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Cowboy Caviar Recipe

  • Author: Elizabeth Rider
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8
  • Category: Dip, Snack
  • Method: Chop, Mix
  • Cuisine: American


Cowboy Caviar is a big bean and corn salad that's loaded with fresh flavors and crunch. Adjust any ingredients to your liking to make it your own. I highly recommend sautéeing fresh corn when it's in season, you won't regret it.


  • 1 (14-ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ears of fresh corn, cut off the cobb
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, seeded and diced (or 1/2 an English cucumber)
  • 1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
  • 10-15 grape tomatoes, chopped (about a cup)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced (red onion is also good here)
  • 1 medium firm but ripe avocado, scooped out and diced
  • a small handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • juice of 2 limes (about 3-4 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, to taste


  1. Remove the corn off the cobb with a sharp knife over a bowl to catch the kernels as they fall. Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and sauté the corn with a big pinch of salt for 5-7 minutes until some of it starts to brown but it's still a little crunchy.
  2. Drain and rinse the beans then add them to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Dice all of the veggies to be about the same size as the beans and corn then add them to the bowl. Add the corn. Add more of anything you want, or leave out anything you don’t love. A chopped jalapeno is nice for heat if you want it.
  4. Top with the cumin, chili powder, lime juice, and salt then toss until well combined. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
  5. Enjoy it on its own or serve it with your favorite tortilla chips.


  • You can stretch this recipe by adding another can of beans. If you do that, add a little more salt and lime juice. Some people like to add a can of drained and rinsed black-eyed peas.
  • I intentionally didn't include garlic here because raw garlic can overpower the corn and we have so many other flavors happening here. However, if you want to give it a try you can grate 1 clove of garlic over the whole thing and toss to combine.
  • Fresh corn really makes the dish here so I recommend fresh if you can use it. If you want to use frozen corn, use 1 cup of defrosted corn kernels. You can defrost them in hot water while you chop the ingredients. Pat them dry before adding to the salad.

Keywords: Cowboy Caviar, Black Bean Salad