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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!

36 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.

    • Theresa Murphy permalink
      September 1, 2015 1:02 pm

      I have a similar recipe for Cowboy caviar, it so close to this one with the veggies but the marinade is much simpler~ use bottle of dressing like paul newman’s olive oil & vinegar to 2T of greek seasoning. So, you can use any of the lite or low sugar salad dressings but boost the flavor with a seasoning like greek, that doesn’t have sugar but more flavor.

  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!

  21. Sherri permalink
    May 30, 2015 7:17 am

    I made this last summer for my grandsons 4th birthday which had a cowboy theme and it was a huge hit! I did add a can of chopped green chillis to it and some diced jalapenos for a little extra kick! I am making a double batch now for my daughters wedding reception tomorrow, this is some awesome stuff!!

  22. Indianmama permalink
    June 26, 2015 6:20 pm

    I’ve made this so many times and it is always a huge hit! Super delicious. Best cowboy caviar recipe out there! Thanks for sharing.

  23. August 23, 2015 7:13 am

    how long does this last in the fridge?

  24. Bonnie Jean permalink
    September 12, 2015 2:24 pm

    Thank you, this really looks good. I plan on making for a senior woman’s potluck card night at my church. Thank you again. Bonnie Jean

  25. September 27, 2015 3:08 pm

    Reblogged this on ArizonaBorn Sprouting New Life and commented:
    I will definitely be trying this!!

  26. Brenda permalink
    February 26, 2016 6:04 pm

    Almost but not quite. This needs to have chopped roma tomatoes, kill the celery and add chopped avocados. The dressing should be oil and red wine vinegar with sugar, salt and pepper to taste. The beans should be dark kidney, cannellini, Black Eyed Peas, black beans, and of course drained corn and the most important part is chopped fresh cilantro. That my friends is cowboy caviar.

  27. Michelle permalink
    July 11, 2017 9:08 am

    This stuff is so goood. I did use navy beans because I couldn’t find the black eyed peas in the store. I also got busy with other stuff so it ended up sitting in the marinade for 48 hours. It was so tasty I wish I hadn’t shared it cause I couldn’t stop eating it. Would this stuff can well?

  28. Michelle permalink
    July 17, 2017 11:37 am

    I made this and it was so good I couldn’t stop eating it . I couldn’t find the black eyed peas at the store so I used navy beans instead and because I got busy and distracted by other things it ended up marinating for 48hrs instead of overnight. I shared it with others and have been asked for more. Thanks for this most delicious recipe.

  29. Carol permalink
    July 22, 2017 10:55 am

    How long will it keep in the refrigerator?

    • Diane permalink
      August 14, 2017 8:15 pm

      How long does it keep in the fridge and can you freeze it?

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