Crowd-Pleasing Carolina Caviar Dip for Easy Entertaining

Carolina Caviar Dip is a crowd-pleasing appetizer, ideal for tailgates, barbecues, potlucks and easy entertaining!

Carolina Caviar Dip | © #easy #makeahead #appetizer #dip #recipe #tailgate #cowboycaviar #texascaviar #healthy #potluck

Carolina Caviar Dip is crowd-pleasing appetizer!

You might know this dip by a different name. . .

Texas Caviar, Cowboy Caviar, Black-eyed Pea Dip or even Southwestern Bean Salad.

This recipe checks a lot of boxes:

Make-ahead, flavorful, colorful, satisfying, and last but not least, healthy.

How many dips can you say that about?

Carolina Caviar Dip | © #easy #makeahead #appetizer #dip #recipe #tailgate #cowboycaviar #texascaviar #healthy #potluck

There are as many recipe variations as there are names for this dip, but they all

start with the same main ingredients. . .

black beans, black-eyed peas, tomatoes and corn.

Carolina Caviar Dip ingredients | © #easy #makeahead #appetizer #dip #recipe #tailgate #cowboycaviar #texascaviar #healthy #potluck

This dip also fits the bill as an ideal appetizer for Labor Day weekend and

summer’s last hurrah, as little labor is required:

Open some cans, drain and rinse; chop some peppers and an onion;

zest and squeeze a lime or two.

We like the flavor of fresh summer corn, grilled for a little added char flavor,

but frozen corn works too; just thaw and stir together.

Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn | © #easy #makeahead #appetizer #dip #recipe #tailgate #cowboycaviar #texascaviar #healthy #potluck

Trader Joe’s frozen roasted corn is perfect in this, if

you’re lucky enough to have a Trader Joe’s near you.

(the nearest one to us is an hour away. . .*sniff*)

Carolina Caviar Dip | © #easy #makeahead #appetizer #dip #recipe #tailgate #cowboycaviar #texascaviar #healthy #potluck

Give a handful of cilantro leaves a rough chop and toss in too.

If you’re not a cilantro fan, omit, or substitute some Italian parsley for a bit of fresh flavor.

I added some grape tomatoes, for some fresh tomato flavor in addition to a can of Rotel.

Use the Rotel of your choice . . . original, mild, hot or fire roasted.

Carolina Caviar Dip | © #easy #makeahead #appetizer #dip #recipe #tailgate #cowboycaviar #texascaviar #healthy #potluck

This is a very forgiving recipe, adjusting the quantity of ingredients to your taste.

I love the addition of the orange color in this dip.

I used a combination of sweet mini orange and yellow peppers as I had them on hand;

but feel free to use whatever peppers you prefer.

If you’re a fan of heat, add an additional jalapeno or serrano pepper.

Carolina Caviar Dip | © #easy #makeahead #appetizer #dip #recipe #tailgate #cowboycaviar #texascaviar #healthy #potluck

The dressing is a mix of olive oil, lime juice and zest, chili powder, cumin and garlic.

Use the same microplane zester you used for your lime, to grate half a clove of garlic

so it’s very finely minced, then shake everything together to blend.

Carolina Caviar Dip dressing | © #easy #makeahead #appetizer #dip #recipe #tailgate #cowboycaviar #texascaviar #healthy #potluck

Some variations of this “caviar” use bottled Italian dressing.

We like the flavor of chili powder and cumin, paired with black beans and corn,

but Italian dressing will work in a pinch.

Carolina Caviar Dip dressing | © #easy #makeahead #appetizer #dip #recipe #tailgate #cowboycaviar #texascaviar #healthy #potluck

Mix your dressing with your ingredients.

You can eat it right away, but I think it’s best enjoyed within 2 – 24 hours,

to allow the flavors to meld.  Serve with tortilla chips

Carolina Caviar Dip | © #easy #makeahead #appetizer #dip #recipe #tailgate #cowboycaviar #texascaviar #healthy #potluck

It’s an ideal dip or appetizer for tailgating and game day . . .

