Delicious Southern Black Eye Peas Recipe for Soulful Meals

Hey y’all, are you ready to make your taste buds dance with an unmistakable southern delicacy? Well, look no further than this recipe for Southern Black Eye Peas. It’s a dish that has been passed down through generations of black folks in the South and is often enjoyed on New Year’s Day to bring good luck for the coming year.

But let me tell you, this soul food classic can be enjoyed any time of the year. The ingredients are simple but the flavors and aromas are complex and comforting. The smoked ham hock or turkey infuses these protein-packed peas with a smoky flavor that blends perfectly with the sweet tomato sauce, crunchy celery, and tangy green chilies.

As a chef specializing in southern-style cuisine, I cannot wait to share this recipe with you so you can experience southern slow cooker black eyed peas in all their glory. Trust me, once you’ve tasted it, you’ll make it again and again! So let’s get cooking and make some sloppy black eyed peas using this recipe southern style!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Black Eye Peas
Southern Black Eye Peas

Are you looking for the perfect soul food recipe to satisfy your cravings for good ol’ Southern cuisine? I have the solution: my Southern Black-Eyed Peas Recipe! This traditional recipe is the epitome of comfort food, packed with flavor and nutrition that will leave your taste buds wanting more.

What makes this recipe so special? Let me tell you. This dish incorporates a delicious blend of classic ingredients, including smoked ham hock, collard greens, and juicy green chilies. The combination of fresh vegetables and savory meat creates a unique and satisfying texture that will keep you coming back for seconds. Not to mention, the use of dried black-eyed peas adds extra protein and fiber to your meal.

If you are looking for an easy but hearty meal to celebrate the new year, this recipe is perfect for you. In Southern tradition, it is believed that eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day will bring good luck and prosperity throughout the year. So why not give it a try?

But what if you are a vegetarian? Don’t worry! You can simply substitute bacon or ham hock with smoked turkey or hog jowl to make this recipe suitable for vegetarian consumption without sacrificing flavor.

In conclusion, my Southern Black-Eyed Peas Recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves soul food or wants to explore traditional Southern cuisine. It offers not only delicious flavors but also cultural significance that will make your mealtime all the more meaningful.

Ingredient List

 The heart and soul of Southern cuisine
The heart and soul of Southern cuisine

Let’s dive into the ingredients we need to prepare this hearty Southern Black Eye Peas Recipe. This delicious recipe combines meat, beans and vegetables for a filling and nutritious meal that’s perfect for any day of the week or for special occasions. Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 smoked ham hock or hog jowl (for a vegetarian option, you can use a smoked turkey leg instead)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups chicken broth (or water)
  • 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (4 oz) diced green chilies
  • 2 cups collard greens or kale, chopped

These ingredients are enough to make Southern Black Eye Peas for about six people. Keep in mind that some of them are optional or open to substitutions depending on your dietary preferences or what you have available at home.

The Recipe How-To

 I could eat these black-eyed peas every day!
I could eat these black-eyed peas every day!

Step One: Soaking the Black-Eyed Peas

Before cooking any dry beans, including black-eyed peas, it is good practice to soak them first. Soaking helps the beans cook evenly and reduces the cooking time. So, grab a large bowl and fill it with water. Pick out any stones or debris from the black-eyed peas and discard them. Then, rinse the peas thoroughly with water and add them to the bowl. Make sure there is enough water in the bowl to cover the peas by at least a few inches, as these little legumes tend to absorb a lot of liquid during soaking.

Step Two: The First Round of Cooking

There are two essential ingredients that give this Southern Black-Eyed Peas Recipe its distinct smoky flavor: smoked ham hocks or hog jowl and bacon. Known as “soul food” amongst Black folks, this slow-cooked meal is comfort on a plate. In a large pot or slow cooker over medium-high heat, add olive oil once hot. Then, add chopped onions and garlic southern recipes staple for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Next, stir in chopped celery and tomato sauce, followed by chicken broth or stock.

Afterward, drain the soaked black-eyed peas and add them to your pot along with the bay leaf(s) and slices of smoked turkey hocks or hog jowl. Sloppy black-eyed peas, don’t allow this dish to become a fool you; it requires some precision to get just right! Bring to boil over medium-high heat before reducing heat to low and letting simmer for 45 mins – 1 hour mix occasionally or until tender.

