitting in bed in a hosp. With pneumonia. Hungry. Hosp. Food is gross. All I want is a bowl of this Xavier and tortilla chips. Mouth watering, and stomach growling.5 stars

  127. The first list confused me. It read 1 3 cup cup sugar. Luckily I read through the entire blog and saw the 1/3 cup cup sugar. Might want to proof read before sending. I have the same problem with Indy correct. Drives me nuts! I can hardly wait to make this. Sounds delicious. Thanks. ?5 stars

    1. Oh my gosh, I would never be offended by your proof-reading comment… LOL! Guilty as charged. I appreciate you pointing that out to me so I can correct it… last thing I need is someone using the wrong number of cups of sugar!!! I hope you feel better soon and get out of the hospital!!! xoxo

  128. This sounds amazing! I am currently preparing meals with as little sodium as possible. Do you believe cooking dry beans and then cooling them would yield the same results?5 stars

    1. Hi Leah, yes absolutely. I think the beans usually aren’t quite as mushy, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. :) Thank you for your question!

    1. Hi Sylvia, thank you! :) I personally like to eat it with grilled chicken or any kind of grilled meat. It’s also really good on tacos/burritos if you’re in to that sort of thing. I hope you enjoy it!

    2. Since a serving size is a cup, it’s already “dressed,” and it has 5 grams of protein, I would chop a bowl of romaine lettuce, throw a cup of the “caviar” into the bowl, mix it up, and enjoy my super-healthy lunch … or dinner! Yum!

  129. This is a beauty and props to Aunt Tammy! I for one LOVE cilantro so that stays, this is happening this weekend. Thanks and Happy Birthday Meggan! :)5 stars

    1. The “cook time” is actually the “chill time.” You need to have this sit in the refrigerator for an hour so the flavors blend. There isn’t really a way to call it “chill time,” it’s just “cook time.” Sorry for the confusion. Basically I wouldn’t want to say this recipe takes 5 minutes to make and then have someone be upset that I didn’t account for flavor-blending time!

  130. This looks so tasty I can hardly stand not having some to eat right now. I can see hogging the whole bowl all to myself. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.5 stars

  131. Wow, this dip is making me feel good and bad at the same time, Meggan! Good because it looks so darn colourful and healthy. Bad because I just ate loads of junk food and am now wishing I’d seen this recipe beforehand to steer me away from the junk. :-(

    Really nice party recipe staple!5 stars

    1. You are too sweet, Helen! Don’t feel bad, tomorrow is always the best day to start a diet anyway. ;) Miss you! xoxo

  132. FINALLY! After teasing us with pictures of your adorable baby eating this, I finally get to try it myself. ;) If it’ good enough for her, it’s good enough for me!5 stars

  133. This is delicious and I don’t know anybody who does not like it. Last timber made it, it was a casserole. Not all hat great. But as a dip oh yeah!

    I’ll make mine drenched in good seasons Italian dressing because that’s what I love.   This Is a versatile mix with endless possibilities. 

    Thanks Megan and Aunt Tammy5 stars

    1. Hi Dave!!! You know, on Facebook someone else mentioned they use Italian dressing on theirs. So clearly I’m missing out and need to investigate that immediately. Thanks for visiting the ol’ blog. :D xoxo

    2. Hi Chastity! Thanks for the question. If you want to use Italian dressing, you omit the olive oil, sugar, white wine vinegar, chili powder, and salt. I would start with about 1 cup of dressing and see if you think you need more. What you should do is add the dressing and then taste the salad to see if you like it. Cowboy Caviar has a sweetness to it, so if you use Italian dressing you won’t have that (but it will still be delicious). You could try adding 1 tablespoon of sugar to the bowl and see if you like that, and add more if it tastes good to you that way. With a salad like this, it’s okay for you to change it and make it taste the way you want it to! I hope this is helpful. Take care and thanks again!

    3. I just use any kind of Italian dressing but I also add in those baby pepperoni’s you can get in a package.  Makes it taste even better!5 stars

  134. Hi Meggan. This is delicious! I used green onion because that is what I had. It was really good  before I got it into the fridge to meld the flavors. Can’t stop picking at it. Hope there is some left to go with dinner. Another keeper. Thank you.5 stars

    1. Thank you so much, Julie! Really, any kind of onion tastes great in this. And I really prefer chopping green onions vs. other onions, so good call there! Everything else makes me cry. :D I have been eating this for breakfast all week. Is that weird? Like you say, can’t stop picking at it. My 1-year-old is also addicted. So glad you loved it. Take care!

  135. Amen, John! I made this according to the recipe and I ended up draining off all the liquid I could and remaking it with a tablespoon of sugar and a quarter cup of lime juice instead. It was still overly sweet from the residual sugary dressing, but much more palatable to my tastes. Next time I make this, and I will, I’ll do only the 1 tablespoon sugar and add the quarter cup lime juice. The lesson I learned: listen to your intuition as you cook! Meggan, other than the sugar I love this recipe and thank you for it.5 stars

  136. Hi! the recipe I have for this doesn’t have any sugar in it at all so you could probably leave it out entirely. And mine is made with zesty Italian dressing. Definitely a favorite in my book!5 stars

  137. Glad you were able to make it at least edible, Tammy! All I can say is, I have posted a warning about the sugar. :) It really comes down to personal taste. I’m glad you’ll make it again, it really is great! And it’s true it doesn’t need the sugar to be delicious. I’m just sharing the classic recipe which happens to be quite sweet. Take care!

  138. Hi Donna, I’m sorry your dressing was bitter. Is it possible you may have added more than 1/4 cup vinegar, or are you sensitive to the taste of white wine vinegar? If so, I would suggest trying this dressing with lime juice instead and adding to taste. I’m so sorry about that again. – Meggan