3 Sweet, Snack-y Dips for Cottage Cheese Lovers

We’ve partnered with Hood Cottage Cheese to share a few of our favorite ways their creamy, protein-rich cottage cheeses—like their sweet Cottage Cheese With Strawberry or Cottage Cheese With Blueberry—make for a delicious dip.

I’m sorry to say I was…

We've partnered with Hood Cottage Cheese to share a few of our favorite ways their creamy, protein-rich cottage cheeses—like their sweet Cottage Cheese With Strawberry or Cottage Cheese With Blueberry—make for a delicious dip.


I’m sorry to say I was a latecomer to liking cottage cheese.

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5-Minute Bean Dip

This intensely delicious bean dip recipe takes literally 5 minutes. You won’t believe how easy it is to make this party favorite! This recipe happened by accident. That’s where many great recipes come from, right? Happy accidents. From this most recent accident came our famous 5-Minute Bean Dip recipe! It’s not superlative when I say it might be the very easiest recipe we’ve ever created. Beans, salsa, and cheese come together into the creamiest, gooiest piping hot mess. Dunk in crunchy chips and it tastes remarkably like the queso from your favorite Mexican joint. With just 3 ingredients, the flavor is more irresistibly complex than you’d imagine. But to really understand the magic here: you’ve got to taste it. Ingredients in the fastest, easiest bean dip recipe Alex whipped this up on a whim one night to go with some tacos, and it was so unexpectedly delicious that we decided it needed to go public. We’ve made this so many times, we’ve lost count. The greatness is in its simplicity, because all you need is 3 ingredients (plus salt): Canned borlotti or pinto beans Salsa Shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese Pinto beans vs borlotti beans Oddly enough, we first […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This intensely delicious bean dip recipe takes literally 5 minutes. You won’t believe how easy it is to make this party favorite!

Bean dip

This recipe happened by accident. That’s where many great recipes come from, right? Happy accidents. From this most recent accident came our famous 5-Minute Bean Dip recipe! It’s not superlative when I say it might be the very easiest recipe we’ve ever created. Beans, salsa, and cheese come together into the creamiest, gooiest piping hot mess. Dunk in crunchy chips and it tastes remarkably like the queso from your favorite Mexican joint. With just 3 ingredients, the flavor is more irresistibly complex than you’d imagine. But to really understand the magic here: you’ve got to taste it.

Ingredients in the fastest, easiest bean dip recipe

Alex whipped this up on a whim one night to go with some tacos, and it was so unexpectedly delicious that we decided it needed to go public. We’ve made this so many times, we’ve lost count. The greatness is in its simplicity, because all you need is 3 ingredients (plus salt):

  • Canned borlotti or pinto beans
  • Salsa
  • Shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese
Borlotti beans recipe

Pinto beans vs borlotti beans

Oddly enough, we first made this bean dip recipe with a unique variety of beans: borlotti beans! Alex found them on a whim at our local grocery and we accidentally loved them. This bean dip tastes amazing with the creamy, meaty texture of borlotti beans, but they can be hard to find. Pinto beans work just as well as a substitute! Here’s some info about both:

  • What are borlotti beans? Borlotti beans are a bean related to kidney and pinto beans. They’re common in Italy and Mexico, and also referred to as cranberry beans or cacahuate beans (in Mexico). In their dried state they’re a beautiful dappled white and pink color, but when cooked they look the same color as pinto beans, a sort of pinkish brown. We found them in 13-ounce jars in our local grocery.
  • Pinto beans are the best substitute for borlotti beans! You can easily make this dip with pinto beans and it tastes just as good!
Bean dip recipe

How to make bean dip: the fast way

This dip couldn’t be easier or faster. (Have we emphasized that enough yet?) In fact, you don’t even need to drain or rinse those beans. Yep, just use them right from the can! Here’s the brief overview of how this bean dip recipe comes together:

  • Dump beans, salsa & cheese into a saucepan. Don’t drain or rinse the beans: the can liquid is important to getting just the right texture.
  • Heat until the cheese melts. You’ll see it go from mostly melted to becoming a sort of liquid cheese. That’s when it’s ready! Serve when it’s piping hot.

Can you substitute cooked dry beans?

