25 Black-Eyed Pea Recipes Southerners Will Love

Hoppin' John Soup

Southerners know that on New Year's Day, it's time for black-eyed peas and collard greens. According to legendary Southern food researcher John Egerton's Southern Food: At Home, On the Road, In History, black-eyed peas are associated with a "mystical and mythical power to bring good luck." And we have plenty of black-eyed peas recipes, from Classic Hoppin' John to Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas, that were made for starting a new year on a good note. But the Southern-favorite peas go so much further than your slow cooker on January 1. From salad to chili, black-eyed peas make a hearty addition to any recipe. Instead of the usual Rotel dip, try our Smoky Black-Eyed Pea Hummus or Southwest Black-Eyed Pea Dip for this year's Super Bowl party. We've also added black-eyed peas to some Southern favorites like squash casserole, cobb salad, and hush puppies. If you're looking for a fun new way to eat black-eyed peas, these comforting, easy recipes are the perfect place to start.

01 of 25

Beef-And-Black-Eyed Pea Chili

Beef-and-Black-Eyed Pea Chili
Becky Luigart-Stayner

You'll be pulling the cornbread fresh out of the skillet when you get the aroma of this Beef-and-Black-Eyed Pea Chili. Fill a Dutch oven with chili meat, sweet onion, black-eyed peas, beer, and more, and in under an hour you can be sitting down to a delicious bowl of chili. Serve it as it comes, or top it with jalapeño pepper slices, Cheddar cheese, or pico de gallo. However you enjoy it, you can't go wrong. So grab a spoon and enjoy this chili today.

02 of 25

Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad
Jennifer Davick

This recipe proves that black-eyed peas are for summer. Peppery watercress fills in for traditional greens, while peaches, cilantro, and black-eyed peas add freshness. The sweet-and-spicy dressing uses red pepper jelly—buy your favorite or make your own with peppers from the garden.

03 of 25

Hoppin' John Stew With White Cheddar Cheese Grits

Hoppin' John Stew with White Cheddar Cheese Grits
Van Chaplin

Why not mix it up by combining two of our favorite Southern dishes in one? Black-eyed peas are stewed with tomatoes, green chiles, corn, and smoked ham, then served over creamy, cheesy grits. The flavors of this dish make it a great alternative to chili on a cold winter night.

04 of 25

Hoppin' John Cakes With Tomato-Jalapeño Gravy

Hoppin' John Cakes with Tomato-Jalapeño Gravy
Alison Miksch

You'll enjoy every crisp bite of these patties formed from rice, peas, chopped veggies, and panko bread crumbs, but the Tomato-Jalapeño Gravy brings them over the top. We suggest cooking the rice one to two days ahead of time so it has time to dry out.

05 of 25

Hoppin' John Salad

Hoppin' John Salad
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Try this light and refreshing take on Hoppin' John with fresh mint, parsley, and jalapeño peppers. After cooking the peas, simply toss them with the other ingredients and chill for two hours. This salad makes a pleasantly zingy side for any spring or summer main dish.

06 of 25

Summer Hoppin' John Salad

Summer Hoppin' John Salad
Photo: Iain Bagwell

Hoppin' John is usually served hot, but this cool salad is the perfect meal for a summer picnic or lunch. The salad is also a great use of leftovers from our Classic Fresh Field Peas recipe. Feel free to sub your favorite cooked whole grain instead of rice.

07 of 25

Chili-Roasted Black Eyed Peas

Chili-Roasted Black Eyed Peas
Southern Living

Roasting black-eyed peas gives them a crispy, dry texture that's perfect for snacking. All this one-step recipe requires is a sheet pan and a few ingredients from your pantry. Chili powder and cumin give the beans a flavor-packed coating that won't disappoint your guests.

08 of 25

Hoppin' John

Hoppin’ John
Jennifer Davick

In this version of Hoppin' John, grocery store shortcuts like jarred roasted red bell peppers and prepared salsa add major flavor without any extra time on your end. The bacon is crisped in a pan before being added to the slow cooker for deliciously fragrant flavor. We recommend serving this dish with hot sauce and bright green chopped parsley.

09 of 25

Texas Caviar

a bowl of Texas Caviar
Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

This tailgate staple is one of our food editor's favorite sneakily healthy recipes to serve on game day. Our Texas Caviar has the expected black-eyed peas, onions, and peppers, with chopped green tomatoes added for a touch of tartness. Toss with your favorite Italian dressing and serve with tortilla chips.

10 of 25

Easy Black-Eyed Peas

Easy Black-Eyed Peas

Fred Hardy, Food Stylist: Karen Rankin, Prop Stylist: Christine Keeley

This is a foolproof way to prepare black-eyed peas, whether you want to serve them as a side or a main dish over rice. We provide instructions for cooking fresh peas in a Dutch oven or dried peas in a slow cooker. Either way, they'll stew in a flavorful concoction of stock, bacon, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaf, rosemary, and thyme.

11 of 25

Chicken Tortellini Salad

Chicken Tortellini Salad
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Store-bought rotisserie chicken and refrigerated tortellini make for a quick lunch or dinner. The recipe calls for tossing a homemade basil vinaigrette with pasta, chicken, tomatoes, black-eyed peas, corn, arugula, and toasted pecans. But this versatile salad recipe works well with whatever vegetables you have in your refrigerator or garden.

