Here’s how to make Instant Pot black eyed peas! A pressure cooker makes them creamy, tender and delicious: no soaking required.
A pressure cooker is an incredible time saver for cooking dried beans, so we’ve set out to try all the legumes in our Instant Pot! Next up: Black Eyed Peas. This tasty legume is so easy to make in a pressure cooker and is done in under an hour. Here, the tender beans are dressed up as an ultra creamy side dish that’s bursting with smoky flavor. It truly blew us away with the way the beans break down into a creamy sauce. Or, you can drain them right away and use them in other recipes! Here’s how to make Instant Pot black eye peas, and a little more about this mighty legume.
Want a stovetop method? Try Easy Black Eyed Peas.
All about black eyed peas!
Black eye peas are not really not peas at all: they’re beans! They’re part of the legume family with black beans, chickpeas, and peas, too. While you might first think of them as part of the cuisine of the American South, they originated in Africa and are eaten all over the world.
One of the most popular uses for black eyed peas in the US is as a lucky New Year’s Day tradition. Usually they’re served as part of 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…
Why make this black eyed peas recipe?
Because there are so many uses for black eyed peas, we wanted this Instant Pot black eyed peas recipe to be customizable and work for different occasions. The side dish use is our favorite: the peas break down into a creamy sauce. Here are a few different uses:
- Side dish: Follow the flavoring instructions below and you’ll come out with a creamy, savory, and lightly smoky side dish that’s 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: You can also simply drain the beans when they’re done cooking (and do a slightly less natural release — see below!). Then use them in other recipes like Texas caviar or black eyed pea salad.
How to make Instant Pot black eyed peas (basic steps)
Here’s the basic method for how to make Instant Pot black eyed peas. We use a 6-quart Instant Pot brand pressure cooker, so if you have a different brand or size, you’ll find that timing may vary (see below for more). You’ll just need to taste test and adjust as necessary. For the specific quantities, go to the recipe below!
- Place 1 pound the black eyed peas in the pressure cooker with the broth, water, and salt.
- Pressure cook: Pressure cook on High for 15 minutes (it takes about 10 minutes to “preheat” and get up to pressure).
- Natural release: Natural release for 15 minutes.
And that’s it! You’ve got perfectly cooked black beans in about 45 minutes!
A few tips on flavoring the Instant Pot black eyed peas
Our favorite way to eat these Instant Pot black eyed peas is in as a basic healthy side dish. Once you’ve cooked them in the pressure cooker per the instructions above, here are a few tips for flavoring them:
- There will be lots of liquid: this creates the sauce! When the peas are done cooking, there will be lots 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.
Ways to serve these black eyed peas
These Instant Pot black eyed peas make a healthy side dish to add a hit of plant-based protein to any meal. Here are a few ways we’d recommend serving them:
- Seafood. They’d be great alongside salmon or Cajun shrimp.
- Mac and cheese. For a vegetarian meal, make them with pesto mac and cheese or gouda mac and cheese.
- Cornbread. The perfect pairing! Try our homemade cornbread or vegan cornbread.
This Instant Pot black eyed peas recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.Print
Here’s how to make Instant Pot black eyed peas! A pressure cooker makes them creamy, tender and delicious: no soaking required!
- Add black eyed peas, vegetable broth, water and salt to the Instant Pot. Lock the lid of the Instant Pot. Place the pressure release handle (vent) in the “Sealing” position.
- Cook on high pressure 15 minutes: Press the Pressure Cook button, making sure the “High Pressure” setting is selected, and set the time. Note that it takes about 10 minutes for the pot to “preheat” and come up to pressure before it starts cooking. (During cooking, avoid touching the metal part of the lid.)
- Natural release for 15 minutes (side dish) or 10 minutes (for salads): After the Instant Pot beeps, set a timer and wait for 15 minutes to let the Instant Pot naturally release pressure. Then vent any remaining steam by moving the vent to “Venting”, covering your hand with a towel or hot pad. Never put your hands or face near the vent when releasing steam. (The pressure indicator in the lid may drop on its own during this time, meaning that there is no remaining steam in the pot.)
- Flavor the beans: Open the lid of the Instant Pot. (If you’re planning to use the peas in a recipe like Texas caviar or black eyed pea salad, drain them into a strainer.) There will be more water than you think left in the pot, but you’ll use this to create a creamy sauce. Grate the garlic clove into the pot, then stir in the smoked paprika, oregano, onion powder, and the butter, (if using). Stir continuously for a few minutes until a creamy sauce forms.
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas
More Instant Pot basics
Here are a few more basic recipes to make in your pressure cooker:
- Easy Instant Pot Pinto Beans
- Instant Pot Black Beans
- Best Instant Pot Lentils
- Pressure Cooker Chickpeas
- Instant Pot Basmati Rice
- Easy Instant Pot Spanish Rice
- Instant Pot Jasmine Rice
- Instant Pot White Rice
About the Authors
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 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.