Recipe: The Best Black Eyed Pea Recipe. Ever.

Every New Year’s Day since I can remember I have had Black Eyed Peas for New Year’s Day Dinner.   Not just Black Eyed Peas, but Black Eyed Peas with corn bread, ham, relish, onions…..the whole magilla.

In fact, I love Black Eyed Peas so much I’m going to capitalize them today.


My Grandma W. was from Kentucky.  While that isn’t as south as some states, it is south enough and Black Eyed Peas are a proud Southern tradition.   Grandma made Black Eyed Peas, my Mom made Black Eyed Peas and my Aunt M. made Black Eyed Peas.  In fact, Black Eyed Peas are not only a southern tradition (going back some 300 years) but a family tradition as well.

The story goes that these legendary legumes bring luck and prosperity for the New Year.

My Mom always told us that we would get an extra dollar for each individual pea we ate.

That was all I needed to hear….

My mom’s recipe was pretty simple.  She soaked the peas over night, rinsed them and then cooked them with salt pork.  They were good, and I always ate plenty of them, but when I began making my own Black Eyed Peas, I took a few liberties.

The new recipe is a family favorite, and because I want you to have a prosperous year,  I am going to share the recipe with you.  I am firmly convinced that it will be okay for you to eat (and get the benefit from) the peas even if it isn’t New Year’s Day.  After all, Samoa skipped Friday this year so they could leap across the International Date Line.  Having Black Eyed Peas after New Year’s Day is small potatoes compared to skipping a day.  Right?

Let’s hear it for the Pea (by the way…it’s a bean).

Black Eyed Peas


  • 1 lb (generally 1 bag) dried Black Eyed Peas
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 each dried red pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 lb salt pork
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil (or Canola Oil)
  • 1 can beer (I use Guinness)
  • 1 large can (24 oz) diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp dried or fresh oregano
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Total Time: 8 Hours


  • Wash and sort the Black Eyed Peas.
  • (The quality of Black Eyed Peas has improved over the years. Years ago, you needed to really pick through the peas to pull out "stones" and ugly peas).
  • In a large pot, put the Black Eyed Peas and a can of beer in the pot. The peas should be covered by at least 1/2 inch of liquid, so add water if you need more liquid.
  • By the way, although the beer does add flavor, if you prefer not to use beer, you can use water or even chicken stock instead.
  • Let the peas soak for 6 - 8 hours
  • If you want to speed up this process, you can put the peas in a pan with water (6 to 8 cups). Bring to a rapid boil on medium high heat. Boil 2 more minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 2 hours.
  • Which ever method you use, wash and rinse the Black Eyed Peas after they have soaked. Do not save the liquid and be careful not to squash the peas or pull the skin off.
  • (They won't look as pretty and may be a little mushy).
  • Black Eyed Peas. Before and after (I sort of feel the same way after the Holidays....)
  • Chop 1 large onion, 2 stalks of celery and 2 - 3 cloves of garlic.
  • Put the onions, celery and garlic in a large pan with the olive oil and sauté until the onions are translucent.
  • Add Black Eyed Peas
  • Just look at all that money....
  • Add diced tomatoes including juice.
  • Add salt, pepper, oregano and dried red pepper.
  • Add salt pork.
  • Once again, you will want to add some liquid (water, chicken stock or even more beer) to make sure the peas are covered.
  • Stir it all together, and bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Serve with corn bread, diced onions and relish.
Category: Cook, Main Dish, Soups and Stews, Vegetables
Tags: , , ,

(19) Comments and (23) Replies

  1. Juli | January 5, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Reply

    Oh this looks delicious!! I’m going to try this recipe!

    • jill | January 5, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Reply

      You will love, love, love it. It freezes well too!!!! Love you…

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  3. Kate | December 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Reply

    This looks great! What kind of relish do you use? Just a jar of relish from the store?

  4. Karen | December 30, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply

    This may be a silly question, but what happens with the salt pork once the recipe is done?

    • jill | December 31, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply

      Not silly at all. Most if the good stuff cooks into the beans, but throw the rest out. Enjoy!

  5. Carmine | December 31, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Reply

    Never done the New Year thing before, But really have to commend ya on the way you put this together its guy friendly i was told to put Hog jowl in .. so i did both this shouldn mess it up right they both look like bacon..

