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This easy black eyed pea salad is full of fresh vegetables and mixed with a zingy vinaigrette! Bell pepper and mango make a sweet and savory counterpoint.

Black eyed pea salad
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Here’s a beautifully fresh salad that works for any season: black eyed pea salad! Because black eyed peas aren’t just for New Years. You can make this hearty legume into a healthy vegan salad full of plant-based protein. Add fresh vegetables like bell pepper and green onion, then finish off with a diced mango or peach for a little sweetness! It’s covered in a tangy vinaigrette that keeps everyone coming back for more. Alex and I love it as a healthy side dish for fish, or with a trio of salads as a healthy lunch idea.

Ingredients in black eyed pea salad

There are lots of ways to make a black eyed pea salad! There’s no “standard” way to make it, just like the multitude of types of potato salad. Most black eyed pea salads combine this legume with fresh veggies and a vinaigrette-style dressing. Here’s what you need for this healthy salad:

  • Black eyed peas: You can use canned or you can cook your own! Canned are easier and come out with a more tender texture.
  • Green and red onion
  • Bell pepper: use any color
  • Peach or mango: depending on the season (see below!)
  • Cilantro: omit if you’re a hater
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Sugar or maple syrup: this helps to balance the tangy flavor
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Simply chop all the vegetables, then mix up the vinaigrette dressing and mix it all together. Simple as that!

Black eyed peas recipe

What are black eyed peas, anyway?

Black eye peas are not really not peas at all. They’re beans! Black eyed peas are part of the legume family with black beanschickpeas, and peas. While they’re often eaten in the American South, are eaten all over the world: Africa and the Middle East, Europe in Turkey and Portugal, South America, and more.

One of the most popular black eyed peas recipes in the US is as a lucky New Year’s Day tradition: Hoppin’ John, a dish with rice and pork. But there are so many other ways to serve them: Texas caviar (like a Tex Mex salsa served with chips), or this black eyed pea salad.

Black eyed pea salad

Mangos or peaches add just the right sweetness

Adding fruit to this healthy salad takes it over the top by adding a sweet and savory component! Here are a few notes about what to use here:

  • Use peaches only if it’s peach season! You’ll want a beautifully ripe summer peach. Because this salad has a summery vibe, it’s a great use for a peach.
  • Otherwise, use mango! Mango works any time of the year. You can use fresh mango and use this quick tutorial for cutting it. You can also use frozen mango: just run it under warm water. We stock frozen to make mango smoothies and mango margaritas (use the leftovers to blend up a drink!).

How to cook black eyed peas for salads

It’s sometimes hard to find canned black eyed peas in the store (at least, where we live!). So we’ve taken to cooking them from dry! The basic method we use is in this Easy Black Eyed Peas recipe. Here are the basic steps:

  • Place 1 pound dried black eyed peas in a large pot with 4 cups vegetable broth, 4 cups water and 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt.
  • To use in salads: Cook 40 to 50 minutes until they’re tender but still hold together. Then drain.
  • Save the remaining peas: Black eyed peas use ½ pound of the dried beans (3 cups cooked), so you’ll have about 3 cups remaining. Store the leftovers in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days, or freeze for up to 8 months. Place the drained black eyed peas into a sealable storage container like a mason jar. It’s helpful to freeze them in 1 ½ cup increments, which equals 1 15-ounce can.
Black eyed pea salad

Storage info

This black eyed pea salad is best the day it is made. But you can store it refrigerated for up to 3 days! You may find that it loses flavor over time, so you might want to refresh it with a little more salt or a splash of vinegar to help revive the flavors.

How to serve black eyed pea salad

There are so many ways to serve this black eyed pea salad…where to begin? It’s the perfect healthy vegan side dish for a tasty meal. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Black eyed pea salad

This black eyed pea salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Black eyed pea salad

Easy Black Eyed Pea Salad

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
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This easy black eyed pea salad is full of fresh vegetables and mixed with a zingy vinaigrette! Bell pepper and mango make a sweet and savory counterpoint.


  • 3 cups cooked black eyed peas (1/2 pound) or 2 15-ounce cans
  • 2 green onions
  • ⅓ cup red onion
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 medium peach or ½ mango (½ cup diced), optional
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  1. If necessary, cook the black eyed peas.
  2. Thinly slice the green onions. Mince the red onion. Dice the yellow pepper. Chop the cilantro. If using, chop the peach or cut the mango into bite-sized pieces. Place all the fresh ingredients and black eyed peas into a large bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, and sugar or maple syrup. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until thickened.
  4. Pour the dressing onto the fresh ingredients. Add the salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Taste and add additional salt as needed (especially if you’re using cooked black eyed peas: they’ll have less salt than canned). Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 3 days.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Salad
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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