Cowgirl Caviar

Black-eyed peas are usually associated with Hoppin’ John, which is a traditional New Year’s Day meal in the South. On the first day of the year, you eat “poor”, so that you may eat “well” the rest of the year. However, black-eyed peas are so delicious and nutritious that I don’t think they should be limited to the first day of the year.

One of my favorite ways to serve them is in a dip, which is usually called Cowboy Caviar. My recipe has a little lime and honey, creating just the mildest hint of sweetness, thus the modified name. The dip comes together quickly, but requires time to marinate, so I often make it the day before a party.

For this recipe, I use a 16 ounce package of frozen black eyed peas. I bring the peas to a boil in a pot of water, then put a lid on the pot, and turn off the heat. The peas will cook in the hot water in about an hour, which is only about 15 minutes longer than if you kept the pot simmering over a fire. This saves energy and helps keep your kitchen a little cooler during the summer. 

Cowgirl Caviar
Recipe type: Appetizer
  • 3 cups cooked black eyed peas, rinsed and drained (or 2 cans, drained)
  • ½ cup onions, sliced (I used ¼ cup white and ¼ cup green onions)
  • ½ cup sweet pepper, chopped (I used red and yellow pepper)
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (Tip for Freezing Lime Juice)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • Dash of salt
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well.
  2. Cover and chill for 10 – 12 hours.
  3. When ready to serve transfer to a serving dish and serve with tortilla chips.


More Appetizer Recipes:

Pumpkin Dip

5 Hummus Recipes

Easy Authentic Guacamole

What are your favorite party foods? Do you have a signature dip?



  1. Sheila says

    This sounds so good. We have "Carolina Caviar" here that I love. Can't wait to try this one and thanks for the tip about letting the peas sit–I had no idea that would work.

  2. perennialgardener says

    Ooh this looks pretty tasty. Love the name too, lol. I'll have to borrow this recipe, thanks for sharing. :)

  3. debi9kids says

    Oh yum! I had this at my friend's house in May and it was so delicious! So glad you posted a recipe.

  4. Jacqueline says

    I had this recipe (cowboy) for years and never made it and then about a month ago we went over to a friend's house and had it and went gaga. I did a post on it. My husband wanted to eat it all before I could even photograph it. She used Good Season's Italian dressing which my recipe called for homemade. It was so easy and so good. Lovin it!

  5. halfdozendaily says

    That looks delicious! I'm not a fan of beans, the only beans I like are "browned beans", but i'm thinking I need to learn to like them with my dietary restrictions! lol!!

  6. gfe--gluten free easily says

    I chuckled over the title! I've never had this recipe and I don't know why because I love black-eyed peas. Must make soon. My favorite dip is probably my crab ball, which is a dip/spread just in ball form. 😉

    Thanks, Alea!


  7. Mary says

    I love the energy saving tip you shared with us today. Your salad looks fabulous and I'm sure it's an attention getter wherever it's served. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  8. Laura says

    I have two "adult" events at our campout where we need to bring an appetizer to share, and I think this will be a big hit! Just reading the ingedients makes me hungry.

  9. Christy says

    This looks so yummy and fresh – my kids aren't big bean fans but I think they would eat this! I have been looking around your blog – love it!

    Would love it if you linked to the Two for Tuesday Real Food Blog Hop next Tuesday!
    The link takes you to the "about the blog hop" page.

  10. Amy @ Simply Sugar and Gltuen Free says

    I love the new look, Alea! Your blog looks fantastic. So does your Cowgirl Caviar. Thanks for linking up. :)

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