34 Perfect Recipes To Make If You’re As Crazy About Summer Peas As We Are
Though we still indulge in our favorite Southern side casseroles throughout the summer—hello, old-school squash casserole—we also like to make the most of the fresher-than-fresh bounty that can be found at the farmers’ market, the local farmstand, your garden, and even the grocery store. And when it comes to summer side dishes made the Southern way, you really can’t go wrong with fresh field peas flavored with ham hock, paired with tomatoes, made into a melty dip, fried into a crispy cake, or thrown into a pasta salad.
So step outside the casserole dish this season with one of these 34 super delicious summer pea recipes, starting with a smoky field pea dip and following up with everything from a summery version of Hoppin’ John to corn-speckled lady pea patties. With so many varieties, the options are endless.
Lemon Vinaigrette Pasta Salad with Field Peas
This lemony pasta salad with field peas will be your new favorite side dish to serve all summer long.
Classic Fresh Field Peas
Recipe: Classic Fresh Field Peas
Smoky ham hocks enrich any broth, and in this case yields a delicious pot of field peas. If you're adventurous, try smoking your own hocks—they will yield roughly double what you'll get from the store-bought stuff.
Field Peas, Corn, and Okra in Country-Ham Cream
Fresh veggies might technically be the star of this dish, but we're partial to the rich country-ham cream that brings it up to a whole new level.
Smoky Field Pea-and-Greens Dip
Recipe: Smoky Field Pea-and-Greens Dip
Made with bacon, spinach or kale, and plenty of field peas, this cheesy dip is a certified crowd-pleaser. Show up and watch it disappear.
Summer Hoppin' John Salad
Recipe: Summer Hoppin' John Salad
A New Year's tradition, Hoppin' John is usually served hot, but this cool salad is perfect for a summer picnic or lunch, or as a side salad for grilled meats. Feel free to sub your favorite cooked whole grain instead of rice.
Field Pea Cakes with Tomato-Ginger Jam
Field Pea-Tomato Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
When you have the best of ingredients, keeping it simple is all you need to do. Enter: this beautiful summer side salad that uses fresh heirloom tomatoes and field peas.
Buttermilk-Lady Pea Soup with Bacon
Even served warm, buttermilk has a cooling effect on the palate, just right for summer meals.
Smoky Field Pea Hummus
Recipe: Smoky Field Pea Hummus
Trust us, this will be your new go-to summer dip. Use any legume you like.
Field Pea Fattoush Salad
Recipe: Field Pea Fattoush Salad
Made with toasted pita instead of croutons or cornbread, this panzanella-esque salad is filled with all the good stuff, like heirloom cherry tomatoes, cucumber, fresh field peas, chopped romaine, and mint.
Creole Chicken with Field Pea Succotash
This simple dinner recipe is destined to be a fresh summer favorite. Creole flavors plus farmers' market peas equals deliciousness.
Slow-Cooker Peas-and-Greens Soup with Turkey Sausage
We can't hear enough good things about this comforting soup, and it might have something to do with it being a super easy slow-cooker recipe. Just a guess.
Home-Style Butter Beans
Recipe: Home-Style Butter Beans
This one is a no-brainer—get your cozy butter beans made with bacon, brown sugar, and onions right here.
Southwest Black-Eyed Pea Dip
Recipe: Southwest Black-Eyed Pea Dip
This is a melty party dip worth celebrating—and everyone else will want to get in on the good times, too.
Black-Eyed Pea Fritter Sandwiches with Slaw
Like a Southern spin on falafel, this is the most exciting lunch to make this summer.
Field Peas in Herbed Broth
Recipe: Field Peas in Herbed Broth
This aromatic broth soup will have you licking your bowl clean, mark our words. Serve alongside any protein to have the easiest supper.
Lady Pea-and-Corn Patties
Recipe: Lady Pea-and-Corn Patties
How pretty are these patties? For a great accompanying sauce, stir together 1 cup sour cream, 2 tsp. lime zest, 3 Tbsp. lime juice, and 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro.
Reunion Pea Casserole
Recipe: Reunion Pea Casserole
We call this a "grandma-approved casserole." Because it's packed with all of her favorite things, like sausage, cheese, squash, peas, and—of course—butter.
Field Pea and Pasta Salad
Recipe: Field Pea and Pasta Salad
Farfalle and fresh veggies make a delicious summer side. Mix the dressing up to three days in advance; then toss when ready to serve. We like using mini farfalle in this recipe so that all of the ingredients are about the same size, but swap in any pasta shape you like.
Recipe: Hoppin’ John
This Carolina Lowcountry dish pairs black-eyed peas with rice. The rice and beans are cooked slowly with bacon, fatback, or ham hock along with onion and salt.
Zucchini Stuffed with Lady Peas
Recipe: Zucchini Stuffed with Lady Peas
Stuff zucchini shells with lady peas, onion, mushrooms, and tomato before topping with breadcrumbs and cheese for a fun colorful appetizer.
Crowder Pea Succotash
Recipe: Crowder Pea Succotash
Crowder peas, also known as cowpeas, are hearty and packed with protein. Combined with sweet corn, chopped onions, and bell peppers, they make a great addition to this popular Southern side dish. Serve at a family barbecue or picnic on a warm summer day.
Smoky Split Pea-and-Sausage Soup
Recipe: Smoky Split Pea-and-Sausage Soup
This soup isn't like most soups—as in, it's way more exciting and you'll be going back for seconds and thirds. Conecuh sausage is always the way to our hearts.
Polenta Rounds with Black-Eyed Pea Topping
Quick and easy to make, these tasty appetizers feature polenta rounds topped with a warm mixture of black-eyed peas, diced tomatoes, and finely chopped onions. Before serving add a dollop of light sour cream and fresh cilantro.
Hoppin' John Stew with White Cheddar Cheese Grits
Nothing is quite as Southern, or as summery, as Hoppin' John. (Forget New Year's Day!) Serve it atop white cheddar cheese grits.
Field Pea Relish
Recipe: Field Pea Relish
Perfect for anything fried, grilled, or fresh from the garden—it's just that good and easy; no special jars or canning required.
Ham-and-Greens Pot Pie with Cornbread Crust
From bacon to carnitas to BBQ, pork has hit prime time nationally. This recipe featuring ham and Southern staples, greens and cornbread, continues to be a go-to dinner for our food editors.
Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad
Recipe: Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad
Peppery watercress fills in for traditional greens—while fresh peaches, cilantro, and black-eyed peas add extra flair.
Heirloom Tomato Salad With Fresh Lady Peas
Use those delicious heirloom tomatoes in a salad tossed with fresh lady peas, goat cheese, basil, and a lemon-herb dressing. This is a perfect cool, summer salad.
Peppery Peas O' Plenty
Recipe: Peppery Peas O' Plenty
This dish truly does have peas o' plenty—black eyed peas, purple hull peas, crowder peas, and butter peas. Pick them up at your farmer's market for a great summer side.