Usually we’re all about cooking dried beans. But in this bean dip recipe, we do not recommend substituting cooked dry beans. Why? Canning beans makes their membranes very tender, almost mushy. Canned beans also have thickened can liquid, which is impossible to obtain at home when you cook from dry. You need both of these things in order for this bean dip to come together so quickly with just the right texture. Save those beans for one of these bean recipes!

Bean dip

Add a garnish for some flair

Typically we serve this bean dip without a garnish. But if you want to take it over the top for parties, add a garnish! Throw a few chopped veggies in the center of the dip, and the color contrast looks lovely. Here are a few ideas for the garnish:

  • Tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • Red onion or green onion, finely chopped
  • Cilantro
  • Pickled jalapenos
  • Hot sauce (like Cholula)

Vegan variation (and healthy option!)

Wait, you don’t want a gooey cheesy bean dip? We’ve got an option for you too. This Easy Refried Bean Dip is vegan and full of flavor! You’ll use storebought canned refried beans instead of whole beans, and mix it with green chiles and seasonings. It’s terrifically delicious and a smidge healthier than this bean dip recipe, if you’re looking for something lighter.

How to make bean dip

What to pair with bean dip

That’s it! You’ve got your bean dip faster than the time it takes you to read this article. Lastly, here are a few things we’d pair with bean dip. You can likely think of these yourself, but we wanted to point to a few specific recipes:

This bean dip recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, see the substitutes above.

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Bean dip

5-Minute Bean Dip


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This intensely delicious bean dip recipe takes literally 5 minutes. You won’t believe how easy it is to make this party favorite! 


Ingredients

  • 2 13 or 15-ounce jars borlotti beans or cans pinto beans
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
  • 8 ounces mild or medium salsa
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Tortilla chips, for serving

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan: no need to drain or rinse the beans (add the can liquid too)! Warm it over medium heat until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Mash beans gently with a masher if you’d like a smoother texture. Taste and add another pinch of salt if necessary.
  2. Serve immediately with tortilla chips. If desired, you can garnish with chopped veggies: we used a bit of finely chopped tomato, red onion and green onion with a drizzle of Cholula hot sauce.

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican inspired

Keywords: Bean dip, bean dip recipe

More great dip recipes

We love to dip, over here! Here are some of our top favorite dip recipes if you’re looking for more inspiration:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

The Zingy Yogurt Sauce That Connects Me With My Polish-Midwestern Roots

Everything I know about my family history is a bit fuzzy. Whenever I ask my father questions about how his parents ended up in the Midwest, he only knows so much. “We didn’t talk about things like that,” he explains to me. “Those conversations would ma…

Everything I know about my family history is a bit fuzzy. Whenever I ask my father questions about how his parents ended up in the Midwest, he only knows so much. “We didn’t talk about things like that,” he explains to me. “Those conversations would make us feel less ‘American,’ so we didn’t really have them.” He tells me that his parents were originally from Kraków and Wilno (which is no longer part of Poland), but he doesn’t remember which parent grew up where.

What he does know is that the story goes something like this: They were both being transferred from one camp in German-occupied Poland to another when technical issues blessed them with an opportunity to escape. After fleeing, they immigrated to America, eventually landing in Chicago where a friend was able to host them. From there my father’s family raised him and his brother, fully rooting themselves in the American Midwest.

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9 Perfect Chip & Dip Pairings for A+ Summer Snacking

We’ve teamed up with Barnana—makers of organic ridged plantain chips and new grain-free, corn-free plantain tortilla chips in all sorts of tasty flavors, like Pink Sea Salt and tangy Lime & Sea Salt—to share our favorite summer dip recipes.

If y…

We've teamed up with Barnana—makers of organic ridged plantain chips and new grain-free, corn-free plantain tortilla chips in all sorts of tasty flavors, like Pink Sea Salt and tangy Lime & Sea Salt—to share our favorite summer dip recipes.


If you ask me, the happiest time of day is snack time—and that’s elevated exponentially when those snacks are devoured outside in the sunshine. My Platonic ideal of snackable summer food for socially distanced picnics, poolside bites, Labor Day spreads, and even camping is now—and will always be—dip.

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Easy Avocado Aioli (Oil-Free!)

I tried to make classic aioli with egg and oil recently, and it was a huge flop. I didn’t love how heavy and oily it was or how much work it required, and I craved something much lighter but similar in flavor.
I wondered if nature’s butter — avoc…

Easy Avocado Aioli (Oil-Free!)

