Vegan Cowboy Caviar Recipe

Last Updated on March 7, 2024 by Lindsay Delk, RDN

Vegan cowboy caviar is a delicious, healthy way to get your fill of Texas-style flavors. It’s a savory mix of vegetables and spices, and it’s hearty enough to serve it as an appetizer or a side dish. It’s also great as a topping on salads or nachos.

This post was written by Lindsay Delk, RDN. It is for informational purposes and is not intended to replace medical advice or instructions given by your healthcare provider. 

Bowl of vegan cowboy caviar surrounded by tortilla chips on a plate

What Is Cowboy Caviar?

Cowboy caviar is a popular cold appetizer made of beans, peas, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, zesty Italian dressing, and a variety of seasonings. Most people serve it as an appetizer dip with tortilla chips. It’s full of vegetables, so my family loves it as a side dish too.

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

This recipe is quick, easy, tasty, and healthy. The ingredients all combine to create a colorful appetizer, side dish, or snack. It packs tons of flavor with so many different veggies.

The zesty Italian dressing adds a subtle kick of spice while the garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper enhance the flavors of the vegetables even further.

Another great thing about this cowboy caviar recipe is that you can customize it to your own personal tastes. Feel free to add or subtract any ingredients you don’t like or adjust the amount of seasoning as needed.

You could also substitute the Italian dressing with your favorite salsa or use a different type of bean in place of the black beans or black-eyed peas. The possibilities are endless.

Overhead view of cowboy caviar in a bowl with a tortilla chip and a sprig of cilantro

Vegan Cowboy Caviar Ingredients & Mental Health Benefits

This vegan cowboy caviar recipe is delicious AND healthy. The ingredients in this recipe are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants.

  • Black beans and black-eyed peas

Black beans and black-eyed peas are both rich sources of dietary fiber, protein, iron, folate, magnesium, potassium, and zinc—all essential nutrients.

They are also some of the best prebiotics for gut health. Prebiotics foster the growth of beneficial gut bacteria (probiotics). And a healthy gut is linked to better mental health.

  • Corn, bell pepper, onions, tomatoes, garlic, and cilantro

These vegetables provide even more dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. And vegetables contain antioxidants that can protect against chronic inflammation in the body and brain.

Chronic inflammation leads to chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and depression. Eating a diet full of vegetables has been associated with a decreased risk for depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

How to Make Vegan Cowboy Caviar

Prep your ingredients.

Tomatoes, black beans, black-eyed peas, corn, green onions, bell pepper, and onion on a white plate

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.

All of the ingredients in a bowl before being stirred

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

All the ingredients mixed together in a bowl with a spoon

Serve with tortilla chips.

Variations & Substitutions

  • Add different types of beans to create a unique flavor. Try swapping out black beans for red kidney beans or white cannellini beans.
  • Add jalapeno peppers for a spicy kick that will truly taste Texan. You can also add chili flakes or hot sauce to the finished dish.
  • Use your favorite type of tomato, such as cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes.
  • For an added crunch, add in roasted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
  • Spice up your cowboy caviar by adding cumin and/or smoked paprika to the dressing mixture.

Other Recipes to Try

Chicken Salad Chick Broccoli Salad

Roasted Tomato and White Bean Stew

Air Fryer Greek Potatoes

Flatbread Pizza (Naan Pizza)

Bowl of vegan cowboy caviar surrounded by tortilla chips on a plate

Vegan Cowboy Caviar

Vegan cowboy caviar is a savory mix of vegetables and spices, and it's hearty enough to serve it as an appetizer or a side dish. It's also great as a topping on salads or nachos.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 77 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black-eyed peas drained and rinsed
  • 1 can white shoepeg corn drained
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 sweet onion diced
  • 2 green onions sliced
  • 4 roma tomatoes seeded and diced
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 c zesty Italian dressing
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Notes

  • Add different types of beans to create a unique flavor. Try swapping out black beans for red kidney beans or white cannellini beans.
  • Add jalapeno peppers for a spicy kick that will truly taste Texan. You can also add chili flakes or hot sauce to the finished dish.
  • Use your favorite type of tomato, such as cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes.
  • For an added crunch, add in roasted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
  • Spice up your cowboy caviar by adding cumin and/or smoked paprika to the dressing mixture.
Keyword cowboy caviar, texas caviar, vegan, veggies

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