Simple, saucy and over the top texture and flavor in Harissa Stewed Black-Eyed Peas with Okra and Collard Greens; a one pot meal! This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and gluten free.
Comfort Food Season
This time of year is the best time. The convergence of summer and fall veggies makes cooking even more inviting and offers an abundance of variety. I spied plump pumpkins in the fields this week too. The harvest will begin soon.
There’s a chill in the air. Dramatic gray skies are back and we’ve finally broken our dry streak. Our feathered friends from the North are returning and geese are flocking in their signature V shape fly overs. Hearing them call as they approach is like hearing from an old friend.
It’s time for some comfort food.
Ingredients for this Black Eyed Pea Stew
Simple ingredients create the most mouthwatering stew. Subtly spicy with Harissa, it’s perfectly warming for the coldest of days. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Black Eyed Peas – dry or cooked/canned
- Tomato Paste
- Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- Collard Greens
- Okra – fresh or frozen
- Cinnamon – a nice surprise!
How to Make Harissa Stewed Black Eyed Peas
There’s a time saving shortcut to this recipe. Instead of using dry and soaked black eyed peas, simply use canned black eyed peas and add them towards the end of cooking.
- First, in a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat oil to shimmering. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic. Stir in harissa and tomato paste, stirring to coat the onions. Add the, dried (and soaked) black-eyed peas, and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer. Place a lid on the pot and cook for 40 minutes.
- Next, stir in the tomatoes, collard greens, and okra. Cook, lid on, on low for about 15-20 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper, cinnamon and lemon juice.
- Last, garnish with parsley. Serve with brown basmati rice (cooked with a cinnamon stick!).
If using canned or already cooked black eyed peas you’ll need about two cups. Drain the peas, reduce water to about 1 cup, skip cooking for 40 minutes and continue on with the recipe.
A Few Recipe Notes
- Share this black eyed pea recipe with cornbread! Try my Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread or Gluten Free Cornbread recipe.
- Use soaked overnight, dried black-eyed peas or canned black-eyed peas (look for vegetarian) or pre-cooked slow cooked black-eyed peas in this recipe. If using dried, be sure to give them a soak overnight – I’ve read it improves their digestibility and decreases phytic acid. Using pre-cooked peas cuts the cook time in this recipe by 40 minutes! So, if you’re meal planning, keep this in mind (noted in and below recipe).
- Use fresh or frozen okra in this recipe. It has the same cook time either way.
- Collard greens are available pretty much year round. They’re tender, mild and packed with nutrition!
- What is Harissa? Harissa is a North African and Middle Eastern spice blend that’s somewhat spicy, and over the top flavorful. It includes spices such as chili, garlic, coriander, caraway and mint. I use the powder spice blend for this recipe. If you prefer paste, start with 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons and adjust to taste. Harissa can be purchased as a paste or ground in spice jars.
- Freezer Friendly? Yes please! This recipe freezes beautifully! Thaw in the fridge overnight and gently rewarm on the stove top.
- Instant Pot Note: On Facebook, Kim noted that she made this recipe in the Instant Pot. She said 40 minutes and it was good to go!
More Black Eyed Pea Recipes to Love
- Cajun Stewed Black Eyed Peas and Greens
- Black Eyed Pea Sweet Potato Cornbread Pot Pie
- Slow Cooked Black Eyed Peas
- BBQ Black Eyed Peas Collard Rolls
- Black Eyed Peas with Smoky Collards and Cheesy Grits
Harissa Stewed Black Eyed Peas and Greens
- 1 C (185g) Dried Black Eyed Peas soaked overnight, *see notes if using precooked black-eyed peas or if unsoaked dry peas
- 1 Tbs Coconut Oil or Olive Oil
- 1 C (120g) Red Onion about 1 medium
- 1 Tbs Garlic minced, about 2 large cloves
- 1 1/2 Tbs Harissa Seasoning spice blend, dry. If you prefer paste, start with 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons and adjust to taste.
