Basic Crock Pot Black-Eyed Peas

Slow-cooker black-eyed peas in a crock

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 5 hrs 20 mins
Total: 5 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 8 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
199 Calories
1g Fat
36g Carbs
14g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 199
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 174mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 14g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 73mg 6%
Iron 5mg 26%
Potassium 662mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Black-eyed peas are a tasty and nutritious legume that many people in the South consider a lucky food. Commonly present on tables on New Year's Day, black-eyed peas are said to represent the prosperity you'll have in the starting year. Our simple recipe uses the slow cooker, so you can start it and forget about the peas while you get on with your day. Cooked to perfection with water and onions, these peas are a great base for building whatever meal you'd like, eating them over rice or adding them to soups or stews.

Black-eyed peas are a powerhouse of nutrition, adding high amounts of fiber, protein, iron, thiamine, and folate in just one serving. Just half a cup of oilless, cooked black-eyed peas has 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber, which represents 20 percent of your recommended daily intake. Unlike other legumes, there is no need to soak these beans before cooking; simply wash well and pick the beans to ensure there is no dirt or debris.

Our recipe is vegan and vegetarian friendly, but as a basic meal, it can be made into a flavorful meat dish by adding diced cooked ham, pulled pork, or cooked bacon. Turn it into the New Year's special by adding any meat of your choice and serving them with collard greens—to represent folded money—and freshly baked cornbread and rice.

"A simple and dependable recipe to fortify with additional ingredients of your choice. I added carrots, celery, sliced ginger, and some fresh herbs, making the beans quite hearty. The recipe suggests not soaking the beans. I was skeptical at first, but the beans held together nicely and were tender and delicious." —Diana Andrews

Basic crock pot black-eyed peas
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 pound dry black-eyed peas

  • 1 large onion, sliced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 6 cups water

  • Kosher salt (or a salt blend), to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for slow-cooker black-eyed peas recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats

  2. Rinse the black-eyed peas in a colander under cold running water. Pick them over and discard any damaged or malformed peas.

    Rinsing black-eyed peas in a colander

    The Spruce Eats

  3. Put the peas in a large slow cooker along with the sliced onion and minced garlic. Add the freshly ground black pepper and the water.

    Black-eyed peas and onions in a slow cooker

    The Spruce Eats

  4. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for about 5 hours (about 3 hours on high). Add the salt or salt blend, stir, and taste again, adding more salt or seasoned salt if needed.

    Black-eyed peas and onions cooking in a slow cooker

    The Spruce Eats

  5. Continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes and stir well before serving.

    Slow-cooker vegetarian black-eyed peas with side dishes

    The Spruce Eats

For Tender Legumes, Salt Always Comes Last

Even after cooking, peas and beans sometimes aren't as tender as they should be. Many cooks feel that adding salt or acidic ingredients beforehand slows down the softening. To ensure tender beans, always add the salt after they are tender and then continue cooking for an extra 15 to 20 minutes.

Flavorful Additions

This basic recipe has room for many flavorful ingredients:

  • For a chunkier vegan and vegetarian-friendly dish, add 1 cup of chopped carrots and celery to the peas along with the sliced onion. Cook as instructed and add a can of diced tomatoes at the moment you add the salt to make a delicious veggie stew. Serve with chopped cilantro on top.
  • Add cubed cooked bacon (from 6 to 7 thick slices) or ham when you add the salt to the black-eyed peas. Serve with rice and greens.
  • For a different flavor, use low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth instead of water to cook the peas in. Serve and add a teaspoon of olive oil on top of each bowl and garnish with Italian parsley.

Recipe Variation

You can use frozen black-eyed peas instead of dry black-eye peas. Reduce the liquid to about 2 to 3 cups and cook for the same amount of time.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 or 5 days. Reheat them at medium power in the microwave or in a saucepan over medium heat on the stove. You can also enjoy them cold in a salad or dip.
  • Freeze leftover beans in recipe-portion or serving-size containers for later use. Let the beans cool thoroughly before you pack them into airtight containers, leaving about 1/2-inch of headspace to allow for expansion. You can also freeze beans in zip-close freezer bags. Use within 3 months for best quality.

Do Legumes Need to be Soaked?

This is a matter of personal choice. Although soaking aids in the cooking of the beans by making them softer beforehand, the real reason for soaking legumes is to get rid of the indigestible sugars that cause gas in humans. Most cooks soak their beans overnight, rinsing the beans well before cooking, while others choose to soak them for four hours, and some don't soak them at all. It all comes down to how much time you have and if you have noticed digestive discomfort from eating unsoaked beans.

Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Black-Eyed Peas, Cooked. FoodDate Central. United States Department of Agriculture.