Growing up, my family hosted a Father’s Day barbeque every year and it was one of my favorite food days of the year. One non-negotiable summertime shindig was a heaping bowl of Texas caviar—a black bean salad/dip with corn, peppers, Italian dressing, cilantro, and a ton of feta. We’d serve it on the patio table and I would help myself to scoops and scoops of it between dips in the pool. What a life.
Any Fans of Trader Joe’s Out There?
Recently, I noticed that cowboy caviar was gaining some traction on TikTok and was reminded of this nostalgic party app I loved when I was younger. How could I not revisit it? For this recipe, I made one stop at Trader Joe’s and I’m using only their products—HUGE fan here! This is going to take your summer entertaining game to the next level.
Upon entering the store, I immediately realized that Trader Joe’s is already ahead of the trend and sells a jarred cowboy caviar. I’m sure it’s delicious but that is not the challenge that I set out to complete. This is caviar from scratch.
What to Pick Up at Trader Joe’s
I am a huge sucker for pickled jalapeños, so I tossed the Hot & Sweet Jalapeños into my basket because I wanted to add a little heat. Plus, I knew the pickling liquid would add a spicy kick to the dressing.
Another key component: Everything But The Elote Seasoning Blend. This stuff is begging to be added to this bean and corn dip. Its cheesy, earthy flavor creates an exciting dressing. I sprinkled a little more on top for an extra punch. I’ll be shocked if I have any of this seasoning blend left in a couple weeks—it’s that good.
Lastly, there are three (count ‘em) corn products in this salad and I think they all make an important contribution. I thawed frozen, charred corn and used it alongside canned black and kidney beans as the base of the salad. It provides a smoky flavor without having to grill the corn myself.
Second, I topped the salad with Giant Peruvian Inca Corn Salted Crunchy Snack—folks, they’re corn nuts!—for texture and big corn flavor. Then, I served the salad with corn chip dippers, which are sturdy enough to hold this hefty dip. I cannot recommend all three products enough.
Listen, you don’t need to go to Trader Joe’s to make a successful cowboy caviar, but you can make a seriously delicious one using only the clever products the geniuses at TJ’s HQ have developed for us. Sure, it’s a little different than the one I made for Father’s Day growing up, but sometimes change is good.
Did Someone Say Dip?
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Homemade Veggie Dip
- Muhammara (Red Pepper and Walnut Dip)
- Queso Dip
- Fresh Pea Hummus
Make the dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice, pickling liquid, and elote seasoning. Slowly stream in olive oil while whisking until the dressing is creamy and combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.
Make the salad:
In a large bowl, combine the black beans, kidney beans, bell peppers, scallions, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapeños. Mix in the dressing and toss until combined. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Top with corn nuts and serve with corn chips for scooping.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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