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cowboy caviar

April 27, 2011

A few of you have asked me if I would post my recipe for Cowboy Caviar and I am more than happy to do so!  This recipe has been a staple in the Rigney fridge since I was pregnant with Sam.  At the time, my doctor recommended that I eat a lot of peppers while pregnant, however, I’m not a huge fan of peppers, so this recipe was a very tasty lifesaver!

This recipe is a little difficult to share because I never use the exact measurements twice.  If I’m in the mood for more of one ingredient and less of another, then I adjust the recipe to our taste and call it a day.

To make things as simple as possible, I’ll share the ingredients we use most of the time, with the most precise measurements that I can recall!  I’m not a rule follower in the kitchen, can you tell?  This recipe makes a huge batch, so feel free to cut in half.

Ingredients for Salsa:

  • 2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans of black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans of yellow corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small diced red onion
  • 3-4 celery stalks, sliced
  • 3-4 diced bell peppers (we like to use a variety of green, red, yellow, and orange)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Ingredients for Marinade:

  • 1 cup of oil (canola, vegetable, safflower, or sunflower)
  • 2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 tbs. salt (optional)
  • 1/2 tbs. pepper (optional)


  1. Combine salsa ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Combine marinade ingredients on the stove and heat until sugar dissolves.  Let cool completely.
  3. Once marinade is completely cooled, pour over salsa.
  4. Let salsa marinade overnight and drain the next day.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips, on fish tacos, etc. and eat until you physically can’t button your pants!

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. thegereckes permalink
    April 27, 2011 3:45 pm

    sounds yummy because I LOVE peppers…and I think I can get all the ingredients here, so I’m excited to try it…thanks for sharing :)

  2. Jenn A permalink
    April 27, 2011 8:23 pm

    Yum! I haven’t made this for a while. Maybe soon! I like it even better if I leave the marinade on longer. It is really good over salad too. This has been great for my low salt diet because it is flavorful even without salt. Thanks for sharing your recipes!

  3. April 28, 2011 9:06 am

    I’ve been waiting for this recipe! Thanks!

  4. Jeremy A. permalink
    April 29, 2011 9:26 pm

    Where do you live and are there any times within the next few days that you plan to be out of the house? Also, if you don’t mind, where do you keep those jars of tasty 545l4?

  5. Grace H permalink
    May 5, 2011 7:56 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! It’s just as delicious as it looks!

  6. amy korpi permalink
    August 7, 2011 10:35 pm

    I am curious to know why your doctor wanted you to eat lots of peppers while you were pregnant?

  7. Stephanie permalink
    March 7, 2012 12:45 pm

    Does this freeze well? How long does it keep in the fridge? Thanks.

  8. Nelly permalink
    April 20, 2012 3:24 pm

    I found this on Pinterest and made it for my daughters bithday party. It was a huge hit! Everybody loved it. I just ommited the celery (I forgot to get some), and it was still delish. Thanks for sharing your awesome “cowboy caviar”

  9. Just Happy Cooking permalink
    May 2, 2012 2:53 pm

    Just had the pleasure of trying cowboy caviar recently, what a treat! Your recipe looks like what I tried, I’m excited to make this for a Vegan party I’m having this weekend. Thanks for sharing!

  10. May 28, 2012 6:46 am

    Yumilicious I do believe…a crunch, munch, crunch!

  11. Helen Rekerdres permalink
    June 23, 2012 11:43 am

    This looks delicious. I can’t wait to get home and make it.

  12. charles lamberth permalink
    June 29, 2012 10:04 pm

    I am going to make some of this sounds de-lish thanks!!

  13. July 21, 2012 8:39 am

    This looks gorgeous! did you “can” it or just used the mason jars to refrigerate?

  14. Terry permalink
    August 12, 2012 10:38 pm

    Is it possible to omit the sugar? Or use sugar substitute? I was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

    • therigneys permalink*
      August 12, 2012 11:06 pm

      Yes, absolutely! Sugar is totally optional.

  15. nance lang permalink
    October 23, 2012 1:06 pm

    I make this all the time with hot peppers….love

  16. Kari permalink
    December 12, 2012 10:16 am

    How long will it last in the fridge?

  17. Jeanie Chambard-Orth permalink
    January 30, 2013 2:32 pm

    I cannot wait to make this for Super Bowl Sunday!! Go Vikings!!

  18. emateurchef permalink
    November 24, 2013 9:40 pm

    I love these photos! Clean, crisp, and colorful! …The perfect combo when shooting food.

    Excellent recipe. I linked to it in my latest post! All the best.

  19. Tenley permalink
    February 13, 2014 1:56 pm

    Does olive oil work well?

    • therigneys permalink*
      February 17, 2014 2:38 pm

      No, it really doesnt. Olive oil is way too strong of an oil for this dip. Canola, Safflower, Vegetable, etc. would be better (although not as healthy)

  20. Carolina permalink
    February 17, 2015 2:53 pm


    I’m looking to make this dish for a work potluck and I had a couple of questions:

    Does the salsa need to be refrigerated? Do I have to drain the marinade?

    Thank you!

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