Black Eyed Peas Recipe (with Ham)

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This Black Eyed Peas recipe is absolutely amazing and 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 black eyed peas 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.

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
5 from 4 votes
Review Recipe

Black Eyed Peas Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Tender ham and black eyed peas simmer in an easy broth!


  • 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 diced tomatoes with chilis canned

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  • 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.

Recipe Notes

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

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
Keyword black eyed peas
Black Eyed Peas with Ham and writing
Black Eyed Peas with Ham and title

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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