Savor the Flavor: Southern Black-Eyed Peas Recipe

Oh, dear readers, ye lovers of good food and fine dining, gather round and lend me thine ear! For I come to thee today with a recipe that shall delight thy taste buds and warm thy soul: Southern Black-Eyed Peas.

Hark! The dawn of a new year is upon us, a time for reflection and revelry, for pondering upon the past and longing for the future. And no celebration of the new year is complete without a hearty bowl of black-eyed peas, a beloved Southern tradition that dates back centuries.

Now, I know what thou might be thinking, “Black-eyed peas? How bland and dreary!” But worry not, my dear friends. This recipe is anything but dull. With its savory blend of ham hocks or bacon, onions, garlic, and spices like cayenne pepper and garlic powder, this dish will leave thee craving seconds and thirds.

So join me on this journey into the heart of Southern cuisine and let us make this New Year’s Day a truly memorable one with our delicious Southern Black-Eyed Peas recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Black-Eyed Peas
Southern Black-Eyed Peas

Oh dear! Why wouldn’t you love this southern black-eyed peas recipe? This dish is a masterpiece with a complex set of flavors that combines the smokiness of bacon or ham hock, the richness of chicken broth, and a combination of savory spices like garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves. The flavors blend so delightfully well together that it will have your taste buds dancing.

You’ll love this recipe because it’s perfect for a family dinner or any special occasion. It’s soul food at its best and it brings what needs to be brought to the table every time. Black-eyed peas are considered a good-luck food by many folks in the South and they are traditionally served on New Year’s Day. This dish makes an excellent vegetarian option as well.

This Southern-style black-eyed peas recipe is not only delicious but also packed full of nutrients. One pound of dried black-eyed peas contains 11g protein, 5.5g fiber, 433 calories, and a good mix of vitamins and minerals that help your body maintain health.

And one more thing! You’ll love how versatile this dish is. Whether you’re eating it as a side or main dish, black-eyed peas are so versatile that you can add collard greens or hog jowl to this recipe to give it an added boost of flavor. The slow cooker variation makes it easy to serve up piping hot from an appliance in your kitchen without having to take too much time out of your busy schedule.

With all these amazing reasons why you’ll love this Southern black-eyed peas recipe so much, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give it a try today.

Ingredient List

 Fresh black-eyed peas are the star of this southern dish.
Fresh black-eyed peas are the star of this southern dish.

Ingredient List for Southern Black-Eyed Peas Recipe

Here are the ingredients you will need to make Southern-style black-eyed peas:

  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas
  • 4-5 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1 ham hock or hog jowl (optional)
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Note that all ingredients in this dish can be found at any supermarket, no matter where you live. You can also swap the ham hock for a smoked turkey leg if you prefer chicken to pork.

The Recipe How-To

 A bowl of steaming hot Southern Black-Eyed Peas is comfort food at its finest.
A bowl of steaming hot Southern Black-Eyed Peas is comfort food at its finest.

Now that we have gathered our ingredients, let’s get cooking! In this section, I’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of making this delicious Southern black-eyed peas recipe.

Step 1: Soak the Black-Eyed Peas

In a large bowl, soak 1 pound of dried black-eyed peas overnight in enough water to cover them by about 2 inches. Drain and rinse the peas before you begin.

Step 2: Cook the Bacon

In a large pot or Dutch oven on medium heat, cook slices of bacon until they’re crispy. Remove the bacon from the pot and reserve it for later. Leave a few tablespoons of bacon grease in the pot.

Step 3: Sauté Onions and Garlic

Add chopped onions and minced garlic (you can use either fresh garlic cloves or garlic powder) to the pot with the bacon grease. Sauté until onions are translucent and tender.

Step 4: Add Other Ingredients

Add in your soaked black-eyed peas, along with 6 cups chicken broth or stock, 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon (or more, if you like heat) cayenne pepper, and 1 teaspoon garlic powder. If you’re making this recipe vegetarian or just want to skip the meat, feel free to leave out the bacon or substitute it with some smoked turkey or hog jowl.

Step 5: Simmer

Bring everything up to a boil then reduce the heat so that it is at a gentle simmer. You want to cook your peas until they are tender but not mushy. This will take usually between an hour to an hour and 30 minutes depending on how long you soaked your black-eyed peas.

Step 6: Finish Your Peas

When your black-eyed peas are cooked to your desired tenderness, season them with salt, black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley, then serve. If you want to add a smoky flavor to your peas, try adding some smoked bacon or ham hock to the pot.

Congratulations! You have just made a comforting and delicious dish of Southern black-eyed peas. The earthy flavor and nutritional benefits from the peas make this dish perfect for any time of year, especially New Year’s Day, where eating black-eyed peas is believed to bring good luck.

