Happy Herbivore Blog

Cowboy Caviar (Trader Joe's Copycat Recipe)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Recipe

When Scott & I were living in Lake Tahoe this past winter, the closest Trader Joe's was about 45 minutes away in Nevada so we only went once a month, if that. 

We could get pretty much everything we needed at the local supermarket chain and health food store in town, but there were a few items that Trader Joe's had I couldn't find elsewhere — or TJ's prices were much more reasonable, so we'd make the trek and stock up.

Anyway, on our last trip, I noticed a huge display of "Cowboy Caviar." I skimmed the label and was glad to see it was both vegan and oil-free. It looked interesting, so I picked up a jar. Then I picked up a second just in case we loved it :)

A few days later Scott & I tried it as a snack,  and we thought it was tasty... but perhaps a little too sweet. Truthfully, I think I was in love with the concept more than anything. It reminded me a little of my Alabama Caviar, but with some Tex-Mex lovin'.

Anyway, the night before we were leaving Tahoe, we'd invited some friends over for snacks and drinks — a sort of "going away" party, and I thought I'd try my hand at recreating TJ's Cowboy Caviar. 

Since all my kitchen equipment was already packed up, I dumped everything into the slow cooker that came with the place we'd rented. (Gasp! I know, I can't believe it! I used a slow cooker!) and let it warm before everyone arrived. (Note: No slow cooker needed; you can warm it over the stovetop, too). 

My rendition of the Cowboy Caviar was a hit. Less sweet, a little more spicy and delicious. Scott & I also ate the leftovers cold the next day, so it works great both ways — hot app or cool salsa. It's so easy, too! Just dump and go! 


Herbie Caviar:


Recipe:Cowboy Caviar


This dump-and-go salsa is amazing warm or cold. Serve it at your next potluck or party! Chef's Note: I love using fire-roasted corn in this recipe.



Combine tomatoes (with juices), black beans (drained and rinsed), salsa verde and about 6 oz. of frozen corn (or more if you like) in a large pot or slow cooker. Add several dashes of chili powder (or chipotle powder if you like it HOT, but remember that a little goes a long way!). Taste, adding more spices to taste. Heat over low heat until thoroughly warm. Add lime juice to taste, if desired, just before serving. Serve warm or cold.

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