12 of 25

Hoppin' John with Braised Oxtail

Hoppin' John
Erin Kunkel; Styling: Melissa Padilla

Chef Sheldon Simeon shared this updated Hoppin' John recipe with us, and it'll win you the Top Chef title in your family. Black-eyed peas are elevated with tender, fall-off-the-bone oxtail meat and apple cider vinegar. Serve over a bed of fluffy rice.

13 of 25

Instant Pot Black-Eyed Pea Soup

Instant Pot Black-eyed Pea Soup
Photography: Alison Miksch, Prop Styling: Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland, Food Styling: Melissa Gray

Try this new way to get your peas and greens on New Year's Day with the help of your Instant Pot. The smokiness from a smoked ham hock permeates every spoonful and tomatoes add a nice touch of color and texture. Thanks to the Instant Pot, the dish comes together quicker than your typical black-eyed pea soup, and it goes great with a hunk of cornbread and a cold beer. 

14 of 25

Southwest Black-Eyed Pea Dip

Southwest Black-Eyed Pea Dip
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Christina Lane; Food Styling: Tina Bell Stamos

We took the ingredients of Texas Caviar and turned them into a warm, cheesy dip that's perfect for football parties. You can prepare the dish the day before and pop it in the oven before game time. Top with our fresh salsa and serve with tortilla chips.

15 of 25

Slow-Cooker Peas-And-Greens Soup With Turkey Sausage

Slow-Cooker Peas-and-Greens Soup with Turkey Sausage
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling; Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

There's nothing easier than a soup recipe that lets the slow cooker make dinner for you. We add the kale and tomatoes at the end to preserve their fresh flavors and bright color. You can use any sausage in this recipe that will warm you from the inside out.

16 of 25

Grilled Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Grilled Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Greg Dupree; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch; Food Styling: Anna Hampton

Filled with corn, black-eyed peas, and plenty of gooey cheese, these stuffed peppers are cooked on the grill until they develop a lightly charred, smoky flavor. This colorful dish makes for a delicious vegetarian dinner or a side dish with grilled steak, chicken, or fish. We recommend peeling the poblanos, as grilled peppers of any type always taste better when their skins have been removed.

17 of 25

Classic Hoppin' John

Classic Hoppin’ John
Alison Miksch; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl; Food Styling: Mary-Claire Britton

If you've never made Hoppin' John on New Year's Day before, this is definitely the recipe to start with. We use thick-cut bacon and the Cajun culinary holy trinity of onions, celery, and bell pepper to create this quintessential soul food classic. Keep with tradition and serve over rice.

18 of 25

Smoky Black-Eyed Pea Hummus

Smoky Black-Eyed Pea Hummus
Hector Manuel Sanchez

This Southern-fried hummus recipe will be a hit with your friends during the Super Bowl. Substitute canned black-eyed peas for the chickpeas, and season with tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and the other wonderful flavors found in Middle Eastern hummus. Smoked paprika adds a pretty pop of color. 

19 of 25

Reunion Pea Casserole

Reunion Pea Casserole
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

This old-school casserole came our way in 1987, and we love revisiting every cheesy bite. Featuring summer squash, sausage, black-eyed peas, and a crescent roll crust, you won't go away hungry after eating this summer reunion side.

20 of 25

Black-Eyed Pea And Grain Salad

Black-Eyed Pea and Grain Salad
Photo: Alison Miksch; Prop Styling: Kaye E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Inspired by Texas Caviar, this colorful vegetarian dish can be served as a main or as a base for a grilled protein like chicken or shrimp. Made from cracked wheat, bulgur is a whole-wheat grain that has been cracked and partially pre-cooked, and therefore quick to prepare at home. As a whole grain, it's naturally high-fiber, low-fat, low-calorie, vegetarian, and even vegan.

21 of 25

Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas

Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas
Photography and Styling: Caitlin Bensel

This dump-and-go Instant Pot recipe couldn't be easier. Our Test Kitchen pros loved how peas turned out perfectly creamy but intact, not mushy, in the popular kitchen appliance. Extremely tender and with a nice smoky flavor from ham, these Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas have all the flavor you crave.

22 of 25

Southern Cobb Salad with Cornbread Croutons

Southern Cobb Salad with Cornbread Croutons
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

This classic salad recipe gets a Southern makeover with black-eyed peas and cornbread croutons. Packed with protein and greens, the salad is a substantial main dish requiring only 35 minutes of prep time. The punchy, bright dressing ties together the multitude of toppings.

23 of 25

Bulldog Caviar

Bulldog Caviar
Jennifer Causey, Prop Stylist: Lindsey Lower, Food Stylist: Torie Cox

This University of Georgia-inspired appetizer will be your new favorite tailgating recipe, even if you don't pull for the dawgs yourself. The caviar is dressed with a mixture of rice vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and garlic powder quickly boiled in a saucepan. Refrigerate for four hours to allow the flavors to meld together.

24 of 25

Hoppin' John Hush Puppies

Hoppin' John Hush Puppies
Becky Luigart-Stayner

We've transformed a Lowcountry classic into a hot and tasty fritter. Add seasoned field peas to your cornmeal mix, along with chopped country ham, cooked long-grain rice, green onions, and jalapeño peppers. Fry up and serve with our amazing Tomato-Corn Relish.

25 of 25

Hoppin' John Soup

Hoppin' John Soup

This easy soup is the most comforting way to enjoy your peas and greens on New Year's Day. For a different take, we use smoked turkey wings along with a bit of chopped country ham. Day-old cornbread makes the perfect Cornbread Croutons for your hot, steaming bowl of hoppin' John.

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