- 2 Tbs Tomato Paste
- 3 1/2 C (785g) Water
- 1 1/2 C (411g) Fire Roasted Tomatoes one can
- 4 C (220g) Collard Greens destemmed, chopped into bite size pieces and packed, about 1 bunch
- 3 C (275g) Okra fresh or frozen, if frozen this is 1, 10 oz bag
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 1/2 Lemon juiced
- Parsley - Flat Leaf chopped for garnish
- In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat oil to shimmering. Add the onion, and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occassionally on medium-low or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for one minute, until fragrant. Stir in harissa seasoning and tomato paste, stirring to coat the onions for one minute. Add the dried (and soaked - see note** for unsoaked) black-eyed peas, and water. Bring to a boil, then turn down to low to simmer. Place a lid on the pot and cook for about 40 minutes OR until the peas are tender. If using precooked black eyed peas, use about 2 C / 260g, drain peas, reduce water to about 1 cup, skip cooking for 40 minutes and continue on with the recipe.
- To the black eyed peas, stir in the tomatoes, collard greens (in two batches if needed), and okra. Cook, lid on, on low for about 15-20 minutes, OR until the okra and collards are tender. Stir in the salt, pepper, cinnamon and squeeze of lemon juice. Taste for seasoning adjustment (collards and black eyed peas can take on quite a bit of salt. I tend to add a pinch more than the 1 tsp here, but adjust to your taste). Share with brown basmati rice or cornbread!
- Store in a lidded container for up to three days in the refrigerator, or up to three weeks in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the fridge and gently rewarm stovetop.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
Melissa’s Produce sent me beautiful, fresh okra and onions to use in this recipe. All opinions are my own.
I made this for New Year’s day instead of the traditional Hoppin’ John. I did add 3 bay leaves and 1/4 tsp. of cayenne pepper to kick up the heat, plus I used vegetable broth instead of water, but those are just minor personal taste adjustments. It was soooooo good! I’ll definitely be making this again and I’ve already sent the link out to family members.
Hi Holly! Thank you for your note, sharing your tips and giving the recipe a go! I love that little bit of extra heat – so satisfying. I appreciate your sharing family… I hope they enjoy it too!
I made this for New Years Day Brunch. I coated the fresh okra with chickpea flour and dry fried them before putting them in the stew. I don’t care for the texture of boiled okra but I really like the flavor. Served this over a grit cake (aka polenta). Will definitely make this again. Everyone loved it and couldn’t believe it was vegan.
Hi Jason! Thank you for your note, giving the recipe a go and sharing your tip about the chickpea flour (love it!). So happy to hear everyone enjoyed the recipe!
Very delicious!! I used canned black eyed peas and Harissa paste because thats all I could find and it turned out super flavorful and had a perfect texture. Will definitely be making again.
Hi Katie! Thank you for your note and sharing your experience! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe!
Wonderful flavors. I made this in the morning so dinner would be ready without a lot of fuss and completely forgot to add the cinnamon and lemon at the end when I was reheating. It was still delicious and I’m glad there were leftovers to finish it with the seasonings next time. Your recipes are such an inspiration so now I need to find other recipes for using Harissa.
SO happy to hear Marilny! Thank you for your note and rating! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe sans cinnamon! Hooray for leftovers!
What is harrisa ?
Hi Debra! Harissa is a North African and Middle Eastern spice blend that’s somewhat spicy, and over the top flavorful. It includes spices such as chili, garlic, coriander, caraway and mint. I use the dried spice for this recipe. If you prefer paste, start with 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons and adjust to taste. Harissa can be purchased as a paste or ground in spice jars. I hope this helps!
Wow! I just ate 3 bowls of this !!! Sooooo good I added red pepper flakes and forgot to add the tomatoes at the end and recipe was still delicious. I love okra but never new what to make with it . Thank you so much.
Hooray! Thank you for your note, Alma and rating. So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe – isn’t okra SO good!?
Love this recipe! It looks really delicious and very healthy. I can’t wait to try this. Thank you for sharing the recipe!
I have been such a fan of okra recently and was so happy to find it in this recipe! Putting this on my meal plan for next week!