Tostitos NFL Carolina Panthers Chips

Carolina Caviar for cheering on the Carolina Panthers!


Carolina Caviar Dip | © #easy #makeahead #appetizer #dip #recipe #tailgate #cowboycaviar #texascaviar #healthy #potluck

Carolina Caviar Dip

A crowd-pleasing appetizer and healthy dip for your potluck, summer entertaining, tailgating or game day.  
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
chill time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 10 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: appetizer, black beans, black eyed peas, corn, Cowboy Caviar, dip, easy, game day, healthy, make ahead, potluck, tailgating, Texas Caviar
Servings: 12 servings


  • 15 oz. can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz. can black-eyed peas rinsed and drained
  • 10 oz. can Rotel, drained (diced tomatoes with green chilis; mild, hot, or fire-roasted)
  • 2 ears corn, grilled, kernels removed (or 12 oz. bag frozen corn, thawed)
  • 1/3 cup minced red onion
  • 1 cup seeded and diced orange or yellow bell pepper I used assorted sweet mini orange and yellow peppers
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper ribs and seeds removed, minced
  • Handful of grape or cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves omit or substitute Italian parsley if preferred


  • 1/4 cup 2 oz. olive oil
  • 2 large limes; 1 zested both juiced
  • 1/2 clove of garlic grated fine with microplane zester
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder


To make dip:

  • Put all caviar ingredients into a large bowl; mix to combine.
  • Add dressing and toss gently; refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Can be served immediately or best enjoyed within 2 – 24 hours for flavors to meld.
  • Stir again before serving. Serve with tortilla chips.
  • Store in airtight container in refrigerator up to 5 days.

To make dressing:

  • Put all ingredients in 8 oz. jar, shake well to combine.


  • Carolina Caviar is very forgiving, adjust quantity of ingredients to your taste.
  • When dicing peppers, cut so pieces are bean-sized and easy to eat as a dip.
  • Substitute frozen corn, thawed, for grilled corn. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, I highly recommend Trader Joe’s frozen fire-roasted corn.
  • Substitute 1/2 cup of bottled Italian Dressing for dressing mixture if in a hurry.

Enjoy this line up of Game Day recipes to kick off football season, your next tailgate, or your Super Bowl Snacking! Recipes for Pigskin Potato Skins, Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad, Slow Cooker Sweet & Sticky Wings, Buffalo Meatballs, Football Cake Pops and More! #football #recipes #wings #buffalo

Find a line up of Winning Game Day Recipes for Football Season, HERE.

You’ll find recipes for Pigskin Potato Skins, Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad,

Slow Cooker Sweet & Sticky Wings, Buffalo Meatballs,  Football Cake Pops and more.

Carolina Caviar Dip | © #easy #makeahead #appetizer #dip #recipe #tailgate #cowboycaviar #texascaviar #healthy #potluck

As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you purchase anything through an affiliate link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Carolina Caviar Dip | © #easy #makeahead #appetizer #dip #recipe #tailgate #cowboycaviar #texascaviar #healthy #potluck

Thank you for your visit, sharing with:

 Metamorphosis Monday

  24 comments for “Crowd-Pleasing Carolina Caviar Dip for Easy Entertaining

  1. August 30, 2022 at 7:44 am

    Good. Or I guess Mary,
    This is such an amazing and flavorful dip. Perfect for parties! Thank you so much for the recipe.
    Enjoy your last few days of August my friend!

    • August 31, 2022 at 8:28 am

      Love this! We call it Cowboy Caviar! There are probably many names for this dip! Name or nameless, it’s delish!

