bowl of cowboy caviar with black beans, corn, cilantro, peppers and onions.

Cowboy Caviar

Growing up in Texas means I eat my fair share of southwestern-inspired dishes. This cowboy caviar takes me back to summer nights with family. Fresh and satisfying, it’s a crowd-pleaser. You can easily double the recipe if you have a full house.

Cowboy Caviar Ingredients

The beauty of this appetizer is the variety of colors, textures, and flavors.

  • Cumin seeds: Toasting the seeds adds a lovely fragrance throughout the dish.
  • Black beans: The protein and heartiness of the dip. You can also use pinto beans.
  • Corn: Adds vibrant yellow color and a touch of sweetness. Fresh, frozen, or canned all work well.
  • Bell peppers: Use a color you don’t already have in the salad, like red or orange.
  • Red onion: Finely diced onion adds a fresh zip.
  • Herbs: This calls for a mix of parsley and cilantro, but you could certainly just use one or the other.
  • Lime juice: You can use lemon juice, but don’t skip the citrus — it brightens everything up.
bowl of cowboy caviar with black beans, peppers, onions, corn, and cilantro

How to Make This Cowboy Caviar

Toast the cumin seeds for a minute or two until they begin to release their aroma.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss well.

Chill in the fridge for a few hours, or serve immediately with chips.

That’s it!

Serving Suggestions

Make this a couple hours before you plan to serve it so that the flavors can meld. It makes a great appetizer with chips, but you can also serve it over chopped romaine with sliced avocado on top for a colorful and nutritious salad.

This saves well in the fridge for up to three days. Any longer than that and the herbs begin to wilt and lose their freshness.

More Tex-Mex favs:

bowl of cowboy caviar with black beans, corn, cilantro, peppers and onions.

Cowboy Caviar

Beans, corn, onions, cumin, herbs and lime juice mingle together to make this craveable party dip. Alternatively, serve it over leafy salad!
Prep 15 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4


  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cans black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper minced
  • 1/2 red onion minced
  • 1/2 cup parsley chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper


  • Toast the cumin seeds in a skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, until browned and fragrant, stirring often.
  • Combine cumin seeds with remaining ingredients; toss well.
  • Serve immediately with tortilla chips, or cover and store in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

Did you try this cowboy caviar?

Let me know in the comments!

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