Skip to Content

Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas

Instant Pot Black Eyed PeasInstant Pot black-eyed peas, or ‘Hopping John,’ is a Southern delicacy known for bringing good luck. Ours is smokey and spicy, and I am positive one bowl of this satisfying comfort food will have you feeling lucky. Plus, it’s vegan and kosher!

There is a lot of history surrounding black-eyed peas in the South. The dish originated in West Africa and made its way to North America in the 17th century through enslavement. Enslaved people planted the peas to use in soups and stews. Today in the South, black-eyed peas are frequently referred to as “lucky beans” because people believe eating them will bring prosperity in the New Year.

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  • Black-Eyed Peas: I use dried peas because that’s what I have on hand, but you can use canned black-eyed peas.
  •  Olive Oil: Saute vegetables in olive oil.
  •  Vegetables: Add bulk and nutrients to the peas with onions, green bell pepper, garlic, and tomatoes.
  •  Jalapeño: Chilies provide a perfect amount of heat.
  •  Tomato Paste: Thicken and add color with tomato paste, and be sure to bloom the paste by sautéing it before adding the other ingredients.
  •  Spices: Season black-eyed peas with cayenne, smoked paprika, and Kosher salt. Change things up using our Blackened Seasoning to increase the heat.
  •  Vegetable Stock: Store-bought vegetable stock will do, or you can use water and Vegetable Better than Bouillon. I have also used chicken stock to make this recipe with good results. 
  •  Liquid Smoke: Since this recipe is meatless, liquid smoke lends a smokey dimension reminiscent of BBQ.
  •  Bay Leaves: Subtly flavor the peas with a clove-like flavor.

HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT BLACK EYED PEAS 

Rinse peas until the water runs clear. Cover them with fresh water and soak them overnight.

Drain and rinse the peas, and set them aside; warm oil in an Instant Pot in saute mode. Add onions and bell peppers, and cook until the onions become translucent and soften, for about 10 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and jalapeños; cook for 3 minutes. Then, add the cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, Kosher salt, and tomato paste; saute until it becomes aromatic.

Deglaze the pot with crushed tomatoes and vegetable stock. Add liquid smoke, bay leaves, and the reserved peas. Then, give the mixture a quick stir.

Bring the mixture to a boil in saute mode. Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 10 minutes with a 10-minute natural release.

Skim the froth of the top and enjoy!

COOKING TIPS

  • Soak the peas in water overnight for shorter cooking time. Skip, if using canned black-eyed peas.

SEARCHING FOR MORE LIKE THIS? 

If you love this recipe, try one of our other Southern-inspired meals!  

SERVING SUGGESTIONS 

WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS 

  • FRIDGE – Store leftovers in an airtight container; they will keep for 3-4 days.
  • FREEZER – Allow the dish to cool, then add it to a freezer-safe container or bag. Black-eyed peas will freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat, defrost it in the fridge overnight.
  •  REHEAT – Warm leftovers in the microwave or stovetop, and enjoy!
  •  REPURPOSE –  Use black-eyed peas to fill shepherd’s pie or make homemade veggie burgers.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

Can I use canned black-eyed peas?

You sure can, but since they’re ready to go out of the can, reduce the cooking time in the Instant Pot to 8 minutes.

Do I need to soak black-eyed peas before cooking?

I prefer soaking the peas to reduce the cooking time. However, it’s not necessary if you want to skip that step.

Why do you put a penny in black-eyed peas?

This tradition is a little hard for me to get behind, putting a coin in my food and all, but I love the idea! Southerners add a penny or dime to the pot, and the person who discovers the coin in their bowl is said to have the best luck. Collard greens are also added to black-eyed peas for the same reason; the green represents financial prosperity.

Can I make this recipe on the stovetop?

1. Rinse the peas until the water runs clear. Cover them with fresh water and soak them overnight.
2. Drain and rinse the peas, and set them aside; warm oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and bell peppers, and cook until the onions become translucent and soften, for about 10 minutes.
3. Stir in the garlic and jalapeños; cook for 3 minutes. Then, add the tomato paste and saute until it becomes aromatic.
4. Deglaze the pot with crushed tomatoes and vegetable stock. Add liquid smoke, bay leaves, and the reserved peas. Then, give the mixture a quick stir.
5. Bring the pot to a boil. Reduce, and simmer for 45 minutes.
6. Skim the froth from the top, serve, and enjoy!

Can I add meat?

This recipe is vegan, but feel free to add ham, bacon, or sausage. Saute the meat alongside the onions and bell peppers and follow the recipe accordingly; if you’re using a large ham or ham hock, increase the cooking time.

YOU SHOULD ALSO TRY: 

Instant Pot black eyed peas in a bowl with the serving bowl in the background.Instant Pot black eyed peas in a small bowl.

Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas

Tressa Jamil
Instant Pot black-eyed peas is a Southern delicacy known for bringing luck. Ours is smokey and spicy, and I am positive one bowl will leave you feeling lucky.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 37 mins
Soaking Time 12 hrs
Total Time 12 hrs 47 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 135 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound black eyed peas, dried
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes, 14-ounces
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 3 bay leaves

Instructions
 

  • Rinse peas until the water runs clear. Cover them with fresh water and soak them overnight.
  • Drain and rinse the peas, and set them aside; warm oil in an Instant Pot in saute mode. Add onions and bell peppers, and cook until the onions become translucent and soften, for about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic and jalapeños; cook for 3 minutes. Then, add the cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, Kosher salt, and tomato paste; saute until it becomes aromatic.
  • Deglaze the pot with crushed tomatoes and vegetable stock. Add liquid smoke, bay leaves, and the reserved peas. Then, give the mixture a quick stir.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil in saute mode. Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 15 minutes with a 10-minute natural release.
  • Skim the froth of the top and enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 ServingCalories: 135kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 6gFat: 5gSodium: 373mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5g
Keyword Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
Recipe Rating