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).
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.
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.
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!
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.
More Bean Recipes You’ll Love
- Black Bean Quinoa Salad
- 15 Bean Slow Cooker Chili
- Ham Bone Soup (Slow Cooker)
- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili
- Slow Cooker Creamy White Chicken Chili
Black Eyed Peas Recipe (with Ham)
- 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
- 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.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)