Hearty black beans and corn, bright tomato, sweet mango, creamy avocado, crunchy onion, and fresh cilantro come together with a burst of lemon juice and savory Italian dressing. Serve this Cowboy Caviar Recipe up with tortilla chips, or on the side of a meal like Instant Pot Chicken.
Why This Recipe Works
There is a reason why this dish has a high recipe rating! This Cowboy Caviar Recipe is quite easy to make. All it takes it a little chopping, stirring and it's seriously done. This recipe from start to finish takes about 10 minutes prep time. This recipe is versatile and works with many substitutions. You're going to love serving this at your next get together.
About The Ingredients
All of the ingredients for this cowboy caviar recipe can be found at your local grocery store. Here are a few items to note:
- Canned Black Beans - these are the base of the recipe, so use a high quality black bean. You can also substitute black eyed peas. Drain and rinse your beans.
- Corn - this recipe calls for canned corn, but you can also use fresh sweet corn when it is in season. Simply cut it off of the cob and use right away.
- Mango - the mango really gives a bright flavor to this dish. When choosing a mango, gently squeeze, a mango that's ripe and ready to eat should give slightly to pressure. If it's hard as a rock, it's not yet ripe. If mangos are not in season, or readily available - try subbing pineapple.
- Tomato - In a pinch, feel free to use diced canned tomatoes. Drain before using.
- Avocado - you want to choose, large, ripe avocados. Look for avocados that have a rich dark green/black. Hass Avocados that are a lighter shade of green are likely not ripe. Hass Avocados are the most readily available because they ship well due to their thick skins.
- Italian Dressing - this is the secret ingredient. You'll just use a few tablespoons, but it really marries all the flavors together and gives the salsa a nice kick. You can also sub red wine vinegar and olive oil.
- Lemon - while most recipes call for limes and lime juice, we are using lemon. I feel it brings and nice and light brightness to the dish.
- Red Onion - red onions are more mild than yellow, so they don't overpower the dish, but still give it that nice bite.
A complete list of ingredients is located in the recipe card below.
How to make Cowboy Caviar
Step 1: Start by dicing your tomato, onion, avocado, and mango. Mince your cilantro.
Pro Tip: Use an onion chopper to dice all of your ingredients into the same size. This saves time and is super easy. You'll use this tool every day.
Step 2: Drain your beans and rinse well. Add do a large bowl.
Step 3: Drain your corn and add to a large bowl.
Step 4: Add in your diced onion.
Step 5: Add in your diced tomato.
Step 6: Add in your diced mango.
Step 7: Add in your diced avocado.
Step 8: Add in your minced cilantro.
Step 9: Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the top. Sprinkle with garlic salt.
Step 10: Pour Italian seasoning over the top.
Step 11: Toss to combine.
Step 10: Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.
Pro Tip: If you are serving later, wait to add diced avocado until right before serving. This will prevent it from going brown.
Cowboy Caviar Recipe FAQ
This dish was created in Texas around 1940 by Helen Corbitt. She named in Texas Caviar as a humorous comparison to true caviar, an expensive hors d'oeuvre of salt-cured fish roe. It has also been called cowboy caviar.
If stored in the fridge, this recipe will last in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Try adding red bell pepper, black eyed peas - rinsed, or pineapple.
- Onion Chopper - Use an onion chopper to dice your ingredients into a uniform size. Not only does this save time, but it also makes your food more enjoyable to eat with all of the ingredients being the same size.
- How To Pick an Avocado- Firmness - hold in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze. If it has a little give it is ripe. If it is hard, it is not. The Stem - try to remove the stem. If it is tough to remove - the avocado is unripe; if it comes off too easily and the flesh underneath is brown, the avocado is overripe; but if it comes off easily and the flesh is green – you’ve found a good avocado.
- How To Choose a Mango - When choosing a mango, gently squeeze, a mango that's ripe and ready to eat should give slightly to pressure. If it's hard as a rock, it's not yet ripe.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
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Sweet Fruit Salsa - this delicious recipe is made from fresh berries and served with cinnamon sugar chips.
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Cowboy Caviar Recipe
- Onion Chopper optional
- 30 oz black beans drained and rinse
- 15 oz canned corn drained
- ¼ red onion diced
- 2 tomatoes diced
- 1 avocado diced
- 1 mango diced
- ½ bunch cilantro minced
- juice of one lemon
- 2 tablespoons Italian Dressing
- Dice onion, tomato, avocado, and mango. Mice cilantro.
- Drain and rinse black beans. Drain corn.
- Combine diced tomato, onion, avocado, and mango in a large bowl. Add in minced cilantro.
- Add in lemon juice, Italian dressing, and garlic salt. Toss to combine.
- Store in an airtight container in refrigerator. Stores well for up to 5 days.