Cowboy Caviar

posted by Andrea | 07/23/2014
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cowboy caviar

During the warm summer months, I often get into a rut of making a lettuce salad as a side dish to almost EVERY. SINGLE. MEAL.

It might be because the weather is hot and I don’t feel like eating hot veggies — or maybe because salad does actually taste good with most of our meals. However, even the best tasting salad gets old after a few nights in a row!

Several weeks ago, I started hunting around for yummy side dish ideas that didn’t require the oven or the stove or a steamer — and almost like magic, an email entitled “Cowboy Caviar” showed up in my inbox! A reader thought it might be a recipe Dave and I would like… and boy was she right (thanks Tracey!)

I’m fairly confident I’ve eaten a similar fresh salsa before — I’ve just never had the recipe, so I’ve never made it myself.

If you’re looking for a super simple summer side dish (say that 6 times fast) that doesn’t require any heat in your kitchen, THIS Cowboy Caviar is for you!

fresh salsa

Recipe for Cowboy Caviar

Serves: 10-12

{print this recipe}

ingredients

INGREDIENTS:

  • 15 oz. can black beans; rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz. can sweet corn; drained
  • 1 small red pepper; finely diced
  • 1/2  red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro (not dried)
  • 2 T. lime juice (approximately 1 lime, juiced)
  • 1 t. minced garlic (probably about 2-3 cloves)
  • 1 t. cumin powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

Refrigerate leftovers in a tightly sealed container.

This is such a yummy fresh salsa for chips — or even as a topping for quesadillas, tacos, nachos, etc.

cowboy-caviar

One thing I really like about this “salsa” is that there are no tomatoes. I actually didn’t even realize there were no tomatoes until I was almost finished making it — and thought, did I just forget them? Nope, they were not in the recipe I was given. I even looked up a few similar recipes online and some of them didn’t have tomatoes either.

The reason I like the lack of tomatoes is because it keeps the salsa from getting overly watery and soggy.

However, as with almost all the recipes on my blog, PLEASE feel free to change them up to suit your taste buds!

If you like tomatoes, add a can of petit diced tomatoes. If you only have yellow peppers in the house, add those instead of the red pepper. If you don’t have minced garlic, use garlic powder or even garlic salt. If you don’t love cumin, leave it out (I tried it that way too and it’s still yummy). If you don’t have lime juice, that’s fine too. You really can’t mess this up unless you forget the beans and cilantro 🙂

fresh salsa

The only bad thing about this recipe is that if you bring it to a party or potluck, you probably won’t come home with any leftovers!

One other note: I’d suggest waiting to make this salsa until shortly before you’re ready to eat it — that way it will be super fresh. If you want to work ahead, you can do all the prep of chopping and dicing ahead of time, store everything in separate containers, and then simply dump it all together at the last minute.

Cowboy Caviar is a fabulously simple summer side dish that would be the perfect addition to almost any backyard BBQ (or whatever you’re making for dinner tonight!)

Do you have any awesome fresh salsa recipes?

Visit my virtual recipe box for more simple, delicious, family friendly, recipes!

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15 comments

  1. Veronica

    08/06/2014

    I saw this when you posted it and added all the ingredients to my shopping list to try it out. Just made it, wow it’s so yummy! Not to mention very healthy. I’m definitely going to make this again. Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — so glad you liked it! and thanks for coming back to let me know it was a success for you!

    [Reply]

  2. Trudy

    07/24/2014

    My recipe is basically the same, except you add a seeded, membrane removed, finely diced jalapeno. I’ve also added diced green onion instead of the red onion….family favorite and keeps well in the fridge.

    [Reply]

  3. Carrie

    07/23/2014

    I add chopped avocado and I also use frozen corn.

    [Reply]

  4. Tara

    07/23/2014

    I always thought “cowboy caviar” required black-eyed peas. This looks delicious though too. I’ve made something similar and it’s always a hit.

    A favorite summer side dish at our house is a super simple not-at-all-sweet coleslaw. It’s yummy and so quick and easy to make:

    1) Quarter, core and thinly slice a cabbage (or half a cabbage-however much you think you’ll need) and place in a mixing bowl.

    2) Add a dollop of mayo, a couple Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (fresh is a must) and seasoning salt of your choice.

    3) Mix it well and adjust the dressing to your taste adding more mayo, lemon or salt as you desire. As an option you can shred carrots into this slaw as well. I never have leftovers from this dish at a potluck or BBQ. It’s very refreshing.

    Also, asian slaw is always a hit here too. This slaw also rarely has leftovers at parties, which is good because the crunchy noodles tend to get soggier after refrigeration. Not that I mind. I love it any which way: http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Asian-Slaw-471227?columns=5&position=2%2F63

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    sounds yummy (and I love cabbage!) thanks for sharing Tara!

    [Reply]

  5. Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

    07/23/2014

    I posted a similar recipe recently, but I like the name of yours! 🙂 It’s all about the cilantro, cumin, and lime. Delicious combination. Easy, healthy, and frugal! I just came up with a similar recipe yesterday using chickpeas that I will be posting soon. Summer is all about the salads, isn’t it? Well, and the grilling and the fresh berries and the lazy afternoons…

    [Reply]

  6. Donna

    07/23/2014

    Yum! And…Fresh corn in the middle of the season can be used uncooked. Just cut it off the cob. If the corn in your area is too starchy already and has to be cooked, then blanch a bunch on a day that you are cooking anyway (3 minutes only!) and then cut off cob and freeze it. Use that corn instead of canned. 🙂 At least that’s what I would do…

    [Reply]

  7. Angela

    07/23/2014

    It is also really good with diced avocado and red wine vinegar and I let it marinate in the fridge overnight. Everybody loves it with Scoops chips.

    [Reply]

  8. Shawna

    07/23/2014

    It’s also awesome if you add Mango into it!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh wow, that does sound yummy. Mango is kind of hard to come by at my grocery store — but we LOVE mango salsa so I’m sure mango would be a positive addition for us 🙂

    [Reply]

  9. Debbie

    07/23/2014

    Every time I make this for a party everyone can’t get enough of it. The only difference is the recipe I was given is called Mexican Caviar, and given by a Hispanic friend. You think the Gringos stole from the natives again? 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — you’re probably right about us “stealing” the recipe and changing the name!

    [Reply]

  10. Leigh

    07/23/2014

    Also really good if you make it into a quinoa salad, which is my go to summer lunch and potluck dish.

    [Reply]

  11. Sherry

    07/23/2014

    That looks delicious! I have a somewhat similar recipe but it is just corn (fresh or canned), red pepper and green onion mixed with Italian dressing (we prefer Olive Garden’s). I love no-cook meals in the summer!

    [Reply]