How To Cook Black-Eyed Peas

How to cook black-eyed peas video

In most of the US, black-eyed peas have got to be eaten on New Year’s Day to ensure prosperity and good luck in the coming year. Add some greens to your New Year’s Day menu and there’s all your money, too.

The story is that during the Civil War, when old General Sherman came through the Confederacy and burned everything down, the yankees hadn’t never heard of humans eating black eyed peas. Up north they just fed those to the cattle. So when they came through, the soldiers thought, “Surely these wretches aren’t eating black-eyed peas, fergodsake!” And they left the fields alone and after the smoke had cleared and everyone came out to see, they saw that there were still lots and lots of black-eyed peas left to chow down on and that’s how they came to represent good luck. It’s a weird story to memorialize through superstition.

And I’m pretty sure it is all superstition, since by now I should be utterly swimming in gold coins and heating my personal blimp with a fireplace that runs exclusively on 100-dollar-bills. But I am instead typing on a 6-year-old laptop with a busted mousepad and wearing a blanket because I can’t afford to run the G.D. heater. So, basically, I’m saying don’t count on eating a bowl of peas to make you rich.

Black-Eyed Peas Recipe

Black-Eyed Peas recipe


How To Cook Black-Eyed Peas

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Black-eyed peas cooked with salt pork and jalapeños

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


  • 1 lb frozen blackeyed peas
  • 4 oz (1/4 lb) salt pork or bacon, diced
  • 12 jalapenos, minced
  • 1 small tomato, diced (about 1/2 c)


  1. Fry the salt pork or bacon in a pot for about 4 minutes until some of the fat is rendered and it’s starting to crisp up.
  2. Add the peas and stir them around to coat in grease.
  3. Add the pepper and tomato.
  4. Add enough water to just cover the peas and slap a lid on that puppy.
  5. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, simmer 45 minutes.
  6. Serve with hot sauce. Them will be the best black-eyed peas you ever put in your mouf.


To Use Dried Peas: Follow the instructions above for 1 pound dried peas, but add twice as much water to cover the peas. Bring to boil, then simmer 1 1/2 hours until very tender and almost falling apart.

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And here’s another delicious recipe for black-eyed peas that uses canned peas: Texas Caviar!


  1. matthew gordon on December 30, 2010 at 10:45 am

    oh how i love these peas. i think there is a talmudic tradition on black eyed peas as new year good luck too.

    i once heard that the source of the black spot is that as the plant germinates, its point of contact is where the spot is. since they prefer hot climates, it gets burned. that could be full of bs too since these will help with dietary elimination.

    best of luck in the new year. and i love this new posting protocol. was there a plugin name for it. i might be obliged to nick it from you

    • Hilah Cooking on December 30, 2010 at 5:41 pm

      Hey Matt! Yep, sounds like the “burned” theory about how the peas get their spots is BS. Don’t matter to me, though, I love them no matter why they have spots!
      Glad you like the new comment format. I’m still getting used to it myself.

  2. Jack on December 30, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Now I’m not one to argue with tradition or history but I gotta say if some spiteful old general ever comes to burn my crops, I’m not calling that a lucky day, even if the peas survive.

    But my mother, who is fabulously wealthy, also cooks black eyed peas every New Years, so I think it does work. I’m going to miss them this time. Sadly, I’m in Bangkok, where I’ll be forced to endure riotous partying, cheap food, abundant alcohol, and possible hazy fornication.

    I’m sure I had a point in there somewhere. Ah yes, great show Hilah!

    • Hilah Cooking on December 30, 2010 at 4:20 pm

      Oh poor Jack! You just can’t ever look on the bright side, can you!? 😉
      Have a great time on New Year’s! At first I read “lazy fornication” and I was like, “Jeez… ladies, look out!”

  3. Toni Harkins on December 30, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    I like this, simple and straightforward, puts the peas center stage. If I’m making them for my vegan friends, I substitute a little olive oil and hot smoked paprika for the bacon.

    • Hilah Cooking on December 30, 2010 at 11:52 pm

      Great idea with the smoked paprika, Toni! A chipotle pepper would probably work well, too! Thanks for the idea.

