Recipe: Black Bean Salsa (aka Cowboy Caviar)

If you’re looking for something healthy to eat in the New Year that actually tastes good too, and is super easy to make in advance – look no further. My family always called this Black Bean Salsa, but most people know it as Cowboy Caviar. I think we called it salsa because we ate it off of tortilla chips, but maybe that was just an excuse. The great news is that it’s delicious without the chips too, and you can make a big batch and it lasts a while in the fridge.

It seems everyone has their own version of this recipe, but here is the one my mom passed on to me:


  • 2 cans (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small can corn
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3-4 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • salt an pepper (to taste)
  • Chill overnight to enhance flavor
  • Add 1 sliced avocado right before serving

My modifications:

  • 1 can black beans, 1 can pinto
  • Twice as much corn! (I prefer it to beans)
  • Sometimes I mix in about a half a pack of dried Ranch dressing mix for extra flavor
  • The more avocados the better. Always.

What’s YOUR version of Cowboy Caviar? How is it different from mine?

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