Black eyed peas are a traditional New Years Day dish, but they are definitely delicious year round! Flavored with the cajun trinity (white onion, green bell pepper, and celery), you’ll definitely be wanting these southern style black eyed peas more than just once a year!
Green bean casserole, cornbread dressing, peppermint chocolate, pumpkin spice…I’m going to add black eyed peas to one of those dishes that we associate with a season or holiday, but definitely should be made more often!
Not only are they inexpensive, but they are EASY!
Flavoring your black eyed peas
Black eyed peas on their own are like most other beans. Starchy, earthy, and not very much fun on their own. But with the right flavors, you’re going to eat them until you burst.
First, no proper southern dish is complete without the cajun trinity. Diced white onion, green bell pepper, and celery. I always throw in a bunch of minced garlic as a bonus.
Next, I use Tony Chachere’s (paid link). Sometimes I get criticized for this, but pooh-pooh to that. It’s a deliciously mixed seasoning that enhances so many dishes. You can make your own spice mix, but Tony’s is top for me.
I also add extra garlic powder. Yes, tons was added to the trinity. Yes, there is garlic in Tony’s. Does that stop me? Nope.
Lots of salt, as usual.
And last but certainly not least, BACON. You can use bacon, pork belly, sausage.. whatever you like. But you really need to add some ham and fat. I love to use fatty bacon because I need all that rendered bacon fat as my base.
Step by Step to black eyed peas
Most of the work in making black eyed peas is in the prep.
Dice your green bell pepper, onion, and celery. Mince your garlic. I love using the ninja food processor (affiliate link). Slice your bacon (I like to cut mine into little strips). Get your chicken stock ready, measure out your spices, and have your beans on hand.
The first thing you’ll need to do is render your bacon fat. in a 7-ish quart heavy duty pot, cook your bacon over medium heat. Maybe just a touch under medium. It takes a few minutes this way, but it’s the best way to melt out that bacon fat without burning your bacon. Once you have rendered all of your bacon fat, remove the bacon. Set aside for later.
Next, add your minced bell pepper, onion, and celery. After cooking for a few minutes, add your garlic. The garlic cooks much faster so it’s always best to add it last. Salt your veggies.
Pour in your dried black eyed peas.
“Wait, did you forget to tell us to soak your beans?” No, I didn’t. I never soak my red beans, black eyed peas, none of it. It’s not necessary. I’m going to die on this hill. Fight me.
After you’ve added your fresh from the bag, dried, unsoaked beans, add your bacon back in. Pour in your chicken stock, add your spices, another handful of kosher salt, and bring to a boil.
Boil for about 5-7 minutes. Give your beans a jump start on the cooking and soaking up all those spices. After they’ve boiled for a few minutes, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for about and hour and a half to two hours.
What else do I need to do?
After you have reduced your heat and covered your black eyed peas, there’s not much else you need to do! All you need to keep up with is stirring them every so often and tasting the broth/beans (once they are chewable) and monitor your flavor.
One of the keys to great flavor with beans is salt. Just when I think I’ve added enough salt, I add a little more. I think I ended up using a couple palmfuls of kosher salt when it’s all said and done.
It may seem like a lot of liquid at first, but as the beans cook, they will absorb a lot of that moisture. And better than them soaking in some bland water before they cook, they are absorbing spicy and delicious chicken stock, thus soaking in all that flavor.
I cook them with the lid on the whole time until they are soft. If there is too much water, let them bubble with the lid off so the liquid will thicken and evaporate. If you find that too nuch of your liquid has soaked up, and a little more stock or water.
Above all, keep tasting! It’s so easy to get it exactly how you like it and make modifications along the way!
And that’s pretty much it! Enjoy these black eyed peas not only for New Year’s day, but all year long.
Serve alone, over rice, or with a side of cornbread. All the carbs!
Southen Style Black Eyed Peas
- 1 lb dried black eyed peas
- 1 white onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 2 large stalks of celery
- 10 cloves of garlic
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 5-6 slices of bacon, sliced into smaller bite sized slices I love applewood smoked
- 1 tbsp Tony's Chachere's Bold Creole Seasoning
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- Kosher salt
- Over medium heat in a 6-7 quart heavy saucepan, cook your bacon pieces until all the fat is rendered. Remove bacon pieces and set aside for later.
- In the rendered bacon fat, saute your bell peppers, onions, and celery. After about 4 minutes, add your garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add a palmful of salt.
- Pour in your dried black eyed peas. Add the bacon back to the pot. Pour in your chicken stock. Add Tony's, garlic powder and another palmful of kosher salt.
- Bring to a boil. Let boil for about 5-7 minutes.
- Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 1.5-2 hours.
- Taste periodically for spice level. Don't skimp on the salt!
- Once your beans are nice and soft, they're just about ready! The starchy goodness will help thicken the cooking liquid. If there is too much liquid left in the pot, let lightly boil uncovered until it thickens to your liking. If the beans are still too tough, add more stock or water.
- Serve over rice, with a side of cornbread, or both. All the carbs! Enjoy!