Substitutions and Variations

 This dish is a southern classic, packed with flavor and protein.
This dish is a southern classic, packed with flavor and protein.

Hark! I hear thee inquire about substitutions and variations for this delectable southern black-eyed peas recipe. Fear not, for I am here to impart thee with knowledge beyond measure in the culinary arts.

To make a vegetarian version of these soulful peas, thou mayst simply omit the bacon or ham hock and replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth. For additional flavor, thou couldst utilize smoked paprika or chipotle powder in lieu of bacon.

If thou art not a fan of collard greens or doth not have them on hand, fret not. One might substitute spinach, kale, or turnip greens instead.

For a spicy kick, embrace thy love for cayenne pepper and increase the amount to thine liking. In the absence of this fiery ingredient, red pepper flakes would serve as an adequate replacement.

If thou hath an aversion to onions or garlic (though why anyone would is beyond me), one might try using shallots or leeks in their place.

And lastly, add some hog jowl or smoked turkey for a unique twist on this Southern classic dish; it shall certainly be a pleasant surprise for those eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day seeking good luck.

Remember that cooking is an art and creativity is encouraged; doth not be afraid to experiment with new flavors!

Serving and Pairing

 These peas only require a little bit of time and preparation to create a flavorful side dish.
These peas only require a little bit of time and preparation to create a flavorful side dish.

Verily, this delectable dish of Southern black-eyed peas has the power to transport thee to the cozy porch of a rustic farmhouse, with the sweet fragrance of collard greens in the air and laughter ringing from inside. These soulful black-eyed peas are not only tasty but also versatile and can be enjoyed in many ways.

One way thou couldst serve these peas is on their own as a hearty side dish. They are already packed with flavor from savory bacon, ham hock or smoked turkey and aromatics like fresh garlic cloves and onion. These satisfying peas would complement any Southern-style meal, such as fried chicken or catfish.

Another option is to pair them with rice or cornbread. The smooth texture of rice or the crispy sweetness of cornbread would be the perfect accompaniment for these soft and slightly spicy beans. For an added bonus, try crumbling some leftover bacon over a bowl of beans and rice or pairing it with a slice of freshly baked cornbread.

For those who desire a more vegetarian option or who do not consume pork products, this dish can still be enjoyed by swapping out the pork products for vegetarian alternatives such as veggie bacon or eliminating them altogether.

When it comes to beverage pairings, any Southern-inspired drink could work well with these Southern black-eyed peas. Sweet tea or lemonade would be a refreshing choice, especially on a hot summer day. For something stronger to go along with your meal, consider savoring them with a glass of crisp white wine, rose or even beer.

No matter how thou choosest to serve and pair these soulful black-eyed peas, the taste will leave thee feeling satiated and transported to the heart of Southern cuisine.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This Southern favorite is great for family gatherings or as a meal on its own.
This Southern favorite is great for family gatherings or as a meal on its own.

Thou mayst make this delectable dish ahead of time, my dear reader, and store it in the fridge or freezer for a later feast. If thou wishes to make these Southern black-eyed peas in advance, ensure that thou store them in an airtight container or a plastic storage freezer bag. A chilled pot of black-eyed peas is also a perfect, hearty snack that gives the body an excellent source of fiber and nutrients.

To reheat this soulful food, I implore thee not to aimlessly dump them on a pot and reheat as they were before. Instead, gently warm them up by slowly heating them over low heat to avoid any burning. Thou mayst add some chicken stock or water to the mixture if necessary. It shall keep the dish from drying out and restore its juicy tenderness.

Should thou have any leftovers, worry thee not! Simply place them into an airtight container and store it in your refrigerator for up to four days. To preserve their juiciness even further, add extra liquid broth or water when reheating thy stored black-eyed peas.

For those who prefer meal prep, soak thy dried black-eyed peas overnight until plump, then cook promptly the next day using either stovetop cooking methods or slow cooker approaches. This recipe shall remain delicious with little effort or difficulty throughout the meal prep process.

Tips for Perfect Results

 These black-eyed peas are the perfect addition to any southern-inspired spread.
These black-eyed peas are the perfect addition to any southern-inspired spread.

When it comes to cooking Southern-style black-eyed peas, there are a few tips and tricks that can help ensure perfect results every time. Here are some recommendations:

1. Soak the peas overnight: Soaking the dried black-eyed peas overnight can help to reduce their cooking time and make them more tender.

2. Use bacon or ham for flavor: The addition of bacon or ham hock to the recipe can add a rich smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the earthy taste of the black-eyed peas.

3. Don’t skimp on the onion and garlic: These aromatic ingredients are crucial to creating depth of flavor in any Southern cuisine. Be sure to use fresh garlic cloves and sprinkles of garlic powder throughout the cooking process for an extra boost.

