Picnic Caviar Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Picnic Caviar

There's nothing fishy about this combination of beans, corn, and peppers. The easy-to-make gem gets better as it marinates in its sweet-'n'-spicy dressing.



Ingredient Line: 
¼ cup rice vinegar
Ingredient Line: 
¼ cup vegetable oil
Ingredient Line: 
1 Tbs. sugar
Ingredient Line: 
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
Ingredient Line: 
½ tsp. dried oregano
Ingredient Line: 
½ tsp. dried basil
Ingredient Line: 
1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
Ingredient Line: 
1 15-oz. can pinto beans or black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
Ingredient Line: 
1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels
Ingredient Line: 
1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, finely chopped (1 cup)
Ingredient Line: 
½ small red onion, finely chopped (½ cup)
Ingredient Line: 
1 2-oz. can diced green chiles with liquid
Ingredient Line: 
¼ cup chopped cilantro


1. Whisk together vinegar, oil, sugar, garlic, oregano, and basil in large bowl.

2. Stir in black and pinto beans, corn, bell pepper, onion, chiles, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

Nutrition Information: 

6 g
Total Fat: 
7.5 g
Saturated Fat: 
0.5 g
25 g
0 mg
433 mg
7 g
5 g
Serves 4

Comments on this Recipe

I have brought this to several cookouts (actually have a bowl of it chilling in the fridge right now for a barbecue later today!) and it's always a hit. I serve it with either corn chips or pita chips, and sometimes I make some to take for lunch with Wheat Thins on the side. I also often put in a diced avocado and/or a diced mango. :)

this is great! I added some avacado in with it as well. Yum

I made this for a work lunch and it was the first and almost only thing to completely disappear

I make this all the time when I have people over. It is the best! Everyone loves it. I serve it with Tortilla Scoops. I've given this recipe out many times over. Enjoy!

This is my FAVORITE recipe of all time!!!!! Absolutely wonderful! I always make it for potlucks/get togethers & have received many requests for the recipe. I like to serve it with tortilla chips and guacamole on the side or just eat it as a salad plain, or wrapped up in a tortilla shell (sort of like a soft shell taco).

My daughter makes this and the whole family fights over the bowl! Absolutely awesom recipe. Just mind the sodium content.

I agree with everyone. Made this many times for potlucks and company. Everyone loves it and wants the recipe. Such an awesome dish! Love it! Very addictive...

I agree this is a great alternative. I have also added raisins instead of table sugar. And avocados along with some mangos Wow I can't make enough..

This is a summer staple in our house. We stand in the kitchen over the bowl eating it with corn chips, or a spoon! Once one bowl is empty it's time to hit the farmer's market for fresh corn to make another.

An absolute favorite-always save some for me everytime I make it because it does just disappear!

I brought this to a cookout and everyone asked for the recipe. Love it with pita chips.

I have made this several times and it is wonderful! Perfect for a bounty of summer produce. The recipe is spot on.

This was amazing! I made it with frozen corn and Stevia instead of sugar and it was still very good. My husband gobbled it up...I will definitely make this again!

This is awesome! I used black beans & chick peas and coconut sugar because that's what I had on hand. Left out the chiles because I didn't have any; I imagine a jalepeno would be a nice touch. I have a small bowl of this when I'm in a 'munchy' mood. Otherwise, I serve on top of mixed greens. The longer it sits to marinate, the better!

fantastic recipe! has become one of our favorites.

quick and tasty summer picnic recipe!

This is one of my top 2 favorite recipes to bring to a potluck or BBQ. EVERYONE loves this recipe. Thanks VT!

I only had seasoned rice vinegar so I left out the sugar, used a 16 oz package of cooked frozen corn and half a diced jalapeno instead of the canned chiles. It was very tasty with these substitutions.

Ummm very good. If you haven't tried it give it a chance. I will be making this often. Very good

Easy and delicious. I used frozen corn and it still tasted great!


Picnic caviar

Winery picnic with chips

I made this with a 4-oz can of chiles and it was very good. I have never seen a can of chiles as small as 2 ounces. I think that must be a mistake in the recipe. I think next time I would just use a small amount of jalapeno. This was also very good scooped up with tortillas chips.

Do you drain the liquid from the canned chilis? Or is that liquid part of the dressing?

wonderful flavors! add some fresh basil & fresh oregan with the rest to add a little soething.