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Here’s how to make Instant Pot black eyed peas! A pressure cooker makes them creamy, tender and delicious: no soaking required.

Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas
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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…

Instant Pot black eyed peas

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.
Instant Pot black eyed peas

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!

Black eyed peas

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.
Pressure cooker black eyed peas

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:

This Instant Pot black eyed peas recipe is…

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

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Black Eyed Peas

Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas

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4.8 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
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Here’s how to make Instant Pot black eyed peas! A pressure cooker makes them creamy, tender and delicious: no soaking required!


  • 1 pound dry black eyed peas
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter, optional


  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.)
  4. 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
  • Diet: Vegetarian

More Instant Pot basics

Here are a few more basic recipes to make in your pressure cooker:

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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  1. Vicki says:

    My beans came out great, lots of liquid, & the broth is soo tasty, but I’ll serve over rice & quinoa mix, I don’t think I had 1 lb. of dried beans, a bit over 1 cup dried. So I adjusted the liquid in recipe. Perfect for the instant pot!! Since I cooked this on New Years Day 2024, I’m expecting good luck throughout the new year!! I loved the easiness of this recipe, especially on a holiday! Thanks!!👍

  2. Terri Wenzig says:

    I ant to add cooked bacon and a ham hock. Can I just add them to the beans in the pressure cooker?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Should work!

  3. Mary Westbrook says:

    After cooking the black eyed peas in the pressure cooker option, can I then add the stewed tomatoes, onion, pork and cook in the slow cooker option for 6 hours or would the beans be too soft and over cooked?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      They would get overcooked, sorry!

  4. Ronald G Hanks says:

    Why is the cook time given as 40 minutes but in recipe is only 15? And I know the natural release will add time also.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      The time to get to pressure and natural release add a lot of time.

  5. Michael F says:

    I had a half pound of beans so I adjusted quantities but followed directions for timing. They did not fully cook.
    I cooked on stove top 25 minutes longer until they softened.

  6. Myra D says:

    I want to make this tonight, but soaked my beans already. Should I adjust the cooking time and the amount of liquid?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Yes, but I’m not sure by how much, sorry!

  7. JC says:

    As the two other commenters said, the result is too watery even after stirring for 15 min. Not bad but I would reduce the liquid

  8. Amelia Halgren says:

    In the end I strained my beans (they had a lovely texture when strained) but were quite watery even after stirring for more than five minutes, allowing to cool then stirring more, then trying my stick blender on some of the beans. I have to wonder if the recipe is correct… a total of 6 1/2 cups of liquid??? (4 cups = 1 quart vegetable broth plus an additional 2 1/2 cups water)

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      We haven’t had that issue! The quantities are correct.

  9. Susan says:

    So easy, and unbelievably good!

  10. Melly says:

    Try this tonight and it was fantastic. It’s a game changer now… will never sweat over a stove again.

  11. Mel says:

    I’m not sure what went wrong but my beans look nothing like the picture. Watery and gross.

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Hi there! The last step is very important to get the final texture. Make sure you stir for a few minutes at the end. As you stir and the beans start to cool, they fall apart and thicken into a sauce.

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