Cowboy Caviar Salad

Turn Texas Caviar into this healthy Cowboy Caviar Salad. Rice, black beans, corn, creamy avocado, fresh cilantro, and a sweet and spicy chili maple dressing. The BEST summer side dish!

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a bowl of cowboy caviar salad topped with fresh cilantro.

Summer salads and side dishes like this Cowboy Caviar Recipe are always in high demand. We love using rice to add lots of chew and texture like in this Trail Mix Salad and this Italian Cold Rice Salad. Check out all of our Salad Recipes for inspiration.

a bowl of cowboy caviar salad.

IN THIS POST: Everything you need to make Cowboy Caviar

Ingredients needed for this recipe

For the base:

  • cooked and cooled rice – any kind of rice works here
  • black beans
  • tomatoes – I typically use a can of Rotel or Herdez salsa for added flavor
  • bell pepper – choose your fave! Red, yellow, or green peppers
  • corn kernels – fresh corn or frozen – they will thaw super quick. Simply take them out before starting everything else and they will thaw in the meantime.
  • red onion
  • cilantro
  • avocado
a ripe avocado on a cutting board.

For the dressing:

  • oil – extra virgin olive oil or MCT oil are my preferred choices for dressing
  • fresh lime juiceTIP! Roll those babies on the counter before squeezing to loosen up all that juice
  • maple syrup – honey works too but it will not be vegan
  • chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper

How to make this recipe

I love how simple this cowboy caviar recipe is.

First, place the salad ingredients in a large bowl and give it a good stir.

Second, add the dressing ingredients to a small mason jar with a lid and then shake it really well to combine.

a small glass mason jar with a lid.

Third, pour the dressing over the salad and stir the mixture well to coat everything.

Finally, cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for about half an hour to let the flavors develop.

After it marinates a bit, serve chilled.

a healthy bean and rice salad in a bowl.

This recipe goes so well with all of your BBQ or smoker faves. We love serving it alongside this tasty Smoked Burger Recipe. The flavors pair perfectly!

FAQ’S, Tips, and Substitutions

  • Why is it called cowboy caviar? It was created by a Texas woman who was a director of food services at a hotel and it was first dubbed “Texas Caviar”. This dish started as a dip served alongside tortilla chips at a New Year’s Eve function. The name was a riff on actual caviar typically served at high-class events. Cowboy dip was born.
  • How long will this keep? Once it is prepared, store it covered in the fridge for up to four days. The lime juice will oxidize the avocado so it won’t turn brown.
  • TIP – When enjoying leftovers, use a slotted spoon to scoop out your portions! There will be a lot of water/juice released from the veggies that will pool at the bottom. Give it a good stir before having it and use that slotted spoon.
  • This is a great cold rice salad for a BBQ or potluck as a little goes a long way and you can really feed a crowd with it.
  • Portion it out for meal prep and keep it in your refrigerator for four days worth of lunches.
  • Leave out the brown rice for a grain-free and keto version of this dish.
  • Substitute black-eyed peas for the black beans.
  • You can serve it as a side dish, or dip, and sometimes I enjoy it as a filling for wraps.
a bowl of texas caviar salad.


Vegan Trail Mix Salad

Chicken Avocado Salad

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese

Avocado Tuna Salad

Beef Taco Salad

**This recipe was originally posted on May 19, 2020. Updated June 9, 2021, and updated again on June 1, 2022, with recipe notes, writing, and photos.**

If you’ve tried my Texas Caviar Recipe, please rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out by leaving me a comment below. I’m always interested in feedback!

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a bowl of cowboy caviar salad

Cowboy Caviar Salad

Sharon Rhodes
Turn Texas Caviar into this healthy Cowboy Caviar SaladRice, black beans, corn, creamy avocado, fresh cilantro, and a sweet and spicy chili maple dressing. The BEST summer side dish!
4.91 from 20 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Resting time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Appetizer, lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 296 kcal



  • 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 can rotel tomatoes with chilis or a cup of chunky salsa
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled brown rice
  • ¾ cup diced bell pepper use any colour you like!
  • cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup corn kernels use fresh or thaw from frozen
  • 1 avocado, cut into chunks


  • cup olive oil extra virgin
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large mixing bowl stir together all of the salad ingredients and mix well.
  • In a small mason jar, add the dressing ingredients, screw on the lid and shake really well to emulsify.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss to coat.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes for flavours to develop. Serve cold.
  • Store covered in the fridge for up to four days.



  • TIP – Stir well before dishing out leftovers and use a slotted spoon to avoid any liquid that may pool at the bottom.
  • Portion it out for meal prep and keep it in your refrigerator for four days worth of lunches.
  • Leave out the brown rice for a grain-free and keto version of this dish.
  • Substitute black-eyed peas for the black beans.
  • Serve as a side dish or even as a filling for wraps.


Calories: 296kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 6gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 63mgPotassium: 458mgFiber: 8gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 289IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 2mg
Keyword cowboy caviar, cowboy caviar salad, texas caviar
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  1. 5 stars
    I made this tonight, and it was super easy and delicious! I omitted the dressing because the salsa I used gave it enough moisture and flavor. I also used Spanish rice instead of brown rice, and it was chef’s kiss!

  2. 5 stars
    This side dish was so flavorful and absolutely tasty! The instructions were easy to follow. Thank you!

  3. This recipe is always a hit at parties! Such a quick and delicious recipe, will always be a favorite in our home!

  4. 5 stars
    I love salads like these. It’s so filling, and has so many flavors going on. Will definitely be making this again.

  5. 5 stars
    Cowboy caviar is one of my favorite side dishes!! I can’t wait to try your version for our upcoming 4th of July BBQ!

  6. 5 stars
    I had never heard of this before but I love all the ingredients and it’s very tasty. We served it with tacos. Yum!

  7. 5 stars
    This salad looks wholesome! Maybe my kids will attempt eating it if there’s rice in it. They are so picky!

  8. 5 stars
    This is such an easy and delicious summer meal. I love the fresh lime dressing and the cilantro. Thanks!

  9. 5 stars
    These are my favorite types of salads in the summer, easy to throw together and available to snack on all day!

  10. 5 stars
    Okay I have never heard of Cowboy Caviar but I sure would love to make a batch of this for lunches this week.

  11. 5 stars
    This definitely is a hearty, healthy salad and it has so much deliciousness going on. I love all the flavours and can’t wait to make it!

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