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  • Writer's pictureK.C. Runkel

Healthy Cowboy Caviar

I live in Wyoming, the Cowboy State.

So, naturally, anything to do with cowboys has a place very near and dear to my heart. I discovered Cowboy Caviar a few years back when a friend brought it to a dinner party. Needless to say, I probably ate more of the famous bean dip than I did the actual dinner. It was just that good. Of course, I later found out I had probably consumed my weight in calories as well since the glorious dish was drenched in thick Italian dressing.

Since then I have sought out different recipes for healthier versions of the side dish and have always been pleasantly surprised. Perhaps it is just me, but knowing something is healthy--and I can eat more of it--always makes it taste better. With the New Year upon us I wanted to share the recipe I usually go with since it consists mainly of items I almost always have on hand and is healthy to boot.

Be warned! This makes a TON of caviar. Luckily, it is also a dish that tastes best leftover after a day, so take it to a party or eat it yourself, either way you won't regret it.

Healthy Cowboy Caviar


Cowboy Caviar

  • 3-4 Roma tomatoes (diced)

  • 1  can (15.5 oz) low sodium black beans

  • 1  can of black eyed peas

  • 1 can chick peas/garbanzo beans

  • 1 can low sodium corn

  • 1 green bell pepper (diced)

  • 1 white onion (diced)

  • Chopped cilantro

  • Chopped jalapeno (optional)

Lime Dressing (Italian Dressing Substitute)

  • 3 tbs of lime juice plus a couple of limes on the side to squeeze on top before serving.

  • 1/3 cup of EVOO

  • 1/2 tbs minced garlic

  • Diced fresh basil, salt, and cracked black pepper (to taste)


  1. Drain and rinse all canned vegetables in a strainer.

  2. Combine canned vegetables with remaining veggies and toss until well mixed.

  3. Whisk all the ingredients for the Lime Dressing together in a second bowl and then slowly fold into caviar mixture.

  4. Squeeze a few limes over the top before serving.

Note: This dish tastes much better when it has had at least a couple of hours to soak up the juices. Cover with plastic wrap and pop it into the fridge before serving. 

Recipe adapted from Cookie and Kate

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