Thank you so much Laurel! I hope you enjoy the recipe!
Love the flavor profile of this recipe! Perfect for the fall season, warm and hearty!
A good comforting meal goes a long way! Thank you Luci! :D
Such a flavorful looking dish, Traci! Reminds me of some of the dishes my southern grandma used to cook for the family. I remember she often made a big pot of vegetable soup with black eyed peas, butter beans, okra, greens, and all sorts of other fresh veggies from her garden. I miss her cooking so much! I’m ashamed to say I haven’t cooked much with okra, although I truly love the vegetable. I need to try and get my hands on some so I can recreate this delicious recipe. Will be such a cozy dinner once the weather starts to cool down!
Thaaank you Joscelyn! Mmmmm the addition of butter beans… my Mama made those too.. but I’ve never made them myself. Thank you for reminding me! I hope you’ll find some okra… I love it SO much and like you, don’t cook with it often enough.
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
One pot meals for the win!! Especially when it is THIS DELICIOUS! I absolutely adore harissa, so i love that you used it here! This dish looks super comforting and just perfect for fall (and winter!!)! Cheers, dear! Xoxo
I’m so with you, Chey! They’re always good to fall back on when you want something easy… !
This dish is the definition of fall comfort food. It has been so long since I had okra. It is hard to find around here, but next time I get my hands on them I know which recipe to make :))
Hope you are enjoying this beautiful fall my friend.
Thaaank you Aysegul…. I never see fresh around here either. I often use frozen however, and in many recipes, frozen will work just fine. Ahhhh… fall is so stunning…. same to you my friend! xo
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
I love one pot meals like this one for fall Traci. So hearty, so healthy and so delicious. I know Tom and I are both going to love it! Perhaps there may be a little trickery involved substituting the word spinach leaves for collard greens when Tom says, “what’s that green stuff?”, but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do! Thanks for sharing this one!
Hooray for one pot meals! LOL – the word spinach. You know, my Ma just tried collards for the first time last month.. first time ever! And she loved them! They take on the flavor of the stew/harissa, and they’re really quite mild with a fabulous texture. I’d love to hear how your trickery goes! LOL xo
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
This is comfort food at it’s best, Traci! Love all the healthy ingredients you’ve used. I’ve never cooked with okra but this looks so delicious and filling – you are inspiring me to go buy some okra. We are finally having some cooler weather here as well!
It’s time for some okra, Geraldine! It’s completely unique, mild and has over the top texture! I hope you’ll give it a go! xo
Looks yummy! I am going to try this recipe! What is the alternative to sea salt?
Hi Natalia! Feel free to use whatever salt you have on hand. I always use fine sea salt, so if you use a larger grain salt, you may need to add more. Taste as you go and add to taste. I hope you enjoy the recipe!
Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
There has been a ton of okra at our farmers market but I never know what to do with it! You’ve just given me the answer to all of my problems. :)
I love how hearty this stew looks and am always happy when a recipe includes leafy greens. Plus Brandon is slightly obsessed with harissa so I know he would love this. Saving this one to try very soon!
Hooray! Grab that okra and whip this up! I know you’d appreciate it’s texture and mild flavor… it’s SOOO good! You know, Sarah, I feel if I don’t have leafy greens in/with breakfast, lunch and dinner, then it’s not a complete meal! Is that strange? I’m constantly shoving as many greens as I can in morning smoothies… greens are just so darn tasty and pretty! :D I hope you and Brandon enjoy this recipe.. I’m kinda smitten with Harissa too.
Abby @ Heart of a Baker
I’m soooo ready for fall! I’ve never tried okra, but this looks so lovely and cozy that I think I need to!
Whaaa… WHAAA… never tried okra?! Abby… it’s time! Grab that fresh okra ASAP!
A chill in the air does equal comfort food and this fits the bill! We, however, are experiencing the warmest late September ever in history…so this beauty will have to wait a little while longer! Love it, Traci! xo
Augh… a warmer Sept for us too, Annie. Although the days are cooler and the nights are definitely chilly. I hope it cools off soon for you.