Cook in a slow cooker or on stove top, Slow Cooked Vegetarian Black-Eyed Peas are not just for new years. Black-eyed peas make a healthy stand alone meal or can become a part of other delicious recipes! This recipe is vegan and easily gluten free.
Not Just for New Years
Ma used to make black-eyed peas in the slow cooker and had a hand in my love of these little peas. Back in the day, we always had some sort of ham or kielbasa with black-eyed peas and we only had them, it seems, on New Years Day (Ma?).
It’s a tradition in the South to eat black-eyed peas on New Years Day for good luck! I eat them pretty regularly now meatless, minus the kielbasa… or ham.
About Black-Eyed Peas
Black-eyed peas, aka cowpeas, are little power houses of nutrition and not just for new year’s good luck! These legumes are available year round, are filling and make a hearty meal. Black-eyed peas are packed with fiber, protein, magnesium, folate and are low in calories. Best of all, black eyed peas are pretty inexpensive especially when bought in bulk.
Black-eyed peas don’t need to be soaked, but they can be. Cooking time is only decreased slightly if the peas soaked first.
Ingredients for Slow Cooked Black-Eyed Peas
Look for black-eyed peas in the bulk bins for best price. Here’s what you’ll need for the recipe:
- Dried Black-Eyed Peas
- Onion – red or yellow
- Green and Red Bell Pepper
- Fresh Garlic
- Liquid Smoke
- Yellow Mustard
- Bay Leaf
- Veggie Broth
Liquid Smoke offers a subtle yet effective stand in for any smoky flavor meat could offer.
RELATED: Love black eyed peas? Try my one pot Black Eyed Pea Sweet Potato Cornbread Pot Pie recipe!
How to Make Slow Cook Black-Eyed Peas
This vegan black-eyed peas recipe has all the flavor of traditionally cooked peas without meat. Here’s how to make em’:
- First, start with dry black-eyed peas. There’s no need to soak, but if you do, the cook time is reduced only slightly.
- Second, after sorting and rinsing, put the peas straight into the pot with the bell peppers, garlic, onion, liquid smoke, mustard, bay leaf and broth/water. This is the same for both crock pot and stove top.
- Last, cook the (unsoaked) peas in the crock pot on high for about 4 -5 hours or low for about 6-7 hours OR on the stove top for about 50 minutes.
Age of beans, variations in slow cooker temperature, and soaked or unsoaked peas will effect how long the beans need to cook before they’re done. Use the cook times as a guide. The peas are ready when they’re tender yet not mushy.
A Few Recipe Notes
- Crock Pot or Stove Top? I’ve included how to make these peas in the crock pot and on the stove top, soaked or unsoaked.
- Turn up the heat by adding more Tabasco or minced jalapeños.
- Find liquid smoke at your grocery where BBQ and other hot sauces are sold and look for the simplest ingredient list with words you can pronounce. Look for gluten free if needed.
- For even more veggie action, go for adding ribboned kale, chard or collard greens. Add the greens to the black-eyed peas in the crock pot about 20 minutes before you’re ready to eat, stove top about 10 minutes.
- For a soup/stew, transfer about 2-3 cups of the peas and cooking liquid to a blender and puree the mixture. Add it back into the soup pot.
- Serve with your favorite cornbread recipe or try my Gluten Free Cornbread.
- Age of black-eyed peas, soaking or not soaking the peas and variations in slow cooker temperature will effect how long the beans need to cook before they’re done. Taste the peas as they near the suggested cook times in the recipe. The peas are ready when they’re tender yet not mushy.
More Ways to Love Vegetarian Black-Eyed Peas
Not only is this slow cooker black-eyed peas recipe easy, but the peas are versatile too. Use the peas in other recipes, like:
- Cajun Stewed Black Eyed Peas and Greens
- BBQ Black Eyed Pea Collard Rolls
- Black Eyed Peas with Smoky Collards and Cheesy Grits
- Harissa Stewed Black-Eyed Peas with Okra and Collard Greens
Slow Cooked Vegetarian Black-Eyed Peas
- 1 ½ C (270g) Dry Black Eyed Peas
- 2 Cloves of Garlic minced
- 1 C (140g) Purple/Red Onion medium dice, about one small onion
- ½ C (70g) Red Bell Pepper small dice, about 1/2 a medium bell
- ½ C (70g) Green Bell Pepper small dice, about 1/2 a medium bell
- 2 tsp Tabasco
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Liquid Smoke gluten free if needed
- 1 tsp Yellow Mustard
- 1 Bayleaf
- 5 C (1.1kg) Vegetable Broth 4 C (880g) if using soaked peas (a combination of 1/2 broth and 1/2 water can be used)
- ¼ C (6g) Chopped Parsley for Garnish
- Decide on cooking method (crock pot or stove top) and if you'll soak the peas or not. Soaking isn't necessary, but If soaking, soak overnight in enough water to cover the peas by about four inches (1.5cm). Rinse and drain the peas before cooking. Soaking reduces the cook time only slightly.
- To Cook the PeasMeasure, rinse and sort through the peas making sure they are free of stones and dirt. Choose method A or B to cook the peas. A. For the Crock Pot: Add the black eyed peas, garlic, onion, bell pepper, Tabasco, salt, liquid smoke, mustard, bayleaf and veggie broth (5 cups of broth/water if using unsoaked peas, 4 cups if using soaked peas) to the slow cooker. Give the ingredients a stir, place the lid on the slow cooker. Unsoaked Peas: Cook on high for about 4 -5 hours or low for about 6-7 hours. Soaked Peas: Cook on high for about 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 hours or low for about 5 1/2 - 6 1/2 hours.B. For the Stove Top: In a medium saucepot or Dutch oven, add the black eyed peas, garlic, onion, bell pepper, Tabasco, salt, liquid smoke, mustard, bayleaf and veggie broth (5 cups of broth/water if using unsoaked peas, 4 cups if using soaked peas) . Bring to a boil, turn down to low or to a low simmer and cook for 45 minutes to one hour, uncovered. If the peas start drying out add more broth/water as needed. Soaked peas take just a little bit less time than unsoaked peas to cook.
- Age of beans and variations in slow cooker temperature will effect how long the beans need to cook before they're done. Start checking the peas before indicated cooking times are complete. Taste the beans for texture. The beans are ready when they're tender, still have a tooth yet are not mushy. Taste for salt adjustment.
- Serve the peas with or without their broth, garnish with parsley. Peas can also be served as a soup. Simply puree about 2-3 cups in a blender and return the puree' to soup pot with the remaining whole peas. Stir and ladle into soup bowls.
- Store in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to two weeks.
This recipe was updated with new photos, more tips and a stove top cook method December 2019!