Texas Caviar Black-Eyed Pea Dip With Jalapeño Peppers

Black-Eyed Pea Dip

Alexandra Grablewski / Getty Images

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Yield: 8 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
179 Calories
6g Fat
25g Carbs
8g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 179
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 286mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 9g 32%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 14mg 72%
Calcium 34mg 3%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 526mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Black-eyed peas are responsible for why this dish is referred to as Texas caviar (aka cowboy caviar) a humorous comparison due to their resemblance to caviar. This tasty Tex-Mex appetizer (or snack) for black-eyed peas dip is flavored with lots of chopped cilantro, avocado, garlic, tomatoes, and peppers. It's not smooth like hummus or an old-fashioned French onion dip but slightly more chunky, like a bean salsa. You could even pass it off as a cold salad if you wanted to; in fact, it's often interchangeably referred to as a salad or a dip.

If you've never tried them before, black-eyed peas have a nutty and earthy taste and the texture is dense and firm, yet a bit soft. Make this dip a day in advance and refrigerate overnight for the best flavor. Bring it to your next potluck or outdoor cookout, where you can serve it with tortilla chips or toasted pita bread


  • 3 (15-ounce) cans black-eyed peas with chopped jalapeño peppers, drained

  • 1 purple onion, chopped

  • 3 tomatoes, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 2 avocados, chopped

  • 2 jalapeño peppers, chopped

  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped

  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

  • Zesty Italian salad dressing, as needed

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine the black-eyed peas, chopped vegetables, and cilantro with the Italian dressing until you get a good consistency for dipping. 

  3. Add salt and pepper and refrigerate overnight.

  4. Serve with tortilla chips or toasted pita bread.

  5. Enjoy!


Commercially prepared salad dressings often have a lot of sugar. If you're watching your sugar intake, you can make your own Italian dressing very easily, with less or no sugar altogether.


  • If you would like to make this dish with dried black-eyed peas, you can. You can soak them beforehand, which will shave off about a 1/2 hour of cook time. Feel free to add 1 or 2 seeded and chopped jalapeño peppers.
  • Skip the Italian dressing and use a simple olive oil and lime juice dressing or a lime-agave dressing for a slightly different taste.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin to the dish.
  • Frozen (thawed) corn, rinsed and drained canned corn, or fresh corn scraped off the cod is great in this dip.
  • Substitute scallions for the red onion.
  • Use a red, yellow, or orange bell pepper instead of green.
  • Swap out one can of black-eyed peas for canned black beans, rinsed and drained.

How to Store and Freeze Black-Eyed Pea Dip

This dip will keep covered in the refrigerator for two to three days. It may get a little soggy the longer it sits; you can always refresh it with additional fresh chopped avocado or tomatoes, or both.

You can freeze black-eyed peas themselves, but this dip may not hold up so well given the fresh nature of its ingredients.