This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

The BEST Black Eyed Peas recipe makes a flavorful, classic Southern dish. Made with dried or canned black eyed peas and provides stovetop, slow cooker and Instant Pot methods! Delicious year round, they are traditionally served on New Year’s Day to bring luck.

Black Eyed Peas make a Southern favorite and are traditionally served on New Year's Day to bring good luck. This recipe provides both stove-top and slow cooker methods! // addapinch.com

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Versatile: This recipe is easy to make using your choice of stovetop, slow cooker or Instant Pot cooking method and dried or canned black eyed peas! I also provide options for using canned and frozen black eyed peas. Since you’ve not added other overwhelming ingredients such as sausage and aromatics, once you have your cooked peas, you can use them in any number of soups, salads, dips, or as a main dish or side dish!

Flavorful and nutritious: Properly prepared black eyed peas are tender and delicious and are a nutrient-dense source of fiber, protein, and folate.

Easy: This easy recipe requires a few minutes of hands-on prep, while using your favorite cooking method to prepare a great meal for the whole family!

What are Black Eyed Peas?

Black Eyed Peas, a variety of cowpeas, are a common legume that you can find growing in various locations around the world. While their name includes the term “pea,” they are not a pea at all. They are a type of bean.

Black eyed peas are an easy and beneficial crop to grow. They are nourishing both to people and animals that eat them and to the soil where they are grown. Nutritionally, they are a great source of vegetarian protein, fiber, and carbohydrates. For the soil, they are nitrogen-fixing plants, which means they convert the nitrogen from the air to help “fix” the soil where they are planted by drawing nitrogen into the ground, preventing the need for additional fertilization before another crop is planted. They are an easy-to-grow crop that is generally ready for harvest in around 70 days from planting from seed.

There are numerous varieties of black eyed peas available. The “eye” of the pea may be black, brown, green, red, or pink. They are green when first harvested and turn a beige or buff color when dried. The common commercially available variety used is the California Black Eyed Pea. Here in the south, it seems that most families have their favorite variety. My family has planted an heirloom black eyed pea (cowpea) that has been passed down through generations. Of course, we think it is the best! 🥰 If you are looking for an all-around delicious black eyed pea variety to try, I suggest the Purple Hull Cowpea.

Thankfully, they are one of the easiest, most budget-friendly, nutrient-rich dishes to prepare.

Black Eyed Peas Recipe

Time after time, my grandmother prepared a simple meal of black eyed peas, cornbread, and milk for my grandfather. She’d keep her peas simmering on the stove for that night’s supper throughout the afternoon. I always thought he didn’t know what he was missing by not eating whatever she’d prepared to go along with it for the rest of us.

Now that I’m older, there are many nights that a big bowl of these peas on top of a hunk of southern cornbread and a little bit of pepper sauce is all I want for supper, too. I get it; thankfully, they are a dish my whole family enjoys. I guess that’s one more thing I should’ve listened to my grandparents about. At least I know now.

How to Prepare Dried Black Eyed Peas Recipe

I’ve included stove top, slow cooker, and Instant Pot methods for cooking them! Regardless of which method, you’ll want to take a couple of steps for the best black-eyed peas!

Photo of rinsed black eyed peas in a saucepan ready to soak.

Rinse: You’ll want to rinse and pick over your dried black-eyed peas to ensure they are clean and prepped! Place them into a colander under cool running water. Rinse the peas and move them around in the colander with your fingers. As you are rinsing, remove any overly darkened peas and any other items from the peas that don’t belong.

Black eyed peas soaking in water in a large pot.

Soak (for Stove Top and Slow Cooker Methods): Two soaking methods for peas work perfectly: overnight soaking and quick soaking. Many wonder do you need to soak your black eyed peas before cooking them. The answer is you do not have to, but soaking rehydrates the dried peas and allows them to digest more easily.

  • Overnight Soaking Method: Add your peas to a stockpot and cover with cool, clean water, plus about 2 inches. Allow to soak, uncovered, overnight. The next morning, pour your peas into a colander to drain away the soaking liquid.
  • Quick Soaking Method: Add your peas to a stockpot and cover with cool, clean water, plus about 2 inches. Bring your black-eyed peas to a boil and continue to boil for two minutes. Pour your peas into a colander to drain away the soaking liquid.

How to Cook Black Eyed Peas

Once your peas have been prepped, you can proceed with your favorite cooking method.

Stovetop Black Eyed peas: Add your peas to your stock pot and cover with water, plus about 2 inches. Add in your ham bone, bacon, or salt pork. See variations for making without meat. Set over medium-low heat on your stove. Bring black eyed peas to a simmer and continue to keep at a low simmer, adding water and occasionally stirring as needed, until the black eyed peas are fork tender, about two hours. Remove the ham bone and serve.

Slow Cooker Black Eyed Peas: Add your peas to your slow cooker and cover with water, plus about 2 inches. Add in your ham bone, bacon, or salt pork. See variations for making without meat. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 hours. Remove the ham bone and serve.

Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas: There is no need to soak your black eyed peas using the Instant Pot, making them even easier. Of course, if you would like to soak them anyway, you certainly can.

Add your peas to your Instant Pot and cover with water, plus about 2 inches. Add in your ham bone, bacon, or salt pork. See variations for making without meat. Cover and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally, about 20 more minutes. Remove the ham bone and serve.

