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Chipotle-Spiced Texas Caviar

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


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  1. I have been a lover of TJ’s Texas Caviar and wondered what happened to it. While I should be sad to hear of it’s retirement I’m actually really excited to try your rendition instead! It looks even better than the original and will give me a sense of accomplishment in the end. Thanks!

    • Thanks, Amber! Yeah I think I like this one a bit better. It’s a little more fresh, more spicy, and less sweet. And way less expensive 🙂

  2. I made this without the jalapeno (it was still plenty spicy for me) and brought it as a dip/salsa type thing to a party. It went over very well. It also looks the the original may have come out of retirement. While I was shopping for ingredients I saw jars of Cowboy Caviar on the shelves at Trader Joe’s. More fun to make my own though 🙂 Thanks for a great recipe.

    • That’s awesome, Stephanie! I’m glad it went over well at the party. Yes, it can be super spicy but I noticed the heat went down a few notches after cooking and then cooling.

  3. Hi! I stumbled on your website about two hours ago and have bookmarked just about every recipe! Everything looks delicious! I was wondering what type of tortillas do you usually buy?

    • Oh, I’m so happy to hear that, Mary! 🙂 I usually buy the trader joe’s corn tortillas which are very unprocessed (they just have corn and lime).

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