These Southern Black Eyed Peas have so much flavor thanks to bacon and all the delicious seasonings that are added! A must-have addition to all your meals!
A CLASSIC BLACK EYED PEAS RECIPE
Hands down, one of my favorite dishes to make and eat are black eyed peas. There is nothing that smells better to me than to have black eyed peas with bacon, onion and garlic simmering away on the stovetop. Although I make these all year round, a lot of folks only make black eyed peas during the holidays and of course New Years Day where they are supposed to bring good luck for the rest of the year! This recipe is so tasty that it will be one dish that you will start making regularly!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
While they belong to both the pea and bean family of legumes, they are actually a bean.
Dating back to the Civil War, Black Eyed Peas were traditionally eaten on New Years Eve or Day to bring prosperity and luck to those who ate them. It has evolved into a tradition to many over the years. While many folks around the country enjoy black eyed peas, the largest consumers of them are in the southern United States.
I prefer to use thick-cut applewood smoked bacon for this specific recipe (who doesn’t love bacon), but you can use any of your favorite bacon – thick or regular cut.
These need to be soaked overnight (at least 8 hours) so they can soften up and be used for this recipe. If you do not have time to soak your beans you can do what is known as a “quick soak.” Add your black eyed peas to a large pot of water and bring to a boil and continue to boil for about 2 minutes. Take them off the heat, cover and let them sit for 1 hour then drain. Then you can continue with the recipe.
There is a light spice behind this recipe with the addition of the cayenne pepper. If you are not a spice lover you can leave that ingredient out. If you are a spice lover you can double the cayenne or even add some of your favorite hot sauce.
Yes. After soaking the black eyed peas overnight, cook bacon and onion according to directions below. Then add all the ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on low for about 3-4 hours.
These can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator where they will keep for up to 3 days. Black Eyed Peas can also be frozen. Place in a freezer container where they will keep for up to 3 months. To defrost, remove from the freezer until thawed. These thicken as they cool after cooking so when you want to reheat them you can add some water or chicken stock and heat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)
- thick-cut bacon – I really like the thick cut bacon for this but you can use regular bacon.
- sweet onion – sweet onions (like Vidalia onions) work well here since they don’t overwhelm the other flavors. You could also use a shallot as well. That will bring a light oniony garlic flavor.
- garlic -for certain recipes, I think you just really need fresh garlic. I definitely don’t hate jarred garlic (or jarlic as we jokingly call it). It does make a difference in some recipes since most of the jarred stuff is soaked in oils and water and it really dilutes the flavor big time. If you are going through all the trouble to make these homemade, take an extra minute to peel and mince fresh garlic.
- seasoned salt, garlic and onion powder, thyme, pepper and cayenne pepper – this is my preferred seasoning combination but you can certainly use what you enjoy! Most southerners like a little ‘kick’ to their black eyed peas. Some folks will serve with hot sauce and some will add a pinch of cayenne (some do both!) If you don’t enjoy that then leave out the cayenne pepper.
- dried black-eyed peas – for the best black eyed peas you have to use the dried beans and soak them overnight. Make sure you remove any small rocks or small leaves that might be mixed in with the dried beans. Just pop them in a large bowl, cover them with water (about 2 inches above the top of the peas) then cover and place into the refrigerator overnight until they are fully rehydrated. Some folks like to add salt to the water but I don’t think it is necessary to add more salt to it. Maybe for other beans and recipes but not this one. See my above FAQ on how to do a ‘quick soak’.
- unsalted chicken stock – I don’t want to make these to salty since we’re using a lot of chicken stock so I prefer unsalted chicken stock. That chicken stock is going to add a lot of flavor instead of just using water.
- bay leaves – you might be surprised what a nice background flavor this adds without being strong. It gives it that little something extra that you can’t quite put your finger on.
- unsalted butter – this might sound strange but adding a small amount of butter in at the end really finishes this dish off. It is optional.
HOW TO MAKE SOUTHERN BLACK EYED PEAS:
In a dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally. Take the bacon out, reserving the bacon drippings in the pot, and place the cooked bacon on a paper-towel-lined plate. Add the onion to the pot and cook until softened and translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
Next add the seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, pepper, and cayenne to the pot. Stir it in and cook for 30 seconds. Add the peas, chicken stock, and bay leaves to the pot, and stir it together. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and simmer, covered, for 60-90 minutes, stirring occasionally. They are done when the peas are tender. Add the butter and stir it in to melt, taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Serve with the crispy bacon on top and fresh parsley if desired.
WANT MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES?
Southern Black Eyed Peas (+Video)
- 12 ounces thick-cut bacon, 1/2-inch diced
- 1 small sweet onion, small diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pound dried black-eyed peas (soaked overnight and drained)
- 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- In a dutch oven (large pot) over medium heat, cook 12 ounces thick-cut bacon, 1/2-inch diced until crispy, 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally. Take the bacon out, reserving the bacon drippings in the pot, and place the cooked bacon on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Add 1 small sweet onion, small diced to the pot with the bacon grease and cook until softened and translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add 3 cloves garlic, minced and cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add 2 teaspoons seasoned salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper to the pot. Stir it in and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add 1 pound dried black-eyed peas (soaked overnight and drained), 4 cups unsalted chicken stock and 2 dried bay leaves and stir it together.
- Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and simmer, covered, for 60-90 minutes, stirring occasionally. They are done when the peas are tender.
- Add 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter and stir it in to melt, taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Serve with the crispy bacon on top.
- Please refer to my FAQ’s and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
- You can do a quick soak if you do not have time to soak overnight, see above on how to do this.
- These can be frozen, see above on how to do that.
- This makes a large batch but you can double this if you have a large enough pot.
- Be sure to pick through your dried peas to remove any little rocks or vegetation that accidentally got packed with the beans (this is completely normal and nothing to worry about.)
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.