Trader Joe’s Homemade Cowboy Caviar

Make just one trip to our favorite grocery store, Trader Joe’s, for this big and bold homemade cowboy caviar. Don’t forget the chips!

Trader Joe’s Homemade Cowboy Caviar in a Bowl Surrounded by Chips

Simply Recipes / Sara Tane

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. 

Trader Joe’s Homemade Cowboy Caviar in a Bowl Surrounded by Chips

Simply Recipes / Sara Tane

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.

Ingredients for Trader Joe’s Homemade Cowboy Caviar

Simply Recipes / Sara Tane

Did Someone Say Dip?

Trader Joe’s Homemade Cowboy Caviar

Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 8 to 10 servings
Yield 8 cups


For the dressing

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon Trader Joe’s Hot & Sweet Jalapeños pickling liquid

  • 2 teaspoons Trader Joe’s Everything But the Elote Seasoning Blend

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the salad

  • 1 (15-ouncecan black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 (15-ounce) can white or kidney beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored and diced

  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, cored and diced

  • 5 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced

  • 2 cups Trader Joe’s frozen roasted corn, thawed

  • 1 cup mini heirloom tomatoes, halved

  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Hot & Sweet Jalapeños, drained and chopped

  • 1 cup Trader Joe’s Giant Peruvian Inca Corn Salted Crunchy Snack, roughly chopped

  • Trader Joe’s Organic Elote Corn Chip Dippers, for serving


  1. 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.

    Bowl of Dressing for Cowboy Caviar Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Sara Tane

  2. Make the salad:

    In a large bowl, combine the 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.

    Did you love the recipe? Leave us stars below! 

    Ingredients (Halved Tomatoes, Cilantro, Corn, Black Beans, Bell Peppers, and Scallions) in a Bowl for Trader Joe’s Homemade Cowboy Caviar Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Sara Tane

    Trader Joe’s Homemade Cowboy Caviar Mixed Together

    Simply Recipes / Sara Tane

    Trader Joe’s Homemade Cowboy Caviar in a Bowl

    Simply Recipes / Sara Tane

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
238 Calories
8g Fat
35g Carbs
10g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 238
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 11%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 372mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 9g 31%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 61mg 303%
Calcium 43mg 3%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 593mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.