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Grits and greens with black eyed peas with grits in a bowl with a spoon.

Black Eyed Peas with Smoky Collards and Cheesy Grits Recipe

A quick and easy meal for those busy nights, slow cooking the peas means dinner is ready in under 30 minutes (reflected in the time above)! If preparing the black eyed peas stove top, the recipe comes together in about an hour. This black eyed peas and collard greens recipe is vegetarian or vegan and easily gluten free.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword Black Eyed Peas, Collard Greens, Vegetarian Dinner
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 530kcal
Author Traci York | Vanilla And Bean


For the Black Eyed Peas:

For the Collard Greens:

  • 1/2 C (130g) Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke
  • 1/2 tsp Tamari
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic minced
  • 1 lb (565g) Collard Greens cut into ribbons and washed thoroughly
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes optional but recommended!

For the Grits:

  • 3 C (710g) Water
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 C (150g) White or Yellow Corn Grits**
  • 1/2 C (50g) Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese shredded, OR 1 1/2 TBS Nutritional Yeast*** for dairy free

For Serving:


  • If using Slow Cooked Black Eyed Peas, skip #2 and move right into cooking the collards.
  • In a medium saucepot, add the soaked black eyed peas, vegetable broth, onion, bell pepper, garlic, bayleaf, and optional tabasco. Bring to a boil, turn down to low or to a low simmer and cook for 45 minutes to one hour, uncovered. The peas should be tender with just a slight tooth, not mushy. Add the worcestershire, and liquid smoke. Taste for seasoning adjustment.

For the Collard Greens:

  • In a large stockpot, bring the broth, liquid smoke, tamari sauce, and garlic to a boil. Add the collard greens, stir thoroughly using tongs, lid the pot and cook on med-low for between 10-15 minutes.
    Stir the greens at least twice while they cook down and become tender. Their color will darken a bit too. Add the apple cider vinegar and pinch of red pepper flakes. Taste for seasoning adjustment (add salt if needed).

For the Grits:

  • In a medium saucepot bring water and salt to a boil. Turn down to low and whisk in the grits. Cook on low, covered, for 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste. Stir in the cheese OR the nutritional yeast***. Grits can dry out pretty quick, so if needed, add a TBS of water at a time and stir after they're done cooking. Lid to keep warm.

To Assemble:

  • To an individual serving bowl, add the peas, greens and grits arranged separately. Serve with jalapeños and/or tabasco and plenty of BBQ sauce for slathering
  • Store in individual lidded containers, refrigerated for up to two days.



*Slow Cooked Black Eyed Peas can be made the day of or the day prior to when they are needed. The quick cook (re: 45 minutes), will take a bit more 'cook' time for the entire dish, but you can prepare the other components of this recipe while the peas are cooking. 
**Grits or Polenta (or Both?!): I grew up eating white hominy corn grits (often quick cook). They are hard to find and I've read that some are 'bleached' to obtain the white color. So I opt for Bob's Red Mill corn grits, also known as polenta. Brands labeled as Polenta can be used instead with delicious results, although they do take longer to cook. 
***Easily Dairy Free: Nutritional yeast is somewhat of an acquired taste, so if it's not preferred as a dairy free option, leave it out and season the grits with additional salt to taste. 


Calories: 530kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 1133mg | Potassium: 793mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 6513IU | Vitamin C: 75mg | Calcium: 536mg | Iron: 4mg