  2. franki Parde
    August 30, 2022 at 7:54 am

    Our “Trader’s” is also an hour away. Luv their merchandise AND flowers!! That “French Vanilla Super Premium Vanilla” ice cream is outstanding!!! “VA Caviar” is very simular…franki

  3. Kathy Menold
    August 30, 2022 at 7:56 am

    Thanks for the recipe. Definitely going to make this for the weekend.

  4. August 30, 2022 at 7:57 am

    Sounds and looks delish! We are ending August in hell, 107 this weekend for 5 days, all I can think of is ice…

  5. August 30, 2022 at 8:38 am

    Mary, I remember the first time I had this caviar dip and I was immediately sold on its flavors. Thanks for sharing your recipe for the first weekend of college football!!

    • August 30, 2022 at 8:53 am

      My family loved this dip, Mary. I have used TJ’s frozen roasted corn when I can and love that. We love avocado added before serving. I know people are ready for football season to begin!

      • Cyndi Raines
        August 31, 2022 at 12:20 am

        Yum! Thanks Mary for another winner! Printing and it’s going in my “Mary’s Recipes” book. Sounds great for our Labor Day family gathering. How can it be almost Labor Day!! 😲

  6. August 30, 2022 at 9:11 am

    What a great dip. I have never tasted it. Thanks for sharing, I am happy to try it.

  7. Joy B
    August 30, 2022 at 9:47 am

    I’d make this without the tomatoes (I’m just not a fan of raw tomatoes) but adding avocado sounds good. I’ll have to try it this fall. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. August 30, 2022 at 10:22 am

    Great recipe I’ll give it a try the holiday weekend

  9. Rebecca
    August 30, 2022 at 10:35 am

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I have to try it.

    • Clara
      August 30, 2022 at 12:43 pm

      Sounds delicious and the colors are so appetizing! Thanks Mary. Clara❤️

  10. Beth
    August 30, 2022 at 1:43 pm

    Great timing Mary, my brother and his family are coming to visit over the Labor Day holiday and this looks tasty and easy! Thank you again for another delicious recipe!

  11. Sheran
    August 30, 2022 at 1:45 pm

    Looks fabulous and great for an anytime dip!! Thank you for sharing.
    I’m thinking like Quiet Life ~ crazy hot out here in CA for days to many!

  12. Lisa Caldwell
    August 30, 2022 at 1:46 pm

    Thanks for sharing this recipe Mary! I’ve had a version of this “caviar” before and forgotten all about it. It’s perfect for football season!

  13. August 30, 2022 at 1:48 pm

    Yay! Football season is here! This is a beautiful dip!

  14. KathyP
    August 30, 2022 at 2:57 pm

    My SIL makes a big batch of this for our family reunion. It’s a testament to how good it is as every last morsel is eaten!

  15. Carolyn
    August 30, 2022 at 4:44 pm

    Yum, thanks for sharing!

  16. Debbie Holman
    August 30, 2022 at 5:55 pm

    I have a recipe with the same ingredients but the marinating sauce can’t be beat!
    I/2 bottle (small) Tiger sauce
    1/2 cup vinegar
    1/4 cup oil
    3/4 cup sugar
    Mix well and add all other i ingredients. Yum! Yum!

  17. Susan Gardner
    August 31, 2022 at 11:20 am

    Can you adopt me!!??!! 😆
    Mary, I haven’t followed your blog for very long but it never fails to cheer me and inspire me to try new things ( and I am an old dog!!!!) and share…to the delight of my friends. Like one of your other readers, fall wasn’t my favorite season but now I am so excited to try the Apple wreath and the stunning food.
    You are amazing and I’m so happy I found you on Pinterest.
    Thank you for sharing your gift 😊

    • August 31, 2022 at 11:25 am

      Awww…Thanks so much for your sweet comment and visits Susan! I’m happy to be found. :) and so ready for fall! 🍁🎃🍂 Wishing you a Happy Labor Day Weekend. ♥

  18. August 31, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    Called Texas Caviar here! Ha! Ha!
    Its delicious!!!

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