Texas Caviar: The Ultimate Side Dish -OR- Appetizer!

Last weekend, my sister kicked off the Spring/Summer season with the first official barbeque/pool party of the year. She grilled carne asada (or marinated steak if you have no idea what that is) and everybody else brought all the side dishes and appetizers. I decided to bring Texas Caviar aka Cowboy Caviar aka Black Bean Salad aka Texas Salsa. Whatever you wanna call it, it is GOOD!

Now Texas Caviar is meant to be eaten as an appetizer – you scoop it onto tortilla chips and it’s perfect. What ended up happening was that people were eating it like a side dish…like a cold bean salad! I got lots of compliments on it, and so I thought I’d share it with you.

You've heard it called by many names: Texas Caviar, Cowboy Caviar, Black Bean Salad,  Texas Salsa. Whatever you want to call it, this appetizer is great! It's also versatile - serve it as a salad or side dish too!

Texas Caviar Recipe

Texas Caviar: The Ultimate Side Dish -OR- Appetizer!

Best Ever Texas Caviar Recipe

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  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans white corn (shoe peg corn, white corn or sweet corn), rinsed and drained
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles (medium heat), undrained
  • 1 jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional, and I kept a few of the seeds in for some zip)
  • 1 red bell pepper - cored, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper - cored, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Mix the black beans, pinto beans, white corn, green chiles, jalapeno pepper, red and green bell peppers, red onion, and cilantro together in a large bowl. The longer the salad sits, the better the flavors marry together. Serve it nice & cold!
  2. Now you could serve it just like that, but the dressing really gives it some more pizzazz. To make the dressing, stir the vinegar, oil, sugar, and garlic powder together in a small bowl. Pour dressing over bean mixture, and toss to mix evenly.


Doesn’t this Texas Caviar sound good? And I love that I made it as an appetizer but people were eating it like a side dish!

Looking for more appetizer and side dish recipes? I have lots of appetizer recipes and side dish recipes here on my blog. You can also check out my Appetizer and Side Dishes boards on Pinterest.

What is your favorite summer recipe?


  1. Yum! I just made a black bean salad similar to this and used a bit of olive oil and lime juice! It's so good... I eat in a bowl as my lunch sometimes! Jackie recently posted..Socialpunk Preview!My Profile
  2. I had this for the first time not too long ago...it must have been over the Holidays. It was good!! Except over here it's called, "Redneck Caviar" haha...
  3. That looks great! Not so much a recipe but being in MD...crabs and corn on the cob is the go to summer meal with a corona of course! Jenny recently posted..Loving and LossMy Profile


  1. [...] great right? Check out my Texas Caviar recipe that doubles as another side dish or [...]