Cowboy Caviar: A Simple and Hearty Salad with Attitude

Cowboy caviar is one of those salads that is prepared mostly with items that you already have on hand in the pantry.  It is a hearty bean salad that really packs a spicy bite.  It is the perfect salad to serve at a barbecue because it stands up well and pairs so beautifully with grilled food.

Cowboy caviar is an audacious Tex-Mex salsa that dares to call itself caviar.   It is simple to prepare.  It is memorable.  And, it has chutzpah, in a good way.

This salad can be served as a side dish or as an appetizer with tortilla chips or lettuce.  It is versatile and can be prepared several hours in advance and refrigerated until  ready to serve  You can experiment with different types of legumes like chick peas and assorted beans.  For less attitude, you can skip the sriracha sauce altogether.

cowboy caviar in jalapeno pepper bowl-side view


1 can black-eyed peas
1 can black beans
2 ears of grilled corn or 1 can of corn kernels
3-4 diced medium tomatoes

1 diced firm ripe avocado

1 bunch thinly sliced scallions or 1 diced medium onion
2-3 stalks thinly sliced celery or bok choy (see kosher notes)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro and/or fresh parsley (see kosher notes)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoons hot sauce or sriracha
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon oil
1 clove garlic, minced or garlic powder
dash pepper


Cut kernels off of grilled corn and drain cans of peas, beans and corn. Dice and slice all vegetables and herbs.  Drizzle and sprinkle seasonings right on top of salad and toss gently to combine.

cowboy caviar up close


To keep avocado from oxidizing if you are not serving this salad right away, cube avocado and store in a container with a dash of lemon juice or cider vinegar and enough water to cover the diced avocado.  Drain avocado and toss in salad right before serving.


Serving Suggestions

Serve as a salad by itself or serve with tortilla or corn chips.  You can also serve this over romaine lettuce or red cabbage.

Kosher Notes

Kosher laws disallow the eating of any whole insects and therefore most greens and herbs require a process of soaking and rinsing. Kashrut authorities differ somewhat on the proper checking of leafy vegetables and herbs. This blog was not designed to be your kosher authority, so please consult your local rabbinic authority regarding using greens such as bok choy and herbs such as parsley and cilantro.

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