Best-Ever Southwestern Black Bean Dip


Best-Ever Southwestern Black Bean Dip has been my gluten-free party and grill-out staple for years!

Best Ever Southwestern Black Bean Dip |

Picnic season is nearly upon us! Or rather, cook-out season is nearly upon us!

I don’t know about you, but picnics always seem more glamorous in theory than in practice, right? The wind usually picks up at the most inopportune time sending paper plates and potato chips flying, where the heck do you put your drink, back aches, and for heaven’s sake THE BUGS.

A couple weeks ago I took Lincoln outside for his first romp in the great outdoors on one of the first truly gorgeous days of the year. I spread a big blanket out on the crunchy grass in the backyard, brought out a few of his favorite toys, and waited for the magic to happen. Umm, it was nowhere to be found. Sticks littering the lawn under our blanket made it impossible to get comfortable, the wind kept blowing his wee hat off, and I was terrified he’d get a tick from the trees swaying above.


Nah, I’d rather snag a spot at the patio table with a stable surface, heavy plate, and not share my meal with an army of ants. Best-Ever Southwestern Black Bean Dip in front of me while dinner’s sizzling on the grill!

Best Ever Southwestern Black Bean Dip |

This recipe for Best-Ever Southwestern Black Bean Dip is brought to you by Way Back Wednesday! I first posted this awesome chip dip way, way back in the day – only a few months after starting IGE, in fact – and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to re-post.

Best-Ever Southwestern Black Bean Dip is from one of my oldest and dearest friends Ashley. We’ve been like this since we were little and used to make this dip together all the time in high school, college, and now obviously beyond. It also used to go by a slightly different name that only high school girls could come up with – Beanis. What it means? I have no idea. Best-Ever Southwestern Black Bean Dip is a little more descriptive though, me thinks. ;)

A pile of fresh veggies including bell pepper, tomatoes, red onion, and corn join black beans, jalapeno, cilantro, garlic, cumin, and store-bought Italian dressing to make one of the best chips dips – EVER. Mark my words, after one taste you will be shoveling chip after chip piled high with the stuff into your mouth. I made this for my family who came over for pizza night last Friday and every single person remarked how much they loved it.

This chip dip is fantastic made a day ahead of time so whip it up before your next outdoor meal this spring and summer – I promise it’ll become a picnic cook-out staple!

Best Ever Southwestern Black Bean Dip |

There is seriously nothing to this recipe. Just chop up a bunch of veggies then add some seasonings and salad dressing, and then mix!

You’ll need 1 green bell pepper (I loathe bell peppers but they taste awesome in here,) 1 drained then rinsed can corn (or 1-3/4 cup fresh corn,) 1 drained then rinsed can black beans, and 1 jalapeno seeds and ribs removed. Despite the jalapeno I definitely would not call this dip spicy. My 4-year old nephew gobbled it down no problem!

Also chop up 3 vine-ripened tomatoes and 1/2 red onion.

Add 1/4 cup cilantro (or more or less depending on how much you like cilantro,) 1 minced garlic clove, 1 teaspoon cumin, salt, and pepper.

Finally add 3/4 cup Zesty Italian salad dressing. Gotta be zesty!

Mix everything up then start dunking into the dip immediately with tortilla chips, or pop in the fridge overnight. It’ll still be delicious the next day!

Best Ever Southwestern Black Bean Dip |

Best-Ever Southwestern Black Bean Dip

serves a crowd


Best-Ever Southwestern Black Bean Dip has been a gluten-free party and grill-out staple for years at my house!


  • 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15oz can corn, drained (or 1-3/4 cup fresh or frozen-then-thawed corn)
  • 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, ribs and seeds removed then minced
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or more or less)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup Zesty Italian salad dressing


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl then mix to combine and serve with tortilla chips. Can be made a day ahead of time.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,


This chip dip is unbelievably fresh and you can feel good about eating it since it’s packed with veggies, protein, and fiber vs heavy, creamy chip dips. Perfect for when the weather warms up. Enjoy!

