Updated: Jul 11, 2022
Have you ever had Texas Caviar? If you have, you've probably never had the same one twice. This is one of those recipes that everyone has their own spin on it. Different ingredients, dressing, ratios, etc. But this is mine (which is even different from even my mom's!)
I love this recipe because it comes together so quickly and is the PERFECT summer appetizer or potluck dish because it doesn't need to stay cold. It is also fantastic because you can use a lot of pantry ingredients which makes it even more convenient to pull together quickly. Can you use fresh tomatoes and corn? Of course! And it would be absolutely fabulous. But I tend to use the canned for speed and convenience (I have used fresh tomatoes in this quite a bit, but the corn can get messy so I usually stick with canned).
A lot of this is just suggestion. If you like it more limey, add more lime juice. Use less (or no) cilantro if you're not a fan. Add more or less hot sauce to your taste. Switch up the beans (think pinto or black eye peas!). And I know the Italian dressing seems like an odd choice for a tex-mex inspired recipe, but trust me, it works. It already has lots of seasoning in it then I squeeze in a lime for an extra kick and it's just the right balance.
Another thing I love about this dish is that it is actually really versatile. I have used leftovers to make a southwest salad (just toss it over some romaine lettuce and maybe add some grilled chicken). Or add it with some grilled chicken or steak on a tortilla for easy taco night (or over rice for a burrito bowl!)
It's tasty and filling and an awesome alternative to your heavier, cheese or mayo-based dips which is why I love it so much. Make it for your next party and I bet there won't be any leftovers!
Texas Caviar (Makes ~ 5-6 C. of dip) Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: None
1 - 15 oz. can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 - 15 oz. can sweet corn, drained and rinsed
1 - 15 oz. can black beans (or bean of choice), drained and rinsed
1 avocado, diced
1/2 C. diced bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange)
1/4 C. small diced red onion (or any onion works)
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 C. Italian dressing
1/4 C. minced cilantro
1 jalapeño, diced (optional)
Hot sauce (5-6 dashes or to taste)
In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except the avocado and the lime with a spoon until fully incorporated.
Once everything is fully mixed, add the avocado to the bowl and squeeze/pour the lemon juice over the avocado (to help prevent browning) and the rest of the mixture. Add a few pinches of salt and pepper to taste. Gently stir to evenly distribute and making sure to not smash or break up the avocado too much.
Check for seasoning and add more salt, pepper, or hot sauce if needed. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips and enjoy!
*Recipe notes + Variations*
You can mix everything together at once, but I find mixing everything except the avocado first helps to keep the avocado in chunks and not smash it to smithereens. Squeezing the lime juice over the avocado adds flavor but also keeps it from browning.
I like to serve this with Tostitos Scoops because you can really get a good helping on each chip and the ingredients don't roll off. But feel free to pair it with your chip of choice.
Leftovers of this can be so much more than just leftover dip! Grill up some chicken or steak and use the dip as a taco topper. Throw it over romaine lettuce with your protein of choice for a yummy southwest salad. Make a burrito bowl by doing the same but over a bed of rice.