Cowboy Caviar recipe: How to make this vegan salad

This hearty salad has seen a revival on the internet 80 years after it was invented. Full of fibre, protein, healthy fats and micronutrients, the cowboy caviar is a boon for clean eaters.


Updated: Jun 28, 2022 | 16:56 IST

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cowboy caviar recipe

cowboy caviar recipe

Before you think this is a hoity-toity recipe, a disclaimer: You don't need expensive fish roes for this. The name may be misleading, but (also known as Texas Caviar) is a vegan's delight. It is a hearty salad made with black-eyed peas and black beans. It is full of plant-based proteins, veggies and healthy fats. Did we mention it is delicious? It's so lip-smacking-ly good and healthy that celebs are losing their minds over it on the internet.
It's everywhere on and the hashtag #cowboycaviar has reportedly raked in 10 billion views!
What is Cowboy Caviar?
Despite the newfound excitement around it, cowboy caviar is not a recent find. It has been around for years. First invented in the 1940s by a New Yorker named Helen Corbitt, the salad is eaten as a dip with tortilla chips. Corbitt, who was the head chef at Neiman Marcus chain of department stores, was instructed to create something using just Texan ingredients. Thus, the dish was born.
So she created a simple dish with black beans, black-eyed peas, chopped bell peppers, herbs, serrano chillies and cilantro, all tossed in a vinaigrette made of olive oil and red wine vinegar.
The "caviar" reference is just a humorous take on the traditional hors d'oeuvre, which is made of pickled fish eggs. Some believe it's because the round peas and beans resemble the roes. The actual recipe is entirely plant-based and a boon for the vegan lifestyle.
The dish, which has been obscure for a while, has seen a revival 80 years later partly because of the plant-based movement.
How to make Cowboy Caviar
The beauty of cowboy caviar is that it needs simple ingredients that you can find in your fridge. It also requires very little skill to put together and the end result is scrumptious. Here's the complete list of ingredients:
  • Chopped red bell pepper 1
  • Chopped green bell pepper 1
  • Chopped yellow bell pepper 1
  • Chopped tomato 1
  • Jalapenos 1/4 cup
  • Chopped onion 1
  • Sweet corn 1 cup
  • Boiled black beans 1 cup
  • Boiled black-eyed peas 1 cup
  • Black olives 2 tablespoon
  • Chopped avocado 1
For the dressing:
  • Limes 3
  • Olive oil 1/2 cup
  • Vinegar 1/4 cup
  • Sugar to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
To prepare the salad, follow the instructions:
1. Add all dressing ingredients to a bowl and whisk till they are all well combined.
2. In a bowl, add the salad ingredients and pour the dressing on top.
3. Toss till the dressing coats all the ingredients.
4. Serve with tortilla chips.
You can adjust the amount of the ingredients according to your preferences. Some recipes online call for the use of mangoes, peaches, tomatoes, garlic salt, peas or queso fresco. You could also tweak the recipe with the ingredients of your choice. Add more herbs like parsley, mint or cilantro for a hit of freshness.

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