Cowboy caviar is a delicious bean dip made with black-eyed peas, black beans, bell peppers, jalapeños, tomatoes, red onion, and avocado in a savory cilantro lime vinaigrette. Great for both cookouts and weekly meal prep.
15g net carbs per ½ cup of cowboy caviar
This black-eyed peas recipe is perfect for healthy Southern-style entertaining whether you serve it at a party, tailgate, potluck or picnic. It's also great for meal prep to eat throughout the week as a satisfying salad. It's healthy, affordable, quick and easy.
What is cowboy caviar?
Cowboy caviar goes by many names. It's also called Texas caviar, Carolina caviar, redneck caviar, cowboy salsa and cowboy salad.
Cowboy caviar is not fish eggs, but a hearty bean dip that can be eaten like salsa with tortilla chips.
This cowboy salsa recipe leaves out the sweet corn and sugar that many recipes call for to make it diabetic-friendly.
Even though beans are a carbohydrate food, they are great for a diabetic diet because they are low-glycemic, meaning that they won't spike your blood sugar. They are also full of soluble fiber. Research has shown that soluble fiber intake significantly improves blood glucose levels and insulin resistance.
This recipe contains no saturated fat, is low-carb, vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free. For more info, see the nutrition facts in the recipe card below.
This cowboy caviar recipe uses black-eyed peas, black beans, bell peppers, jalapeños, tomatoes, red onion, avocado and cilantro. No corn or added sugar. The bean mixture is tossed together in a savory, spicy lime juice vinaigrette.
black-eyed peas 👁
Use rinsed beans. I was able find them in the International aisle of a major supermarket.
Black-eyed peas are a type of cowpea, popular in the South. They are dutifully eaten on New Year's Day with hopes for good luck and prosperity. If health is wealth, then there is something to this tradition because they are a protein and fiber-rich, health food.
If black-eyed peas are unavailable you can substitute with other beans. Adzuki beans, when available, taste most like black-eyed peas.
fresh lime juice
bell peppers 🛎
Chopped red bell pepper, green bell pepper and yellow bell pepper add color, sweetness and crunch.
A chopped jalapeño pepper adds a fresh kick of spice.
Use any fresh, ripe tomato such as Roma tomatoes or cherry tomatoes.
A few chopped cilantro leaves added to the dressing and few leaves for garnish
salt and pepper to taste 🧂
- adzuki beans (closest in flavor and texture), pinto beans or navy beans instead of black-eyed peas
- red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar instead of fresh lime juice
- avocado oil instead of olive oil
- garlic powder instead of fresh garlic
- green onions instead of red onions
- Italian dressing instead of vinaigrette (no sugar added)
- store bought pico de gallo is a good stand in for chopped tomatoes, onions and cilantro if you are in a hurry
For recipe variations spice it up with chili powder or sweeten it up with a few corn kernels.
- chili powder
- hot sauce
- 🌽 sweet corn in small amounts according to your carb budget - frozen corn, fresh corn and canned corn are all fine
- sugar substitute if you need a touch of sweetness
Use one big bowl to make this delicious simple dip. Just toss all ingredients together and chill before serving. No need for a separate bowl.
Step 1: Mix together garlic, olive oil, lime juice and salt and pepper.
Step 2: Add avocado. Toss to coat. This prevents browning.
Step 3: Add remaining ingredients.
Step 4: Toss together. Chill.
How to Serve
Serve chilled. This is one my favorite recipes for sharing. Serve it to a crowd with tortilla chips as a dip. Or enjoy it as a salad over fresh greens instead of tortilla chips for a healthy meal. You can also use it as a taco filling or serve cowboy caviar as a side dish.
- cutting board
- large bowl
- mixing spoon
Store any leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.
You can freeze cowboy caviar. Just leave out the avocado and store in an air-tight container for up to a month. To serve, thaw, mix and add fresh avocado.
- Toss avocado in lime dressing to keep it from spoiling.
Frequently asked questions
No. Not when eaten in moderation. Even though beans are a carbohydrate food, they are great for a diabetic diet because they are low-glycemic, meaning that they won't spike your blood sugar. They are also full of soluble fiber. Research has shown that soluble fiber intake significantly improves blood glucose levels and insulin resistance.
Why is it called cowboy caviar?
When chef Helen Corbitt first served it in Texas it was jokingly given the names "Texas caviar" and "cowboy caviar", because it looks a little like caviar.
This absolutely delicious dip whips up in under 15 minutes. It's a great recipe to serve to a crowd as a dip or eaten as a salad. Black-eyed peas, black beans, bell peppers, jalapeños, tomatoes, red onion, avocado and cilantro are tossed together in a savory lime juice vinaigrette, then served chilled.
- juice of 2 limes
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup tomato, seeded and chopped
- ½ cup green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- ½ cup yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- ½ cup red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
- ¼ cup red onion, chopped
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15 oz) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 avocado, diced
- In a large bowl whisk together dressing ingredients.
- Add avocado, toss to coat. Then add tomato, bell peppers, jalapeño, onion, beans and cilantro. Toss gently to coat with dressing.
- Best served chilled 1-2 hours before serving.
- Toss diced avocado in lime juice to avoid discoloration.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Chop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: cowboy caviar, low carb, diabetic, black eyed peas, beans, salad, dip, salsa, Texas caviar, redneck caviar, Carolina caviar, Black-eyed peas recipe southern