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    People Are Going Wild For Cowboy Caviar Right Now, And After Making It Myself, I Can Completely Understand Why

    I will be making this all summer long.

    Summer's finally here, meaning it's the perfect time to sit at the pool with some chips and dip.

    Conveniently, it looks like TikTok has graced us with a dip that seems perfectly suited for the summer — Cowboy Caviar.

    It's basically like a salsa. A typical Cowboy Caviar recipe includes beans, corn, bell pepper, and onion.

    In a TikTok that now has over 16 million views, user Bria Lemirande walks us through her favorite way of making the dip, using standard ingredients like black beans, red onion, corn, and bell peppers, as well as some unique additions like mango, candied jalapeño, and feta cheese.

    Screen shot from Bria's TikTok video

    After Bria posted her recipe, hundreds of other users started to share their own recreations, thus forming the current Cowboy Caviar trend on TikTok. And although the dip is super popular now, it has actually been around since the 1940s.

    This Thrillist article from 2021 reveals that Cowboy Caviar was created by chef Helen Corbitt, who was the head chef of Neiman Marcus's restaurant Zodiac Room in Dallas, Texas. Oh, and it looks like the dip was originally called "Texas Caviar."

    Cowboy Caviar

    Chef Corbitt's original recipe was reportedly, "black-eyed peas, onions, and garlic pickled in oil and vinegar and served cold," but the dish has since evolved into one that welcomes ingredients of your own choosing, hence Bria's delicious-looking creation. I was definitely so curious about it, so I decided to try it for myself:

    Because Bria seemed like the Cowboy Caviar expert, I wanted to follow the recipe — written out at the end of her video — to a tee. For the fresh stuff, she says she used red, yellow, and green bell pepper, red onion, avocado, mango, limes, jalapeño, and feta cheese. After reading the recommendations in the comments section, I decided to pick up some fresh cilantro as well.

    An assortment of ingredients on a countertop

    For the canned stuff, she used black beans, pinto beans, sliced black olives, corn, and "hot & sweet" jalapeños. She also used spicy honey, olive oil, and white vinegar for the dressing.

    An assortment of food items on a countertop

    After buying what felt like the entire produce section of Trader Joe's, I decided to start chopping my veggies. Noting how much of each vegetable Bria added to the dip, I finely diced 3/4 of a red onion.

    A red onion on a cutting board

    After making sure the onion was cut into small, digestible pieces, I added it to the largest bowl I could find in my home.

    Chopped red onion

    After the red onion, I chopped the red, yellow, and green bell peppers and added it to the mix.

    Chopped peppers and onions

    Following the bell peppers, I drained the cans of corn and sliced olives, and poured those in the bowl as well.

    A bowl of chopped veggies

    I cored and sliced the entire fresh mango, making little cross-hatch cuts and eventually scooping it out with a spoon.

    Sliced mango

    After adding the mango, I also poured the entire 6 oz. tub of feta cheese into the bowl. I then chopped a generous handful of cilantro to add to the mix.

    chopped cilantro on a cutting board

    After the cilantro, I poured out about a third of the 12 oz. jar of hot & sweet jalapeños (so roughly 4 oz.?) and cut them up.

    A jar of hot & sweet jalapeños

    At this point, the bowl I had used could not hold all of the ingredients, but I decided that the show must go on, and so I added the cans of black and pinto beans — drained, of course.

    A bowl with beans, veggies, and cheese

    The last ingredient before the dressing was half an avocado, so I made little cross hatches and scooped the fruit into the bowl.

    sliced avocado

    For the dressing, I squeezed the juice out of three limes.

    holding a lime over a bowl

    I then added 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of white vinegar, four tablespoons of spicy honey, salt, and pepper, and then gave it all a good mix. After the dressing was done, I poured it all over the ingredients in the bowl.

    A bowl of home-made dressing for the dish

    The last thing to do was mix everything together, but since my bowl was so small, I decided the best way to do this was to scoop out ingredients from the first bowl, into another bowl.

    A bigger empty bowl next to a smaller one with food in it

    I got a spoon and started scooping out ingredients from different areas of the bowl, and this process naturally mixed everything together. I ended up with two perfectly incorporated bowls of Cowboy Caviar.

    Two bowls of Cowboy Caviar

    So, I'm not gonna lie. It probably took me around 40 minutes to chop all the vegetables, which I'll blame my cheap knife for. But at this point, I was just SO excited to try the dip.

    Jen holding a bowl of Cowboy Caviar

    I got out some of my favorite chips and dove right in.

    A bowl of Cowboy Caviar and two bags of chips

    I can honestly say that I LOVED this. I don't really know what I was expecting, but there's a really nice combination of flavors going on from the sweetness of the corn and the saltiness of the olives. The red onion added a bit of spiciness, the cilantro was working its magic with its fresh, herb-y taste, and the jalapeños were indeed, hot & sweet — all I can say is, this is a dip that is packed with flavor! I definitely couldn't stop eating it for the rest of the day.

    cowboy caviar

    I would 100% recommend that everyone try this at least once, just because it's so good and relatively easy to make. I will warn that this recipe does make a TON of Cowboy Caviar, which is great if you're looking for something to bring to a party, but if you're cooking for one, I would definitely cut the ingredients in half.

    PS: While Cowboy Caviar can totally just be eaten with chips, I also found that this makes a great filling in breakfast burritos/tacos if you just fry up an egg and warm up some tortillas. 

    What do you think? Have you made Cowboy Caviar yet? Let me know in the comments.