    • jill | December 31, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Reply

      Well. I have to say, black eyed peas are prett guy friendly so maybe that’s why

    • Carmine | January 1, 2013 at 10:49 am | Reply

      WOW!!!! The B.E.P./ Lentil / Bean recipe was awesome !!!!!Best i have ever eat…

      • jill | January 1, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Reply

        I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Did you use the hog jowl?

        • Carmine | January 2, 2013 at 4:29 am | Reply

          Sure did Salt pork and hog jowl thanks again for this awesome recipe we will eat BEP more often.

          • jill | January 2, 2013 at 6:53 am |


  6. Bill | January 1, 2013 at 7:03 am | Reply

    By the way, it is a lentil, not a pea, not a bean exactly. The recipe, no matter whether lentil, or whatever, is excellent. Bravo.

    • jill | January 1, 2013 at 9:11 am | Reply

      Somehow lentil sounds much more refined. Or at least healthier? Thanks for the info, though. I am on the road with mr. H. So hoping to find some blackeyed peas/lentils somewhere! Happy New Year

  7. Michele | January 1, 2013 at 8:02 am | Reply

    I searched the internet far and wide and found your recipe to be the most appealing. I’ll let you know how it comes out later today!

    • jill | January 1, 2013 at 9:12 am | Reply

      Oh good. I can’t wait to hear how it went! I can’t make my batch for two more days as we are traveling so ill have to live vicariously through your experience. Happy new year!

    • Michele | January 1, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Reply

      Oh, Jill…thank you for your recipe. I have to admit that I’m a SOUP making FREAK and always mess with perfectly good recipes. I followed yours exactly then added a splash of white wine, 1/2 pkg of cream cheese, cut up left over chicken, and about a teaspoon of Jamaican Jerk Seasoning to spice it up a little more. I also served Jiffy cornbread (!!) We left our obligatory 3 peas on our plates for health, happiness and romance this year. Best wishes for a great 2013 and thanks again!

      • jill | January 1, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Reply

        I love that you had black eyed peas and love that you doctored them! I’m still without peas so living vicariously through my readers! Have a great New Year!

  8. CJ | January 1, 2013 at 9:59 am | Reply

    It’s on the stove right now! Question… Do you put the two chiles in whole or deseeded? Thanks!!

    • jill | January 1, 2013 at 10:11 am | Reply

      Ohhhh. I am so jealous. Yummy. I put the whole chili in and then pull it out before serving ( although you could keep it on and just remind people not to eat it, or treat it like the baby Jesus in a king cake). Enjoy and Happy New Year!

  9. CJ | January 1, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Reply

    It was wonderful! Even our 5 and 9 year olds liked it- and they only like mac&cheese! Thank you!

    • jill | January 1, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Reply

      Wow. That’s rare praise! Good to have all that health and wealth in one happy family! Have a great New Year!

  10. Kathy | January 1, 2013 at 11:49 pm | Reply

    My family wanted black eyed peas for New Years, but said they hated black eyes peas a nd would only eat a spoonful. Well, they devored this dis saidh.r It was excellent. My 84 yo mother said we can have this again, soon. Great recipe, thank you!

    • jill | January 2, 2013 at 6:55 am | Reply

      Hooray! More black- eyed pea converts! And just think of the riches you will have this year ( health and happiness are certainly riches!).

  11. Joel | January 2, 2013 at 2:49 am | Reply

    I did this recipe today for my friends and it was the best batch of blackeyed peas I”ve ever done. I used Pine Belt Pale Ale, a local IPA, and it provided a depth of flavor previously unknown. Wow. Thank you.

    • jill | January 2, 2013 at 7:42 am | Reply

      Joel, I feel a Black Eyed Pea – a – thon, with different types of lagers, ales and stouts!!! So glad you enjoyed!!! Happy New Year!

  12. Curtis | January 2, 2013 at 7:00 am | Reply

    Good meal, easy to prepare and wonderful aroma in the house.
    Thank you, C.L.

    • jill | January 2, 2013 at 7:44 am | Reply

      Oh, yes. The aroma. Isn’t it delightful? I admit to making this recipe more often than the New Years tradition dictates. I’m so glad you tried it and liked it!! Have a great New Year!!

