The perfect side dish for any summer meal

Easiest Texas Caviar is the perfect side dish for any summer meal. Black eyed peas shine accompanied by great additions.

Perfect side dish for any summer meal

Texas Caviar, what is that you ask? It is a standard side dish for any summer meal, especially in Texas. There is not absolute recipe for Texas Caviar but I think I have come up with a pretty good version. Black eyed peas are the super star in Texas Caviar. Fun fact, black eyed peas are actually a bean or legume and often are called cowpeas. Texas Caviar basically takes on a life of it’s own with its supporting players and in Texas that means jalapenos along with other good sidekick like bell peppers, red onions, corn, tomatoes, garlic and black beans. Some might call this a bean salad but it is so much more!

Fresh or canned?

I have tried both fresh and canned black eyed peas. The winner unanimously was canned black eyed peas which makes this a super fast side dish to toss together. I always drain and rinse my canned vegetables, so it makes this a simple dish also. Canned black eyed peas hold their shape and don’t get mushy when you mix them with everything else. It is best to throw this dish together and let it chill in the refrigerator a few hours before serving. I use canned black beans also. Corn can be canned also, it really depends if I have fresh corn to cook or not. In any case, rinse canned beans and/or corn and drain before adding to the black eyed peas.

Fresh ingredients with canned beans make this Texas Caviar such a breeze to make.

Fresh ingredients

Chop up your bell peppers, red onion, tomatoes and jalapenos small enough that they are about the size of two peas. Hopefully you get the idea, remember they are all supporting players while the black eyed peas shines. If there is anything you don’t like, just leave it out and keep going. The jalapeno has a key supporting roll giving Texas Caviar a little kick. If you can’t handle spice, leave the seeds out but really give it a try with the seeds before you leave them out. Live a little!

Healthy and tasty

The beauty of this side dish is that everything is good for you. You have your black eyed peas and black beans; your black eyed peas also work as a protein in addition to fiber and a number of other good nutrients. You will also get protein and fiber from the black beans and other nutrients like the black eyed pea. Red Bell peppers have the most nutrition of all the bell peppers, almost 11 times more than the green bell pepper who also offers great health benefits. I like to use red onions but if they are too strong for your taste use shallots instead and substitute 2 large shallots for the red onion. After everything is mixed in, the juice of a lime brings everything together and also adds its own health benefits. If you have looked over my other recipes you will know I love to add garlic whenever I can. It has so many great health benefits and I love the flavor it adds to dishes. I like to press that garlic I am adding, getting more flavor and it goes a little further as I mix it in instead of minced pieces.

Texas Caviar is a show stopper of colorful and healthy ingredients.

Mix everything together and add a dash of salt

Once everything including the lime juice is mixed together, add a dash of salt or two if you prefer to help all the flavors come to life. Give it one more good mix and cover your bowl with some saran wrap or top if you have one. Set the bowl into the refrigerator to let your Texas Caviar chill before serving. If you like spice you can always add a serrano pepper. I hope you find this simple Texas Caviar to be the best side dish for any summer meal.

Easiest Texas Caviar

Easiest Texas Caviar is the perfect side dish for any summer meal. Black eyed peas take center stage while surrounded by plenty of healthy ingredients with great flavor.
Prep Time1 hr
Chill in refrigerator3 hrs
Total Time4 hrs
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Salad, sidedish, Texas Caviar
Servings: 6 people
Cost: $15


  • large mixing bowl
  • can opener
  • garlic press


  • 3 cans Black eyed peas rinsed and drained
  • 1 can Black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 can Kernel corn rinsed and drained, can use fresh off cooked corn off the cob
  • 1 Green bell pepper chopped small
  • 1 Red bell pepper chopped small
  • 1/4 Red onion, can substitute 2 large shallots chopped small
  • 5 ounces Cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 2 Jalapenos, with seeds chopped fine, remove seeds if too spicy for you
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1-2 limes, juiced
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • Rinse and drain canned black eyed peas, black beans and corn. If you are cooking fresh corn, cut off the cob after cooked, use 3 ears of corn. Add to large mixing bowl.
  • Chop into the size of about 2 black eyed peas, the green bell pepper, red bell pepper, 1/4 red onion and jalapenos. Add to the bowl with black eyed peas.
  • Quarter your cherry tomatoes and add to the bowl.
  • Press your garlic cloves and add to the bowl.
  • Juice 1 lime and add to the bowl, reserve second lime for more flavor if needed.
  • Add salt to bowl and gently mix everything together.
  • Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let flavors combine.
  • You can make this and refrigerate over night if you have the time.
  • Give your Texas Caviar a gentle mix before serving, serve and enjoy!


You can add more lime juice if needed.  You can also add another jalapeno if you want more spice.