  4. Teresa on December 31, 2010 at 4:58 am

    I enjoyed your video on how to cook black-eyed peas. I make some every year with cornbread and turnip greens. I usually just open a can. You really make cooking look like fun. Thanks!

    • Hilah Cooking on December 31, 2010 at 2:07 pm

      Hi Teresa! Happy New Year! I’m glad you liked the video and hope you’ll try the recipe! Thanks for writing.

  5. Spices Manufacturer Jaipur on December 31, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Wow, what a picture, i can guess how much delicious this food is..

    Nice Receipe.. I will do it.

    Delicious, You guys are rocking.

    +91 9829061228

    • Hilah Cooking on December 31, 2010 at 7:37 pm

      Thank you Sapna! Happy New Year!

  6. Greg on January 3, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Thanks! I am stationed in Iraq right now, and even though I can’t cook here I like to collect new recipes. I’m also a vegetarian with an omnivorous family, so your site is a double bonus! Cheers! Greg

    • Hilah Cooking on January 3, 2011 at 10:48 pm

      Hey Greg! I’m glad my recipes are making it into your collection. I hope when you get home and are able to try them out, they live up to your expectations (and your family’s)! Hope you have a great 2011, buddy.

  7. D'Aun on February 21, 2011 at 3:55 am

    Oh man! I’m from New Mexico and my husband is from Oregon (we live in Washington now) and I told him to go buy me some blackeye peas for New Year’s and he was like, “Why?” Apparently it is just a thing people from the south do. And he didn’t buy me any so we didn’t have any this year 🙁 Bummer.

    • Hilah Cooking on February 22, 2011 at 3:13 pm

      Boo 🙁 You’re right, though. It’s an exclusively Southern tradition.

      • C J Brown on January 1, 2023 at 3:46 pm

        It’s a southern tradition carried on throughout the U.S. I’m originally from Chicago and have never missed Black-eyed peas on New Years!

  8. Tina on April 20, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    I made this recipe for my New Year’s Day feast and am still enjoying good luck and it’s April! Thanks again Hilah. Your food rocks!

    • Hilah Cooking on April 21, 2011 at 6:17 am

      That’s great, Tina! I’m so glad it worked for you!

  9. Great Stone Face on January 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Happy 2012 to Hilah & Chris! I decided to make this for our New Year’s, but as usual, I re-jiggered. The Giant Food by us didn’t have salt pork, so I diced up some extra-thick cut smoked bacon. I like oniony stuff, so I added a half-cup of diced onion and a minced garlic clove and sauteed it ’til translucent in the bacon fat. My wife likes her food less spicy than I do, so instead of jalapeno I diced up the same amount of green bell pepper. I dosed my bowl with Texas Pete. To ensure long green for the year, I sauteed chard and spinach in olive oil with garlic. Everything was served over long-grain jasmine rice. I posted photos on my blog. Thanks for the tips!

    • Hilah on January 2, 2012 at 9:52 am

      Oh, that looks SO good! I just did the Texas Caviar this year and your photos make me want to do some more in the Grand Old Tradition!

  10. Isaac on July 30, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    I’m cooking black eyed peas and was wondering if they have to be drained after a quick boil? There is no toxins or anything released from boiling that i have to worry about, is there?

    • Hilah on July 31, 2013 at 8:25 am

      Hi Isaac!
      No toxins, but some people think the “gaseous” effects of beans are lessened if you discard the cooking water. Personally, I don’t worry about it. 🙂

  11. Holly Brown on December 30, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Happy New Year , Hilah .
    Best Wishes for a , Prosperous New Year.
    Have my Peas soaking will cook on Saturday.
    I have always cooked Hog Jowl sliced thin like
    Bacon. May We All Have , Good Luck.
    Ms Holly , Tampa, Florida.

    • Hilah on January 2, 2017 at 9:30 am

      Thank you, Holly. Happy New Year!

  12. C J Brown on January 1, 2023 at 3:47 pm

    It’s a southern tradition carried on throughout the U.S. I’m originally from Chicago and have never missed Black-eyed peas on New Years!

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