It’s Friday, which means, time to eat some snacks and enjoy life. Texas Caviar also known as cowboy caviar is a fun and easy bean salad. It’s sweet and a tad spicy. Perfect for scooping up with salty tortilla chips.
One of my favorite ways to serve this bean salad is with savory meat. It doubles as a topper for seared fish or with grilled steak tacos. The possibilities are endless.
A quick search on the web for Texas caviar gives tons of variations. I used pinto beans, but you could use black eyed peas or black beans too. We love the colorful version that sneaks in all those crispy veggies.
When I make Texas caviar, I try to get a couple different colors of bell pepper. It’s more visually appealing to eat from the rainbow. You can make this recipe in 20 minutes, but it tastes even better the next day so feel free to make it ahead and store in tupperware.
I like to pack a bag of tortilla chips and bring this for a satisfying and fresh mid-day snack. Bean salads are a great meal prep idea because you can toss them together and they keep well, unlike greens.
This Texas caviar isn’t very spicy. If you like a lot of heat, you can certainly add extra poblano (with the seeds). About one in five poblano peppers are really spicy so taste first!
Tips and Tricks for Making Texas Caviar
- use canned beans to save time
- warm a spice oil before marinading the beans – the beans take on more flavor when the oil is warm and you should always cook spices (nobody likes raw garlic or onion powder)
- make ahead for even more flavor
- salt, taste, salt again – bean salads need a lot of salt. I like to add salt and allow them to marinade. Then I always season with more salt before serving.
- Add the vinegar to the red onions directly – this takes the harsh bite out of the onion and creates a beautiful fuscia color as the red onion pickles a bit.
- Chop the veggies small – It’s easier to eat a bean dip that has small pieces. I really think the flavor is better when you’re able to get a little bit of everything in every bite.
- 3 Tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 15 oz can pinto beans black beans or black eyed peas
- 1/2 tsp salt add more to taste
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped tomato
- 1/2 cup chopped poblano (pasilla) chile
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp fresh oregano
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley curly or flat
- tortilla chips for serving
- Combine olive oil, onion and garlic powder, and cumin in a small skillet. Warm over medium heat for 2 minutes to infuse the oil. Toss in a bowl with the beans and salt.
- Add the peppers, tomato, and red onion in a bowl and toss with red wine vinegar, oregano, and parsley. Let marinade for 5 minutes, then combine with beans.
- Taste and adjust salt. As beans sit, they require more salt so be generous with the salt. People like a salty snack.