How to Cook Black-Eyed Peas
Did you know that black-eyed peas aren’t peas at all? They’re actually beans! Related to the mung bean, these versatile legumes are a great source of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Plus, they’re terrific in everything from salads to grain bowls to soups and beyond. We’ll teach you how to cook black-eyed peas, plus fill you in on some of the history of why we eat them on New Year’s Day.
Black-Eyed Peas on New Year’s Day
You’ll probably have a champagne cocktail to ring in the New Year and then, if you’re from the South, you’ll probably enjoy black-eyed peas the next day. Though the tradition of eating these humble legumes on the first of the year didn’t begin in the South, it’s become customary in a wide-range of households – but why black-eyed peas on New Year’s? Black-eyed peas have been a symbol of good luck and prosperity dating all the way back to the days of the Pharaohs in Egypt, but many people harken the superstition to either the Civil War days or back when farmers’ crops were sparse and black-eyed peas were all that was available to eat. No matter which folklore you follow, black-eyed peas are used as a metaphor for nourishment and survival. Today, we eat them to honor the past and invite good luck in the coming year.
How to Make Black-Eyed Peas
Not sure how to make black-eyed peas? It’s a lot easier than you might think! You can buy them canned or dried and both cook up without difficulty. Though soaking isn’t required for dried beans, letting them sit in hot water before cooking may reduce the cooking time. When you’re ready to cook, drain the beans, rinse them in cold water and then simmer them in chicken stock or your choice of liquid for 1 hour. Start checking the beans after 45 minutes to measure the texture and add more liquid if necessary. For extra flavor, add a ham bone to the simmering pot. If using canned beans, simply drain them, rinse them and warm them up on the stove. Once the beans are soft, they’re ready to be seasoned or combined with other ingredients to complete the meal.
Black-Eyed Peas: Recipes We Love
We’ve got the best black-eyed pea recipes for both beginners and experts alike. From the most traditional Southern New Year’s Eve meals to exciting ways to enjoy black-eyed peas, here are some of our favorite recipes to help you attract luck this upcoming year.
This classic Southern dish is a staple for ringing in the New Year. Not only is it a traditional favorite, but it’s said to bring good luck to all those who eat it.
Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
- 1 lb. dried black-eyed peas
- ½ lb. smoked ham, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (32 oz.) container chicken broth
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme
- In a large bowl, add black-eyed peas and cover with water. Allow to sit 6-8 hours, then drain. For a quick soak, add black-eyed peas to a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and allow to sit 1 hour, then drain.
- In a large pot, add soaked black-eyed peas, ham, onion, jalapeño, garlic, broth, salt, pepper and thyme.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 20-30 minutes, until slightly thickened.
- Serve and refrigerate leftovers.
Serve as-is or top with a sunny-side up egg to turn this breakfast hash into a delicious dinner.
Time: 30 minutes
- 5 slices Kroger Brand Naturally Hardwood Smoked Bacon, chopped
- ½ package (30 oz.) Kroger Brand Country Style Hash Browns, frozen
- 1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 can (15.5 oz.) Kroger Brand Black-Eyed Peas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups baby spinach
- In large skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon 8-10 minutes, until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon and transfer to paper-towel lined plate.
- Add hash browns to skillet with bacon fat; cook 5-6 minutes. Flip hash browns; continue cooking 5-6 minutes, until golden. Season hash browns with Cajun seasoning and salt.
- Stir in the black-eyed peas and baby spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted and beans are warm, 2-3 minutes. Top with bacon.