Cowboy Caviar Dip

I’ve been baking for the crew at the Boathouse for 4 years now, I think. Time flies when you’re having fun! But through spending so much time there, my parents and I have also garnered a bunch of new friends – most of them are lifelong Bethany Beach locals. And as we’ve fallen into a new friend group, we’ve also fallen into their traditions. Every summer Sunday, the whole crew convenes on the beach for tailgating, cornhole and a good round of drinks. And of course my reputation precedes me as a baker and cook, so I always have to bring a dish to contribute!


Basic, pantry-staple ingredients make up this delicious dip!


A variation of “cowboy caviar” was introduced to me a few years ago, and I’ve been searching for my favorite version ever since. I think I found that with this recipe, from Meggan at Culinary Hill. And it couldn’t be any simpler! I also think that this is a great recipe to prep a day in advance, so that the flavors of the dressing can meld together and mature a bit.


First, make the dressing. Combine olive oil, sugar, white wine vinegar, chili powder and salt in a large bowl and stir well to combine. Set aside.


Make the dressing first in the same bowl you plan to serve in, that way you have to wash one less bowl!


Next, open, drain and rinse the beans and corn. Allow to drip dry in a colander while you cut the vegetables.


Drain and rinse the beans and corn. Let them drip dry while you dice the rest of the vegetables.


Dice the tomatoes, bell peppers, onion and cilantro.


Veggies ready to become a delicious dip!


Combine all ingredients in the large bowl with the dressing and toss to combine. Allow the “caviar” to rest in the fridge for at least one hour before serving with tortilla chips of your choosing. This salsa/dip is best made a day in advance, and will last 4-5 days in your fridge if kept tightly sealed.


Don’t forget the tortilla chips for serving! (I always do, that’s why I’m reminding you twice!)


5 from 1 reviews
Cowboy Caviar Dip
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An easy crowd pleasing dip that is easily made a day in advance!
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
  • Ingredients
  • ½ c olive oil
  • ¼ c sugar
  • ½ c white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans
  • 1 (15 oz) can black-eyed peas
  • 1 (15 oz) can sweet yellow corn
  • 4-5 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion (see notes)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 large bags tortilla chips, for serving
  1. In a large bowl, combine olive oil, sugar, white wine vinegar, chili powder, and salt. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.
  2. Open, drain, and rinse the black beans, black-eyed peas, and corn. Leave to dry in a colander while you dice the vegetables.
  3. Dice tomatoes, red onion, bell peppers, and cilantro into small chunks.
  4. Add vegetables, beans, and corn to the bowl with the dressing and stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
  5. Recipe Notes
  6. Red onions can be very strong, this is why I recommend using a small red onion or even half of a medium onion so that the flavor does not overpower the rest of the dish. Feel free to substitute a Vidalia or another sweet onion if red onion is too powerful for your palate.
You may notice there is excess liquid after the dip has set for several hours. Feel free to retain this or drain some of it off as necessary. It is a combination of the dressing and residual juices from the tomatoes and bell peppers. I normally only drain mine if the dip is getting low and the liquid level is too high to see what’s left in the bowl!


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