Easy cowboy salsa, also known as Redneck caviar, is a crowd pleaser! It can serve a large party and is a convenient make-ahead recipe that combines canned beans and corn with fresh ingredients, all marinated in Italian dressing. The result is this flavorful dip that works as a salad too! Add it to super bowl parties, potlucks, tailgating or summer gatherings.
Easy Redneck Caviar
This delicious bean and corn salsa goes by many names. You might know it as Redneck Caviar, Cowboy Caviar, Texas Caviar, Mississippi Caviar, or simply Black-eyed Peas salad. It’s a delicious appetizer dip that’s great for all kinds of parties when you’re serving a crowd.
It’s quick and simple to prepare but be sure to make it ahead of time so the flavors can fully blend together. It’s needs at least 8 hours to marinate, and 24 hours is even better!
The result is this colorful, chunky blend of texture and flavor. Serve it with tortilla chips or scoops.
Party Dip for a Crowd
- Makes a lot. The recipe makes about 6 cups so it can feed any large gathering.
- Make-ahead. Nothing makes entertaining easier than great make-ahead recipes!
- Vegetarian. It can sometimes be difficult to find a recipe that’s suitable for vegetarians or vegans that don’t require specialty ingredients, but this one is!
- Quick & Easy. It takes about 15 minutes to chop the fresh ingredients, and using bottle dressing is a great time saver.
- Budget friendly. This cowboy salsa has inexpensive ingredients that serve a large group.
- Room Temperature. No worries about keeping this dish hot or cold. It’s served at room temperature.
Ingredients & Substitutions
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This is quite possibly the easiest party dip you can make. Start with canned goods and add some fresh vegetables and herbs to give it some vibrancy.
- Black-eyed peas. Black-eyed peas give this salsa that southern twist. They have a great bite to them, with mild flavor.
- Black beans. These are traditional in most any bean salsa. They add great color, texture and taste.
- Corn. A can of yellow corn is perfect for this dip. Drain and rinse before using.
- Petite Diced tomatoes. This classic recipe uses canned diced tomatoes and the petite size is best for this. The juice adds extra flavor to the dip but you can substitute with fresh diced Roma tomatoes too.
- Onion. Use your favorite type of onion. I like to use white because it’s crunchy and great for salsa, but red onion is also a great choice.
- Green Bell Pepper. Green peppers are the most bitter of the bell pepper group, but it’s perfect for this recipe. If you want to use a different color, know they range from yellow to orange to red, with red being the sweetest.
- Jalapeno pepper. The heat is in the light colored pith (or rib) so cut that off if you don’t want the spice!
- Lime Juice. Cut a fresh lime in half and juice both halves for the best flavor. This is the juicing tool I use to make it super quick and easy. TIP: Make sure the lime is at room temperature in order to extract the most juice from it.
- Cilantro. This is my favorite herb and adds a ton of flavor, however some people think it tastes like soap (it’s a genetic thing). Sub with chopped parsley if needed.
- Italian Dressing. This is where you save time and effort. Use a bottled Italian dressing, but make sure it’s a good quality one. You can make your own Italian vinaigrette instead, if you like.
How to Make It
Make sure you make this at least 8 hours ahead. It needs time to chill in the refrigerator so the flavors can all blend together.
- Drain and rinse a can each of black eyed peas, black beans, and yellow whole kernel corn.
- Add chopped onion, chopped green pepper, chopped cilantro, and finely chopped jalapeno peppers.
- Add a can of petite diced tomatoes WITH the juice.
- You’ll mix everything together with Italian salad dressing, fresh lime juice and garlic salt. Then cover and refrigerate.
- Serve with tortilla chips or corn chip scoops.
Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Expert Tips & Variations
- I can’t say this enough, but YOU NEED TO MAKE IT AHEAD. Letting the prepared salad sit in the fridge for at least 8 hours gives the dressing and tomato juices time to completely blend together and the flavors permeate the ingredients. If you eat it too soon, it will taste disjointed.
- Use Petite diced tomatoes rather than the regular diced tomatoes. The size is more proportionate to the rest of the salsa ingredients so you get a better bite.
- This recipe calls for garlic salt but if you don’t have any on hand you can make your own using garlic powder and sea salt. The ratio is one part garlic powder to three parts salt which would be 1/4 teaspoon garlic + 3/4 teaspoons salt.
- Add a couple of diced avocadoes if you like. Cut and add them just before serving so they don’t turn brown.
- 1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas – drained & rinsed
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans – drained & rinsed
- 1 (15 ounce) can yellow corn – drained
- 1 (15 ounce) can Petite diced tomatoes - do NOT drain
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 lime, juiced
- ¼ cup finely chopped jalapeno peppers (about 2 or 3 peppers)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (or more if you want)
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 8 ounces of bottled Italian salad dressing (or Zesty Italian)
- Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Serve with tortilla chips or Fritos scoops.