Best Ever Southwestern Black Bean Dip |

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  1. Sara 04.23.2014

    Oh jeez I so agree about the picnics. We got two really beautiful picnic baskets for wedding gifts and the one time we used them for an actual picnic, it was a disaster. I love eating outside but give me a table please!!

    That dip looks so nice and fresh…I think it would also be awesome over some grilled chicken :)

  2. Love me some black beans…soups, salad, burgers and dips! Can’t wait to whip it out!

  3. Jill 04.23.2014

    I rarely post comments but I had to post regarding this recipe. I have been following the blog for many years and this is the absolute best recipe I have found on the blog. I have made it multiple times over the years and every time guess Rave about it and ask for the recipe. You guys have to make this!

  4. this dip looks faaaantastic. I can’t wait to have it as an appetizer. or snack. or dinner. or midnight snack.

  5. Kelly Mitchem 04.23.2014

    This looks delicious, there is nothing I love more than a good dip! I could eat fresh cilantro by the handful!

  6. Carrie 04.23.2014

    We make this dip but it is called Redneck Caviar!! And it’s best served with fritos, to make it extra redneck ;)

  7. Katie 04.23.2014

    Um..Southwestern Black Bean dip? I prefer Beanis dip!! :)

  8. Wow, there is nothing better than a fresh a delicious dip. Never would have thought to put the Italian dressing in it, definitely giving this a try…I like my extra spicy might be adding extra jalapenos! Thanks for posting.

  9. Erin 04.23.2014

    I have a similar recipe, and it is FABULOUS over baked potatoes!

  10. we call this cowboy caviar at my house. and it’s amazing every time. i like the zesty italian kick, so good.

    also, i have been craving a picnic too for some reason, although i have no idea why…it’s not like i’ve always gone picnicing, and really they can be more trouble than they’re worth!

  11. Carrie 04.23.2014

    Glad you are re-posting some of the old recipes! I feel like I’d never get through them by searching, so love this idea!

  12. Tommy 04.23.2014

    Uh oh. You’re gonna have to duke it out with Novotny…for my money, his “Cowboy Salsa” is the best around. I declare a bean dip throw down challenge…I volunteer to be the judge!

  13. Valerie 04.23.2014

    This dip looks amazeballs!!I love all ur recipes on ur blog!! One question though, i hate packaged Italian dressings, would u suggest to make my own vinaigrette that would be similar? Thanks so much!!

  14. Jackie 04.23.2014

    Never thought to add the Italian dressing!

  15. Tia 04.23.2014

    Did you hand chop the peppers, tomatoes, and onions, or use some sort of dicer?

  16. Such a warm weather dip – I love it! And a great way to sneak in extra veggies, too.

  17. Mary 04.23.2014

    I make this but serve it as a side or salad at potlucks, never bring any home. Try it also with just lemon juice and olive oil instead of the bottled dressing. Yum!

  18. Jill 04.23.2014

    How appropriate – my husband just texted me to tell me that today is National Picnic Day! How is that for great timing! :)

    I also make this (creatively named Corn and Bean Salsa in our house!) except for I use olive oil and lime juice with garlic, chili powder, cumin, a dash of cayenne, and salt, in place of the bottled dressing!

  19. Rachel 04.23.2014

    I’ve made something similar with avocado instead of green pepper (and I usually use green onions instead of red onion or I’ve done a bit of both). Then I use lime juice instead of Italian dressing.

    Such a yummy and healthy treat!

  20. Meaghan Voigt 04.23.2014

    I love this dip! I’ve made it with the zesty italian quite a few times. HOWEVER, try it some time with Newman’s Balsamic Vinaigrette! Also, super yummy! Can’t wait for summer!

  21. Sally G. 04.23.2014

    I make a summer salsa/dip just like this, but I use lime juice, honey, salt, and pepper instead of the italian dressing. It’s addictive and even better once its been in the fridge marinating for a while :-)

  22. Look at all of those vibrant colors! This looks so delicious!

  23. Morgan 04.23.2014

    this looks SO delicious! with my oven down for the count and Jersey corn starting to show up in the stores, this may become my new go to dinner! maybe so grilled chicken too? thanks for this!!

