Black Eyed Pea Dip: California-Style Texas Caviar

This easy Black Eyed Pea Dip is the traditional Texas Caviar dish with a little California spin! It is great for New Year’s Day or for a party any time of year!

Black Eyed Pea Dip or Salsa - I'm adding some California flavor to Mississippi Caviar, a classic Southern appetizer!

Happy New Year! Do you have any special traditions for today? As you may know, I’m from Mississippi, and back home we eat black eyed peas, greens, and cornbread on New Year’s Day. There’s an old Southern saying, “Peas for pennies, greens for dollars, and cornbread for gold,” so apparently Southerners hope they will get rich every year.

I can’t say that Matt and I have carried on the traditional Southern New Year’s meal since we’ve moved to California, but this year my mom was here so I had to come up with something. Since they were flying home today and didn’t have time for a big meal, we opted for what she calls Mississippi Caviar, a black eyed pea dip (also known as Texas Caviar or Cowboy Caviar).

Black Eyed Pea Dip or Salsa - I'm adding some California flavor to Mississippi Caviar, a classic Southern appetizer!

Truth be told, I had never made this Southern dip before. I had it years ago when I still lived in the South and wasn’t really a fan. I remember it tasting like peas and salad dressing, which is pretty much what it was, so I was never inclined to make it again. When my mom requested it for today, I researched a few recipes and put my own spin on it. I wasn’t even planning to post it, but it turned out so well that I have to share!

Black Eyed Pea Dip or Salsa - I'm adding some California flavor to Mississippi Caviar, a classic Southern appetizer!

Instead of bottled Italian dressing, I made a quick vinaigrette as the base seasoning. Since we needed to fulfill our “greens for dollars” piece, I added very finely chopped cabbage. This ingredient is optional, but I’m all for adding some extra vitamins, sweetness, and crunch. I also added corn because I thought that was part of the classic Texas caviar, and hopefully it’s close enough to “cornbread for gold.” It turns out, my mom had never had corn in hers, but she loved it. Since I’m in California, I couldn’t help but add avocado and a squeeze of lime juice. I think you will really love the combined Mississippi and California flavors, and I hope this will bring you good luck no matter what time of year you enjoy it!

Black Eyed Pea Dip or Salsa - I'm adding some California flavor to Mississippi Caviar, a classic Southern appetizer!
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Black Eyed Pea Dip or Salsa - I'm adding some California flavor to Mississippi Caviar, a classic Southern appetizer!

Black Eyed Pea Dip: California-Style Texas Caviar

This black eyed pea dip also makes a great salad!

  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x


Units Scale
  • 16 ounces bag frozen black eyed peas
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 15 ounces can seasoned black beans drained and rinsed
  • 10 ounces can tomatoes with green chiles OR tomatoes with chipotle drained well
  • 11 ounces can whole kernel corn drained
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage very finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 jalapenos seeded and finely diced
  • juice of one lime 2-3 tbsp.
  • 1 ripe avocado diced (Do not dice until ready to serve.)
  • hot sauce or cayenne pepper to taste optional
  • Fritos and/or tortilla chips for dipping


  1. Place frozen beans in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Add table salt to the water, and bring to a boil uncovered. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook beans 30 minutes or until tender crisp. Drain and rinse with cold water when cooked.
  2. While beans cook, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir in black beans, tomatoes, corn, cabbage, jalapeño, and lime juice. Stir in cooked and drained black eyed peas.
  3. Refrigerate pea dip without the avocado until ready to serve. (You can make it a day ahead of time if desired. Flavor will be better if you make it at least a few hours before serving.)
  4. When ready to serve, gently stir in the avocado, and add salt, pepper, or hot sauce to taste. Serve with chips for dipping.
  • Author: Andi
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Cuisine: Southern

Here are some more easy salsa recipes I think you’ll love!

Andi Gleeson


Kelly - Life Made Sweeter
9 years ago

Happy New Year, Andi! Love that you made this for your mom even though you had never made it before. It looks delicious and I love the spin you put on it :)

9 years ago

Happy New Year to you too, Kelly! Thank you!

Carla (@charliesue)
9 years ago

It’s not too late to make this yummy little dip, is it? The 6th? A perfect day to celebrate a New Year!

9 years ago

Hi, Carla! I would gladly make this any time of year :) Thank you!

Rachel Cooks
9 years ago

Love this type of salsa/dip and totally loving the black eyed peas in there!

9 years ago

Thanks so much, Rachel!

Stephanie @ Sustaining the Powers
9 years ago

I had no idea that black eyed peas come frozen! I’ve only ever made them from a bag of dried beans. I’ll have to look for them next time I’m at the store! This looks delicious.

9 years ago

I love frozen beans! They are just as good as making them from dried I think but much quicker. Thank you, Stephanie!

Melanie | Melanie Makes
9 years ago

Love your spin on this, Andi – I think I’d take a bowl and an entire bag of chips to myself!

9 years ago

Thanks, Melanie! I did some serious damage with this one because it makes a ton!

Ginny McMeans
9 years ago

You can’t beat that! Love all your seasonings too.

9 years ago

Thanks so much, Ginny! Happy New Year!

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