Summer Recipes: Jenna's Texas Caviar

Picture credit: Top Shelf
Picture credit: Top Shelf

Weekend parties on the deck in the backyard are one of the best things about summer. Whenever I’m asked to bring a dish to a summer potluck, I’m thrilled for the excuse to whip up a batch of Texas Caviar, both because it’s always a hit and because I love it myself. This recipe makes so much, it’s perfect for a party or any gathering of friends and family.

For those who’ve never heard of Texas Caviar, it contains no actual fish eggs and I honestly have no idea if it originated in Texas or not. A quick internet search will show that there are as many Texas Caviar recipes out there as people who live in Texas. It’s a fantastic addition or alternative to traditional tomato-based salsa or pico de gallo.

The great thing about this recipe is how unbelievably tweakable it is. Add ingredients, leave out ingredients, make it spicy, keep it sweet. It’s all up to your own personal taste. My version leaves out tomatoes and leans to the sweet, but feel free to experiment. One thing for sure, this recipe makes plenty for a party. Splurge and buy the scoop-style tortilla chips for maximum enjoyment.

Before you begin, a couple of tips. While incredibly easy, this recipe takes some time to make simply because of all the vegetable chopping it requires, so it isn’t something you can whip up fifteen minutes before you have to run out the door. Also, to achieve the best flavor, it’s best to let it marinate overnight in the fridge.

Texas Caviar

  • 1 can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 can blackeyed peas, rinsed
  • 1 can white sockeye corn, drained*
  • 1 jar chopped pimentos
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • ¼ – ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro based on preference (I like a lot of cilantro)
  • finely chopped Jalapeno pepper to taste (optional)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Tortilla chips for serving

*If you can’t find canned sockeye corn, you can substitute white shoepeg corn. I imagine any sweet corn will also work.

Mix beans, peas, corn, pimentos, peppers, onions, celery and cilantro in a large bowl, preferably one with a lid. If you’d like to add a bit of spice, add chopped jalapeno pepper to taste (I only add a small amount because I’m not a fan of spicy).

In a saucepan, heat olive oil, cider vinegar and sugar just to boiling. Cool for 10 minutes. Poor over the veggie mixture and mix well, coating all of the ingredients. Put a lid or plastic wrap over the bowl and let marinade in the fridge overnight.

Drain off excess marinade and serve with tortilla chips.


– Jenna AAR

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