Don’t worry – no fish were harmed in the making of this caviar… and it doesn’t cost $4,000 per pound either. “Texas Caviar” is a salsa-like dish with corn and black beans coated in a spicy chipotle sauce. It’s a super versatile recipe that can be used any way you imagine; as an appetizer with tortilla chips, as a topping or side dish for another meal, or even as a simple dinner with corn tortillas and guacamole.

This specific recipe is heavily inspired by a jar of Cowboy Caviar that Trader Joe’s used to make. Their product has been officially “retired” now, so that gives us the perfect excuse to make our own (even tastier, even cheaper, even healthier) version with hardly any work at all. The technique is so simple: we make a chipotle sauce in a blender, toss it with some black beans and corn, then simmer over medium heat to meld the delicious smoky flavors.

Texas Caviar

Makes ~4 cups


  • 1/3 cup chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1/3 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 jalapeño
  • 1 cup fresh diced tomatoes
  • 1 lime (juice)
  • 1 1/2 cups black beans
  • 1 1/2 cups corn
  • sea salt

Texas Caviar Table

Step One

To get started, we’ll make a super simple and spicy chipotle sauce by combining all the ingredients from the first list (chipotles, bell pepper, jalapeño, tomatoes, and lime juice) in a blender and blending until smooth.

We use chipotles in adobo (which are easy to find at most grocers) because they already have a great smoky flavor and perfect blend of spices infused into the peppers. It isn’t exactly a one ingredient food, but the can I used just had peppers and spices without any preservatives.

Step Two

Add about 1 1/2 cups each of corn (any kind) and cooked/drained black beans into a saucepan and coat with the chipotle sauce. Add a few pinches of salt and mix until the beans & corn are coated. Allow this to simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes.

Step Three

Serve! As I mentioned, this dish is extremely versatile. It works great hot, cold, or at room temperature. Serve it as an appetizer or (my favorite) spoon onto corn tortillas with some brown rice and guacamole for a simple and delicious dinner.

Texas Caviar

Texas Caviar with Chip