Copycat Recipes

Pioneer Woman Cowboy Caviar

Upgrade your meal times by replicating this punchy Pioneer Woman recipe

Claire Onidi By
Claire Onidi
Passionate about food and pastries since always, Claire spends most of her time in the kitchen to develop new recipes. She is French but lived many years abroad.
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Updated September 15, 2022

This delicious copycat Pioneer Woman Cowboy Caviar will soon become a favorite in your household. It’s often served as a flavorful dip with tortilla chips, but it’s so versatile you can serve it with just about anything.

Pioneer Woman Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy caviar, also called Texas caviar, is a black-eyed peas or bean salad made with a vinaigrette dressing. A native New Yorker called Helen Corbitt invented this fresh dish in 1940 (in Texas).

She had been told to write a menu that featured only Texas products. She was at a bit of a loss as to how to include a dish that used peas she didn’t actually like!

So Helen pickled the beans in oil and vinegar with some garlic and chopped onion. And the cowboy salad recipe was born, soon becoming one of her most famous creations.

There are lots more modern recipes and variations that put their own twist on the original recipe. These include adding bell pepper, cilantro, and corn.

The Pioneer Woman version includes some mustard powder, jalapeno, and cucumber to boost the flavor and texture combinations of the cowboy caviar dish.

With little prep time and no cooking involved, it’s easy to make it in your own kitchen. So get chopping and give this Texas caviar a go, I promise that it’ll brighten up your meal times.

Easy Tips For The Best Cowboy Caviar

  • Chop the veggies into similar-sized pieces. This is one of the best ways to get good Texas caviar!Cut into small pieces, the veg will mix really well with the beans. And they’ll also fit perfectly onto your tortilla chips when dipping!

  • Make your cowboy caviar ahead of serving. The flavors will be all the more enhanced the longer you leave them to mix and settle.

  • Select avocados and fruit that are firm to the touch if you’re adding these ingredients. If they’re too ripe and soft, your bean salad will turn to mush!

  • Choose veggies and beans that are a variety of types and colors. Your salsa appetizer will then look bright and colorful as well as tasting delicious.

Pioneer Woman Cowboy Caviar recipe

Pioneer Woman Cowboy Caviar Recipe

  • Prep Time30 min
  • Cook Time0 min
  • Total Time1h30 min
  • Servings6
  • Yield6

Level: Easy

Chilling: 1 hour




  1. Prepare the Vegetables

    Chop the celery stalks, green onions, red pepper, cucumber, cilantro, and jalapeno (if using) with a sharp knife. Try to get all the veggies a similar size.

    Open the 2 cans of black beans and drain the liquid off.

  2. Mix the Ingredients

    Then, take your large bowl and add the drained black beans and all of the veggies apart from the cilantro. Give them a mix.

  3. Make the Dressing

    In your small bowl, add the olive oil, white wine vinegar, celery seeds, sugar, mustard powder, and salt. Whisk together and add a little freshly ground black pepper.

    Add more sugar if you like your dressings on the sweeter side. And sprinkle in a bit more salt if your dressing needs more seasoning.

  4. Serve

    Now you can pour the dressing over your vegetables. Give them a gentle stir until the veg is fully coated in the dressing.

    Add the chopped cilantro and give the mixture another stir. Cover the bowl and put your cowboy caviar into your refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Pioneer Woman Cowboy Caviar serve

Pioneer Woman Cowboy Caviar Variations

This Pioneer Woman cowboy caviar recipe is so versatile, there are many recipe variations for you to try! Feel free to add your own spin to this dish, or follow one or more of our suggestions below.

  • Adding some avocado will give your Texas caviar a different texture with its creaminess. Or you could substitute some red onion for a green or a sweet onion if you want a slightly milder taste.

  • For extra spice, include the jalapeno and a little hot sauce. But if you’re not keen on heat, leave the jalapeno out completely.

  • Or a little cayenne pepper – about ½ teaspoon – can be used to add just a little kick. Smoked paprika (again about ½ teaspoon) will give the dish a smoky taste.

  • I know that not everyone likes cilantro! A mixture of chopped fresh basil and parsley will work just as well.

  • To give your cowboy caviar recipe more color and different flavors, you could put some fresh tomatoes and canned corn into the mix. Frozen corn works well too.

  • The Pioneer Woman recipe states that white wine vinegar is best. But cider or red wine vinegar also works well – use whatever you have in store at home.

  • Squeeze some fresh lime juice into your dressing to add a little tang and refreshing taste.

  • You can also use any dressings you like such as an Italian dressing.

  • And finally, if you like, add your other favorite veggies such as chopped carrot or other beans.

Pioneer Woman Cowboy Caviar-

Ways To Enjoy Pioneer Woman’s Cowboy Caviar

Making cowboy caviar means that you have a lot of choices as to what to serve with it. It can be a main dish on its own, or as a side dish or salad with other recipes. – check out some of our ideas below.

  • Tortilla chips or crackers work very well with your Texas caviar. Use the black bean salad as a dip and serve this combo as an appetizer.

  • It also tastes great on a burger! Substitute it for your normal lettuce, diced tomatoes, and pickles – or use it in addition to all of these and load your burger high.

  • Serve cowboy caviar with grilled fish, streak, or baked chicken. It’s the perfect accompaniment to these foods when you want to eat something fresh in the summer.

  • Instead of normal Mexican toppings like salsa or pico de gallo, use some cowboy caviar. This black bean salad is great on top of quesadillas or stuffed in burritos.

  • For a low-carb and healthier meal, combine your cowboy caviar recipe with some wraps made of lettuce rather than bread. Take some large lettuce leaves, load with the caviar, and then drizzle a favorite dressing or sauce over the top.

  • Finally, use your cowboy caviar as a salsa spooned over chicken, beef, or fish to add some flavor to your main course.

Make It Ahead – But Store Separately

This cowboy caviar recipe is a great option if you like to do your meal prep in advance. This is because the black-eyed peas need some time to soak up the flavor from the dressing.

So make your dish ahead of serving and give it at least an hour and more, if you can, in the fridge.

You should prep the vegetables and the dressing in separate bowls. Only combine all the ingredients once you’re ready to eat.

It’s also a good idea not to add the chopped herbs until just before serving. 30 minutes or so in advance is fine, but any longer and they may start to wilt.

Your cowboy caviar recipe will taste much better if all of the veggies are crunchy and fresh. So an ideal time to make it is the day before you intend to eat it.

However, it will last in your refrigerator for up to 4 days if you want to make it earlier and/or have any leftovers. Just remember to store it in an airtight container.

Always be careful when you’re making recipes with perishable food – such as fruit and veg – that they do not enter the Danger Zone! This means that they can’t be left out for long in temperatures of between 40 and 140oF.

This risks bacteria developing on these foods, which then makes them unsafe to eat.

Therefore, you need to make sure that all these perishable food types are put back into your refrigerator within 2 hours of them coming out of it. And, anything left out for longer than this should be thrown away so that no one gets ill.

Pioneer Woman Cowboy Caviar - Pinterest

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
  • 282Calories
  • 17.1 g Fat
  • 28.8 g Carbs
  • 6.9 gProtein
Show Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: Per Serving Size (based on 6 servings)
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat17.1 g 22%
Saturated Fat2.4 g 12%
Cholesterol0 mg 0%
Sodium767 mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate28.8 g 10%
Dietary Fiber4.8 g 17%
Total Sugars8.4 g
Protein6.9 g
Vitamin C0 mcg 0%
Calcium57 mg 4%
Iron2 mg 14%
Potassium420 mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.
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