This cold bean dip is chock full of flavor and healthy veggies too all tossed in light and tangy Italian dressing. Serve with chips and this is the ultimate summer appetizer or snack.
Sometimes Known as Cowboy Caviar
This tasty mixed bean dip is sometimes called Cowboy Caviar or Texas Caviar. I’m boring and call it bean dip with Italian dressing because that’s what it is and anyone who’s never heard of “Cowboy Caviar” before, would like be like, Huh?
So, feel free to call this what you like. 🙂
What’s in this Italian bean dip?
Well beans of course! Black bean, kidney beans and navy beans are what I like to use. But really, you can use almost any type of canned beans. Just be sure to rinse them well or the dip will come out slimey.
In addition to beans, bell peppers are a must. Any colors bell pepper works! Or go with a variety for a more colorful and tasty bean dip.
Onion. Red or white. Again, your choice. Both taste great!
Jalapeños or green chilies. For a very mild heat, you can opt for canned green chilies. However, I really love fresh diced jalapeños in this bean dip. You can also use pickled jalapeños.
Corn! Fresh corn off the cob is best. So I often make this bean dip when I have leftover corn on the cob. However, frozen corn and canned corn work well too. Whatever is convenient is what type of corn I go for.
Tomatoes. Ok, now I’m picky about this one. Fresh tomatoes are best instead of canned. I really like grape or roma tomatoes bt sometimes I’ll dice up a beefsteak tomato if I have them leftover from a barbecue or something. I usually won’t go with canned diced tomatoes if I don’t have fresh. Instead I just leave them out. However, I’ve used canned tomatoes before and it’s not awful, ha ha. Your choice.
Carrots. Again. Picky about this one. I really don’t like matchstick carrots. There I said it. They just taste BAD. I don’t know why. The texture is weird and they always taste dry and flavorless. Maybe it’s just me? But I almost always have carrots in the fridge so I just peel and shred one and add it in. So fresh. So good. Lots of flavor. Don’t do the matchsticks.
Italian Dressing. Here’s one way to mix up the flavor of this bean dip if you make it a lot. Try different dressings. You can vary the brand of Italian dressing, or even go rogue and choose like a Greek dressing instead. It’s hard to go wrong if you choose a salad dressing you like.
I personally really like the Italian dressing seasoning packets because then I can control the amount of oil and vinegar I want to add. I also really love Olive Garden’s Italian dressing. It’s creamy! I love the creaminess. But sometimes it can be too creamy. I’m picky, what can I say? So, in an ideal world I’ll do half Italian dressing packet, oil + vinegar and then add in some Olive Garden Italian dressing too for just a hint of creaminess.
How to Serve this Dip.
I like to serve this dip in a big bowl with corn chips. Scoops, $2 tortilla chips, blue chips… whatever you like. Just don’t get the thin chips. They don’t hold up well when trying to scoop this heavy bean and veggie dip.
Serve it on a salad.
If you’re thinking this would make a great salad topping, you’re right! Just add fresh lettuce or greens of your choice, croutons and anything else you want to include and you have a yummy, healthy and filling lunch.
Turn this bean dip into a pasta dish!
Yep. Just add pasta and extra Italian dressing to turn this into a pretty and yummy pasta salad side dish. Great for potlucks, picnics, or packing for lunch.