Step Three: Adding Some Kick

When it’s close to finishing time, let us kick things up a bit! Add green chilies (if using), brown sugar, cumin powder into your pot and let it simmer for about an additional 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to marry. Take the hog jowl or smoked turkey out and lay it on a plate; once it has cooled off, remove any fat and/or bones (this should pretty much fall apart). Bring that meat back into the pot and give it a gentle stir in. Then, season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Step Four: Serving Time

Once done, serve these delicious southern-style black-eyed peas hot over a mound of fluffy white rice or with some Southern cornbread or collard greens. With our vegetarian black-eyed peas add peas to a roux in place of the meat! Remember these southern slow cooker black-eyed peas recipe traditions are said to bring good luck for the new year day. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 Simple ingredients, big flavors
Simple ingredients, big flavors

Now let’s talk about some substitutions and variations that you can make to this Southern Black Eye Peas recipe.

First, if you’re looking for a vegetarian option, skip the ham hock and hog jowl and opt for smoked turkey instead. The flavor will still be there, but without the meat.

If you don’t have collard greens on hand, you can substitute them with other leafy greens like kale or spinach. Similarly, if you’re not a fan of bay leaves, try using thyme or rosemary instead.

For those who prefer a spicier dish, add some diced jalapenos or a pinch of red pepper flakes to the mix. Or if you want to tone down the heat, skip the green chilies altogether.

If you don’t have tomato sauce, try using crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes instead. And if you don’t have chicken broth, water works just fine.

You can also experiment with adding other ingredients to the mix. Some people like to throw in sliced carrots, bell peppers or even corn. And if you want to make it extra savory, add a few slices of bacon into the pot.

Remember that cooking is all about creating something that suits your taste buds. So feel free to get creative and add your own twist to this classic Southern dish.

Serving and Pairing

 A bowl of good luck and prosperity
A bowl of good luck and prosperity

When serving Southern Black Eye Peas, the dish stands out on its own as a main dish or pairs well as a side with other Southern-style cuisine. Traditionally, many families enjoy black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck, but you don’t have to wait until January 1st to indulge in its soulful flavor.

For a complete Southern meal, I recommend plating your black-eyed peas alongside some collard greens, fried chicken or pork chops, and cornbread. The combination of flavors will make you feel like you’re dining in a Southern soul food restaurant.

If you’re making this recipe for vegetarians, you can substitute the ham hock or hog jowl with smoked turkey or omit it altogether. Pair your vegetarian black-eyed peas with a fresh green salad and some buttered corn on the cob for a balanced meal.

For those looking to deviate from traditional Southern meals, try serving the black-eyed peas over rice or quinoa for added nutrition and texture. You can also sprinkle some crumbled feta cheese or grated Parmesan cheese over the top for an extra savory kick.

No matter how you choose to serve and pair your Southern Black Eye Peas, one thing is certain: it’s bound to be a hit at any gathering or family meal.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Warm, hearty, and oh so satisfying
Warm, hearty, and oh so satisfying

I believe that good things come to those who wait – and this is certainly true for my Southern Black Eye Peas Recipe! Luckily, this recipe is easy to make ahead and store for later, so you can indulge in the delicious flavors of soul food black eyed peas whenever you want.

If you’re planning to add this dish to your upcoming New Year’s Day celebrations, you can prepare it up to three days in advance. After cooking your peas, let them cool down to room temperature before transferring them to a sealed container. You can store them in the fridge until you’re ready to reheat them for serving.

To reheat your Southern-style black eyed peas, simply warm them on low heat on your stove, making sure to stir frequently to prevent clumping or sticking. If the peas seem dry, add some chicken broth or water until they reach the desired consistency.

If you’re short on time, another option is reheating in the microwave. Transfer your refrigerated peas into a microwave-safe dish and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Reheat on high in 1-minute increments until the dish is heated through.

If you have any leftover black-eyed peas after your New Year’s Day feast, don’t worry – they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. You could even portion out leftovers into individual containers for quick and easy lunch options throughout the week.

While reheating will not impact the overall flavors of the dish much, keep in mind that ham hocks and/or bacon slices may lose a little bit of their crispness during storage and reheating. However, don’t let that deter you from enjoying this classic dish throughout the week!

Whether fresh or reheated, these southern-style black eyed peas add warmth and comfort to any mealtime, so don’t be afraid to make a big batch!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Rustic comfort food at its finest
Rustic comfort food at its finest

When it comes to southern-style cuisine, I’ve learned that attention to detail is a must. Here are some tips to ensure that your Southern Black Eye Peas recipe turns out perfectly:

1. Don’t rush the cooking process: Black-eyed peas need time to cook and absorb flavor. Resist the urge to turn up the heat or shorten the cooking time. Take your time and allow the ingredients to blend together over low heat for maximum deliciousness.

2. Soak the beans overnight: A little bit of planning goes a long way with this recipe. Soak your black-eyed peas overnight in cold water with a splash of vinegar. This not only shortens the cooking time but also helps to break down complex sugars so they’ll be easier for your digestive system to handle.

