This Black Eyed Peas recipe is full of flavor. Black Eyed Peas are a symbol of luck and the perfect meal to start off your New Year!

While they take a little bit of time, Black Eyed Peas are easy to cook and make a great hearty meal! We serve this recipe over rice alongside collard greens (with a big slice of Homemade Cornbread of course).

Black Eyed Peas on a bed of rice

What are Black Eyed Peas?

Black Eyed Peas are legumes and commonly enjoyed in many Southern recipes (and who doesn’t love Hoppin’ John). We use them in recipes from soups and stews to bean salads or dips and of course in our favorite Cowboy Caviar Recipe.

They are light in color with a dark spot in the middle. While I most often purchase them dry, they can be found frozen or canned as well. Like most dry beans, it’s best black eyed peas are soaked ahead of time to reduce cooking time and help with digestion.

Black Eyed Peas in a ladle

How to Cook Black Eyed Peas

Black eyed peas should be soaked before using in this recipe to reduce cooking time. To soak them, add to a pot and fill with cool water about 2″ above the beans. Cover and allow to sit at least 8 hours or overnight. This will start the rehydration process.

After 8 hours, your beans will still be firm and require cooking but the cook time will be reduced. If you are wanting to cook this recipe the day of, you can also use the quick soak method which will take about 1 hour.

Ingredients for Black Eyed Peas in a pot

How to Make Black Eyed Peas

This recipe is somewhat like a soup only with less broth. If you’d like it to be thicker (or less brothy), simmer it uncovered at the end for a few extra minutes. If you’d like more of a soup, add extra stock.

Ham Hocks: This black eyed peas recipe uses both bacon and ham hocks for flavor. Ham hocks can take a long time to break down and become tender so I start by allowing it to cook for a while first and then add the black-eyed peas (the same method I use when making 15 bean soup).

If you’re using a leftover ham bone in place of the hocks, you don’t need to pre-cook it. You can substitute smoked turkey wings, necks, or legs for ham hocks if you’d prefer.

Bacon: While the ham hock is simmering, crisp up the bacon in a pan and use the drippings to soften the onions… this ensures amazing flavor throughout!

Black Eyed Peas in a pot

Tomatoes: Just like in my Ham and Bean Soup, the tomatoes are added at the end of cooking. Acidic ingredients can interfere with the rehydration process of dried beans/peas. I like to use tomatoes with chilis to add a bit of heat and flavor (such as Rotel) but regular or petite diced tomatoes with a dash or two of hot sauce is great too.

Seasonings/Broth: Between the ham hocks and the bacon, I don’t usually add extra salt to this recipe, feel free to add salt to taste.  Add in a dash or two of hot sauce, a pinch of vinegar or some sliced green onions before serving. Keep in mind acidic ingredients such as vinegar are best added at the end of cooking once the beans are already soft.

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Black Eyed Peas on a bed of rice
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Black Eyed Peas Recipe (with Ham)

Tender and smokey ham and black-eyed peas are simmered in an easy broth with veggies and seasonings!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Soak Time 8 hours
Total Time 10 hours 35 minutes
Servings 8 servings
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  • 1 meaty smoked ham hock
  • 6 cups water or low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 pound black eyed peas dry
  • 10 ounces canned diced tomatoes with chiles canned


  • Rinse black eyed peas and remove any debris. Place in a bowl/pot and soak 8 hours or overnight.
  • In a large pot, combine ham hock, chicken broth, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover for 60-80 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a frying pan, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and set aside. Cook onion, celery and garlic in bacon grease until slightly tender. 
  • Add onion mixture, black eyed peas and green bell pepper to the pot and simmer an additional 45-65 minutes or until black eyed peas are tender skimming off any foam.
  • Remove ham hock and cut off any meat from the bone. Add meat back to the pot with canned tomatoes (undrained), salt and pepper to taste. Simmer uncovered an additional 20 minutes or until black eyed peas reach desired consistency.
  • Discard bay leaf, stir in bacon and season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve over rice with greens.


Note: If using ham in place of ham hocks, there is no need to pre-cook the meat.
5 from 45 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 204 | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 166mg | Potassium: 363mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 105IU | Vitamin C: 16.9mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 2.2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Entree, Main Course, Pork
Cuisine American
Black Eyed Peas with Ham and writing
Black Eyed Peas with Ham and title



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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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5 from 45 votes (34 ratings without comment)

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  1. Wonderful recipe. I omitted bacon to cut back on sodium a bit. I also didn’t use peppers because they don’t agree with my brother, and added carrots instead. Serve it with homemade dinner rolls every New Year’s.5 stars

  2. I used ham instead of ham hocks. I do not like green pepper so I substituted half a red pepper and half a yellow pepper. It also make the dish look colorful. Very good. Perfect for our New Year’s meal with cabbage, of course.

  3. I had never cooked black eyed peas before because my husband always said he didn’t like them. This recipe looked good so i tried it yesterday. We ate it with cornbread and both loved it. Will definitely save this one for future.

  4. This recipe is the absolute best! My black eyed peas are the most delicious black eyed peas I have ever had! And very easy to make!❤️5 stars

  5. I have made a similar recipe for years,but I always add my greens to the pot with the beans. It is delicious, specially if accompanied with corn bread.

  6. I’ve been looking for a recipe like this for the New Year. My Grandma and Mom used to make these with a ham hock. We would go to Grandma’s on New Year’s day and eat our soup, walk around a chair backwards for good luck. Maybe we should all try this for this next year. Who knows maybe it will change our horrible luck:) and make 2021 a better year. Cheers!5 stars

  7. Yummy. I used my leftover hambone from Christmas….turned out great. My son and I wanted something for our first rainy day in months and months. This will be our new go-to recipe for all
    our leftover holiday hambones. Couldn’t think of anything that would improve it- it was already terrific. Cornbread is a good idea.5 stars

      1. I know you say to serve with a side of greens, I have been making a similar recipe for years ,but I always add my collard greens to my beans while they’re cooking. It is delicious.

    1. you could boil about 6 cups water add the beans turn ring off soak for 1 hour, then rinse peas until water is clear add to crockpot then follow the recipe here that’s a quick soak it works great!!!!

  8. I absolutely love all your recipes Holly. You are my kind of “cooker”. On this recipe could one use canned black eyed peas to speed up the process? I will try this recipe as well as a whole stack i have copied. My family think i rock, because of you! Thanks for your time.

    1. Aw! Many thanks Vivi! I think using a can would be fine if you are in a rush. I hope your family loves the recipe!

    1. Hi Mandi, in step four you will want to add the remaining ingredients to the pot.