Cowboy Caviar Bean Dip – This delicious, healthy dip recipe dip is a mash-up of two favorites–classic bean dip and corn salsa. The combination is irresistible and always goes fast at parties! (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
Summer is winding down (can you believe it’s Labor Day next week!), and fall is creeping up on us. It’s the perfect season for get-togethers and parties (plus, plenty of football games and tailgating for the sports lovers!), so today I’ve got a yummy healthy appetizer or party food to share.
This delicious dip is a mash-up of two of my favorites–Cowboy Caviar (a yummy corn & black bean salsa) and classic bean dip. It’s a vibrant blend of flavors and the combination makes it irresistible.
WHAT’S IN COWBOY CAVIAR BEAN DIP?
As I mentioned before, this is a combination of classic creamy bean dip and the fresh bright flavors of Cowboy Caviar (fresh corn and black bean salsa). Here’s a quick breakdown of what’s in each layer:
FIRST UP: CREAMY BEAN DIP. The base layer is a creamy bean dip. This layer is flavorful on its own, while still allowing the cowboy caviar layer to shine. To make it, I paired my favorite refried beans from Sprouts with their AMAZING Hatch Chile Salsa to jazz them up and make it easy to scoop and spread.
- Their organic vegetarian refried beans have a savory blend of spices and seasonings that’s perfect here. They come in regular and fat-free versions.
- To loosen the mixture up and give it a little bit of a kick, I love the Hatch Chile Salsa. It’s considered medium heat–if you need a more mild version, their Tomatillo Salsa is my favorite of all time.
AND SECOND: COWBOY CAVIAR. The second layer in this dip is “cowboy caviar.” What’s in cowboy caviar? It’s a corn and black bean salsa or salad that’s usually some combination of:
- corn (I like to grill mine for extra flavor)
- black beans and/or black-eyed peas
- tomatoes and/or bell peppers
- jalapeño and
There are other goodies you can mix-in, and I’ve tossed a few into my dip–chili powder, fresh lime juice, salt, and pepper. The end combination of creamy refried bean base layer, plus the fresh toppings in the cowboy caviar is SO delicious together!
MIX IT UP! HERE ARE A FEW WAYS TO CHANGE UP THIS DIP:
The base recipe is absolutely amazing, but it’s always fun to play with a recipe. Here are a few yummy ideas to try:
- SPROUTS BEAN DIP. Want to make this even easier? You can also simply swap the refried beans + salsa combo out for one of Sprouts‘ Organic Bean Dips (on the shelves near salsa) for a tasty shortcut.
- COTIJA CHEESE. If you’re not vegan or dairy-free, a bit of crumbled Cotija cheese or queso fresco adds a salty, punchy note to the dip that’s fabulous. (Reminiscent of Mexican-style street corn!)
- FRESH LETTUCE. Add a little more crunch and color by adding some fresh lettuce. It’s kind of like 7-layer dip this way.
- GREEN ONION. Feel free to swap out the red onion for sliced green onion if you’d like a more mild onion flavor.
- BELL PEPPERS. A sweet bell pepper (especially an orange one!) adds such a pretty color to this dip. Feel free to add it to the mixture, or use it in place of the tomatoes if you’re not a tomato fan.
FAQ + TIPS FOR THIS COWBOY CAVIAR BEAN DIP
HOW TO GRILL CORN INSIDE. Grilling the corn is an optional step that lends a lot of flavor. You can certainly grill it outside, but I often do it inside to save me from smelling like my grill for the rest of the day. I use a cast iron grill pan, which makes it easy. Just shuck the corn (removing green outer leaves and thin yellow “floss” inside), wash, and place on an oiled cast iron grill pan over medium heat for a few minutes on each side, rotating until you have some good sear marks and browning going on. (see the recipe card for more detail)
TIPS FOR CUTTING CORN. Everyone seems to have a good tip for cutting corn. My favorite is to stand the corn up in a large bowl while I run a small, sharp knife down each side so that any flying corn kernels are caught in the bowl. But you can certainly try other tricks, too!
CAN I MAKE IT IN ADVANCE? Yes! The lime juice will help keep the avocado from browning, so you can mix this dip up several hours in advance. If you’re nervous or want to make it further in advance, you can mix up all the ingredients except avocado the day before, then just add the diced avocado right before serving.
HOW DO I KEEP THE AVOCADO FROM TURNING BROWN? First, tossing it with the lime juice before adding the other ingredients helps, since the acidity helps prevent it from oxidizing (the reaction that turns it brown.) Then, keeping it covered as much as possible once the dip is assembled will help prevent airflow/oxidizing further.
LIKE THIS RECIPE? I BET YOU’D LOVE THESE OTHER GREAT PARTY FOODS:
- Chicken Zucchini Poppers
- My ULTIMATE Guide to Guacamole
- Crispy Smashed Potatoes + Dip
- My Favorite Spiced Nuts
- Baked Chicken Taquitos