Cowboy Caviar

unnamed[9]I have to thank my mother-in-law for this recipe. She made it years ago as an appetizer and I was instantly hooked. This recipe is visually pretty, unexpectedly delicious (beans and veggies with NO cheese?), easy to make, a crowd pleaser, healthy and versatile.

It is a great appetizer for any type of party and just nice to have around in the fridge as a healthy snack. I brought it to work for our Friday snack day and it was devoured by lunchtime. I was writing out the recipes for everyone on staff. We are going to a Bloody Mary Football party today and it was the first recipe that came to mind. New Years is in a few days. Even my kids love it.

Like always, I will list the original recipe and then talk about variations and modifications to make it your own.



1 can black beans (drained & rinsed*)

1 can pinto beans (drained & rinsed*)

1 can black-eyed peas or red beans (drained & rinsed*)

1 can yellow corn (drained & rinsed*)

1 medium red onion, diced

1 cup celery, diced

1 cup peppers, diced

1 to 3 jalapeño peppers (no ribs or seeds), diced (this can be omitted if you don’t want the heat)

Scoops chips

*The beans look really gross after they come out of the can. There is a “pasty” like texture, so I drain all the beans and corn and rinse very well under cold water to get rid of all the liquidy stuff.

unnamed[6]      unnamed[1] (5)


1 TBS water

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp salt

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup granulated sugar

unnamed[7]Bring the dressing ingredients to a boil. Stir well and let cool completely. Once cooled, pour over the bean & veggie mixture. Mix well and chill overnight or several hours before serving. The longer it marinates the better. The mixture will appear “congealed” because of the oil but give it a good stir before serving. Serve with Scoops.

Okay, as I promised some variations and notes:

* I am not a huge fan of celery and onion so I omit it. Instead, I add extra diced red and green peppers. Two of each to be exact.

*I also add an extra can of beans or corn. I didn’t have red Kidney beans on hand so I added Navy Beans this time. Any bean you like will work. I also found a “fiesta” style corn at the grocery store which I have used before when I didn’t have enough peppers. The corn is mixed with peppers without any extra seasoning.

*I put a small bowl of this aside in the fridge and use to top cooked chicken breasts. It is delicious! I also use the mixture (well-drained) in quesadillas and as a garnish for Tacos and Fajitas. It’s also a nice topping for salads. Like I said, very versatile.

*At first I thought 1 cup of sugar was a lot and it might be for you so play around with the amount. I have used less and it turned out nice.



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