Giddy Up! Cowboy Caviar

What is it? A mixture of marinated beans and veggies. What do you do with it? Eat it with tortilla chips. Is it good? Heck ya! And the beauty of it is you can change it up as you please – no rules to follow experimenting with this delectable delight!

I have a locally owned market in my town that makes cowboy caviar with a bare basic recipe. I like that. I’m not one for overpowering things with 50 spices and additional flavors. I’m a purist when it comes to food. I want to be able to identify what I’m eating so if I like it – I can recreate it at home. And, yeppers, I was able to recreate the market’s recipe and whipped up a batch this past weekend.

This is a very mellow, but flavorful recipe. I think if I wanted to add a kick, it would be a finely minced Serrano chili. It would blend nicely with the sweetness of the marinade. But go and add what you like – I’ve seen tomatoes, avocado, black beans and red onion used in it. Chili powder, red chili flakes and cumin can be added if you want a more southwest flare. This is best if marinated several hours or overnight. Enjoy!

Cowboy Caviar – My Style


½ cup light extra virgin olive oil

½ cup rice wine vinegar

1/3 cup white sugar

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

Caviar Mix

1 15 oz. can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 15 oz. can of black eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1 4 oz. can of fire roasted green chilis drained

3-4 inner stalks of celery, finely chopped

1 bunch of green onions white and some of the green parts, thinly sliced

1 ½ cups of frozen shoepeg corn, thawed (if you can’t find shoepeg corn, use niblets or white corn)

½ sweet orange or red bell pepper, finely diced

1 clove of garlic, finely minced

OPTIONAL – 1 small Serrano chili, finely minced

OPTIONAL – Chopped cilantro


Add all marinade ingredients to a pot and bring to a low simmer on your stove, just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool.

Mix all other ingredients together except for cilantro. Pour cooled marinade over the mixture. Store in Tupperware-esque container and refrigerate overnight; periodically mixing throughout the day.

To serve, first taste and add salt if needed. Then use slotted spoon to put into serving dish, top with cilantro and serve with Tostitos Scoops® or regular tortilla chips. Warning: This can be addicting. Consume responsibly.

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