Never heard of Cowboy Caviar? TikTok may have made it popular, but I made it oil-free! Come see what all the fuss is about!

cowboy caviar with a bowl of chips

Texas Caviar, a deliciously addicting dip of chopped veggies & beans marinated in a zesty vinaigrette, was created in the ’50s by Neiman Marcus food director, Helen Corbitt. it was first served on New Year’s Eve at the Houston Country Club as “pickled black-eyed peas”.

Over the years, it has become more affectionately known as Cowboy Caviar. It’s sort of like a Southwestern Salad (only disguised as a dip, so don’t tell anyone it’s actually healthy)!

The basic recipe for cowboy caviar includes diced bell pepper, tomatoes, red onion, and jalapeño along with corn, black-eyed peas, and black beans. It’s then dressed with either a citrusy vinaigrette or Italian dressing.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of black-eyed peas – so I used chickpeas instead. That way I could also use some of that delicious bean juice called aquafaba to replace the oil in the dressing, making it completely oil-free.

It’s an easy recipe to make, there’s no cooking involved whatsoever, and it tastes amazing. Hope you give it a try.

Cowboy Caviar Ingredients

  • 15oz can of chickpeas
  • 15oz can of black beans
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 cup of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 or 2 jalapenos (depending on how much heat you like)
  • 1 avocado (completely optional)
  • 8 oz frozen (or fresh) corn
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro

For the dressing, you’ll need the juice from the can of chickpeas, some lime juice, red wine vinegar, maple syrup, minced garlic, and a few common spices like salt, pepper, chili powder, and cumin.

Drain and rinse the black beans and add them to a large mixing bowl. Drain the chickpeas, reserving ⅓ cup of the liquid, and add them as well.

Finely dice the red onion, jalapeno, tomatoes, avocado, and any color bell pepper you want (I used orange).

Note: If you’re watching your fat levels, you can leave the avocado out. In fact, you can pretty much customize the ingredients and the amounts any way you like.

Add the diced veggies to the bowl along with 8oz of corn and a small handful of chopped cilantro and mix well. You can use fresh corn, frozen, or canned. If using canned, drain and rinse before adding.

Tip: I used my 7-1 chopper I reviewed in this video – and it made chopping the veggies a breeze!

Cowboy Caviar Dressing

Take that ⅓ cup of chickpea liquid you saved earlier and add another ¼ cup of red wine vinegar. Then add 2 Tbs lime juice, 2-3 cloves of minced garlic, ¼ tsp salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder.

Whisk well and taste – it will be pretty tart. Mix in 1 tsp maple syrup to balance all that tartness and re-taste. Adjust to your liking.

Pour over your salad and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hr to let all those flavors meld together.

Serve with your favorite chips. I use my Cuisinart Air Fryer/Toaster Oven to make my own tortilla chips, completely oil-free.

And that, my friends, is Cowboy Caviar.

Hope you like it and y’all come back now, ya hear? 😁

cowboy caviar with a bowl of chips


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Oil-Free Cowboy Caviar

  • Author:
    Chuck Underwood

  • Prep Time:
    30 min

  • Total Time:
    30 minutes

  • Category:
    Appetizer, Dips

  • Method:

  • Cuisine:

  • Diet:


Never heard of Cowboy Caviar? TikTok may have made it popular, but I made it oil-free! Come see what all the fuss is about! 





  1. Drain and rinse the black beans and add them to a large mixing bowl
  2. Drain the chickpeas, reserving the liquid, and add them as well. 
  3. Dice all the veggies and add them too – then mix well. 
  4. Take ⅓ cup of that chickpea liquid and add another ¼ cup vinegar. 
  5. Add the remaining ingredients for the dressing and whisk to combine. 
  6. Pour dressing over the salad and mix well. 
  7. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, then serve.

Keywords: oil free, cowboy caviar, Texas caviar

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