Easy Black Eyed Peas

Here’s an easy black eyed peas recipe: 2 ways! Try them creamy and smoky as a side dish, or learn how to cook them for salads and dips.

Black Eyed Peas

Are you a lover of black eyed peas? This mighty legume is full of plant-based protein and nutrients: and it can be eaten in so many different ways! You can usually find black eyed peas canned at the grocery store: but it’s cheaper and tastier if you cook them from dried! Here’s a black eyed peas recipe to show you how to cook them two ways. Cook them until they’re just tender for salads and dips like Texas caviar, or make them into this creamy, smoky side dish. You choose! Let’s get started.

Black eyed peas are actually…beans.

Black eye peas are not really not peas at all: they’re beans! They’re part of the legume family with black beanschickpeas, and peas. You might first think of them as the cuisine of the American South, but they originated in Africa and are eaten all over the world.

A popular black eyed peas recipe 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 black eyed pea salad. Or, you can simply serve them as a side dish! Which gets us to this recipe…

Black eyed peas recipe

Cook them for salads OR as a creamy side dish

This black eyed peas recipe works two ways! The creamy side dish is our favorite: the black eyed peas break down into a creamy sauce that tastes rich and smoky. The flavor will blow your mind! But you can also use this recipe as a guide for how to cook black eyed peas for salads and dips.

  • Side dish: This creamy, savory, and smoky side dish is vegetarian, too! No bacon needed. (Omit the butter for vegan). It’s so good, Alex and I could not stop eating it.
  • Use in other recipes: Cook the beans for a shorter time and drain when they’re done cooking. Then use them in other recipes like Texas caviar or black eyed pea salad.
Black eyed pea salad
This black eyed pea salad adds fresh vegetables and a tangy vinaigrette

How to cook black eyed peas (basic method)

Here’s the basic method for how to cook black eyed peas:

  • Place 1 pound dried black eyed peas in a large pot with broth, water, and salt.
  • To use in salads: Cook 40 to 50 minutes until just tender, then drain.
  • To serve as a creamy side dish: Cook 55 to 60 minutes until very tender and starting to break down. Add the garlic, smoked paprika, oregano, onion powder, and butter, and stir vigorously the water in the pot until it turns into a creamy sauce.

Alternate method: try the Instant Pot!

Got a pressure cooker? This black eyed peas recipe is even easier in the Instant Pot! It makes for even more tender, creamier beans. The cook time is slightly less than stovetop, and it’s a totally hands off method. Go to Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas.

Pressure cooker black eyed peas

Creamy black eyed peas side dish: the flavor secrets!

If you make the side dish version of this black eyed peas recipe, here are a few more notes about making the creamy sauce:

  • There will be lots of liquid: this creates the sauce! When the peas are done cooking, you’ll notice quite a bit of liquid left in the pot. That’s what you want! As you stir, the beans will break down and form a creamy sauce.
  • The secret flavors: garlic, oregano, onion powder and smoked paprika. These spices add huge flavor. If you can, try to find smoked paprika: the smoky undertone it adds is unreal. (And you can also use it in these recipes.)
  • Butter takes it over the top (omit for vegan). These black eyed peas taste great on their own: but to amp the flavor even more, add a little butter! It takes them to addictive territory.
Black eyed peas recipe

Storage info

If you cook the black eyed peas and keep them whole for salads and Texas caviar, you’ll only use a portion of them. Here’s how to store the remaining peas:

  • Refrigerator: Store the leftovers in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
  • Freezer: 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 1/2 cup increments, which equals 1 15-ounce can.
Texas Caviar
Use this recipe to cook black eyed peas for Texas caviar, a popular dip recipe

This black eyed peas recipe is…

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

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Black Eyed Peas

Easy Black Eyed Peas Recipe


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings or about 7 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Here’s an easy black eyed peas recipe: 2 ways! Try them creamy and smoky as a side dish, or learn how to cook them for salads and dips.


Scale

Ingredients

For the black eyed peas

For the side dish flavoring

  • 1 small clove garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter, optional (or use vegan butter or coconut oil)

Instructions

  1. Add the black eyed peas, broth, water and salt to large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer. Then go to Step 2 to 3.
  2. To keep them whole for salads and Texas caviar, cook them 40 to 50 minutes until just tender but they still hold their shape, then drain. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 5 days. You can also 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 1/2 cup increments, which equals 1 15-ounce can of beans.
  3. For the creamy side dish, cook 55 to 60 minutes until very tender and just starting to break down. If the beans start to appear before becoming tender, top off with water to keep the beans just barely submerged. At the end of cooking there will still be a good amount of water: you’ll use this to create the creamy sauce. Add the garlic, smoked paprika, oregano, onion powder, and butter (optional), then turn up the heat and stir vigorously for a few minutes until a creamy sauce forms. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 5 days.

  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Black Eyed Peas Recipe, How to Cook Black Eyed Peas

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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