  13. Kendall | January 2, 2013 at 10:59 am | Reply

    I made these yesterday for our NY day dinner-they were SO good. Much better than the ‘traditional’ black eyed peas. Thanks for a great recipe!!

  14. Leslie | January 3, 2013 at 10:55 am | Reply

    These black eyed peas are the BEST I have ever had. I didn’t use the pork salt-

    • jill | January 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Reply

      I’m so glad you enjoyed! Good to know about the salt pork. Sometimes it’s hard to find. Happy New Year!

  15. Jen | January 18, 2013 at 6:36 am | Reply

    Used bacon instead of salt pork. Turned out delish! I don’t think you can get salt pork in Japan, so this substitution will have to do:) tnx for the recipe!

    • jill | January 18, 2013 at 9:12 am | Reply

      I am so glad to hear that you had success with the bacon. I know salt pork isn’t the easiest to find (although in Florida, they even have gourmet salt pork!!) I stopped by your blog and am very inspired by your message, your pictures and your theme. I’ll be back!!

  16. Jamie | January 1, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Reply

    Hi Jill! I know this blog is a year old but I hope you will still respond! If I use the faster method, where does the beer come in? The faster method says to add 6-8 C of water & bring to a boil, when do I add the beer? Also, if I use my pressure cooker, I assume I’d use the beer (+ water) as my liquid??

    Thank you! Can’t wait to try these!

    • jill | January 1, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Reply

      No problem, Jamie. Black Eyed Pea help on the way. You can add the beer either way, but if you only have enough beer for one or the other (as in…maybe you enjoyed some beer while you were cooking?) the most important would be the soak (by degrees, really)….

      I haven’t made these with a pressure cooker (although my son just told us they were using a pressure cooker today), but yes, I’d use the beer and water as your liquid with the pressure cooker. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!! I’m in a hotel right now, but we brought our black eyed peas and have a microwave in the room….so good luck to us all!!

      Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions. I do keep an eye on the site most always, but I’m a bit delayed on this post as I was in a car….of all things….

      Happy New Year!!

  17. Joel | January 1, 2014 at 9:37 pm | Reply

    Did this recipe for the second year in a row, and my dinner guests loved it! Used Bear Republic’s Hop Rod Rye, a nice complimentary tang to it. Thanks again for helping me turn a bland side into something exciting!

    • jill | January 1, 2014 at 9:56 pm | Reply

      I’m so glad, Joel. And, love your beer recommendation. I am now, officially, smiling a big ol’ black eyed pea login’ smile…Happy New Year!!

  18. Gail | February 10, 2014 at 9:21 am | Reply

    I usually don’t comment on recipes I try, but this one is outstanding! I call it Hoppin’ John since that’s what I was looking for when I found it. I’ve made it for the last 2 New Year’s Day and there are never any leftovers from my family of 4. I’m a teacher and we are having a soul food potluck and feel very fortunate to be able to make this recipe. I will be the potluck queen for the day. Inexpensive, healthy (high fiber) and delicious. Love your grama’s story. I share that as well.

    • jill | February 10, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Reply

      Well thank you so much for the kind words!! I am so glad you made and enjoyed the recipe. We have these every New Years Day, but my husband and i like them so much I have to admit to having them more often. I love that you are having a soul food potluck. I’m very jealous…..yumm

      Thanks again and have a great day!!


  19. Head | January 1, 2015 at 10:44 am | Reply

    I can’t find any dried red peepers, what can I substitute them for and how much?

    • jill | January 1, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Reply

      If you have red pepper flakes, that will work or Cajun seasoning. You can even leave them (red pepper) out. The peas will still taste great just no heat. Enjoy and happy new year!!!

  20. Becki | January 1, 2015 at 6:09 pm | Reply

    I hope this is not a stupid question. Do you simmer with the lid on or off?

    • jill | January 1, 2015 at 7:23 pm | Reply

      Not stupid at all. I generally simmer for an hour with the lid on and then I take he lid off to let the liquid cook off a bit. I find like soupy beans so I dibetimes have to simmer awhile. Enjoy your breaks and Hsppy New Year!

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