4. Add cayenne pepper for heat: Depending on your preference, a pinch of cayenne pepper can provide a subtle kick of heat that complements the other spices in the dish.

5. Use chicken broth to enhance flavors: For those who prefer a heartier taste, using chicken broth instead of water can add extra richness and enhance the overall savory flavor.

6. Experiment with smoked turkey or hog jowl: While bacon and ham hock are traditional options, adding smoked turkey or hog jowl is another delicious way to infuse some smokiness while keeping it soulful.

7. Don’t forget bay leaves: These fragrant leaves add another layer of depth to the dish, imparting their slightly sweet taste into each bite.

8. Be bold with collard greens: If you’re serving this dish as part of a New Year’s feast for good luck or catering to vegetarian/vegan guests, complement your black-eyed peas by simmering them with collard greens – this will create a harmonious contrast between bitter and savory notes in your Southern soul food meal.

By following these tips and experimenting with different variations, you’ll be able to make Southern black-eyed peas that are rich and flavorful, sure to please any crowd.


Verily, we now come to item nine, the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of this Southern Black-Eyed Peas recipe article. It is natural for one to have queries about a new recipe, and thus, with noble intent, I shall endeavor to address the most common questions that may arise in thy mind as thou prepares this dish.

What seasonings go well with black-eyed peas?

Spices are a key ingredient in adding flavor and depth to any dish. Cayenne has a distinct heat with a peppery taste, while cinnamon adds a warm, sweet flavor to dishes. Coriander, cumin, and fennel all have unique aromatic profiles that can complement a variety of dishes. Garlic powder is a staple for savory dishes, and ginger brings a zesty, citrusy kick. Finally, onion powder adds a savory, slightly sweet flavor to many southern-style dishes. These spices, when used together or separately, can enhance the flavor of a dish in exciting ways.

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

In Southern cuisine, black-eyed peas and collard greens are often considered to bring good fortune and prosperity. Some believe black-eyed peas have a mystical power associated with good luck, while others see the green foliage of collard greens as a symbol of financial success.

What are black-eyed peas called in the South?

There are different names for the Vigna unguiculata, also known as the southern pea. It is called the cowpea by Northerners, but South of the lilac-crape myrtle boundary, it goes by other names like black-eyed-pea, pink eye pea, purple hull pea, cream pea or crowder.

How to cook black-eyed peas Paula Deen?

One of my favorite southern-style recipes is black eyed peas with hog jowl. To prepare this mouthwatering dish, start by soaking your dried black eyed peas in water overnight. Once you’re ready to cook, begin by placing the hog jowl in a pressure cooker with some water, house seasoning, pepper, garlic powder and chicken base. Allow it to cook until tender which usually takes about 20 to 45 minutes. Once it’s all tender, you can add in the soaked black eyed peas along with bay leaves, onion, and a dash of hot sauce for that extra kick.

Bottom Line

Therefore, by using this recipe for Southern Black-Eyed Peas, you are not only creating a delicious meal but also honoring an age-old tradition in Southern cuisine. This special dish is perfect for serving all year round, especially on New Year’s Day, as it is believed to bring good luck and fortune.

With the right combination of ingredients and preparation, your dish will be able to showcase the mouth-watering flavors that have been beloved by Southern folks for generations. Whether you are looking for a warm and hearty meal or just some good home-cooking, this recipe will not disappoint.

So go ahead and make Southern-style Black-Eyed Peas with Bacon and Ham Hocks today, and treat yourself to the soulful flavors of Southern cuisine that you won’t find anywhere else. This recipe will make you feel like a true chef in your own kitchen and give your taste buds an unforgettable experience!

Southern Black-Eyed Peas

Southern Black-Eyed Peas Recipe

From About Southern U.S. Cuisine website. This recipe makes some delicious black-eyed peas for New Years Day or anytime of the year. A true southern delight. Note: you can use chicken broth in place of some of the water for more flavor.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 7 hrs
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern US
Calories 277.4 kcal


  • 1 lb dried black-eyed peas
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 large ham hock
  • 2 -4 slices bacon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 fresh garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • In a large saucepan, cover peas with water to 3 inches over the peas.
  • Bring to boil, reduce heat, then simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Place ham hock, sliced onion, bacon, pepper, garlic and salt in the slow cooker/crock pot.
  • Pour in 3 cups water.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH until peas are tender and ready to go into the crockpot.
  • When peas are tender, transfer to the slow cooker/crock pot.
  • Reduce heat to LOW; cover and cook for 7 to 9 hours.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with hot cornbread.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 104gCalories: 277.4kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 18.4gFat: 2.2gSaturated Fat: 0.7gCholesterol: 1.8mgSodium: 229.3mgFiber: 8.5gSugar: 6.3g
Keyword Easy, Vegetable
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You

None found