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Cowboy Caviar — a Tasty Substitute 

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In the Southern climate, it's always nice to have a list of refreshing dishes that are easy to prepare. One popular dish is cowboy caviar, also known as Texas caviar. This recipe contains no real caviar, but it's still a delectable side dish that will hit the spot on a hot day. 

What Is Cowboy Caviar?

What Is Cowboy Caviar?

Cowboy caviar is a dish served as a side, salad, topping or dip. Although caviar is present in the name, you won't need it for the dish. Cowboy caviar is a clever alternative that approximates the texture of sturgeon roe. 

The term cowboy caviar first came to light in the 1940s. Helen Corbitt, the culinary director for Neiman Marcus at the time, coined the term in Dallas — hence the alternative name Texas caviar. 

Corbitt's cowboy caviar features beans, dressing and a mixture of corn, tomatoes, peppers and other flavorful ingredients. It all comes together in 30 minutes or less. 

How to Make Cowboy Caviar

Many chefs and writers have developed recipes for cowboy caviar over the years. Here is a general idea of how to make cowboy caviar at home.


You'll need the following ingredients:

Salad Ingredients

The salad portion of cowboy caviar features various beans, fruits and vegetables: 

  • Cooked or canned black, red or pinto beans
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Spicy jalapeños or sweet bell peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Your choice of refreshing extras like corn, avocado or mango

Dressing Ingredients

You can use Italian dressing from the store or craft a homemade concoction using the following ingredients: 

  • Lime juice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Garlic powder
  • Cumin 
  • Oregano 
  • Olive oil


Preparing cowboy caviar is as easy as assembling the ingredients in a bowl. 

First, prepare your dressing by mixing the ingredients in one bowl. 

Then, ready your salad ingredients. Start by rinsing your ingredients, then dice them on a cutting board. Next, add each element into a separate bowl from the dressing. Shake the large bowl to mix the salad ingredients. 

When the salad is done, pour the dressing into the larger bowl and stir. Your cowboy caviar will be ready to eat right away. If you want to wait, refrigerate the dish until you're ready to eat. Keeping cowboy caviar cool makes for a refreshing dish on a hot day. 

Purchase the Real Caviar Through Imperia Caviar

Texas caviar is delicious and vaguely reminiscent of true caviar. However, you should experience real caviar for yourself. Today, having premium-grade caviar delivered to your home is easier than ever. 

At Imperia Caviar, we farm and ship various types of sturgeon roe to the contiguous United States, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Our site features a vast selection of caviar, plus information to help you enjoy it. We invite you to browse caviar online and place an order today!

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