Appetizer Recipe: Texas Caviar / Black Bean Salsa

black bean salsa

This appetizer recipe, “Texas Caviar” / Black Bean Salsa (traditional black bean salsa recipe is below), came from my brother, Doug. (Also sometimes called “corn salsa“.) The original recipe called for a cup of sugar, but he cut it in half – I love that he’s eating healthier these days too. It’s a good thing he did because it’s still plenty sweet, and so tasty! I use as many organic ingredients as I can. This is a good way to get more veggies during our long Michigan winters.  (Note, see further down for a variation on this recipe, Black Bean Salsa, that is more like the one you may have had before.)



  • 1 can black eyed peas, drained
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Doug also added a small jar of Great Northern beans, drained
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained (I’ll use our locally frozen corn that I know isn’t from a genetically modified crop.)
  • 1/2 of 4 oz. jar pimento, chopped & drained (I’ve never used pimentos and will probably substitute fresh red peppers for these.)
  • 1 c. celery, chopped small
  • 1 c. green pepper, chopped small
  • Jalapeno peppers – however many to your taste, chopped (or recipe says you can use 12 oz. jar of sliced jalapenos.)
  • 1/4-1 c. onion, chopped


Combine all ingredients. Prepare dressing below. Marinate in refrigerator for 6-8 hours. It says to drain before serving, but Doug didn’t drain it and it was good with the juice still in there. Serve as a dip with tortilla chips – find some with no trans fats or other nasty ingredients – the shorter the ingredient list is and the more words you can pronounce, the better! I found some chips today with only 3 ingredients! Unfortunately it was made with Canola oil, (I wish I could find some with coconut oil), but at least there were no trans fats or preservatives.


  • 1 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 1 T. water
  • 3/4 c. raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c. olive oil (If you use the darker/extra virgin olive oil, it can have a strong taste, so sometimes I’ll use half expeller pressed or cold pressed sesame oil.)
  • 1/2 c. sugar (the more natural the sugar, the better: organic cane sugar, sucanat, Rapadura)

Bring to a boil and pour over ingredients.

VARIATION: Black Bean Salsa

If you like the more popular and more traditional black bean salsa, you can use the same dressing as above (or see below for a lighter and delicious dressing with no sweetener), but use any of these ingredients (chopped of course) that sound good to you:

  • onion (green onion or regular)
  • tomatoes
  • fresh cilantro
  • black beans
  • jalepeno
  • celery
  • corn
  • garlic
  • red pepper
  • bell peppers (multi-color is nice)
  • Avocado, my favorite!

For a light dressing that tastes so good with this that you can eat it with a spoon (no chips means low-carb!), try this:  squeeze the juice of one or two limes all over the above, and add a few dashes of sea salt.  YUM!




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