Bean salads aren’t just for potlucks. They’re a great item to keep in your fridge during the hot summer days because they make a light but filling snack, or can be built into a more complete meal (see the end of the post for examples). This “Cowboy Caviar” combines two types of beans, colorful summer vegetables, and a slightly sweet lime dressing. It’s so bold and fresh that I’m finding myself using it like salsa or pico de gallo and adding a spoonful to the top of all my meals. I know I’ll have no problem blowing through all five cups or so by week’s end!
See This Recipe in Action:
Cowboy Caviar is like a cross between a bean salad and fresh salsa with its colorful mix of beans, vegetables, and a fresh lime infused dressing.
- 15 oz. can black beans $0.89
- 15 oz. can black eyed peas $1.09
- 1 bell pepper (any color) $1.50
- 2 Roma tomatoes $0.86
- 1 jalapeño $0.12
- 1/4 red onion $0.20
- 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro $0.20
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 fresh lime (2 Tbsp juice) $0.33
- 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar $0.10
- 1/2 tsp chili powder* $0.05
- 1 tsp cumin $0.10
- 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
- 1/2 tsp sugar $0.02
Rinse and drain both cans of beans in a colander. Let the excess water drain as you prepare the vegetables.
Finely dice the bell pepper, tomatoes, jalapeño, and red onion. Try to dice the vegetables into pieces that are roughly the same size as the beans. For a less spicy salad, scrape the seeds out of the jalapeño before dicing. Roughly chop the cilantro. Place the drained beans, bell pepper, tomatoes, jalapeño, onion, and cilantro in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, 2 Tbsp of juice from the lime, balsamic vinegar, chili powder, cumin, salt, and sugar. Pour the dressing over the salad, then stir until everything is well coated. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat.
*This chili powder is a mild blend of chiles and other spices.
Step by Step Photos
Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of black beans and one 15oz. can of black eyed peas in a colander. Let the rinse water drain away as you prepare the rest of the vegetables.
Gather one bell pepper (any color), two Roma tomatoes, one jalapeño, 1/4 of a red onion and 1/4 bunch cilantro. While any color bell pepper can be used, I like the colorful pop of a yellow or orange bell pepper. I used the leftover red onion and cilantro from my Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils earlier in the week. :)
Finely dice the bell pepper, tomatoes, jalapeño, and red onion. The idea is to get the pieces close in size to the beans so that you have a “caviar” type appearance in the end. Roughly chop the cilantro leaves. Place the drained beans and all the vegetables in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice, 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp sugar. Pour the dressing over the salad.
Stir the salad until everything is coated in the dressing. Either serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat. This is one of those salads that tastes even better after it has time to chill in the fridge, so it’s great to eat over the course of a few days!
Cowboy Caviar makes a great snack with tortilla chips, or…
You can use it as part of a meal, like this burrito bowl! I combined my Cowboy Caviar with some leftover rice, leftover rotisserie chicken, and a little taco sauce for an AWESOME burrito bowl. You can also scoop some of the Cowboy Caviar over grilled chicken, or baked fish for a nice pop of flavor. Basically, this stuff ROCKS with everything.