Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Basil Dressing

Black-Eyed Pea Salad
Black-Eyed Pea Salad. Diana Rattray
  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 6 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
435 Calories
37g Fat
23g Carbs
6g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 Servings
Amount per serving
Calories 435
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 37g 47%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 29mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 6g 23%
Protein 6g
Calcium 123mg 9%
*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.)

This black-eyed pea salad is a tasty combination of peas and chopped vegetables with an easy and flavorful basil vinaigrette. Black-eyed peas have long been a staple in the South, and this salad is an excellent alternative to hopping John or plain cooked black-eyed peas. 

This salad is delicious with fresh basil, but you can use dried leaf basil in a pinch. It's a tasty summer salad and makes a nice side dish to take along to a cookout or picnic. Feel free to adapt the recipe with different vegetables to suit your family's tastes.

Serve the salad with steaks or grilled chicken.


  • 3 cups black-eyed peas (canned or cooked black-eyed peas, drained)
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 to 3 ribs celery 
  • 1 small red bell pepper 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the Basil Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons basil (fresh chopped or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 to 3 medium cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Garnish: fresh chopped basil or parsley

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Put the drained black-eyed peas in a large serving bowl (or put them in a large container if you will be transporting the salad).

  3. Peel the onion and chop it finely along with the celery. Slice the pepper in half and remove the seeds and stem. Chop it finely.

  4. Add the chopped vegetables to the peas along with the 1/4 teaspoon of salt; toss and set aside.

  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, basil, garlic, sugar, black pepper, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is well blended. You can use a blender for this step or put it all in a jar with a screw-top lid and shake to blend.

  6. Pour the dressing mixture over the peas and vegetables; toss to blend thoroughly.

  7. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight to give the flavors time to intermingle and develop flavor.

  8. Serve the salad garnished with fresh chopped parsley or basil.

Tips and Variations

  • Add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of finely chopped or shredded carrot.

  • Add 1/2 cup of diced seeded tomato to the peas along with the chopped vegetables.

  • For a smoky flavor add a few strips cooked and crumbled bacon or about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of diced leftover ham to the salad.

  • Stir a few tablespoons of shredded Parmesan cheese into the salad.

  • Replace the chopped onion with chopped green onion (scallion) or red onion.

  • Add 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley to the peas and vegetables.

  • For heat, add about 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to the dressing mixture, or mince a small, seeded jalapeno pepper and toss it with the peas and vegetables.