This Southern Black-Eyed Peas recipe is an old-fashioned favorite, and it’s especially popular for ushering in the New Year. Here’s how to make black-eyed peas the authentic way!

bowl of collard greens, ham and black-eyed peas served in a white round bowl.

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If you live in the South, you know that black-eyed peas are a New Year’s tradition. They say that eating black-eyed peas on the first day of the year will bring you wealth, good luck, and prosperity—and who doesn’t want all that, right?!

And if you pair your dish with collard greens, that’s even better because collard greens are also said to bring wealth, since they’re the color of money!

top down image of black-eyed peas with collard greens and ham.

Southern Black-Eyed Peas Recipe

Of course, good fortune isn’t the only reason to make black-eyed peas on January 1st—they’re also delicious! Black-eyed peas are actually beans, not peas. When cooked the classic Southern way with pork shoulder and bacon, the legumes take on a meaty, smokey flavor. You can use canned or dried black-eyed peas in this recipe, but I recommend dried if you’ve got the time—the texture and flavor are a lot better than canned!

The most popular way to serve this recipe is with greens and a piece of homemade cornbread, which makes for a simple, filling meal on a chilly winter day. You can also make another Southern classic called Hoppin’ John by serving your black-eyed peas over steamed rice. No matter how you serve this dish, you really can’t go wrong!

Ingredients For Black-Eyed Peas

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • Dried black-eyed peas – Use fresh or canned varieties.
  • Olive oil
  • Pork shoulder
  • Bacon
  • Onion – A standard yellow onion or white onion will work.
  • Garlic – Fresh cloves are best.
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper – Adjust the amount to your taste preferences!
  • Garlic powder
  • Chicken stock – You can use chicken broth instead. However, because it’s already seasoned, you’ll want to be careful not to add too much salt.
  • Water
  • Bay leaves – Make sure you take them out before serving!

How to Make Black-Eyed Peas

  1. Soak the beans: If you’re using dried black-eyed peas, rinse and sort them first. Place the beans in a large pot, and cover them with about 4 inches of water. Soak overnight. Then, drain and rinse them the next day.
  2. Sear the pork: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the pork shoulder, and sear it on all sides for about 4 to 5 minutes or until browned.
  3. Cook the bacon and aromatics: Add the bacon, onion, and garlic to the pot. Cook, stirring often, until the onion and garlic are softened and just beginning to brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. 
  4. Season: Add the salt, black pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder to the pot. Stir to coat, and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Add the liquids: Pour in the stock and water. Next, add the bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover, and cook for about 30 minutes or until the pork begins to fall apart. 
  6. Add the beans: Remove the lid, and add the black-eyed peas to the pot. Continue to simmer until the beans are soft, about 60 to 90 minutes.

Quick Tip

The exact amount of time needed to cook black-eyed peas depends on their age. If they’ve been sitting on the supermarket shelf for a long time, they’ll take longer to cook!

bowl of collard greens, ham and black eyed peas.

How to Store Black-Eyed Peas

Once cooled, leftovers can be transferred to an airtight storage container and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Or, freeze them for up to 3 months!

When you’re ready to eat, let your black-eyed peas thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, warm them in a saucepan over medium heat on the stove.


Do I need to soak black-eyed peas before cooking?

This is up to you! It won’t shave all that much time off the recipe if you don’t soak them first. However, some people think beans are easier to digest if they’re soaked overnight before cooking.

What main dish goes with black-eyed peas?

Since this recipe contains pork and bacon, you can easily serve it as a main dish! Or, pair it with options like Air Fryer Chicken BreastsCrock Pot BBQ Chicken, or Crock Pot Ham.

How do you keep black-eyed peas from getting mushy?

Don’t overcook them—keep a close eye on them and pull them off the heat as soon as they’re tender. 

More Southern Classics to Try

Bowls of collard greens next to a plate of cornbread.

Black-Eyed Peas

This Southern Black-Eyed Peas recipe is an old-fashioned favorite, and it’s especially popular for ushering in the New Year. Here’s how to make black-eyed peas the authentic way!
4 from 1 vote
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes


  • Large pot


  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas fresh or canned black-eyed peas can be substituted
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 ounces pork shoulder diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 strips thick sliced bacon cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion small diced
  • 4 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 bay leaves


  • If using dried black-eyed peas, put them in a large pot and cover with about 4 inches of water. Soak the peas overnight, then drain the water and rinse. Drain and rinse the peas.
    1 pound dried black-eyed peas
  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the pork. Sear until the pork is browned on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes.
    2 Tablespoons olive oil, 6 ounces pork shoulder
  • Add the bacon, onion and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, until the onion and garlic are lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes.
    4 strips thick sliced bacon, 1 medium onion, 4 garlic cloves
  • Add the salt, black pepper, cayenne and garlic powder. Cook until the entire mixture is coated with the spices, about 2 minutes.
    1 ½ teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pour in the stock and water and drop in the bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.
    4 cups chicken stock, 2 cups water, 3 bay leaves
  • When the pork begins to fall apart, add the prepared peas to the pot and simmer until the peas are very soft, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 491kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 1000mg | Potassium: 1160mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 126IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 7mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

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About Kasey Schwartz

For over 15 years, Kasey Schwartz, the mastermind behind All Things Mamma, has been the ultimate go-to for mouthwatering family recipes. Her work has been featured on, Buzz Feed, Better Homes and Gardens, and more, making her your go-to mom next door for all things delicious and family-friendly.


  1. Walter Esler says:

    4 stars
    Perfect. I can add pork i have it. Buyt chopped. Here in Chicago they sell as pork taco meat. Used Campells broth, 10 oz, condensed adding boullion cube or two. Everything went perfectly, flavors balanced. Good nutritional analysis.

    1. Shyanne - ATM Team says:

      Pork is such a great addition! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Walter. 😊

  2. The picture shows the collard greens in the recipe but there are no collard greens listed in the ingredients? How much would you put if you had them?

    When simmering is this covered or uncovered?


4 from 1 vote

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