Southern-style black-eyed peas

Black-eyed peas are slowly simmered with bacon, spices and herbs to make this traditional New Year’s-inspired dish served in the South.

Southern style black eyed peas

Growing up in the South, there were always black-eyed peas on the dinner table made by my grandmother. Traditionally, she made these beans by slowly cooking the peas in a large pot with either bacon or most commonly a ham hock and seasonings. You will usually find these served on New Year’s Day as they are thought to bring good luck and, regardless if they do, they are delicious! If you are a vegetarian like me, omit the bacon in this recipe and simmer the beans in a vegetable broth to add more flavor.

Southern-style black-eyed peas recipe

Serves 8-10


  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas, rinsed
  • 1/2 pound bacon, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Place the peas and bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven and add enough water to completely cover. Bring the beans to a rapid boil for about 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium low.
  2. In a pan over medium heat, add the butter, onion and garlic, cooking until soft. Add the onion mixture to the beans along with the seasonings. Cover and cook the beans for about 45 minutes or until tender, making sure to stir occasionally.

Serving suggestions

Once these black-eyed peas are cooked they can be served many ways. Here are a few ways we enjoy eating them.

  1. The most traditional way we would eat these would be over cooked rice along with greens and cornbread.
  2. Use them in salads.
  3. Replace the black or refried beans in Mexican food with the cooked black-eyed peas.
  4. Combine the beans with diced tomatoes, onions and avocado for a quick salsa.
  5. Use them in wraps.

More Southern recipes

Sweet potato pie
Southern style okra
Southern style collard greens


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