Slow Cooker Black-Eyed Peas and Collard Greens

crock pot black-eyed peas and collard greens
Black-eyed peas with collard greens in the slow cooker. Diana Rattray
Ratings (58)
  • Total: 8 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 8 hrs
  • Yield: 6 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
369 Calories
17g Fat
31g Carbs
27g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 Servings
Amount per serving
Calories 369
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 21%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 41mg 14%
Sodium 1035mg 45%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 11g 39%
Protein 27g
Calcium 367mg 28%
*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 and collard greens are a New Year's Day staple in the American South, where the peas represent coins and the greens represent paper money. As the saying goes, "Eat poor on New Year's, and eat fat the rest of the year." While they might be a sign of good fortune for the upcoming months, there's no reason why you shouldn't enjoy black-eyed peas and collard greens throughout the year of the year. It can even be frozen in airtight containers for up to three months and enjoyed whenever the craving strikes.

However, to make them right, it can take a while. Using a slow cooker lets you go about your daily business while the food simmers away. These crock pot black-eyed peas and collard greens make a fabulous meal with baked cornbread and a salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas, sorted and rinsed
  • 2 pounds collard greens
  • 8 ounces bacon or ham, diced
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 cups low-sodium or unsalted chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 large dried bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Fill the sink with cold water. Wash the collard greens in 3 to 4 changes of water, until there is absolutely no grit on the bottom of the sink. Cut thick stems out of the greens and chop the leaves or cut them crosswise into strips.

  2. If using bacon, cook it until cooked but not crisp in a large skillet. Remove the bacon to paper towels to drain. 

  3. Add the chopped onion to the skillet and cook until soft.

  4. Combine the beans, bacon, onions, garlic, chicken stock, tomato paste, vinegar, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes in the slow cooker. The liquid should cover the top of the beans.

  5. Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high for 3 hours.

  6. Open the lid and add the greens. Return the lid and cook for one more hour.

  7. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed.

Tips

  • Although black-eyed peas and collard greens make for a perfectly satisfying meal on its own, you can also go whole-hog on Southern cuisine by serving it as a component of a bigger meal.
  • Cornbread is a traditional part of a beans-and-greens meal, playing into the theme of fortune — its color signifies gold. However, biscuits also make for a solid bread option for soaking up the liquid of the main dishes.
  • Other options for sides for black-eyed peas and collard greens include sliced fresh tomatoes, grits (with or without added cheddar cheese), macaroni and cheese, or any form of potato — roasted, baked, boiled, mashed, or au gratin.

Recipe Variations

  • Make this recipe vegetarian by eliminating the meat and replacing the chicken stock with vegetable stock. Add a tablespoon or two of smoked paprika to infused the beans and greens with extra flavor.
  • Not a fan of collard greens? Make the recipe with kale or Swiss chard instead. It's hearty enough to stand up to the long cooking time.