  24. Alexandra Aimee 04.23.2014

    This looks so fresh! I can’t wait to try it.

    — Alex at Cashmere Kangaroo

  25. My aunt made something similar to this for Easter dinner this year, and she also included chickpeas! I thought it added an unexpected element to it. I love chickpeas, but my husband wouldn’t touch them! Haha :)

    Peace & Sunshine,
    Sammi at Sammi Sunshine- A Food Blog

  26. my family makes a very similar dip…it just screams summer to me! so fresh and bright. love it!

  27. Sally 04.23.2014

    Yum! I make a very similar dip, except I add avocado, and instead of a bottle dressing, I use red wine vinegar and olive oil. It is the BEST in the summertime. Sometimes I eat it as a meal ;)

  28. Debtgirl 04.23.2014

    You always have the most timely recipes!!!

  29. Chris 04.23.2014

    I have a similar recipe except it calls for lime juice and olive oil instead of the italian dressing. While I love it with chips, more often I make this and spoon large amounts (like 1 1/2 to 2 cups worth) over sturdy salad greens (like iceberg or romaine), add some shredded chicken or ground beef and top it off with a little bit of ranch dressing. It is to die for.

  30. Stephanie Abbott 04.24.2014

    I thought it had to be called “benis dip” hahah why did you change the hilarious name? Too…um, riské now that you’re a mum? This is such a great app; I love doing something simple like this. Fresh, not fancy is how you win the crowd!

    • Kristin 04.24.2014

      Hahaha, don’t you worry – that’s what it’s still called “internally”. The new name has more to do with not horrifying the general public. :)

  31. I have been totally seduced by the amount of color rich foods in this recipe. Anything with this insane amount of color has to be ridiculously delicious!

  32. Anna S. 04.25.2014

    Absolutely love this! I just made it for a party this evening and am pacing in front of the fridge, trying to convince myself to stay away until tonight. Thank you!!

  33. Yummy! This would be delicious over rice or quinoa!

  34. […] quinoa tossed with black beans, sweet corn, cilantro, and red onion resembles my Best-Ever Southwestern Black Bean Dip but the Chili Lime Vinaigrette that’s drizzled on top is from my Grilled Corn Orzo […]

  35. Lee Ann 05.12.2014

    we add feta cheese to this and it is delish

  36. Jamie Bennett 05.30.2014

    How many servings does this recipe make?

  37. […] made this Southwest salsa to bring to the BBQ and I cannot wait to dig in to it. I sampled a few bites last night when I was […]

  38. […] summer with long walks, picnics (oh yes, I’ve come to love and adore a good summer picnic. Who knew?) and splashing around in the water. We got him this Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark (really, […]

  39. […] Best- Ever Southwestern Black Bean Dip…Kristin had you at “best ever” didn’t she? […]

  40. Laura K. 09.07.2014

    I made this for a party yesterday, and it went so fast that my husband didn’t even get to try it! It made so much that I was sure I would have leftovers, but the bowl was scraped clean. Now I have to make it again so my husband will get to taste it. :-) Great recipe!

  41. […] Best-ever southwestern black bean dip – iowa girl eats […]

  42. Sam 01.21.2015

    Thise might be better made with the Kraft Roasted Red Pepper Italian dressing. I use it on a similar salad that is so good we eat it as a mainj dish meal.

  43. Stephanie 06.18.2015

    This recipe looks delicious! I am making it tonight to bring as an appetizer. :-)

  44. […] Southwest Black Bean Dip from Iowa Girl Eats […]

  45. Christie 10.06.2015

    Over the past 30+ years I’ve seen this named many things… Texas Caviar, Cowboy Caviar, Tennessee Trash….. I’ve been making it (and many many many different versions) for decades. It goes wonderful with BBQ and its a PERFECT make ahead. I usually make it the day before and its even better when the flavors get to know each other. And here is a crazy one… try it on a hotdog like a relish. Its surprisingly delightful.

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