This easy cowboy caviar with Italian dressing is super easy, and crazy delish even for non-vegans. It starts with a fun and zesty, shake-able Italian dressing which is then poured over and mixed into the vegan Texas caviar salad. Cherry tomatoes, avocados and corn make it a colorful plate. A healthy lunch, side dish, or appetizer in just 15 minutes flat! How great does that sound?!
Ready to make my tasty cowboy caviar with Italian dressing? You’ll love how it’s made with simple pantry ingredients. And during grilling season, you can make this dish with grilled summer corn instead of canned.
Make the dressing ahead and keep it in your fridge and this easy Texas caviar recipe will come together in mere minutes!
And here are a few simple Tips & Tricks to help you make the best cowboy caviar recipe ever.
How to make this easy cowboy caviar recipe – Best Tips & Tricks
1. Which ingredients can be changed in this easy Texas caviar recipe
This dish is so versatile! It’s so easy to change up the ingredients and here is how.
What if I don’t have black beans in my pantry?
That’s an easy one!
The vegan texas caviar salad is usually made with black-eyed peas, but you can really use any kind of beans. I also like to use red kidney beans or even chickpeas.
Not sure what kind of beans to try? Get a can of mixed beans and discover your favorites.
What about different kinds of tomatoes?
Again, the choice is up to you!
There is no wrong answer when it comes to delicious tomatoes. You can try this easy cowboy caviar with Roma tomatoes, which will blend beautifully with the Italian dressing.
I prefer small cherry tomatoes. They are just so easy to slice in half, keeping their own pretty little shape. And they are just a tiny bit sweeter!
Can I substitute the cilantro?
Sure! You can substitute it with fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, or oregano. I am partial to cilantro though, as it really bumps up the taste of this easy Texas caviar salad with a cool freshness.
Can I add honey instead of maple syrup?
Yup, but it will no longer be considered vegan.
Why does the recipe call for extra-virgin olive oil?
Good question! When making a salad dressing always use extra virgin olive oil. The flavor really matters here as it’s the base for everything.
Extra-virgin olive oil has a superior flavor to regular olive oil, which should only be used when cooking. It really does make all the difference in this Texas caviar with Italian dressing.
2. What to serve with this cowboy caviar with Italian dressing
I love to serve this as an appetizer or a snack along with crispy, organic corn tortillas for a bit of bite and texture. And blue corn chips have such a lovely color!
If you’re throwing a party, just place a big bowl of this vegan texas caviar salad with organic corn tortillas in the center of the table and everybody will thank you for it. Trust me, they won’t even need a second course.
And if they’re super hungry, then you might want to serve it with:
This easy cowboy caviar recipe makes the perfect side dish for grilled chicken, steak, or fish, along with a leafy green salad.
For a Mexican flare, you can even serve it with tequila-infused shrimp, wrapped in a warm, corn taco.
By the way, check out this vegan taco recipe.
So many ways to use my easy texas caviar recipe, right?
3. What’s the best dressing for vegan texas caviar salad
This Italian dressing is a top favorite in our home. I make up a double batch every week and keep it in the fridge. It’s so simple! Just add together all the ingredients in a jar, then shake to emulsify.
Another dressing you might consider is the one I used in my healthy tuna pasta salad recipe. This is so versatile that you can use it with any salad.
A classic dressing you can also use is aged balsamic vinegar, whisked together with a good quality extra-virgin olive oil. Simple, yet super delish.
Or you could try the salad dressing from my chimichurri chicken salad. This one’s loaded with flavors.
4. How to shop and prep to make this easy cowboy caviar recipe
How do I select avocados?
To buy the perfect avocado you might need to plan just a couple of days. While grocery shopping select avocados that have a gentle give when squeezed, without being too soft.
Let the avocados to ripe for two or three days on your kitchen countertop. Then, it will be exactly right for this easy Texas caviar recipe.
How do I peel and seed the avocado?
It is simpler than it looks! First run a paring knife* from the top center of the avocado, up and around to the other side. This will leave you with two avocado halves.
Now, take a larger knife and whack the seed with the sharp edge. The knife will gently embed itself into the seed. Lift the knife out taking the seed with it. The flesh of the avocado will stay intact. Beautiful!
Now, with the pairing knife slice 3 vertical lines into the avocado flesh. Follow this with 3 horizontal lines. Turn each half over a bowl. Pull the skin back. The avocado sections will slide right out.
Now you are ready to create the Texas caviar with Italian dressing!
How do I keep the avocado from turning brown?
You will not have to worry about the avocados in this recipe. This cowboy caviar with avocado contains lemon or lime juice. Antioxidants in the citrus will keep it fresh and green.
That’s all for today Foodies! I hope you enjoy my Texas caviar with Italian dressing. It is sure to become a family favorite!
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More Vegan Salads:
Cowboy Caviar With Italian Dressing (Vegan Recipe)
For the Italian Dressing:
- 1/4 cup olive oil - extra virgin
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp fresh lime or lemon juice
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 garlic clove - minced
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried crushed red pepper or chili flakes
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
For the Cowboy Caviar:
- 1 orange or green bell pepper - seeded and diced
- 1 medium red onion - finely diced
- 2 jalapeño peppers - seeded and finely diced
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes - halved
- 1 large avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
- 1 can (15 oz) corn - drained
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans - well rinsed and drained
- 1/2 bunch of cilantro - chopped
- corn tortilla chips - to serve
For the Italian Dressing:
- In a clean jar, add all dressing ingredients, put the lid on, and shake well to combine. Set aside.
For the Cowboy Caviar:
- Chop all veggies in small pieces.
- In a large bowl*, combine the diced pepper, onions, and jalapeños. Give it a good swift stir. Add the cherry tomato halves, avocado, corn, and black beans.
- Drizzle the Italian dressing over the texas caviar salad. Refrigerate it for up to an hour to marinade and allow the flavors to meld together.
- This easy cowboy caviar recipe is versatile. You can use different kinds of beans, tomatoes, and even fresh herbs. See what other ingredients can be changed at Tip #1.
- You can serve this vegan Texas caviar salad with meat, chicken, fish, or seafood. As an appetizer, serve with organic corn chips. More about this at Tip #2.
- I made this texas caviar with Italian dressing, but I also have some other suggestions for the dressing at Tip #3.
- Not sure how to shop for, dice, or keep the avocados a lovely green. I will tell you all about this at Tip #4.
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