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A party salad from the 1940s with a serious cult following, this Cowboy Caviar recipe is fun, colorful, and endlessly adaptable. Healthy black-eyed peas, vegetables, and beans bring good luck no matter when you eat them, so be sure to make a big bowl for your next barbecue or potluck.

Cowboy Caviar Recipe

A party salad from the 1940s with a serious cult following, this Cowboy Caviar recipe is fun, colorful, and endlessly adaptable. Healthy black-eyed peas, vegetables, and beans bring good luck no matter when you eat them, so be sure to make a big bowl for your next barbecue or potluck.

Course Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 194 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (11 ounce) can super sweet corn, drained (see notes)
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro (from 1 bunch)
US Customary - Metric

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, sugar, white wine vinegar, chili powder, and salt. 

  2. Add tomatoes, black-eyed peas, beans, corn, red onion, and bell peppers. Stir to combine.

  3. Stir in cilantro. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or overnight to blend flavors. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

  1. Regular canned sweet corn or frozen corn may be substituted for the extra sweet corn. The closest measurement for either option is 3/4 cup, but feel free to use the whole 15-ounce can of corn.
  2. 1 sweet onion or a bunch of green onions may be substituted for the red onion.
  3. A single bell pepper may be substituted for the 1/2 cup each of chopped red and green bell peppers.
  4. In the Midwest, we like the sugar in this recipe. I personally think it tastes great. BUT. If you think 1/4 cup sugar sounds like too much, feel free to use less. Perhaps add 1 tablespoon at a time. A couple of readers have suggested this is way too sweet and they were disappointed. It breaks my heart. You can always add more vinegar and salt if you want to try to save your batch. But I swear, this is how we eat it in America's Dairyland. And we love it.