Variations:

  • Vegetarian Black Eyed Peas Recipe: Substitute two tablespoons of olive oil and omit the meat from the recipe.
  • Canned Black Eyed Peas: Drain and rinse the canned peas well to remove as much of the sodium and preservatives from the peas as possible. Skip to step 3 of the stovetop method. Cook until the peas are heated throughout and fork tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Frozen Black Eyed Peas: You do not have to thaw the peas to cook them. Skip to step 3 of the stovetop method. Cook until the peas are heated throughout and fork tender, about 20 minutes.
Black Eyed Peas make a Southern favorite and are traditionally served on New Year's Day to bring good luck. This recipe provides both stove-top and slow cooker methods! // addapinch.com

How to Store, Make Ahead, and Freeze Black Eyed Peas

To store. Cool cooked peas and then store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

To make ahead. Prepare the peas following your cooking method of choice. Cool and then store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days. When ready to serve, reheat on the stove or in the microwave until reheated throughout.

To freeze. Cool prepared peas and store them in an airtight freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stove or microwave until reheated throughout.

Here’s my black eyed peas recipe for the stock pot, slow cooker or Instant Pot! Regardless of your method, I hope you love them as much as we do!

5 from 8 votes

Black Eyed Peas Recipe

Side Dish 2 hrs 10 mins

Black Eyed Peas //addapinch.com
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Servings 8
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
This Black Eyed Peas recipe is full of flavor and has stovetop, slow cooker and Instant Pot methods! They are a Southern classic dish and family favorite! Delicious year round, they are traditionally served on New Year's Day to bring luck.

Ingredients  

  • 1 pound dried black eyed peas (16-ounces)
  • 1 ham bone leftover and frozen from previously cooked ham recipe or about 7 strips of thick-sliced bacon or salt pork
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

Stove Top Black Eyed Peas

  • Rinse black eyed peas in a colander, discarding any peas that are discolored or any small pebbles that may be in the dried peas.
  • Pour rinsed black eyed peas into a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot and soak using one of two soaking methods. Quick Soak: Cover with water, plus about 2 inches. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Overnight Soak: Cover with water, plus about 2 inches. Allow to soak in the stockpot, uncovered overnight. Once soaked, pour black eyed peas through a colander again to remove them from the soaking water.
  • Add peas back to the stock pot and return to stove over medium-low heat. Add enough water to the stock pot to cover the black eyed peas, plus about 2 inches. Add in ham bone, bacon or salt pork, if using. If you prefer a vegetarian or vegan method, use 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bring black eyed peas to a simmer and continue to keep at a low simmer, adding water and stirring occasionally as needed, until the black eyed peas are fork tender, about two hours.
  • Remove and discard ham bone, leaving bits of ham that would have cooked into the black eyed peas in the peas. If using bacon or salt pork, remove and discard. Salt and pepper to taste.

Slow Cooker Black Eyed Peas

  • Rinse black eyed peas in a colander, discarding any peas that are discolored or any small pebbles that may be in the dried peas.
  • Pour rinsed black eyed peas into a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot and soak using one of two soaking methods. Quick Soak: Cover with water, plus about 2 inches. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Overnight Soak: Cover with water, plus about 2 inches. Allow to soak in the stockpot, uncovered overnight. Once soaked, pour black eyed peas through a colander again to remove them from the soaking water.
  • Add black eyed peas to the slow cooker and cover with water, plus about 2 inches. Add in ham bone, bacon or salt pork, if using. If you prefer a vegetarian or vegan method, use 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place the lid onto the slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on low setting.
  • Remove and discard ham bone, leaving bits of ham that would have cooked into the black eyed peas in the peas. If using bacon or salt pork, remove and discard.

Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas

  • Add rinsed black eyed peas to Instant Pot and cover with water, plus about 2 inches. Add in ham bone, bacon or salt pork, if using. If you prefer a vegetarian or vegan method, use 2 tablespoons olive oil. Secure the lid to the Instant Pot and cook under high pressure for 25 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally, about 20 more minutes. Remove and discard ham bone, leaving bits of ham that would have cooked into the black eyed peas in the peas. If using bacon or salt pork, remove and discard.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 630mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 28IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 5mg

Shout Out

Did you make this recipe?

Mention @addapinch or tag #addapinch!


Share it with the world!

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published 2011.

Vegetable Recipes

Robyn Stone

Robyn Stone is a wife, mom, blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. Welcome to Add a Pinch where I share thousands of delicious, tested and perfected easy recipes that the whole family will love.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Review




Comments

    1. Hi Avis,
      You can follow same recipe for stovetop, slow cooker, and instant pot with frozen peas. It should work fine. Thanks!

  1. My husband wants to cook the onions and garlic in butter 1st, and the ham bone then add the peas and water. Will that effect the taste?

    1. 5 stars
      I really like the vegetarian alternative and the different cooking alternatives, I used the slow cooker technique for my New Year’s Day dinner

  2. This recipe was listed under Vegetarian. It has ham bone and bacon. Was this an error in listing it under Vegetarian? Please don’t tell me “just don’t put the meat in”. Just list it correctly, please and thank you.

    1. In the recipe instructions for each cooking method for these peas, I state “If you prefer a vegetarian method, use 2 tablespoons olive oil.” Therefore, it could be a vegetarian option.

    1. That is just a personal preference of mine but you can leave it in if you want.

  3. I was browsing BEP recipes to see variations, been making them for years. Any time I cooked them 2 hours (expecially after soaking) they turn into a pudding texture. I only cook mine about 45 minutes to an hour without soaking. In your picture they look delicious..just wondering

    1. When I cook black eyed peas on the stovetop, Micki, I cook them on simmer. I don’t let them boil. They do not get mushy for me when I cook them as the recipe instructs.

  4. I totally LOVE every recipe I have from you!! They are absolutely delicious and I love to cook!!!! Merry Christmas to you and Happy New Year to you and family!!! Audrey