Cowboy Caviar Recipe

4.41 from 5 votes

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This Cowboy Caviar recipe is an easy Tex-Mex dip that is bursting with fresh ingredients and served with crunchy tortilla chips or spooned onto tacos. Perfect for your next gathering, it’s the ultimate crowd-pleasing appetizer! Need another appetizer dip idea? Try my 7 Layer Dip!

cowboy caviar in bowl

Why You’ll Live This Cowboy Caviar Recipe

It’s hard to put into words just how much I love cowboy caviar. Healthy, crunchy and fresh with all those Mexican flavors we love. Plus it’s the best excuse to eat all the chips you want. Not only is it delicious with chips, but it is also great on tacos, burritos or piled high onto nachos. I even added a few spoonfuls over some scrambled eggs with a little avocado too!

Gluten Free! This recipe is all vegetables and beans, a great source of protein and vitamins so pick up some tortilla or corn chips and enjoy Vegetarian and Gluten-Free Cowboy Caviar. To make this dip vegan omit the honey for regular sugar (just make sure to dissolve it well into the dressing).

beans and corn in bowl

Ingredients Needed for Cowboy Caviar

There are lots of different ways to make Cowboy Caviar, so recipes will vary. I really love the ease and versatility of this recipe. Here is the ingredient list of every thing you’ll need:

  • Canned Beans – I like to use black beans, white beans and red kidney beans, but really, any bean will do, as long as you rinse them well before adding. Mix and match with types of beans you like – maybe pinto beans, garbanzo beans or black-eyed peas.
  • Fresh Corn – sweet corn to be exact. For an extra delicious twist on the recipe try grilling your corn and then cutting it off the cob. Or if you are looking to speed this recipe up, use canned corn.
  • Fresh Tomatoes – you can use on the vine tomatoes, Roma tomatoes or your own homegrown tomatoes.
  • Onion – the recipe calls for red onion which has a mild flavor but if you don’t like red onions you can replace it with a yellow onion.
  • Jalapeño – control your spice levels by either leaving in the seeds or scraping them out.
  • Cilantro – for taste and for presentation. If you absolutely can’t stand cilantro, just leave it out and add parsley, green onions, or chives instead.

For the Marinade

The other part of Cowboy Caviar that is equally as important is the marinade. This is the sweet, spicy, smoky part that really amps up the flavor and takes this from good to great.

  • White Balsamic Vinegar – this brings its signature sweet and sour taste to the dressing. Red wine vinegar is a good substitute.
  • Garlic – you can’t go wrong with fresh garlic.
  • Cumin – for an earthy, nutty, spicy flavor!
  • Smoked Paprika – for a smoky taste!
  • Honey – to balance out all the savory flavors with some sweetness.
  • Pantry Staples– salt and black pepper, avocado oil (or vegetable or olive oil)

Cowboy Caviar with avocado: If you have it, feel free to add in a little diced avocado to your Cowboy Caviar. If you’re making this in advance, squeeze some fresh lime juice over your avocado pieces BEFORE adding it into your dip ensure your avocado stays green! Ripe avocado has a tendency to mush easily the more you stir it (which doesn’t make super pretty dip) but still delicious. If this is a non-issue for you, feel free to add it in. I don’t include it in the recipe directions because I prefer avocado-free Cowboy Caviar but again, feel free to add it in as you like.

chopped jalapenos, onion and tomato in bowl

How to Make Cowboy Caviar

This is a super simple dip recipe that doesn’t take much time at all. For full details, including ingredient measurements, see the recipe card down below. Here are step by step directions for making this hearty dip:

1. Combine Beans + Veggies

Open cans of beans and corn. Drain using a colander and rinse well. Pour into a large bowl. Add in tomatoes, onion, jalapeńo, and cilantro. Stir together.

Be sure to chop all fresh ingredients into small pieces, about the same size as the beans. Since you want this Cowboy Caviar to be scoop-able, the smaller the pieces the better.

2. Make the Vinaigrette Dressing

In a small bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients together and pour over the bean mixture. Give it a good stir to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve with tortilla chips.

Storage + Make Ahead Directions for Cowboy Caviar

The longer this sits the more delicious it becomes. Luckily for you (and me!) Cowboy Caviar can last up to 3-4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Make Ahead- Although this recipe tastes better with time, be wary about your vegetables getting soggy. I’d make this recipe a day ahead and then eat the leftovers as soon as possible. Which is pretty easy since it is SO tasty!

FreezingI would not recommend freezing this recipe especially because it is super quick to throw together anyways.

cowboy caviar in glass bowl

More Dip Recipes to Try!

If you are looking for more dip recipes, look no further, I’ve got a ton of yummy ones to try!