I tried to make classic aioli with egg and oil recently, and it was a huge flop. I didn’t love how heavy and oily it was or how much work it required, and I craved something much lighter but similar in flavor.

I wondered if nature’s butter — avocado — would make an aioli base, and my suspicion was correct! This creamy, citrusy, garlicky aioli comes together in just 5 minutes with 6 ingredients in 1 blender.

Easy Avocado Aioli (Oil-Free!) from Minimalist Baker →

Baba Ganoush (Eggplant Dip)

Classic Baba Ganoush is made by roasting eggplants until soft, scooping out the insides, and mashing with tahini, garlic, and spices. Served with pita or cracker, this eggplant dip is a great snack or party appetizer. Continue reading “Baba…

Classic Baba Ganoush is made by roasting eggplants until soft, scooping out the insides, and mashing with tahini, garlic, and spices. Served with pita or cracker, this eggplant dip is a great snack or party appetizer.

Continue reading "Baba Ganoush (Eggplant Dip)" »

Texas Caviar (Cowboy Caviar)

This Texas caviar (Cowboy caviar) will have everyone crowded around the bowl! It’s full of big, zesty flavor and perfect for parties and cookouts. Here’s a tasty dip with a party vibe: Texas caviar! Cowboy caviar, as it’s also known, was invented in Texas and has now spread all over the US. This combo of black eyed peas, veggies and a vinaigrette dressing is equal parts zesty and comforting: and you can use it as a dip or healthy side dish. Our favorite recipe has loads of colorful veggies, cilantro and jalapenos, and a simple zingy dressing with the perfect flavor. Even better: this party dip happens to be vegan, full of plant-based protein. Here’s how to make it! Ingredients in Texas caviar, aka Cowboy Caviar Just like a good potato salad, everyone has their own spin on the ingredients in Texas caviar. The common denominator: you absolutely must use black eyed peas! From there, there are all sorts of variations on the vegetables and dressing. Here are the essential fresh ingredients you need for the salad: Black eyed peas, canned or cooked (see below) Black beans, canned or cooked Corn Red bell pepper Cherry tomatoes Green onions Jalapeno Cilantro […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This Texas caviar (Cowboy caviar) will have everyone crowded around the bowl! It’s full of big, zesty flavor and perfect for parties and cookouts.

Texas Caviar aka Cowboy caviar

Here’s a tasty dip with a party vibe: Texas caviar! Cowboy caviar, as it’s also known, was invented in Texas and has now spread all over the US. This combo of black eyed peas, veggies and a vinaigrette dressing is equal parts zesty and comforting: and you can use it as a dip or healthy side dish. Our favorite recipe has loads of colorful veggies, cilantro and jalapenos, and a simple zingy dressing with the perfect flavor. Even better: this party dip happens to be vegan, full of plant-based protein. Here’s how to make it!

Ingredients in Texas caviar, aka Cowboy Caviar

Just like a good potato salad, everyone has their own spin on the ingredients in Texas caviar. The common denominator: you absolutely must use black eyed peas! From there, there are all sorts of variations on the vegetables and dressing. Here are the essential fresh ingredients you need for the salad:

  • Black eyed peas, canned or cooked (see below)
  • Black beans, canned or cooked
  • Corn
  • Red bell pepper
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Green onions
  • Jalapeno
  • Cilantro
Texas caviar

Texas caviar dressing

Now, let’s talk Cowboy caviar dressing. A common variation of this recipe uses store-bought Italian dressing. But of course you must make homemade! The dressing is simple to whip up using just a few ingredients you’ll likely already have in your pantry and spice drawer. Here’s what’s in this Texas caviar dressing:

  • Lime juice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Spices: Garlic powder, cumin, and oregano
  • Olive oil

How to make Texas caviar: simply chop all the veggies, then whisk up the dressing and stir it together. Easy as that! Jump to the recipe below for the specifics.

Cowboy caviar

Why is it called Cowboy caviar?

Some people call this dip Cowboy caviar, which is a nickname for Texas caviar. Texas caviar is named for its birthplace: Texas! It was created around 1940 by a woman named Helen Corbitt. She first served it on New Year’s Eve at a country club (perhaps because black eyed peas are known as a lucky New Year’s Eve food). When she later served it at a Texas hotel, it was dubbed “Texas caviar” as a play on the real caviar, a fancy appetizer made with fish roe. The name stuck!

What are black eyed peas, anyway?