3. Use smoked meat: Adding smoked meat such as ham hocks, hog jowl, or smoked turkey improves the overall flavor profile of the dish. The natural smokiness from these meats adds an extra layer of depth that really elevates the recipe.

4. Add a bay leaf: A bay leaf adds depth and pairs well with the earthy flavor of black-eyed peas. Be sure to remove it before serving though!

5. Don’t skimp on the onion and garlic: These two ingredients give Southern Black Eye Peas their signature flavor. Don’t hesitate to use a liberal amount of both when cooking this recipe.

6. Taste frequently: As with any recipe, make sure you’re tasting frequently throughout the cooking process. This allows you to adjust seasonings as necessary and ensures that everything is coming together just right.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to make perfectly seasoned, tender, and flavorful Southern Black Eye Peas every time!


As a Southern-style cuisine chef, I want to make sure you have all the information you need to make my recipe for Southern Black Eye Peas truly unforgettable. In this section, I’ll cover some frequently asked questions that may arise as you prepare this delicious dish. If there’s anything else you’re curious about, don’t hesitate to reach out!

What seasonings go well with black-eyed peas?

In southern cuisine, there are several prominent flavors that bring dishes to life. One of these flavors is cayenne, which provides a peppery and spicy taste, reminiscent of garden-fresh peppers. Cinnamon, coriander, cumin, and fennel are other spices used to create the rich and unique flavors of southern dishes. Garlic powder, ginger, and onion powder are also popular seasonings that add depth and complexity to many southern dishes. Together, these flavors create a symphony of taste that will delight your taste buds.

What is the Southern tradition of black-eyed peas and collard greens?

As stated in a prominent guide to Southern cuisine, there is a strong belief that black-eyed peas hold mystical powers to bring good luck, while collard greens are considered a symbol of financial success because of their green color.

What are black-eyed peas called in the South?

In the southern regions, there is a type of pea with various names that are not commonly known by people from the north, who simply call it the cowpea. Southerners have a wider range of names for it, such as the black-eyed-pea, pink eye pea, purple hull pea, cream pea, or crowder.

How to cook black-eyed peas Paula Deen?

Before we begin cooking the southern style black eyed peas dish, we need to start by soaking the dried black eyed peas overnight. Once they have been properly soaked, it’s time to get the pressure cooker out and start making the base of the dish. Add some hog jowl, water, house seasoning, pepper, garlic powder and chicken base. Let it cook until the hog jowl is tender which usually takes about 20 to 45 minutes. Once it’s tender, go ahead and add the black eyed peas, bay leaves, onion, and hot sauce to elevate the dish even further.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Southern Black Eye Peas recipe is perfect for anyone who loves soul food and wants a little bit of good luck in their life. The combination of ingredients creates a delicious and hearty dish that can be enjoyed all year long, but especially on New Year’s Day. The use of slow cooking helps to bring out the full flavor of the ingredients and adds an extra layer of tenderness to the black-eyed peas.

Whether you’re a vegetarian or a meat lover, this recipe can be easily customized to fit your preferences. You can add ham hock, bacon, or even smoked turkey to enhance the flavor. If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, simply omit the meat and replace it with vegetable stock for a tasty alternative.

This recipe is not only tasty but also easy to make. With just a few simple steps, you can create a delicious meal that will impress your friends and family. So why not make Southern Black Eye Peas part of your regular meal rotation?

If you want to experience true Southern soul food, add this recipe to your collection and get ready to savor the flavors of the South. With its combination of savory vegetables and tender black-eyed peas, it’s no wonder that this dish has become such an essential component of Southern cuisine.

So, next time you’re in the mood for some comfort food or want to celebrate the New Year in style, whip up these Southern Black Eye Peas and enjoy a warm, comforting bowl with your loved ones. Trust me; they won’t be disappointed!

Southern Black Eye Peas

Southern Black Eye Peas Recipe

I was never a Black Eye Peas fan until I found this recipe. I make these for every New Years Day and many times during the year.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern US cuisine
Servings 2 Quarts
Calories 228.3 kcal


  • 1 -2 lb either smoked ham hock, Hog Jowls
  • 1 lb dried black-eyed peas
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 (4 1/2 ounce) can green chilies
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 hot pepper (I use jalapeno)
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce (sometimes I add a second)
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce (I use lots of Franks)


  • Soak peas overnight in pot in at least 6 cups of water.
  • Boil approx 4 cups of water simmer for 30 mins.
  • Add all ingrerdients except peas.
  • Drain peas and add to pot.
  • Cover and simmer 3 hrs or until tender.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 140gCalories: 228.3kcalCarbohydrates: 27.2gProtein: 20.4gFat: 4.5gSaturated Fat: 1.5gCholesterol: 34.8mgSodium: 201.9mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5.2g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Easy, Healthy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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