This colorful Cowboy Caviar is a perfect summer appetizer! It feeds a lot of people and super quick to throw together. The printable recipe card below! Grab your favorite chips and enjoy, friends! 🙂

If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate it if you would give it a star rating and leave your review in the comments! If you have a picture of your finished dish, post it on Instagram using the hashtag #laurenslatest and tagging me @laurens_latest.

cowboy caviar in bowl
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4.41 from 5 votes

Cowboy Caviar Recipe

This Cowboy Caviar Recipe is a Tex-Mex inspired dip that has been around for years! Enjoy on its own, with chips or spooned onto tacos! It’s the ultimate crowd-pleasing appetizer. 
servings 8 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can white beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can sweet corn drained and rinsed
  • 5 tomatoes finely diced
  • 1/2 large red onion finely diced
  • 1 jalapeno finely diced
  • 1 cup cilantro roughly chopped

for the dressing-

  • 1/4 cup avocado oil or other vegetable oil, if desired
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • salt & black pepper to taste


  • Open cans of beans and corn. Drain using a colander and rinse well. Pour into a large bowl. Add in tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro. Stir.
    beans and corn in bowl
  • In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients for dressing together and pour over bean mixture. Stir to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings. The longer this sits, the better. Serve with tortilla chips.
    pouring dressing overcowboy caviar


Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 614mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 990IU | Vitamin C: 16.6mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2.5mg
Course: Appetizer, Dip, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bean dip, cowboy caviar, cowboy caviar recipe, mexican dip

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Recipe Rating

47 Responses
  1. Winter Park, FL

    I take pleasure in, result in I found exactly what I was looking for. You’ve ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  2. Michael L Ward

    5 stars
    After almost a year of sitting on this, because I absolutely detest cilantro and purposely don’t purchase it. I caved because I know my wife would love it and she did. I of course pointed out that after 30 years of marriage I purchased said cilantro and cut it up to make her happy. Let’s just say she is very happy, only now I have to make it more often. All kidding aside another sucess from Lauren’s Latest. You haven’t failed me yet.

  3. Lisa Missner

    5 stars
    I made this recipe. It was so good. I love these recipes and this was one of the best ones I have made. I liked the honey instead of using sugar and I used the beans I had handy…pinto, cannellini and black beans.

    We used it as an appetizer with scoops, but I can see using it as a side or on a salad.

    Thank you for posting!

  4. Debi Civisca

    5 stars
    I love your cowboy Caviar recipe. It’s now my go to recipe when I have to bring something to a friends house. And now that the Buffalo Bills are back playing so well it’s made every Sunday. Thanks for the recipe

  5. Kate corbin

    5 stars
    Oh my gosh, this is so good! My aunt made it when she came for my baby shower and added avacado too. It was to die for- I ate the leftovers all on my own. 😂

  6. Patti Keil

    I love your blog and recipes! I have also enjoyed watching your sweet children grow over the years. Congratulations on reaching this milestone…and CHEERS to reaching the next!
    I’m excited to try this recipe. My daughter make something similar but the dressing seems to be lacking and we cannot figure out what to do. Going to give this a whirl!! Thanks for all you share with us. I’m excited to follow you another 10+ years.

  7. Carla Contouris

    5 stars
    Want to try this recipe. I’ve fixed others similar and like them. I’m entering your $1,000 giveaway. I love your posts.

  8. Amy Varnell-Miller

    This is the recipe that started my love affair with your blog/instagram. Thank you for your ten years of blogging. Your recipes are consistently the best of the best! Congratulations on baby Porter. Such a lovely family.

  9. Tabatha combs

    Yumm! This looks amazing and so fast and easy to make, I have 3 boys so this will be a great snack while watching football on sundays!!!

  10. Jennifer

    This is one of my favorite recipes. It’s always a hit at parties and is often a request from friends to bring to a pot luck.!

  11. 50 (more!) School Lunch Ideas | Lauren's Latest

    […] Cowboy Caviar: make a big batch of this at the beginning of the week and see if it lasts! It’s so so good with chips and gets better the longer it sits in the dressing! […]

  12. Elizabeth Woods

    Cilantro is Corriander, I believe, which is a taste I really dislike. Is there something I can use as a substitute? Maybe celery or something, also black beans…… never seen them in an Australian supermarket. Thanks for any suggestions, I love your recipes, we just need to translate them to Aussie cooking products!

  13. Debbie

    5 stars
    Omg this was AWESOME!! Everybody at our 4th of July party went crazy over it! So fresh and yummy!! Thank you Lauren!!

  14. Debbie

    Hi Lauren, Do you use regular tomatoes or roma tomatoes. I usually use roma tomatoes in my salsa. If you use 5 regular tomatoes how many roams should I use? thank you.

    1. Lauren

      I used on the vine tomatoes for this recipe; they are slightly bigger than Roma’s. I’d probably use 6-7 Roma’s.

  15. Ruth Cobb

    5 stars
    Hi: Just made one for a family party. It went over well. I used ChinDeep’s recipe, but yours is different and sounds so good too. When I looked on pinterest for a recipe,I had a whole page of different ones on there lol. Thanks for another good sounding one.

  16. SaraLily

    5 stars
    Oooooo this looks interesting! I am planning my Memorial Day cookout and am thinking I will have to add this to the “chips and dips” section! Wooo! Yum!

  17. Kat

    Welcome to Florida!! I hope it’s gorgeous in whichever city you’re visiting and if you make it to Tallahassee I’ve got some fun recommendations for you 🙂 I love my home town.
    This recipe looks amazing (with the exception of the kidney beans, we have a hate hate relationship) and I will definitely be mixing some up for days at the pool. Thank you!