Black eye peas are not really not peas at all. They’re beans! Black eyed peas are part of the legume family with black beans and chickpeas. While they’re often eaten in the American South, are eaten all over the world.

One of the most popular black eyed peas recipes in the US is as a lucky New Year’s Day tradition: Hoppin’ John, a dish with rice and pork. But there are so many other ways to serve them, like Texas caviar! A few of our other favorites as black eyed pea salad or as a side dish.

Black eyed peas recipe

Canned vs cooked black eyed peas

For Texas caviar, we like using canned black eyed peas because they’re quick and easy! They also have a beautifully soft texture. But some stores don’t carry them (at least here in Indiana!). So you also can cook your black eyed peas from dry. Here’s what to do:

  • Place 1/2 pound dried black eyed peas in a large pot with 2 cups vegetable broth, 2 cups water and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt. (You can also cook the entire pound and double these ingredients! Then you’ll have leftovers.)
  • Cook 40 to 50 minutes until they’re tender but still hold together. Then drain.

How to serve Texas caviar

There are lots of ways to serve Texas caviar or Cowboy caviar, but the most popular is with chips! Here are a few more ideas to get your wheels turning:

Texas caviar aka Cowboy caviar

This Texas caviar recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

Print
Texas Caviar

Texas Caviar (Cowboy Caviar)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Texas caviar (Cowboy caviar) will have everyone crowded around the bowl! It’s full of big, zesty flavor and perfect for parties and cookouts.


Ingredients

For the vegetables

  • 2 15-ounce cans black eyed peas (or 3 cups cooked)
  • 15-ounce can black beans (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 1 15-ounce can corn (or 1 1/2 cups frozen and thawed)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 medium jalapeno, seeded (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

For the dressing

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the beans and corn.
  2. Dice the bell pepper. Chop the cherry tomatoes. Thinly slice the green onions. Seed and dice the jalapeno pepper. Chop the cilantro.
  3. Add all the vegetables and beans to a bowl. Mix with the kosher salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, and cumin. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix to combine.
  5. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving. Serve with chips for dipping.

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex

Keywords: Texas caviar, Cowboy caviar

More dip recipes

This Texas caviar is a perfect party dip! Here are a few more dip recipes you might enjoy:

  • Spinach Artichoke Dip Irresistibly creamy and tangy! Everyone will park themselves in front of the bowl, then ask you for the recipe.
  • Simple Guacamole Perfect flavor! Creamy, savory and perfectly balanced, you’ll hear a chorus of “Wow’s” every time you serve it.
  • Dill Pickle Dip Perfect for parties! Creamy and tangy, it’s like biting into a dill pickle spear.
  • Peanut Butter Dip Wow, do people love this one! This healthy dip is just 4 ingredients and tastes like frosting! Perfect for dipping apples, pretzels or fruit.

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Cashew Ricotta Cheese (Soy-Free, Fast, Easy!)

Lately we’ve been on a pizza and pasta kick, and it’s no secret that we also have a thing for dairy-free cheese. It’s also no secret that Italian food and cheese go hand in hand.
But what’s pasta and pizza without cheese? So we remedied this by …

Cashew Ricotta Cheese (Soy-Free, Fast, Easy!)

Lately we’ve been on a pizza and pasta kick, and it’s no secret that we also have a thing for dairy-free cheese. It’s also no secret that Italian food and cheese go hand in hand.

But what’s pasta and pizza without cheese? So we remedied this by experimenting with a SUPER quick vegan ricotta cheese made with 5 simple ingredients: quick-soaked cashews, fresh lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and nutritional yeast.

Cashew Ricotta Cheese (Soy-Free, Fast, Easy!) from Minimalist Baker →

Serrano & Rosemary Guacamole

I learned this method of making guacamole at a cooking class in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in a magical place called Flora Farms. It’s an incredibly flavorful, fluffy guacamole that’s absolutely delicious and perfect for Mexican night and beyond. Da…

Serrano & Rosemary Guacamole

I learned this method of making guacamole at a cooking class in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in a magical place called Flora Farms. It’s an incredibly flavorful, fluffy guacamole that’s absolutely delicious and perfect for Mexican night and beyond. Dare I say, it’s the best guacamole ever?

Plus, it’s super easy to make, requiring just 10 minutes, 1 bowl, and 6 ingredients.

Serrano & Rosemary Guacamole from Minimalist Baker →