How to Cook Dried Black-Eyed Peas

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Black-eyed peas taste delicious and have a distinctive look.
Black-eyed peas taste delicious and have a distinctive look. (Image: PicturePartners/iStock/Getty Images)

Black-eyed peas are a Southern dish traditionally eaten to bring luck in the new year, but any day you get to feast on these spotted charmers is a lucky day if you're a bean lover. Unlike most other dried beans, black-eyed peas do not need to be soaked before you cook them, which means you can whip up a mess of beans for dinner without starting the night before. Slow cookers and pressure cookers vary in power, so your safest and most succulent method for cooking dried black-eyed peas is in a pot on top of the stove.

Things You'll Need

  • Colander
  • Bowl
  • Pot
  • Oil
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Bacon; optional
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Seasonings
  • Broth or water

Preparing Dried Black-Eyed Peas, Plain

Pour your dried black-eyed peas into a colander and give them a quick rinse with cold water in the sink.

Sort the beans a few at a time, putting the usable ones into a bowl and discarding any small pebbles or leaves, and beans that are overly shriveled or discolored. Rinse the colander; put the beans back into it and rinse them again.

Transfer the sorted and rinsed beans into a large pot. Cover them with enough water to completely submerge the beans with several inches of water left at the top.

Bring the water to a rolling boil and cook the beans for 2 minutes. Drain the beans, discarding the cooking water. Rinse the black-eyed peas in cool water.

Cooking Up a Pot o’ Black-Eyed Peas

Rinse your dried black-eyed peas in a colander. Sort them to remove any pebbles and leaves, and beans that are overly wrinkled or discolored.

Pour enough oil into the bottom of a pot to barely cover it. You can use canola oil, vegetable oil or olive oil depending on your personal taste. Heat the oil until it shimmers.

Add chopped onion and celery and minced garlic to the oil. You can also add chopped raw bacon, if desired, to give your black-eyed peas a deep and smoky flavor. Cook and stir the aromatics and celery until the onions are translucent or the bacon is cooked through and crisp. This can take anywhere from 5 to 8 to eight minutes.

Stir in your choice of chopped vegetables, such as carrots, peppers and corn. Cook the vegetables for 5 to 7 minutes or until the aromatics are translucent and the vegetables have started to soften.

Pour the black-eyed peas into the pot, stirring them to fully incorporate them with the vegetables and coat them with the hot oil. Season the pot with salt, pepper and the seasonings of your choice. Thyme and chili powder go very well with black-eyed peas, as do lemon pepper and rosemary.

Add enough liquid to the pot to cover the contents, with 1 to 2 inches to spare. Water is fine, but broth adds a richer flavor. Bring the liquid to a rolling boil, stirring the pot to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom.

Turn the heat down so that the liquid is gently simmering and cook for 45 to 90 minutes, depending on how soft you like your black-eyed peas.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cook dried black-eyed peas in beer to add a little bit of extra flavor.
  • Serve the cooked black-eyed peas with hot cornbread or biscuits, or ladle the beans over cooked rice for a hearty meal.
  • Do not cook dried black-eyed peas without sorting them because they often have small pebbles mixed in with them.

References

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