Carolina Caviar Dip

12 servings
10 min

Carolina Caviar Dip is a crowd-pleasing appetizer, ideal for tailgates, barbecues, potlucks and easy entertaining.

You might know this dip by a different name. . . Texas Caviar, Cowboy Caviar, Black-eyed Pea Dip or even Southwestern Bean Salad.

This recipe checks a lot of boxes:

  • Make-ahead, flavorful, colorful, satisfying, and last but not least, healthy.

How many dips can you say that about?

There are as many recipe variations as there are names for this dip, but they allstart with the same main ingredients. . .

black beans, black-eyed peas, tomatoes and corn.

This dip also fits the bill as an ideal appetizer for Labor Day weekend andsummer’s last hurrah, as little labor is required:

  • Open some cans, drain and rinse; chop some peppers and an onion;
  • zest and squeeze a lime or two.

We like the flavor of fresh summer corn, grilled for a little added char flavor, but frozen corn works too; just thaw and stir together.

Give a handful of cilantro leaves a rough chop and toss in too.

If you’re not a cilantro fan, omit, or substitute some Italian parsley for a bit of fresh flavor. I added some grape tomatoes, for some fresh tomato flavor in addition to a can of Rotel. Use the Rotel of your choice . . . original, mild, hot or fire roasted.

This is a very forgiving recipe, adjusting the quantity of ingredients to your taste. I love the addition of the orange color in this dip.

I used a combination of sweet mini orange and yellow peppers as I had them on hand; but feel free to use whatever peppers you prefer.

If you’re a fan of heat, add an additional jalapeno or serrano pepper.

The dressing is a mix of olive oil, lime juice and zest, chili powder, cumin and garlic. Use the same  microplane zester you used for your lime, to grate half a clove of garlic so it’s very finely minced, then shake everything together to blend.

Some variations of this “caviar” use bottled Italian dressing.

We like the flavor of chili powder and cumin, paired with black beans and corn, but bottled Italian dressing will work in a pinch.

Mix your dressing with your ingredients.

You can eat it right away, but I think it’s best enjoyed within 2 – 24 hours, to allow the flavors to meld. Serve with tortilla chips. It’s an ideal dip or appetizer for tailgating and game day.

Find a line up of Winning Game Day Recipes for Football Season,  HERE.

You’ll find recipes for Pigskin Potato Skins, Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad,

Slow Cooker Sweet & Sticky Wings, Buffalo Meatballs, Football Cake Pops and more.

Recipe details
  • 12  servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 0 Minutes Total time: 10 min
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  • 15 oz. can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz. can black-eyed peas rinsed and drained
  • 10 oz. can Rotel, drained (diced tomatoes with green chilis; mild, hot, or fire-roasted)
  • 2 ears corn, grilled, kernels removed (or 12 oz. bag frozen corn, thawed)
  • 1/3 cup minced red onion
  • 1 cup seeded and diced orange or yellow bell pepper I used assorted sweet mini orange and yellow peppers
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper ribs and seeds removed, minced
  • Handful of grape or cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves omit or substitute Italian parsley if preferred
  • 1/4 cup 2 oz. olive oil
  • 2 large limes; 1 zested both juiced
  • 1/2 clove of garlic grated fine with microplane zester
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
To make dip:
Put all caviar ingredients into a large bowl; mix to combine.
Add dressing and toss gently; refrigerate until ready to serve.
Can be served immediately or best enjoyed within 2 – 24 hours for flavors to meld.
Stir again before serving. Serve with tortilla chips.
Store in airtight container in refrigerator up to 5 days.
To make dressing:
Put all ingredients in 8 oz. jar, shake well to combine.
  • Carolina Caviar is very forgiving, adjust quantity of ingredients to your taste.
  • When dicing peppers, cut so pieces are bean-sized and easy to eat as a dip.
  • Substitute frozen corn, thawed, for grilled corn. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, I highly recommend Trader Joe’s frozen fire-roasted corn.
  • Substitute 1/2 cup of bottled Italian Dressing for dressing mixture if in a hurry.
Mary @ Home is Where the Boat Is
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