Cowboy Caviar

My mother-in-law, Denise, turned me on to this salad years ago and since then, it has become a staple dish to prepare for summer gatherings. It's healthy, quick and easy to make and always seems to be a hit with any crowd. I most recently made it to take to a friend's house on Memorial Day. The vegetable are the stars of the dish, but the vinaigrette is what really seals the deal. Read on for ingredients and instructions. 


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • juice of 1 lime, more or less depending on your taste- I like things really limey, so I use 2, plus it helps to keep avocado from turning

*Combine ingredients, stir and set aside. 

Cowboy caviar prep

Salad Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2/3 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can white corn, rinsed and drained
  • 2-3 avocados, cubed

*Combine first five ingredients in a bowl, add vinaigrette and stir. Mix in avocado when you are close to serving. Serve with tortilla chips for dipping or just as a side salad. And that's it folks. It's that easy! 

Isn't it beautiful!? The great thing about this dish is that you can experiment by adding or substituting items. For some reason, I'm not crazy about corn, so I use a bit less when I make it. You can prepare this the night ahead if you are pressed for time, but I think it's best when made close to serving time. I hope you enjoy!

- Tara